Retailer News

(Author : Marianne Wilson)
Walmart has added another online asset to its battle against Amazon.

Walmart acquires specialty outdoor retailer
The chain announced it has acquired Moosejaw, an outdoor retailer know for its social media marketing expertise and strong online following among younger consumers, for approximately $51 million. The acquisition, which closed on Feb. 13, is Walmart’s second acquisition in less than two months. In late December, the chain’s Jet.com unit acquired online footwear retailer ShoeBuy.
Founded in 1992 and based in Madison Heights, Michigan, Moosejaw has a significant web presence and also operates 10 stores. It carries more than 400 brands, including such higher-end labels as Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot, and Arc’teryx.
Walmart said that Moosejaw will continue to operate its site and stores as it has in the past, and will be run as a standalone and complementary brand to the discounter’s other e-commerce sites.
“Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford, his executive team, and Moosejaw’s 350-plus employees will continue to be based in Michigan, and will join our new U.S. e-commerce retail organization,” Walmart stated.
Walmart also noted that Moosejaw suppliers “that are interested in expanding their consumer reach will now have the opportunity to serve more customers through Jet.com and our other e-commerce sites.”

(Author : fashionnetwork)
German discount supermarket group Lidl will open its first stores in the United States ahead of schedule this summer, it said on Wednesday, with plans for up to 100 stores within a year in a move that could shake up U.S. retailers.

German discounter Lidl readies for first U.S. stores

The group plans to open its first 20 stores in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, it said in a statement. Lidl, which runs more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries in Europe, is in the midst of a recruitment drive in the United States and had not been expected to launch there until late 2017 or 2018.

Wary of the impending arrival, U.S. retailers had already been taking action.

Kroger, the second-biggest U.S. grocer after Wal-Mart, has been expanding its own discount format – Ruler Foods, while organic grocer Whole Foods last year launched a lower-price store concept named “365”.

“Retailers are preparing themselves for Lidl’s market entry. They are not falling asleep. They really take it seriously,” said Milos Ryba from retail analysis firm IGD, speaking before the timing of the Lidl openings were announced.

The German discount formula is not new in the United States - Aldi opened its first U.S. store in 1976 and now runs 1,600. Aldi U.S. is owned by Aldi South, while its German sister company Aldi North runs 460 Trader Joe’s stores in 41 states. Last week Aldi announced it would invest $1.6 billion in its U.S. stores, planning to remodel and expand more than 1,300 stores by 2020.

However, Lidl is seen as potentially more of a threat as it has moved away from Aldi’s hard discount formula in recent years, introducing more brands, fresh produce and in-store bakeries, as well as sprucing up its stores and experimenting with e-commerce.

That could make it more appealing in the United States, where customers tend to prefer branded goods to private labels.

Lidl and Aldi have already shaken up the British supermarket sector in recent years, winning share from Britain’s traditional “big four” grocers, putting increased pressure on them to lower prices and raise their game. The chain also debuted a fashion collection in February to compete with low-price apparel stores.

Based in Neckarsulm in southern Germany, Lidl had sales of 64.6 billion euros ($68 billion) in the year to end February 2016. The group is owned by Dieter Schwarz, who is Germany’s richest man according to several international rich lists, and is the son of Lidl’s founder Josef Schwarz.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : retail design world)
Tommy Hilfiger’s store in the new Leeds Victoria Gate development claims to be one of the most environmentally-conscious in Europe.

tommy-hilfiger-raises-environmental-standards-at-new-store

Shopping centre developer Hammerson worked to make sure that the development as a whole achieved an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating – using the leading measure of sustainability. Developed by the Internal Architecture team at RPA:Group, the Tommy Hilfiger store was set the challenge of meeting a BREEAM standard of ‘very good’.

The 2,723 sq ft store stocks the brand’s fashion ranges for men, women and children. Itfeatures light oak flooring and contemporary walnut and glossy white fixtures, defining men’s sportswear and women’s sportswear.

The walls have been activated with graphics from period holiday magazine above the fixtures, and in the womenswear  department walls have also been given 3D wallpaper to soften the environment.

Floor to ceiling perpendicular fixtures have been used to break up the overall space and to create a visual transition from sportswear to Hilfiger Denim at the rear of the store. Jacquard rugs have been used to soften the overall look.

Lightboxes at both ground and first floor levels accentuate the double height external facade and the 3D ’T’ and ‘H’ letters, which are LED lit, seem to float in the first floor windows giving Tommy a very strong standout.

RPA:Group  head of project management Chris Swann says: “The central zone of the  store acts as a ‘bridge’ between menswear and womenswear. We have used factory windows to frame this central zone which also houses check out facilities and acts as a customer help point.  Meanwhile, the rear wall of the menswear section is finished off with tiles and has the iconic horizontal red and blue Tommy Hilfiger stripes to form a backdrop to the Hilfiger Denim division. This is a quintessentially masculine look and a strong counterpoint to the womenswear section.”

Source : retaildesignworld

(Author : Marianne Wilson)
Patagonia announced that its plans to donate 100% of its store and online sales on Black Friday, Nov. 25, to grassroots environmental organizations.

this-retailer-is-donating-100-of-its-black-friday-sales-to-help-the-environment

“These are small groups, often underfunded and under the radar, who work on the front lines,” Patagonia CEO and president Rose Marcario wrote in a post announcing the company’s plans. “The support we can give is more important now than ever.”

Patagonia is a longtime and ardent supporter of environmental causes and already helps fund grassroots environmental organizations by giving away 1% of its sales to such groups — an amount that totals $74 million to date.

“But during a difficult and divisive time, we felt it was important to go further and connect more of our customers, who love wild places, with those who are fighting tirelessly to protect them,” Marcario wrote. “The threats facing our planet affect people of every political stripe, of every demographic, in every part of the country. We all stand to benefit from a healthy environment — and our children and grandchildren do, too.”

The company’s move to donate Black Friday sales comes after it closed its stores, headquarters and distribution centers on Election Day to encourage its employees and consumers to vote for a candidate that would make a commitment to the environment.

“At Patagonia, we will grow and deepen our resolve to protect what we love,” wrote Marcario. We will fight harder and smarter, and use every means at our disposal to prevail for the sake of the country, the planet and the wild places and creatures that need our voice.” Patagonia will also provide its consumers with information in its stores and on its website about how they can get involved with the environmental groups in their communities.

Source : chainstoreage.com

(Author : Danny Parisi)
Walmart will be scaling back the opening of new stores to focus on improving its mobile and online commerce channels, following many other big retailers after the industry as a whole saw a surge in mobile shopping and digital continues to dominate.

walmart-slows-new-store-openings-in-favor-of-mobile-online-investments

The plan was outlined at Walmart’s 2016 Investment Community Meeting. The retailer cemented its plans to focus on mobile and online commerce as its main driver of growth for the next few fiscal years.

“Mobile experienced 40 percent growth this year and, for the first time, it was reported that apps are generating more sales than mobile websites,” said Wilson Kerr, VP Business Development & Sales at Unbound Commerce. “Walmart’s focus on it’s online business generally, and mobile in particular, is very smart, as this is a huge growth area.”

Changind directions
CEO Doug McMillon spoke in the meeting about the company’s future and what were the main areas they would focus on in the immediate future. The first three areas of focus were related to its regional business models, continued momentum in the U.S. business; solid growth in key international markets, including Mexico and Canada and a sharpened focus in China.

The last area of focus however is international. Mr. McMillon stated that ecommerce and digital investments would be one of the top drivers of growth for Walmart over the next few years. The retailer is planning to take resources and time that would have been geared towards opening new physical locations, and funnel it into revamping its global online and mobile commerce models. “Walmart has its own mobile wallet called Walmart Pay, a free shipping program similar to Amazon prime, in-store pick up and a dedicated customer base,” Mr. Kerr said. “They are making the right moves and have all the ingredients to reap ever bigger rewards from mobile app usage. Walmart saw online sales increase 12 percent in the second quarter of this year, and saw total digital sales hit $14 billion in 2015.

“They are doing something right, and dedicating money and shifting focus and resources towards this high growth area will help them deliver a single omnichannel Walmart experience by blurring the line between in-store, online, and mobile.”

Mobile first
The move is a clear prediction of where the retail industry is moving, as more and more customers turn to online, mobile or a mix of the two over in-store shopping as their go-to way to purchase products. Walmart is aiming to allocate resources more intelligently in the coming years to better reflect the changing shape of the modern marketplace.

More and more, consumers are turning to their mobile devices not just as tools of research and price comparisons, a trend that has been well-documented before, but mobile’s share of the overall number of online transactions is growing. Brands and big retailers such as Walmart need to build up an efficient and mobile-first marketplace if they want to compete with other retailers for consumers’ valuable mobile screen time.

That Walmart has had its eye on the top spot in the world of mobile commerce has been no secret. Its partnership with Jet.com in August put it in the running to be one of the largest online retailers in the world, rivaling the powerhouse that is Amazon in its scope.

Walmart would not make an investment like that – reportedly $3.3 billion to acquire Jet – if it was not completely committed to turning its online and mobile channels into one of its most potent growth drivers.

On the mobile side, Walmart has also completed investment and a full national rollout in Walmart Pay, the retailer’s own first-party answer to the rising tide of mobile payment options being offered to consumers every day. Since then, Walmart has seen a 45 percent increase in week-over-week growth in the use of Walmart Pay. As of the investment meeting, these moves have finally been confirmed to be a part of Walmart’s strategy for the next few years.

“Walmart has been making some big moves to keep up with the sea change of consumer behavior,” said Michelle Skupin, senior director of global corporate communications at RetailMeNot. “Over the past several years, consumers’ attention has shifted from the physical world, to desktop/ecommerce, and more recently to mobile.

“With this shift, we’ve seen mobile wielding influence over purchasing decisions in all channels, and now we will begin to see growth in mobile transactions. The technology is better, and consumers are more comfortable on mobile.

“This is an opportunity for smaller retailers to follow suit and make investments in mobile if they haven’t already. Mobile has become the first screen, and it’s no longer a question of if it will be a viable commerce channel.”

Source : mobilecommercedaily.com

(Author : Charisse Jones)
Target has big plans to bring in new customers — and it plans to do it by thinking small.

target-targets-new-yorkers-with-smaller-city-store

Or, at least, smaller. Target is pushing beyond the spacious suburbs into congested big cities and near college campuses, with the hope that tinier, more curated stores will help boost flagging sales.

While the big-box retailer’s typical location spans at least 120,000 square feet, each of the four new locations opening Wednesday will be considerably smaller, including a 45,000-square-foot storefront in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood.

The so-called “flexible format’’ is a key aspect of the Minneapolis-based retailer’s effort to better compete in an environment where shopping centers are struggling and Amazon is dominating online sales.

“This allows us to get into those dense neighborhoods, such as Manhattan, where we couldn’t put a large typical store,’’ says Tony Roman, Target senior group vice president. “It gives us more flexibility.’’

The upbeat new direction comes at a difficult time for traditional mass merchandisers. Target has had to make dramatic cuts in the wake of faltering sales. Its second-quarter earnings plunged 9.7% to $680 million. At the same time, the company lowered its same-store sales estimate to a range from flat to minus 2% for both the third and fourth quarters. In March 2015, it said it would cut another 1,700 positions. Three months later, it sold its pharmacy business to CVS for $1.9 billion.

The new smaller-format stores are a way of reaching customers who might otherwise have trouble becoming Target stalwarts. Of the 15 new stores Target is opening this year, 14 will be the smaller, more curated models.

The Tribeca store features several hallmarks of Target’s overall strategy to become a one-stop shop for customers, including a section where shoppers can buy fresh, organic groceries, and an emphasis on merchandise categories such as wellness and fashion.

But each of the smaller stores also is designed to cater to the tastes and needs of the specific neighborhood where it is located. The walls of the Tribeca store are decorated with a graffiti-like mural that was drawn with a felt-tip marker.

In a dense section of Manhattan where people rely on the subway and taxis to get around, there is no automotive section, unlike many of Target’s larger suburban locations. (Lack of parking, in fact, is one of the store’s bigger challenges.)  And in a neighborhood full of professionals and young couples with babies, there are plenty of baby strollers, and smaller furniture that would better fit into tiny apartments.

“A traditional Target store would have an automotive department and here in Tribeca we know people aren’t driving,’’ Roman said. He added the company hopes the more tailored experience of the smaller, brick-and-mortar stores will entice people to actually come through the doors rather than simply shopping online.  “We want our guests to shop (online) at Target.com,’’ he says, “but you can’t beat the in-store experience.’’

There’s a grab-and-go food section for businesspeople running out of the office on their lunch hours, and a section emphasizing headphones, earbuds and other wearable technology popular with neighborhood passersby. The store also features a sleek Chobani café, the yogurt maker’s second, where diners can order salads, fresh drinks and breakfast bowls that feature yogurt.

Target is not abandoning the construction of large stores. The chain is spending $1 billion this year to remodel or build stores, including the addition of conveniences like self-checkout at various locations.

Besides Tribeca, the three opening Wednesday are in Philadelphia; Cupertino, Calif.; and State College, Pa. Those new stores will bring the number of smaller format storefronts to 27. The company will have 1,799 stores across the U.S., including the new locations.

Source : 11alive.com

(Auteur : Jason Del Rey)
Whole Foods and Instacart are taking their relationship to the next level.

whole-foods-to-invest-in-instacart-signs-new-multi-year-delivery-deal whole-foods-to-invest-in-instacart-signs-new-multi-year-delivery-deal

The $10 billion national grocery store chain is making an investment in the four-year-old delivery startup, according to multiple sources. The size of the deal could not be learned, but sources say the deal is essentially done, barring an unforeseen last-minute change of heart.

The two companies have also signed a five-year delivery partnership, these people said, making Instacart the exclusive delivery partner for Whole Foods’ perishables business. Other terms of the deal could not be learned, but Instacart’s commercial agreements with its grocery store partners typically include a revenue sharing component.

The deals come as Whole Foods stock has dropped more than 45 percent over the past year amid increased competition from other grocers selling more and more natural and organic foods. But the company’s existing relationship with Instacart has been a bright spot, company executives have said.

In his first-quarter earnings report script earlier this month, Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb said “many” of its stores are “seeing [Instacart] sales as a percentage of total store in the mid-to-high single digits.” The two companies, which have partnered on deliveries since 2014, work together in 16 cities.

For Instacart, the deals provide the startup with some added stability and credibility after a bumpy December. The startup, whose workers deliver groceries from local stores in as little as an hour, laid off 12 in-house recruiters that month, signaling that its most rapid growth may have passed. Instacart, which has raised $275 million from investors at a valuation of about $2 billion, also raised its minimum delivery and annual subscription fees by 50 percent. Instacart’s other grocery partners, both big and small, could have issues with the startup cozying up with another partner. Instacart works with several national chains including Costco and Target.

The Whole Foods-Instacart pact may also indirectly affect Google’s delivery business, Google Express, which has previously partnered with Whole Foods. Google Express recently announced that it would start offering delivery of cold and fresh groceries in parts of San Francisco and Los Angeles, but with Whole Foods as a partner only in San Francisco. The reason for the limited Whole Foods availability? Google’s current perishable-delivery relationship with Whole Foods involves just a single store, located in San Francisco, according to a source. And Instacart’s new deal means that Google will likely have a hard time expanding its delivery of fresh Whole Foods groceries beyond that one location.

Source : recode.net

(Author : us.fashionnetwork)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Monday said it has completed the acquisition of internet retailer Jet.com after agreeing to pay about $3 billion for the e-commerce startup last month.

walmart-completes-the-acquisition-of-jet-com

Wal-Mart Chief Executive Doug McMillon announced the closing of the deal, which was pending regulatory approval, in a blog post on the retailer’s website. The acquisition will impact Wal-Mart’s 2017 fiscal year earnings marginally more than the retailer’s initial estimate of a 5 cents per share impact as the transaction closed ahead of time, Wal-Mart said.

The deal, which was the largest for an online startup, will give Wal-Mart access to Jet.com’s innovative pricing software and will help the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer to better compete with online rival Amazon.com Inc.

“A lot of folks ask me ‘Why Jet.com?,” McMillon said in a blog post. The answer he said was in the savings both Wal-Mart and Jet can together offer shoppers. Jet, with its ability to lower prices as customers add more items to their shopping carts, will help the world’s largest retailer reach more customers such as millennial shoppers. The deal would also strengthen Wal-Mart’s existing e-commerce infrastructure, McMillon said.

Wal-Mart has built its website into the second largest online retailer by traffic in the U.S. in the past six months, the blog post said. It has also expanded the assortment of products on its website from 7 million to 15 million items and is adding a million more each month. Jet’s founder Marc Lore will join Wal-Mart as the President and Chief Executive of Wal-Mart’s U.S. ecommerce business and will report to McMillon, the company said in a separate statement.

“I’ll be spending a lot of time with the team in the coming weeks and months focused on scaling Walmart.com and Jet.com,” Lore said.

Over a five-year period Lore will receive stock units that involve the issuance of 3.55 million shares of Wal-Mart’s common stock valued at 10 cents per share, the statement said. This is a part of the $300 million of Wal-Mart shares that would be paid over time as part of the original transaction. The Jet deal follows a five-year e-commerce acquisition spree in which Wal-Mart has bought 15 startups, seeking the talent and technology to make it a dominant player online and narrow the gap with Amazon.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Ben Stevens)
Toy giant Lego has announced plans to open the biggest Lego store on the planet in London’s Leicester Square.

lego-to-open-worlds-biggest-store-in-leicester-square

Spanning 914 sq  m over two floors, the superstore is set to open November 17 this year. It will feature a unique 200,000 brick replica of Big Ben as its centerpiece. Measuring 6.8 m tall and taking 2280 hours to complete, the structure will have a working clock face that lights up at night.

Alongside this centerpiece the store will feature exclusive product sets, hands-on building areas, building demonstrations and a pick and build brick wall.

A mascot named Lester will also be an exclusive addition to the store, and will be available to purchase as a tea-drinking mini figure.

“I am looking forward with excitement to 17th November, where children and parents are invited to experience a world beyond their imagination as they venture for the first time inside the new store,” Lego Group executive vice president and chief commercial officer Loren Shuster said.

“I am sure that the unique brick-built symbols of London featured in the store will excite fans worldwide as well as in the UK.”

Source : www.retailgazette.co.uk

(Author : Chloe Rigby)
John Lewis is taking steps to expand further its international coverage, after a year in which online international sales have increased by 50%. At the same time, international traffic to its website has increased by 15%.

John Lewis expands its international strategy

The department store, an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, has extended from 33 to 40 the number of countries that it delivers to through its website, johnlewis.com. Now customers can order for delivery to countries including Hong Kong, The Philippines and Malaysia. As well as this, customers can now choose from 10 extra currencies when making payment.

The move comes as John Lewis has said it will have a physical presence in Australia for the first time, when it opens shop-in-shops in six branches of Australian department store Myer. The first will open before Christmas in the outskirts of Sydney and feature the home products that John Lewis data shows are popular with its overseas customers. Bed linen accounts for 21% of its own brand international sales, with Egyptian cotton pillowcases among the bestselling items.

Katie Jordan, head of international development at John Lewis, said: “We’re delighted to be expanding our international presence and bringing John Lewis to new countries around the world, both through physical collaborations and by expanding our online international delivery destinations.”

It’s noticeable that both John Lewis and sister supermarket Waitrose have acted recently to expand their international coverage. Waitrose is selling in China and to expats as it looks to grow its grocery sales. Meanwhile, John Lewis is moving ahead with a strategy that has already seen shop-in-a-shops in the Philippines and stores at Heathrow and St Pancras Internaitonal that are designed to raise brand awareness.

All of this comes at a time when sterling has fallen against the dollar and other international currencies, making British retail unexpectedly good value.

Source : internetretailing.net