Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.

Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group recently invested in, a soon-to-launch online retailer that hopes to challenge, multiple sources confirmed to Forbes. Alibaba's previously undisclosed investment came as part of Jet's $140 million round in February, which was led by Bain Capital Ventures and joined by the likes of Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates and others. The Montclair, N.J.-based company also raised about $5 million last month in a filing disclosed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 2012, quietly launched AmazonSupply, the e-commerce company's foray into the unsexy but hugely lucrative world of B-to-B wholesale. By 2014, when Forbes covered the burgeoning business, AmazonSupply was already offering 2.2 million products for sale in 17 categories, from tools and home improvement to janitorial supplies. Industry insiders were already concerned about the potential impact of AmazonSupply on America's 35,000 distribution companies, almost all of which are regional and family-run. Could they compete with AmazonSupply's infrastructure and deep cache of consumer data?

Jessica Simpson's fashion line hauls in about $1 billion in annual sales, an aberration in a retail landscape littered with dead celebrity brands. David Hasselhoff's Malibu Dave, Mandy Moore's Mblem, Heidi Montag's Heidiwood … the list of defunct fashion labels of the famous is endless. Yet Simpson's line has not only survived, it's grown over the past decade into a true lifestyle empire. How did she accomplish such a feat? According to the pop star, Simpson just knows what women want. 

Paula Schneider is less than two weeks into her tenure as CEO of American Apparel, but she's already set about correcting years of missteps by the clothing chain's infamous founder Dov Charney. "We've made great progress literally in the last 10 days," she said, speaking to Forbes from the company's Los Angeles base following an introductory phone call with Wall Street on

During the National Retail Federation's Big Show last week, Forbes spoke with a cross section of retail CEOs (and one president) at the convention's annual evening soirees. Here's what's in store for Macy's, Bloomingdale's, The Container Store, HSN and Bliss Spa this year.

C. Wonder, the preppy clothing and gift chain founded by billionaire Chris Burch, is closing all its stores, having failed to find a market for its kitschy mid-priced womenswear, home goods and  knick-knacks. "Due to the highly competitive nature of the current retail environment, C. Wonder will be closing its remaining stores," spokesperson Daniela Maron told Forbes. "The company continues to .

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