Wal-Mart ended in-store price-matching programs at its stores in Minnesota this month, building on a test launched at select stores last year to roll back a program established during the recession. Only about 5% of shoppers were taking advantage of the retailer's offer to meet rivals' prices.
Staples is in advanced talks to be acquired by Sycamore Partners, a private-equity firm that could pay as much as $6 billion for the office supply retailer with more than 1,500 stores in the US and Canada, sources said. The retailer's planned merger with rival Office Depot was killed on antitrust concerns last year, and taking the company private could speed its efforts to shift focus from consumers to businesses.
About 86% of consumers surveyed enjoy shopping in stores that offer experiences and a chance to try out products before buying them online, according to a survey from GPShopper and YouGov. Specialty retailers such as Ulta Beauty and Lululemon Athletica are using experiences to win over shoppers, while many others are still struggling to make the transformation.
Nike will start selling some of its footwear and apparel directly to Amazon as part of a shift by the brand to reach out directly to consumers as store traffic slows, sources said. Rivals Under Armour and Adidas already have similar deals in place with Amazon.
India's Reliance Retail will partner with Saucony to launch retail sales of the US-based brand's sneakers in the country, a source said. Reliance has already begun testing sales of the shoes in Reliance Footprint stores.
J.C. Penney has refinanced $2.35 billion in debt and extended the maturity date to 2022, further strengthening its financial position after paying off $300 million in debt last month. The moves come as the retailer is working to expand sales in several categories including women's apparel, appliances and home goods.
J.Crew's lenders have signed off on a plan to amend loan agreements and extend the maturity date on $566.5 million in debt that was set to mature in 2019. The deal will give the fashion retailer more time to turn around decreasing sales.
Recent moves by Wal-Mart and Amazon highlight the ways the traditional retail giant and the e-commerce leader are increasingly competing head-on, across channels and in a growing number of retail sectors including grocery and fashion.
The frugality of Wayfair founders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine has paid off, putting the online retail entrepreneurs onto Bloomberg's list of billionaires. The duo, who met as engineering students at Cornell University, launched the online home goods retailer in 2002 and retained a combined 40% ownership after taking it public in 2014.
Much of Hudson's Bay Co.'s substantial real estate portfolio could be more profitable for the company with uses other than retail, according to real estate investor Jonathan Litt. Litt owns a 4.3% stake in the Canada-based parent of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor in the US, and in a letter, he makes the argument that the company should explore new uses for its properties.
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