Sweden-based fast-fashion retailer H&M will permanently shutter 170 of its approximately 5,000 stores worldwide as a result of the pandemic, the company said. However, it plans to open 130 new locations, and plans for openings and closures include all seven of the company's retail banners.
Japan is Asia's second biggest market with 2019 retail sales of $1.35 trillion, resulting in the country becoming a key investment spot for global retailers, Tiffany Lung writes. Seven flagships are opening this summer, including a 13-story Uniqlo store in Tokyo's Harajuku area, an 8,000-square-foot replica of streetwear brand KITH's US store model and Lululemon's first major Japan location.
Levi Strauss & Co. will cut about 700 jobs, or 15% of its global corporate workforce, after pandemic-related store closures led to a 62% drop in second-quarter sales. About 90% of the brand's stores have now reopened, but sales are still behind last year's numbers as consumers working at home have opted for less-restrictive non-denim apparel.
Lowe's has focused on employee safety since the pandemic started, providing staffers with necessary tools and investing more than $450 million in additional pay, President and CEO Marvin Ellison said in a virtual talk as part of NRF's Retail Leadership Series. The home improvement retailer added about 100,000 seasonal employees this year, many of whom had been let go from other retailers.
Restaurant chain Pret A Manger will shutter 30 of its 410 UK locations for good and trim 1,000 or more jobs after a steep drop in sales related to the pandemic. The chain, which had been in growth mode in Britain, has reopened 339 of the stores that had been closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Brooks Brothers has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with plans already in place to shutter about 51 of its 250 stores in North America. The 202-year-old apparel retailer has been exploring strategic options for the last year, including a possible sale, and it will continue to look for a buyer in bankruptcy, a company spokesperson said.
Ascena Retail Group is reportedly getting ready to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with a plan to shutter about 1,200 stores. The parent of brands including Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant would cut about $700 million in debt and transfer control to a lender group that includes Eaton Vance, sources said.
Retailers can't expect things to return to the old normal anytime soon and instead must prepare for a changed landscape accelerated by the pandemic, branding expert Denise Lee Yohn writes. Retailers will need to focus even more on creating unique in-store experiences for shoppers who show up, and also invest in creating innovative, consistent experiences and services for digital shoppers.
Pop-ups in the pandemic era are giving brands a chance to test new formats like curbside pickup and contactless payments, Lionesque Group CEO Melissa Gonzalez said. "So many things are changing, and they realize they have to iterate to figure out how to adapt," she said.
Toy retailer Camp makes about 80% of its sales from sponsorships and in-store events, a model that had to be tweaked as the pandemic closed its five stores. New online revenue-driving events include virtual summer camp videos created in partnership with Walmart and interactive video platform Eko, as well as virtual birthday parties for kids.
- Page 1