The Mall of America is suing Hard Rock Cafe for $550,000 back rent and fees. Hard Rock executives say the were forced to close in March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and could only operate at a limited capacity beginning in June and should be exempt from rent payments.
The Container Store has teamed with KonMari Media, the company created by decluttering star Marie Kondo, to launch a line of about 100 co-branded products. The Container Store x KonMari line will be sustainably produced and is designed to appeal to consumers looking to simplify and make the most of their space, the companies said.
Kohl's is pinning its pandemic recovery and future growth on a revamped merchandise mix of athleisure wear designed for the entire family, CEO Michelle Gass says. The strategy also includes focusing on major brand partners including Nike and Cole Haan, as well as reducing private-label lines and expanding its beauty offerings.
Gucci and Giphy partnered with Genies, using its new 3D Avatar software development kit, to enable their app users to create virtual avatars that can be dressed and accessorized with digital purchases of branded products. "The future of retail will not be confined by walls but will continue to evolve through a digitally enhanced ecosystem, allowing customers to try items on before buying them through avatars or AR or VR experiences," says Gucci's Robert Triefus.
HSN and QVC are known for their TV shopping content, but the sibling shopping channels have spent more than 10 years building bigger digital platforms, Mike George, CEO of parent Qurate Retail, says. A feature in the works for the future would let shoppers stay in livestreams to make purchases instead of switching over to the HSN or QVC website.
The Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is a new US Air Force initiative that seeks to incorporate technologies such as 3D printing and digital engineering into operations. "Advanced manufacturing, scaled across the entire Air Force and Space Force, will transform sustainment," said US Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, adding that sustainment is "70% in terms of budget."
Halloween retailers face new challenges in the year of the pandemic, including a surge in online orders that has Fun.com, parent of HalloweenCostumes.com, scrambling to find employees to fulfill more than a million orders, CEO Tom Fallenstein said. Consumers are expected to spend about $8 billion on Halloween this year and 30% of them plan to buy costumes online, according to an NRF forecast.
Amazon said its corporate staff members will now be allowed to work from home through June 2021, as doubt about in-person schooling persists due to the coronavirus pandemic. Google staffers have permission to work remotely until July, and some other tech companies including Square, Twitter and Facebook now let employees work from home permanently.
Hong Kong-based department store Lane Crawford has named Blondie Tsang as its new president effective Jan. 18. Tsang most recently served as managing director of Celine Asia-Pacific and is succeeding Andrew Keith, who is exiting next month after 10 years in the post.
Forever 21 parent Authentic Brands Group has entered a licensing agreement with AR Holdings that will expand the fashion retailer's banner in nine Latin America. AR Holdings will manage Forever 21's wholesale operations as well as online and brick-and-mortar retail presence.