retail

Nike Opens First Store for Women as Lululemon Readies First Men's Store

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 20, 2014 05:05 PM

Nike today opened its first women's-only store—in Newport Beach, Calif.—a week ahead of lululemon athletica opening its first men's-only store—on the opposite coast, in New York—on Black Friday.

The move makes sense given that Nike expects its women's business to grow to $7 billion annually by 2017, from about $5 billion currently.

Its second women’s-only store will follow quickly, opening on Nov. 29—not in the U.S. but in Shanghai, China, the only women's stores it has announced so far.Continue reading...

retail

Amazon's Black Friday Blitz: Robots, Snapchat and Early Flash Sales

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2014 12:09 PM

Black Friday will soon be upon us, and hopeful retailers are doing all they can to prepare themselves for the onslaught of consumers that will materialize when they throw open their doors. One business going the extra mile this year certainly doesn’t have to worry about opening times or making people wait out in the cold: Amazon.

The e-commerce giant has pushed retail boundaries in the past during the holiday season, such as the controversial app it launched back in 2011 that promoted "showrooming" by encouraging shoppers to check prices of items in brick-and-mortar stores and then buy it cheaper on Amazon. Clearly, the company wants the biggest piece of the holiday-shopping pie that it can get.

This year, Amazon has a few tricks up its sleeve, including hiring more workers—of the automated kind—and tying in with one of the hottest apps with millennials these days.Continue reading...

retail

11/11 Singles Day Proves It's Jack Ma's World, We Just Live In It

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 12, 2014 01:17 PM

Another record Nov. 11 Singles Day in China has come and gone. Many brands joined in the e-commerce fray, including global ones like Zara and Tesla. Over 27,000 merchants registered with Alibaba to participate in this year's holiday sale—up from only 27 merchants back in 2009—and all of them had a big massive day.

Alizila, Alibaba's corporate news site, gave a breakdown of the brands that won the day. Chinese brands, naturally, did brisk business at a breakneck speed, particularly the smartphone phenom Xiaomi and appliance giant Haier—but Western brands fared well, too.Continue reading...

retail

Brands Anticipate 11/11 Singles Day Bonanza Thanks to Alibaba

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2014 03:59 PM

China's relatively new Singles Day e-commerce promotion on 11/11 has become the biggest shopping day worldwide, breaking more sales records each year since its inception.

Beginning in 2009 with 27 brands, the event was so big last year that banks were overwhelmed with transactions from Chinese retailers like Alibaba's Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com, which logged $5.75 billion in sales—more than twice what U.S. retailers made on Cyber Monday in 2013.

Now forecasters are calling for a sales haul that could surpass $8 billion worldwide, and 11/11 mania is spreading worldwide. Continue reading...

black friday

Black Friday Reboot: Kohl's Extols App, Earlier Thanksgiving Hours

Posted by Dale Buss on October 30, 2014 01:28 PM

In the 90s, Kohl's challenged JCPenney, Sears and other former kings of retail with what then was a revolutionary formula: name brands, affordable prices, heavy promotion and shopper convenience. Kohl's leveraged this formula to nationwide expansion in the U.S. and knocked its rivals out of the park.

A couple of decades later, its momentum slowed, CEO Kevin Mansell and Chief Customer Officer Michelle Gass are promising to lead the king of mid-market apparel retailing out of its long wilderness.

Admitting that its stores "haven't been the most inspiring," Mansell revealed a "complete change in the way we run our business," including a new look and feel, a refreshed inventory that's now customized by store (not region), more big-name brands, and the promise of "surprise" and delight in stores under the banner "Find Your Yes."  

And then there's its Thanksgiving/Black Friday plans.Continue reading...

e-commerce

Tesla, Zara Join China Shopping Spree as 11.11 Singles Day Sale Goes Global

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 28, 2014 10:32 AM

November 11 is why Alibaba's recent IPO set a $25 billion record-breaking debut. Last year, on China's Nov. 11 "Singles Day" holiday ("光棍节" or "双11"), Alibaba's Taobao (Tmall.com) and others recorded 35 billion yuan or RMB (US$5.75 billion) in sales.

It was a world record for single day online sales—one that Taobao intends to break this "11.11" with an estimated 26,000 vendors set to participate in the world's biggest shopping event for a project $8 billion payday.

This year, Tesla and Zara are in the mix with new Tmall stores, while the e-commerce portal's success has many other brands and e-tailers in China and beyond looking to skim some of the cream off the top. Continue reading...

retail

Black Friday Creep and the Thanksgiving Day Grinch: 2014 Edition

Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2014 05:11 PM

The war over the sanctity of Thanksgiving could turn into one of those annual holiday classics, like It's a Wonderful Life and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But while it isn't quite the stuff of movie drama yet, the battle over when US retailers open on Black Friday weekend continues to provide plenty of tension.

Well before Halloween, Macy's has taken one of the initial steps this year by confirming to Huffington Post that it will open stores to Black Friday shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day—two hours earlier than it opened last year, with online deals starting earlier. In 2014, Walmart kicked off its Black Friday deals at 6 p.m. on Turkey Day, while Target opened at 8 p.m.

Not surprisingly, this has led to angst especially among workers at America's biggest employer who are recruited to work on Thanksgiving day. Over the roughly three years that Black Friday creep has taken place, there have been outbursts of protest akin to the proliferating demonstrations over retailers paying only the minimum wage.Continue reading...

retail

Now What? Best Buy, Investors in Shock Over Plummeting Holiday Sales

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2014 03:53 PM

This past holiday season was not a good one for big-box retailers and Best Buy is the latest to take a big hit. Its shares fell about 30 percent Thursday to erase around $4 billion of its market value after the company announced that it was going to have “a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating margins,” according to Reuters.

"It just seems that the promotions did not drive incremental sales, that opening on Thanksgiving just added costs," Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser told the wire service.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for Best Buy, which had been one of 2013’s hottest stocks after launching a turnaround effort to combat showrooming from online retailers. Best Buy, of course, wasn’t the only big-name retailer that had a lousy holiday season. Sales at Sears stores in the nine weeks that ended January 6 were down 9.2 percent while Kmart’s were down 5.7 percent in the same time period, adding to what is becoming a legacy of decline. “Sales at the company have been falling since 2005, when billionaire hedge fund manager Edward Lampert merged the two US chains in an $11 billion deal,” Reuters notes.Continue reading...

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