Kohl's CEO sees better days ahead as stores reopen | Lowe's pledges $25M for small-business grants | Penney's plans 153 store reopenings in 4 states
May 21, 2020
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Kohl's CEO sees better days ahead as stores reopen
Gass (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Kohl's reported a 43.5% drop in net sales during the most recent quarter, as all of the retailer's stores were closed during part of the three-month period. About half of Kohl's more than 1,100 stores have reopened and the retailer expects things to improve in the coming weeks and months, CEO Michelle Gass said.
Full Story: CNBC (5/20) 
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Retailers are using indoor positioning technology to identify opportunities to improve store safety and traffic flow after COVID-19. This webinar on May 26th at 12pm PST will explain how location technology and analytics can help retailers mitigate risk as they reopen stores. Register Today.
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Industry Watch
Lowe's pledges $25M for small-business grants
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Lowe's has launched a $25 million grant program to help minority-owned small businesses get back up and running after the pandemic. "To all my fellow CEOs out there running large companies: Let's do our part to help the small businesses get back up and going," CEO Marvin Ellison said.
Full Story: CNBC (5/20) 
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J.C. Penney is reopening 153 department stores in Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Texas this week, as the company navigates a bankruptcy reorganization that's expected to shutter up to 242 locations permanently. Penney's has set November as the month that it expects to exit bankruptcy, but the filing could be converted to a liquidation in July or August if certain loan agreement requirements aren't met.
Full Story: The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (5/20) 
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Victoria's Secret will permanently shutter 251 namesake and Pink stores in the US and Canada this year, and Bath & Body Works will close 51 locations, parent L Brands said. The company said it's still moving forward with a plan to establish Bath & Body Works as a separate publicly-traded company.
Full Story: USA Today (5/21) 
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Retail Trends
Walmart exec: Some pandemic changes are here to stay
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
John Furner, Walmart's US CEO, says the pandemic has accelerated the retailer's emphasis on e-commerce, a shift he believes will continue into the future as more people, especially those over 50, become comfortable shopping online. In this interview, Furner also discusses other ways Walmart has met the changes caused by the pandemic and looks ahead to the company's future plans.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/20) 
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The number of open Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores was set to grow from 32 to 94 on Thursday, as the luxury department store continues to phase in reopenings in accordance with state and local rules, President and Chief Brand Officer Pete Nordstrom said. All of Nordstrom's locations closed in mid-March and most of the reopened locations are in six states.
Full Story: Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (5/20) 
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Beauty retail gets a makeover to keep shoppers safe
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Ulta Beauty and Sephora have begun reopening stores with a list of new rules in place to protect shoppers, including some that are specific to beauty retail. At Sephora, only commercially prepackaged samples will be available and testers will be for display only.
Full Story: Glossy (tiered subscription model) (5/19) 
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NRF News
To make shopping convenient and comfortable for the post-pandemic consumer, retailers will need to rethink store design and experience. Retail design specialists recommend increased sanitation and social distancing efforts, but no matter what, retailers should never make any physical changes chain-wide without first testing them out in several stores. Read more.
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About 77% of consumers say sustainability is an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Source: NRF/IBM Institute for Business Value.
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The concept for ecofriendly apparel brand Hope & Henry sprouted from a vision to reverse the harmful effects of fast fashion on factory workers and the environment. The retailer uses organic cotton and recycled fibers to produce sustainable, affordable apparel. "We care about the environment and want to make high-quality affordable products while sharing profits with the women that sew our clothes," founder Matt McCauley said. Read more.
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Chain Restaurant News
How Dunkin' is driving sales in the work-from-home era
(Dunkin')
Dunkin' has shifted gears during the pandemic that has slowed the chain's traditional morning coffee rush and introduced new products, including decorate-your-own doughnut kits, to boost sales. About 94% of the chain's US locations are open for takeout, delivery and drive-thru, but all dining rooms remain closed.
Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (5/20) 
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