The Des Moines, Iowa, City Council is considering several plans for the downtown area that could increase tax incentives to EMC Insurance Cos. and Blackbird Investments, which plan to swap land in the area. The companies' plans include turning a portion of Kaleidoscope at the Hub, a retail center, into an $88 million skyscraper with commercial space.
Bath & Body Works Outlet, Juicy and Smoothie Cafe, Cronin's Irish Cottage, Old Navy Outlet and Kitchen Collection are planning to move into The Crossings Premium Outlets in Tannersville, Pa. The additions will happen over the next several months.
IKEA has signed a deal with Chile-based retailer Falabella to start opening stores in South America as part of its push to expand into new markets, the Sweden-based furniture retailer said. It plans to open nine or more locations in Peru, Chile and Colombia over the next decade and will also launch online sales.
Sears and Kmart were behind in resources when Edward Lampert acquired and combined the retailers 13 years ago, and they've fallen further behind the competition under Lampert's cost-cutting strategy. Lampert, now CEO, has invested more than $1 billion into the company, and an offer by his hedge fund, ESL Investments, to buy the Kenmore brand and two other divisions leave many industry watchers wondering what would be left of the company.
Women's sneaker sales soared 37% last year, according to NPD Group, as more women traded their high heels for comfy shoes in keeping with the general trend toward more casual, practical fashions. Sales of heels fell 11% and sneaker sales are expected to continue seeing double-digit growth in the next few years, said Beth Goldstein, NPD's fashion footwear industry analyst.
Walmart is piloting a personal shopping and concierge service dubbed Jetblack in New York City, according to a published report. The service, aimed at busy moms, is described in job postings as a members-only service, and Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss was hired to help lead the venture, according to the report.
Nordstrom has been urging more brands to add larger sizes since 2016 when its addition of the Good American denim brand was contingent on the retailer stocking all sizes from 00 to 24. The retailer is adding mannequins up to size 12 at 30 of its stores, and it has created an online tool that uses measurements to help shoppers find the best-fitting size in different brands.
Anyone is allowed to sit inside a Starbucks and use the restaurants without placing an order, under new rules announced Saturday. "We are committed to creating a culture of warmth and belonging where everyone is welcome," the company said in a statement.
Walmart's acquisition of a 77% stake in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart won't change the relationship the country's small businesses have with Walmart's cash-and-carry stores, Walmart India chief executive Krish Iyer said. Flipkart will remain a separate business from Walmart's brick-and-mortar and B2B e-commerce units, he said.
Fashion boutique Phluid in New York City's NoHo neighborhood bills itself as the "world's first gender-free store." The shop, started by former Macy's and Victoria's Secret employee Rob Smith, caters to growing demand from young consumers who are less likely to buy clothing that was designed for their gender.