Walmart Chief Merchant Steve Bratspies will exit the company after 14 years, to be succeeded by executive Scott McCall, according to a memo from US CEO John Furner. The retailer has also named Sam's Club executive Dacona Smith as the new chief operating officer for Walmart US.
Walgreens Boots Alliance is trying a new tactic to boost beauty sales, after ramping up premium product offerings and adding 3,500 beauty consultants failed to drive growth. Walgreens has joined with Kroger to sell its beauty products in 17 Kroger stores, marking a shift in strategy from specialty to mass-market retail.
J.C. Penney will shutter six stores by April 24 and close a Kansas call center, as part of the department store retailer's yearly review of its operations, spokesman Brooke Buchanan said. The retailer will have 840 US stores after the closures.
Protolabs has made updated prosthesis components for Winter X Games athlete "Monster" Mike Schultz, who began competing in adaptive snow bikecross after his left leg was amputated above the knee in 2008. The components, which include the use of 6061 aluminum, are more durable and give Schultz a better range of motion.
Fruit of the Loom has moved from using data simply for reporting to using it in predictive analytics modeling, supply chain forecasting and machine learning. Location intelligence technology such as geographic information systems has given the company detailed data on customers at particular stores.
The site of the former Eastland Mall, which closed in 2010, will be transformed into the new headquarters for Charlotte's Major League Soccer expansion team. Crosland Southeast is seeking to rezone the vacant 77-acre plot, which also will include commercial space, houses and apartments and a public park.
Independent contractors running many of the 375 Sears Hometown stores in the US say they're struggling to hang on without enough inventory and are often being undercut on price by sister chain Sears. The smaller stores were spun off by Sears in 2012 and were not part of the recent bankruptcy proceeding, but both Sears Hometown and Sears are controlled by Edward Lampert.
Rental services and resales are becoming a bigger part of the shopping experience at traditional department stores. Last week, Nordstrom and Rent the Runway expanded their partnership to include RTR Revive, a section in 24 Nordstrom Rack stores that will sell pre-worn rental fashions.
Omnichannel and offering consumers options for shopping where, when and how they want were key takeaways from NRF 2020 Vision: Retail's Big Show last week, Nikki Baird of Aptos writes. A streamlined, focused role for artificial intelligence and solutions to help retailers better understand shopper behavior were also hot topics.
Demographic shifts, such as changes in spending patterns of millennials as they age, are expected to have an effect on the retail outlook in 2020, analysts say. The domestic economy and geopolitical factors, including tensions in the Middle East and still-unresolved tariff issues with China, are also likely to factor into the mix.
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