Gap has dropped plans to spin off its Old Navy banner into a separate publicly-traded company, the retailer said, citing the expense and other difficulties that would be involved. Sales at Old Navy have softened since Gap first proposed the spinoff last year.
Retail sales grew 4.1% to $730.2 billion during the November and December holiday season, according to NRF, coming close to the top end of the group's holiday forecast that projected growth of between 3.8% and 4.2%. "This is a strong finish to the holiday season, and we think it's a positive indicator of what's ahead," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
The estate left after Sears sold assets, including more than 400 stores, to a new company controlled by Edward Lampert has been billed about $200 million by lawyers and advisers. The law requires attorneys to be paid in full, which could leave little money for other creditors and former employees who are owed severance.
Lululemon Athletica has gained steam over the past year with rapid growth of its menswear offerings and a focus on international markets. The moves have fueled a resurgence in the retailer's stock price and spurred some analysts to compare the brand to Nike.
The rise of click-and-collect options allowed more consumers to put off their Christmas shopping until the last minute, Target CEO Brian Cornell said. Target had almost five times as many pickup orders on Christmas Eve as on the same night the previous year, he said.
Female retail leaders shared their wisdom about moving up in the industry at NRF 2020 Vision: Retail's Big Show this week, stressing that women need sponsors as well as mentors to give them a leg up on the career ladder. Women fill 28% of c-suite jobs in retail, compared to 21% for all industries, Equity for Women founder and CEO Michelle Bogan said.
Retailers who a few years ago would be laser-focused on fending off Amazon have expanded the scope of their competitive efforts with new partnerships, nontraditional retailers and an embrace of technology, executives said during NRF 2020 Vision: Retail's Big Show. "Competition is fierce and intense. The battle is joined every day, and we know the reality that there's a great divide," NRF Chairman and Qurate Retail CEO Mike George said.
The Kroger Technology & Digital Innovation Lab, a partnership between the retailer and Northern Kentucky University, will officially open today, store officials said. The lab, which is designed to drive digital innovation and also includes scholarships for students, is the latest in a series of Kroger's initiatives with colleges in and around its hometown, Cincinnati, aimed at boosting the store's digital and technological capabilities.
David's Bridal has debuted Zoey, a digital concierge that's powered by artificial intelligence and designed to drive traffic to the retailer's stores. Zoey will pass along customers' questions and concerns to stylists, paving the way for smoother in-store consultations.
With an overarching goal of marrying technology with meaning, business executive Mindy Grossman took her biggest and maybe most strategic risk when she became CEO of Weight Watchers (now WW) in 2017. Read more on Grossman's career and lessons learned along the way. Read more.
Under Armour rolled out a new brand campaign this week, and company founder Kevin Plank was at NRF 2020 Vision: Retail's Big Show to talk about it. "Storytelling is so much a part of what we are doing," Plank said. Read more on the inspiration for the campaign, who the target customer is and the role of listening in a company's success. Read more.
Starbucks will open or renovate 85 stores in low-income urban and rural communities over the next five years, bringing the total number of these community stores to 100. The chain will also work with the United Way to create job training and education programs in each store.