Monthly Archives: June 2017

Holland & Barrett sold for £1.8bn to Russian billionaire

Holland & Barrett, the UK’s biggest health food retailer, is being bought by a Russian billionaire for £1.8bn.

L1 Retail, a fund controlled by Mikhail Fridman, is buying the chain from US private equity firm Carlyle.
Carlyle acquired Nuneaton-based Holland & Barrett as part of its $3.8bn (£3bn) purchase in 2010 of US firm Nature’s Bounty, now NBTY.
The chain, which has more than 1,300 stores worldwide, is expected to change hands in September.
Holland & Barrett was founded by William Holland and Alfred Barrett in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1870.
They initially sold groceries and clothing, but later split the two into separate businesses. The grocery business was sold to Alfred Button & Sons in the 1920s, but the original name was retained.
The company eventually started focusing on health foods and changed hands several times. It now employs more than 4,000 people.
“Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets,” said L1 Retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme.
“We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from structural growth in the growing £10bn health and wellness market and has multiple levers for long-term growth and value creation.”

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Wishing all our readers and followers a blessed Eid Mubarak

Fashion retailer Max Fashion opens first store in Malaysia

OFFERING high quality fashionable products at great prices, Max Fashion has launched its first store in Malaysia at IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.

Max Fashion is part of the Landmark Group, which is one of the largest retail conglomerates in the Middle East and India with its headquarters in Dubai, UAE.
The store was launched by Landmark Group group director and board manager Ramanathan Hariharan. Also present was artiste Scha Al-Yahya.
“Max Fashion started in Dubai in 2004 and this year marks our 13th year in the fashion and footwear industry.
“We offer our customers trendy and fashionable items but at very reasonable prices,” said Ramanathan, adding that Max currently has a total of 400 stores with 10 million loyal customers.
Offering well-designed products at a bargain, Ramanathan believes there is an immense potential for growth and is looking forward to expanding to other parts of the country, especially in the Klang Valley.
“I believe this is the right time for our brand to enter the Malaysian market and I am very excited to engage with the customers,” he said.
Max Fashion hopes to provide the best shopping experience for their customers.
“We also want our customers to have a memorable shopping experience, so we broadened the scope of products to not only include clothes for men and women, but also trendy footwear and accessories,” he said.
In the next six months, Max Fashion will open several more stores in the country, specifically in the Klang Valley, and is working on an online store within the next year.

Volkswagen to open first UK Store in Birmingham

Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham storeVolkswagen is the latest car brand to embrace the retail-friendly ‘store’ concept in the UK. Its first store will open in Birmingham’s Bullring next month, on Friday 7 July.

The new VW store has been set up by local Volkswagen dealer Johnsons Cars. A development of the dealer’s other retail pop-up sites, the intention is to let casual customers browse and buy cars from somewhere they already spend a lot of time. And the opportunity to attract visitors is enormous: Bullring Birmingham has a footfall of 36 million people a year.
Volkswagen says the design is ‘refreshing’ and feels it’s such a showcase, the new Birmingham store will become the firm’s second ‘landmark retailer’ after the massive Volkswagen West London site. It will be bright, modern and packed with display screens, so customers can configure new cars and check out Das Auto approved used stock.
There will also be a couple of real cars in the shop.
Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham store
It even offers the opportunity for test drives: customers book in the shop then walk over to the test drive handover area, and they’re away.
This bit has got Bullring Birmingham general manager Michaela Moore excited: “Volkswagen joining the centre is a real coup for us. We were excited by the new store concept and, with their additional offering of onsite test drives, we think it will be a real hit with our shoppers.”
For its part, Volkswagen Passenger Cars director Alison Jones says it allows the brand to try out new ways of interacting with customers: “The store is very much a long-term pilot that we will learn much from.”
It even offers clarity on pricing, adds Johnsons Cars operations director Mike Berwick. “We have set a very competitive ‘no haggle’ pricing model. This will remove the stress experienced by some from the typical showroom visit and will allow us to speed up the enquiry and sales process, therefore delivering a better experience for shoppers.”

Tesco supermarket to axe 1,100 UK jobs

Operations will be shifted to its office in Dundee, Scotland, creating 250 jobs, Tesco added in a statement.
Tesco supermarket to axe 1,100 UK jobsLondon- Britain’s biggest retailer, supermarket giant Tesco, said Wednesday it plans to cut 1,100 jobs with the closure of a call centre in the Welsh capital Cardiff.

Operations will be shifted to its office in Dundee, Scotland, creating 250 jobs, Tesco added in a statement.
“The retail sector is facing unprecedented challenges and we must ensure we run our business in a sustainable and cost-effective way, while meeting the changing needs of our customers,” said Matt Davies, chief executive of Tesco’s UK operations.
Tesco last week reported climbing sales during its first quarter by keeping a lid on food prices despite rising UK inflation.

Superdrug owner AS Watson mulling a £1bn takeover bid for Holland & Barrett

Superdrug owner AS Watson Group is reportedly considering a takeover bid of at least £1bn for Holland & Barrett.

AS Watson Group, which is part of the Asian conglomerate CK Hutchinson Holdings, has tabled an indicative offer for the UK high street health foods chain, according to reports by Mark Kleinman at Sky News.
Hong Kong-based AS Watson may not go through with a formal takeover offer as talks are in an early stage.
As the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe, AS Watson’s retail portfolio already includes The Perfume Shop and Savers, a discount shop. It owns 13,000 stores in 25 countries.
Holland & Barrett is part of a company called NBTY, which also owns a natural products maker and retailer Nature’s Bounty.
Interest in the health foods chain is reportedly heating up as a number of private equity groups and other retail investors are circling.

Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7bn

Online retail giant Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a $13.7bn (£10.7bn) deal that marks its biggest push into traditional retailing yet.

Amazon, which has been experimenting with selling groceries, will buy the upmarket supermarket for $42 a share.
Founded in 1978 in Texas, Whole Foods was a pioneer of the move towards natural and organic foods.
It has grown to more than 460 stores in the US, Canada and the UK, and employs about 87,000 people.
Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said: “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy.
“Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
‘Maximise value’
Whole Foods has been under pressure from investors amid falling same-store sales and increased competition. Last month, the company named a new chief financial officer and new board members.
In April, activist investor Jana Partners called the firm’s shares undervalued, noting “chronic underperformance”.
The price being paid by Amazon marks a 27% premium to the level Whole Foods’ shares closed at on Thursday. The $13.7bn value includes assumption of the grocer’s debt.
The takeover deal is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.
Whole Foods boss John Mackey said: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”
The Whole Foods brand will continue. Mr Mackey is expected to stay on as chief executive.
‘Inherent logic’
Whole Foods stock immediately soared almost 27% on the news.
Amazon climbed a more modest 3.4%
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said the deal should give the grocer financial breathing room, while making it more competitive online and improving its supply chain logistics.
The takeover also makes Amazon an instant player in the grocery industry, which it has been eying for some time.
“There is an inherent logic in the move which, in our view, brings benefits to both businesses,” Mr Saunders wrote, describing Amazon as a “white-knight” that has come to the grocer’s rescue.
‘Potentially terrifying’
But he had a less sanguine view of the effect on rivals, which took a beating in morning trade.
Kroger fell more than 14%, Target plunged more than 10% and Costco Wholesale Corp. dropped nearly 7%.
Walmart, which announced its own $310m deal to acquire the online clothing company Bonobos, slid 6%.
Mr Saunders said the deal is “potentially terrifying” for rivals.
“Although Amazon has been a looming threat to the grocery industry, the shadow it has cast has been pale and distant,” Mr Saunders wrote. “Today that changed.”

Michael Kors eyes 100 more China stores on new retail strategy

Michael Kors plans to open around 100 new stores in China in next three years, as the US brand continues to plan for mass global retail closures, forming part of its recently revealed “Runway 2020” restructuring program to turn dwindling sales around.

Michael Kors’ initial restructuring announcement came in early June, after the brand posted a double-digit same-store sales percentage decline in the fourth quarter ending April. It was here that Michael Kors said it would shutter 125 stores worldwide.
“We think that the [accessories market] is down slightly in North America. We think it’s flattish in Europe. We think it’s up slightly in Asia,” John D. Idol, Michael Kors’ chairman and chief executive officer, told WWD in a recent interview.
The New York-based luxury leathergoods and accessories added that its main growth drivers moving forward will be its retail presence in Asia and its surging men’s category — each of which have the potential to become $1 billion segments of the brand.
Growth in Asia is the main, most achievable goal, according to Idol, with plans for 100 stores to be added in China alone and more elsewhere in the region over the next few years. There are 111 Michael Kors stores in Asia in operation now.

In addition, some 100 global stores will be renovated to sell better a new Michael Kors luxury collection, and reposition the high-end factor of Michael Kors to a bored clientele. Speciality salons for shoes are another area of planned growth for the brand.
The company also wishes to minimise wholesale, aiming for a revived Michael Kors brand that is 30 per cent wholesale and 70 per cent retail.
With the aforementioned retail and product changes in put in place, Michael Kors said it expected revenue of $4.25 billion for fiscal year 2018 and also forecasts a high single-digit drop in same-store sales.
For the fourth quarter ended April 1, total sales fell 11.2 per cent to $1.06 billion. Analysts had expected $1.05 billion.

Swarovski debuts Perth flagship store

Swarovski Perth flagship store opening Australia – Retail in Asia
Crystal maker and jeweller Swarovski has opened its Perth flagship store, the second store in Australia to feature the brand’s crystal drop chandelier, as part of its new retail design.
Located in Perth Hay Street Mall, the new Western Australia store boasts Swarovski’s new ‘crystal forest’ outfit, which was unveiled at the opening of the Austrian firm’s Sydney store in May.
Updating the store layout, Swarovski employed renowned architect Tokujin Yoshioka as part of the brand’s plan to improve aesthetics across its distribution network.
Robert Buchbauer, member of the Swarovski Family and of the company’s CEO, said the new store design is “a tremendous illustration of Swarovski’s contemporary vision and taste for design.”

In an interview earlier in the year, Australia managing director of Swarovksi, Brett Spinks, said Australia was a “growing” market, adding that the high-end jeweller plans to roll out more new store in 2017.

“We see robust growth in our retail channel both online and in our physical [stores],” Brinks said.
“Due to this significant growth, we are delighted to be able to further meet our consumer demand by opening a number of new stores in 2017.”
The Australian watch and jewellery retailing industry grew by an annualised 2.9% over the five years through 2016-17, to reach $3.3 billion, according to Ibis World.

Starbucks shares sink to 8th-straight loss after analyst downgrade

Shares of Starbucks Corp. sank Wednesday to an eighth straight loss, after a Wedbush Securities analyst downgraded the coffee giant for the first time, on concerns that investors may be too optimistic about the sales outlook.

The stock SBUX, -1.07% shed as much as 1.7% intraday before closing down 1.1%, after tumbling 5.6% over the past seven sessions. The current losing streak matches the eight-session stretch ending Jan. 3, 2017, which at the time was the longest since a 10-session losing streak ending Nov. 14, 2008.
Wedbush analyst Nick Seytan cut his rating to neutral, after being at outperform since he started covering the company in September 2013. He kept his stock-price target at $65, which was 7.8% above current levels.
Just before the losing streak started, the stock had soared 13% in three months to a record close of $64.57 on June 2, amid expectations of a ramp-up in comparable-store sales.
Seytan said that the sales outlook followed signs of improving trends in March and April. He suggested, however, that the current share-price levels may imply that investors are too upbeat to hold on to his bullish stance.

“We now view current 2017 and 2018 expectations as realistic and valuation as fair,” Seytan wrote in a note to clients. “Checks indicate U.S. [comparable-store sales] acceleration, but acceleration is in line to slightly below expectations.”

This shelter dog trying a unicorn frappuccino is magical
Same-store-sales growth is currently expected to accelerate to 5% for the third quarter, ending this month, and then to 5.2% for the fourth quarter, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet, from 3% growth in the second quarter. Starbucks is scheduled to report third-quarter results after the July 27 close.
“Given in-line U.S. checks, we no longer see upside to margins,” Seytan wrote. “We would expect any potential upside to be reinvested in partner and technology initiatives.”
Starbucks shares have gained 8.6% in 2017, while the SPDR Consumer Discretionary exchange-traded fund XLY, -0.06% has rallied 11.6% and the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.10% has climbed 8.9%.

Global Brands Group posts 11.6 percent rise in annual revenue

Announcing its first set of 12-month results since moving the company’s financial year end date to March 31, Global Brands Group said that it achieved a solid performance despite a tough business environment. During the reporting period, the group revenue increased by 11.6 percent to 3,891 million dollars. The company’s total margin improved from 33.9 percent to 36.4 percent as a percentage of revenue.
“I am pleased to report that Global Brands delivered solid results for the year ended 31 March 2017. Despite a tough business environment, we achieved one of the strongest levels of topline growth in the industry, alongside continued improvement in our margins and profitability,” commented Bruce Rockowitz, the company’s Chief Executive Officer & Vice Chairman in a media release.
Operating profit rises 64.5 percent
The company added that compared to the same period last year, both core operating profit and net profit attributable to shareholders posted a strong increase of 64.5 percent and 89.4 percent and reached 173 million dollars and 90 million dollars, respectively, while adjusted net profit attributable to shareholders also increased by 49.4 percent to 72 million dollars. The company’s EBITDA increased by 26.3 percent to 380 million dollars.
Global Brands discloses its results in accordance with the group’s four business verticals: kids, men’s and women’s fashion, footwear and accessories, and brand management. For the reporting period, the company said, kids business performed strongly because its characters business continued to deliver consistently, while kids fashion business also performed well on the back of strong growth of brands such as Under Armour. Segment revenue grew by 3.9 percent to 1,603 million dollars, while total margin increased by 9.9 percent to 584 million dollars. Core operating profit increased by 62.2 percent to 76 million dollars.
Revenue from men’s and women’s fashion increased by 31.5 percent to 820 million dollars compared to the same period last year, while total margin increased by 47.8 percent to 353 million dollars due to growth of businesses as well as the addition of new licenses. For the reporting period, core operating profit increased by 78.6 percent to 73 million dollars.
Revenue from footwear and accessories segment increased by 5.6 percent to 1,281 million dollars, while total margin increased by 13.6 percent to 428 million dollars due to new businesses and improved business mix in favour of higher-margin businesses. Footwear and accessories recorded a core operating profit of 8 million dollars for the period under review.
Brand management business saw considerable growth, largely driven by the formation of CAA-GBG, with revenue reaching 188 million dollars and total margin of 50 million dollars. Core operating profit for the reporting period was 17 million dollars.
The geographic split of the group’s revenue was 80 percent North America, 15 percent Europe/Middle East and 5 percent Asia.
Over the course of the past three financial years, our first Three-Year Plan as an independent company, we have made significant strides in establishing a solid foundation for our business and were able to deliver compound annual growth of 5.8 percent in revenue, and 9 percent in core operating profit, and 8.7 percent in EBITDA, while total margin percentage increased by over 500 basis points. As we enter into our new Three-Year Plan (fiscal year 2018 to 2020), we will continue to focus on growth with the goal of reaching 5 billion dollars in revenue by the end of fiscal year 2020, improving our total margin percentage by 150 basis points, and increasing EBITDA by 50 percent,” added Rockowitz.

Amazon retains top spot as most valuable global retail brand

Amazon has once again been named the world’s most valuable retail brand in the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands ranking published by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.
The online giant took fourth spot in the ranking behind technology firms Google, Apple and Microsoft, but Amazon did achieve the highest dollar value growth of all the brands in the top 100 ranking, increasing by 40.3 billion dollars, up 41 percent to 139.3 billion dollars.
The ranking said that Amazon’s growth was linked to its continuing innovation and its focus on its technology ecosystem honed to meet multiple consumer needs such as online shopping, rapid delivery, and entertainment, as well as introducing new artificial intelligence-enabled services including grocery delivery and personal assistant Alexa.
David Roth, chief executive EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, said: “This year’s BrandZ global top 100 continues to demonstrate that strong brands deliver superior shareholder value and returns regardless of disruptive external climates.
“Dubbed the ‘The Frightful Five’ by some, the tech giants that head the rankings are more like the ‘Fearsome Five’ to their competitors, given their huge brand power and a seemingly unassailable market position.”
Other highlights in this year’s ranking included Adidas being the fastest-rising brand by percentage growth as it increased 58 percent in value, because “its retro sneakers connected perfectly with the fashion moment and the brand made operational and marketing changes to strengthen its US business”, said the report.
The fastest-rising category was retail, increasing 14 percent, but the report also added that beyond the numbers, the category faced new turbulence, as both Amazon and Alibaba (ranked 14th) prepared to open extensive networks of physical stores, and Walmart (ranked 31st) acquired an e-commerce startup. While luxury only saw a 4 percent increase in brand value on last year.
Other retail and luxury brands to make the top 100 included Nike taking 26th place, while Yves Saint Laurent was the highest-ranking luxury brand at 29, and Zara was the top high street fashion chain at 34. Hermes made the cut at 41, while Gucci was down in 80th place.
In the apparel category of the report it noted that there the two category growth drivers, sportswear and fast fashion, struggled last year. The apparel Top 10 declined 7 percent in value, following a 14 percent rise a year ago, as shoppers purchased with more discretion, looking for durability and value, and favouring brands that were on trend, such as Adidas, said the report.

$1bn Abu Dhabi mall on track for 2018 launch

UAE-based Gulf Capital said more than 76 per cent of the work has been completed on its $1-billion retail venture coming up in Abu Dhabi and is on track for opening by the end of 2018.
Al Maryah Central, located at Al Maryah Island, is a joint venture project between Gulf Capital and the US-based Related Company.
The project is progressing well, on tack and on budget. It will open by the end of next year, reported Gulf News, citing Gulf Capital’s top official.
“The construction will finish in September next year and we need a bit of time for getting approvals from the regulatory and governmental bodies before we open the mall,” stated CEO Dr Karim Al Solh.
The 2.8 million sq ft mall will feature the first Macy’s outside of the US, the first Bloomingdale’s in Abu Dhabi and 20 specialist Al Tayer stores as part of the 400 store retail offering.
In addition, Al Maryah Central will include 100 restaurants and cafés, a 21-screen Vox Cinema with Imax and a host of other attractions. Subsequent phases of the development will include residential units and a hotel in two high-rise towers.
According to him, the mall will have a mix of entertainment and dining that will drive a lot of traffic.
“About 20 per cent of the mall will have food and beverage component and 10 per cent entertainment. That is important because you just can’t have retail alone,” he noted.
“Apart from this, we are bringing a number of new brands to the region. This will be a unique mall on par with what you see in the US or Europe,” explained Al Sohl.
On the leasing activity, Al Solh said 50 per cent of the retail space is already leased with a number of new potential customers showing interest. “We are expecting 70 per cent of the mall to be leased by the end of this year,” he told Gulf News.
The new shopping mall will be linked to the adjacent property, The Galleria Mall, which opened in 2013 and was also developed by Gulf Related, said Al Sohl.
On its regional projects, the company chief said its residential project in Saudi Arabia will be built in phases due to slowdown in the economy. The firm is building 520 units including villas, town houses, and apartments.

H&M firms up plans for Arket brand

As H&M braces for the opening of its first Arket store, it is already putting a plan in motion for its second location.

The fast-fashion chain announced in March that is plans to launch its new brand, Arket, in early fall. Arket, H&M’s first new brand in three years, will feature merchandise men, women and children, and a smaller, curated assortment of home goods.

The chain announced that the first Arket, which is Swedish for “sheet of paper,” will initially open its first store in London, and online in 18 European markets. However, the company announced that a second London location is also now in the works, according to The Retail Gazette.
H&M still plans to introduce Arket in Copenhagen, Brussels and Munich, the report added.

Tesco to trial Currys PC World outlets in store

Tesco and Dixons Carphone have announced a new partnership which will see two Currys PC World concessions opening within Tesco Extra stores this summer. The first store is scheduled to open in July at Tesco’s Milton Keynes Extra store, followed by a second concession at its Weston Favell Extra store in Northampton later in August.

A tailored range of Currys PC World products will be on offer in the outlets including televisions, computers, white goods and accessories. Laptop repairs, advice and comparison services – allowing customers to explore switching broadband and energy supply – will also be available.
‘We’re always looking at ways to offer our customers the best possible range of services in our stores. We think this is a winning combination for customers and look forward to opening the first outlet in our Milton Keynes store in July,’ says Matt Davies, UK CEO of Tesco. 
‘Customers tell us they want to pick up the latest electrical products conveniently and at competitive prices, with expert advice and from someone they trust to keep them working seamlessly. This trial gives them all of this during a weekly grocery shop, which we hope they will enjoy,’ adds Katie Bickerstaffe, UK & Ireland CEO of Dixons Carphone.

Joules sales up 19.6% in first full year on AIM

Joules has reported a near 20% rise in sales to £157m in the year to 28 May 2017, which marks its first full year as a listed company on AIM.

In its pre-close period trading statement the premium fashion and lifestyle brand said the business had had a strong start to FY17 followed by a strong Christmas and the growth was “a reflection of the brand’s expansion in the UK and international markets, Joules’ growing customer base, and the positive customer responses to both new and core ranges across product categories”.
Retail revenue was up by around 19.4% on the prior year driven by strong e-commerce growth and and the addition of 11 new stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Wholesale was up by approximately 20.3% and the group has upped its guidance for its full-year profit forecast.
“The appeal and strength of the Joules brand continues to resonate with our loyal and growing customer base. The brand’s growth continued in the second half of the financial year, building on the strong performance in H1. As a result of the brand’s momentum across channels and product categories, the Board anticipates reporting profits for the full year comfortably ahead of its previous expectations,” said CEO Colin Porter.
“Our focus on our brand and our customers as well as our steadfast commitment to product quality remain the bedrock for the Group’s growth and success. Underpinned by these strengths, the Board has confidence that Joules’ momentum will continue into FY18, despite the uncertain macro-economic outlook. This confidence is supported by the growth in our customer base and our exciting new store opening plans, as well as a robust Autumn/Winter wholesale order-book both in the UK and internationally,” Porter added.
The business will publish its preliminary results on 28 July.

Lidl US announces tie-up with fashion designer Heidi Klum

Lidl U.S. announced on Tuesday that it will exclusively feature a new fashion collection by supermodel/fashion designer Heidi Klum, launching later this year in stores in Europe and the U.S. according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.

The no-frills retailer, which like Klum hails from Germany, describes the collection as “high-end, yet affordable.” In addition to the Klum collection, Lidl will host other ‘Lidl Fashion Weeks,’ which will feature various fashion collections in stores at certain times throughout the year, the company said.
Lidl, which operates about 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe, recently announced it will open its first nine stores in cities along the east coast of the U.S. on June 15.
Redoubled competition from no-frills grocery companies hailing from Germany — fast-growing Aldi and its Trader Joe’s sibling, and U.S. newcomer Lidl — poses a dramatic threat to U.S. grocery stores, particularly Walmart, which depends on grocery for more than half of its revenue.
Lidl poses a problem especially for Walmart because it sells not just groceries, but also home goods and apparel, according to Howard Davidowitz, chairman of New York retail consulting and investment banking firm Davidowitz & Associates.
Both Lidl and Aldi run their stores with limited merchandising, store brands and bottom-barrel prices, an approach that defies the common notion that the U.S. consumer wants choice — and their prices are as much as a third lower than many rivals. “Aldi and Lidl really know what the hell they’re doing, and Lidl is even more of a direct threat to Walmart than Aldi and Trader Joe’s,” he said. “Their stores are bigger [than Aldi and Trader Joe’s], and they have all kinds of other merchandise.”
Nick Egelanian, president of retail real estate consulting firm SiteWorks, says Walmart is distracted by Amazon in particular and digital sales more generally, and doesn’t seem to realize the threat from the German companies, which have successfully disrupted retail in Europe, igniting a bruising price war in the U.K. “If I ran Walmart, I would be much more concerned about [Lidl coming to America] than about Amazon,” Egelanian told Retail Dive last year.
The tie-up with Klum is also a challenge to Target, which has reasserted its merchandising differentiation (innovated to compete with Walmart on more than price) with similar partnerships with designers for its home goods and apparel. It’s most recent collaborations include a furniture offering from mid-century design brand Dwell and a limited-edition fashion collection from designer Victoria Beckham.
“Lidl is known for making quality products at affordable prices and I’m proud to partner with them on this fashion collaboration,” Klum said in a statement emailed to Retail Dive. “I had so much fun designing the pieces in this collection and can’t wait for you to see it. I hope you love it as much as I do!”

House of Fraser named best multichannel retailer

House of Fraser is the best high street retailer that also sells online in the UK, according to a new report.

The annual Multichannel Retail Report scores and ranks 187 high street retailers selling online, identifying the top 10 the industry should benchmark against.
Following House of Fraser in the top 10 are Schuh, Argos, B&Q, Screwfix, Karen Millen, Marks & Spencer, Superdry, Coast and Warehouse.
The list also identified the bottom 10, which offer less-than-optimal multichannel experiences for customers.
The high street retailers that made the bottom 10 include Nespresso, Oak Furniture Land, Smythson, Mulberry, Party Delights, Cameraworld, Miu Miu, The Whiskey Shop, Multiyork Furniture, and Thomas Pink.
Meanwhile, the most improved retailers for 2017 include F.Hinds, Dior, Mamas & Papas and Richer Sounds.
The list and rankings were compiled based on the core tenets of multichannel retailing, covering facets such as technology, customer experience and delivery.
The Multichannel Retail Report also indicated that 22 per cent of retailers were still failing to offer a persistent cart – whereby customers can add items on one devise while logged in and access it on another device later. However, this is a marked improvement from 2015’s figure of 31 per cent.
When it comes to checkout, the report found that 44 per cent of retailers lack transparency andndo not show accepted payment types until the basket page, while only 11% of retailers offer login/registration with social media.
In addition, 19 per cent of retailers don’t offer next day delivery – a method favoured by 52 per cent of consumers, according to a 2017 YouGov survey.

Regatta makes American debut

British outdoor and leisure clothing brand Regatta Great Outdoors is making its US retail store debut exclusively at Sears with 11 shop-in-shop locations through the New England area.
“We chose Sears for our American debut because their customers align well to the type of enthusiasts who have fallen in love with the Regatta brand in Britain and across Europe,” said Keith Black, chief executive of Regatta Great Outdoors. “With its seasonality, vast outdoor adventure and leisure options, New England is the perfect region to introduce the brand.”
The Regatta outdoors collection is now featured in 1,800 square foot shops inside the following Massachusetts Sears locations: Saugus, Burlington, Auburn, Peabody, Braintree, Natick and Hyannis, as well as Salem and Nashua, N.H., Warwick, R.I., and South Burlington, Vt. In addition, the Regatta collection will also be available on Sears.com starting this autumn.
“Our members’ tastes change quickly so we are always looking for partners who can help keep our assortment fresh,” said David Pastrana, president of Sears Apparel. “Regatta is a long-established apparel leader that knows its customer well and was selective about who they made their US debut with. Sears is proud to be Regatta’s exclusive home and we welcome American shoppers to discover this great brand.”
Based in Manchester, Regatta Great Outdoors is one of Europe’s most popular outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment brands, and offers active, performance, outdoor, and leisure wear for women, men and children.

J.Crew CEO of 14 years Mickey Drexler departs

US fashion brand J.Crew has announced its long-standing chief executive Mickey Drexler is to step down.

The retail veteran who helmed the company for 14 years will stay on as chairman while former president of West Elm, Jim Brett, steps in to take over the role.
The surprise announcement follows recent news that the company’s creative leader of 26 years, Jenna Lyons, would also depart. T
he pair are attributed to spearheading the company’s success both in the US and internationally.
“This is an exciting time for J.Crew as we continue to make significant changes to position our company for long-term success,” Drexler said in a statement.
READ MORE: J.Crew launches value label to help revive sales
“As chairman and an owner of the company, it is my responsibility to focus on the future of J.Crew and find the right leadership to execute on our strategic plans.”
Recently J.Crew, which trades in seven UK locations, announced plans to cut 150 jobs as its $1.5 billion (£1.16) debt continues to hinder its turnaround strategy.
Drexler has successfully led turnaround efforts at Ann Taylor and Gap in the past, but admitted to the Wall Street Journal he didn’t anticipate just what an influence technology would have on the industry.
“Jim has a proven track record of pushing for innovation and growing omnichannel brands,” Drexler said.
“I look forward to moving into my new role and assist Jim and the team in every way possible to help ensure a smooth and successful transition.”

The Foschini Group could be bringing some of its 22 brands to Australia:

The Foschini Group could be bringing some of its 22 brands to Australia: What will land first?
Aussie retailers could soon see yet another influx of new competition, with South African retail giant The Foschini Group (TFG) saying it’s considering bringing some of its 22 retail brands Down Under.
Speaking to Fairfax, TFG chief executive Doug Murray said the group is looking to build a “mini-TFG here in Australia” after its $302 million acquisition of Retail Apparel Group last week.
The acquisition will see TFG add menswear brands Tarocash, .yd and Connor, as well as women’s activewear brand Rockwear to its stable. Foschini already has a number of brands across, jewellery, homewares, tech, and other specialty fashion.
Murray told Fairfax the group is looking to start a brand migration to Australia with its jewellery retailers, specifically diamond jewellery and watch retailer AmericanSwiss.
“We’ll go through each of our brands and do our research and make the call of which brands come in under this platform,” Murray told Fairfax.
“We’ve done full market research on jewellery … and we believe there would be an opportunity to bring one of our jewellery chains here, probably AmericanSwiss.”
The other jewellery chains under TFG’s umbrella are Sterns and Mat and May.
However, retail expert and academic at Queensland University of Technology School of Business Gary Mortimer believes the Australian jewellery retail space is crowded, and a jewellery or watch retailer would be “the last business I would consider opening here in Australia”.
“We’ve got a number of high profile jewellery retailers such as Prouds and Michael Hill which are starting to position themselves further up in the market,” Mortimer told SmartCompany.
“It’s a tough market to crack as the type of purchases made there are frequently related to discretionary spending which has recently been quite low in Australia.”
TFG also owns two different sports retailing brands; Sportscene and TotalSports, and Murray believes there’s possibility to bring one to Australia along with homewares brand @home.
However, Foschini might leave its “ladieswear” business out of the equation for some time.
“Sports is certainly one we’ve spoken about and we’d like to see how we could take that one forward,” Murray told Fairfax.
“Foschini is a very good ladies wear business but to bring another ladies wear business into Australia … we might get there one day but at the moment there are other opportunities.”
Mortimer believes TFG’s overall strategy makes sense, as Australian shoppers are keen to try out new brands, and there hasn’t been a “great deal of choice” in areas such as sportswear, which have been dominated mostly by Rebel Sports or Super Amart.
This has changed somewhat in recent times, with global retailer JD Sports opening its first store last month, and French sporting retailer Decathlon on the way.
Both Murray and Mortimer believe these specialty-focused stores are the future of Australian retail, with Murray highlighting TFG’s position as a specialty retailer.
“We are not department store lovers, we think department store retailing is generally out of favour long-term worldwide – you can see that in America and Australia and South Africa,” Murray told Fairfax.
Mortimer agrees, saying the days of department stores “are numbered”, with retailers like Myer shutting a number of their regional stores.
“The way Australian consumers shop today is not with department stores, as we’ve got such a great range of specialty stores,” he says.
“Shoppers are more likely to walk into a specific brand’s store than a multiple level department store.”
TFG’s brands include:
• Charles & Keith
• Colette (South African franchise)
• DonnaClaire
• Fabiani
• Foschini
• G‑Star Raw (stores already in Australia)
• Markham
• Next
• Phase Eight
• SODA Bloc
• Duesouth
• Sportscene
• Totalsports
• Exact
• The FIX
• @home
• @homelivingspace
• American Swiss
• Mat & May
• Sterns
• hi
SmartCompany contacted TFG but did not receive a response prior to publication.

Sears is closing 72 stores — here’s the full list

Sears is closing 72 more stores, in addition to the more than 180 that have already been announced this year. 

The company released a list internally on Tuesday of the closing stores, which includes 16 Sears stores, 49 Kmart stores, and seven auto centers.
Most of the stores will close in September.
Sears did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The closures will bring Sears’ store count to about 1,200, down from 2,073 five years ago.
Here’s a list of the closing stores, which was obtained by Business Insider.
Sears
Chico, CA, store 2048

Dalton, GA, store 2615

Biloxi, MS, store 2256

Asheboro, NC, store 2645

Minot, ND, store 2152

Vineland, NJ, store 2374

Columbus, OH, store 1150

Elyria, OH, store 1310

Columbus, OH, store 1370

Franklin, OH, store 2940

Midwest City, OK, store 1261

Richmond, VA, store 1445

Columbia, SC, store 1525

Texarkana, TX, store 2567

Sherman, TX, store 2627

St. George, UT, store 2220

Kmart
Dothan, AL, store 3082

Muscle Shoals, AL, store 7045

Little Rock, AR, store 3120

Bullhead City (Riviera), AZ, store 3375

Blythe, CA, store 3881

Sacramento, CA, store 4117

Manteca, CA, store 4862

Sacramento, CA, store 4117

Manteca, CA, store 4862

Fort Oglethorpe, GA, store 3083

Calhoun, GA, store 9625

Iowa City, IA, store 4315

Marshalltown, IA, store 7583

Mishawaka, IN, store 4152

Newburyport, MA, store 9147

Elkton, MD, store 9524

Traverse City, MI, store 3009

West Branch, MI, store 3864

Cheboygan, MI, store 9245

Mantua, NJ, store 3060

Manahawkin, NJ, store 3641

Las Cruces, NM, store 3682

Alamogordo, NM, store 9119

Las Vegas, NV, store 3680

Henderson, NV, store 3857

Sparks, NV, store 4151

Liverpool, NY, store 3352

Malone, NY, store 3943

Cortland, NY, store 7134

Watertown, NY, store 7432

Wooster, OH, store 4875

Streetsboro, OH, store 9676

Tulsa, OK, store 4473

Roseburg, OR, store 7580

Butler, PA, store 4771

Belle Vernon, PA, store 7120

Indiana, PA, store 7217

Summerville, SC, store 3606

Seneca, SC, store 9320

Madison, TN, store 4093

Johnson City, TN, store 7353

El Paso, TX, store 3491

El Paso, TX, store 7347

Virginia Beach, VA, store 3560

Virginia Beach, VA, store 3801

West Allis, WI, store 3618

La Crosse, WI, store 4089

Medford, WI, store 7656

Lewisburg, WV, store 7582

Sheridan, WY, store 9074

Spanish Fork, UT, store 7425

Sears Auto Center
Elyria, OH, store 6060

Midwest City, OK, store 6509

Columbia, SC, store 6013

Texarkana, TX, store 6739

Sherman, TX, store 6929

St. George, UT, store 2653

Richmond, VA, store 7505

Mr Price Group accused of breaching National Credit Act

The National Credit Regulator has referred Mr Price Group to the National Consumer Tribunal for breach of the National Credit Act, following an investigation by the NCR, which revealed Mr Price has charged consumers a club fee on credit agreements. The National Credit Act does not permit the charging of a club fee on credit agreements.

Mr Price Group accused of breaching National Credit ActThe NCR is asking the Tribunal to:

• Order the group to refund the affected consumers the club fees charged;

• Order the group to conduct an independent audit into its loan book to determine the number of consumers to be refunded;

• Interdict the group from charging consumers a club fee on credit agreements;

• Impose an appropriate administrative fine on the group.

Tesco to trial Currys PC World concessions in big UK stores

Britain’s biggest retailer, said on Wednesday it had struck a deal with electricals group Dixons Carphone <DC.L> to trial Currys PC World concessions in some of its largest stores.

 As shoppers increasingly use smaller convenience stores and shop online, Tesco, in common with Britain’s other major supermarket groups, is looking to refit its once bustling superstores with new attractions such as rival retail brands to fill empty space. 

The aim is to make the space profitable and avoid store closures. Under the Tesco/Dixons Carphone deal, the first Currys PC World store will open in July at Tesco’s Milton Keynes Extra store, in central England followed by a second concession at its Weston Favell Extra store in Northampton, central England, later in August.

 A range of Currys PC World products will be on offer in the outlets, including televisions, computers, white goods and accessories. Tesco already has third-party outlet deals with firms such as fashion retailer Arcadia and health foods retailer Holland and Barrett. Sainsbury’s <SBRY.L>, Britain’s second-biggest supermarket group, trialled Argos concessions in its larger stores before taking over its owner Home Retail for 1.1 billion pounds last year.