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Store Operations

Store Operations examines the issues and challenges facing today’s store operators. From workforce management to merchandising and new store openings, this section is designed to help retailers improve the bottom line while holding the line on costs. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

GNC CEO Steps Down As Troubled Retailer Continues Strategic Review

GNC Holdings has become the latest retailer to fall victim to a CEO change in 2016; Chief Executive Mike Archbold is leaving the company and has resigned from its Board of Directors. Robert Moran, an Independent Director of GNC and the former CEO of PetSmart, takes over as interim CEO effective immediately. The health and wellness supplements retailer, which has more than 9,000 corporate and franchised stores, suspended its 2016 earnings guidance as it continues its ongoing strategic review process. Since May, GNC has been reviewing strategic alternatives that could include: “accelerated refranchising strategies, capital structure optimization, partnerships and other value-creating collaborations, or a potential sale of the company.”

Oracle Buys NetSuite: Another Massive Retail Acquisition Featured

Seeking to build up its cloud-based offerings, Oracle Corp. has purchased NetSuite for $9.3 billion in a transaction expected to close this year, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. It's a big deal even for a serial acquirer such as Oracle, which paid $5.3 billion in 2014 for Micros Systems. The price tag for NetSuite marks a return to the size of pre-Great Recession deals such as Oracle's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft in 2004 ($10.3 billion); another hostile takeover of BEA Systems in 2008 ($8.5 billion); and its purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2009 for $7.4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Oracle chairman Larry Ellison is already NetSuite's largest investor; entities owned by him and his family held nearly 40% of NetSuite's shares, according to the company's proxy statement filed in April 2016.

Will Macy's AI-Powered Mobile App Be Friendly Tech — Or The Terminator? Featured

There's no question IBM's Watson is smart. After all, it beat the pants off the best-of-the-best Jeopardy contestants. But is it smart enough — and flexible enough — to help a Macy's customer find the perfect dress for her daughter's wedding? That's one of the things the retailer is trying to discover with its 10-store test of a mobile web tool that connects shoppers with an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform. "Macy's On Call" taps IBM Watson, via the Satisfi intelligent engagement platform, allowing customers to input natural language questions about each participating store's assortment, services and facilities.

Under Armour Set To Open Store At Prime NYC Location And Sell In Kohl’s

  • Published in News Briefs
Despite a 58% decrease in net income in Q2, Under Armour bolstered its revenues 28% to $1 billion, with the company setting sights on expansion. The athleticwear brand will be taking over the former location of FAO Schwarz in New York City as early as 2018, and will begin to sell products at Kohl’s stores nationwide and on Kohls.com starting in early 2017. Building a second Manhattan store in the 53,000-square-foot location at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street is the ultimate power play for Under Armour, which has sought to beef up its brand and fire up competition against Nike and the resurgent Adidas.

CART Debuts Innovation Pitch Forum For Retail Technology Startups

The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) has announced a new event that focuses on bringing relevant and transformative innovation to retail. Dubbed the Retail Innovation Pitch, the inaugural event will recognize the growth of domestic and international retail technology startups looking to make their way in the U.S. market.

Starbucks Creates Siren Retail Group To Manage Specialty Store Growth

Starbucks has promoted Cliff Burrows to head its new Siren Retail Group, which will encompass the retailer's Roastery, Starbucks Reserve and stand-alone Princi bakeries. Burrows, who has been with Starbucks since 2001, most recently as Group President for the U.S. and Americas, also will take charge of growing the company's global Teavana business. The Siren Group's debut is part of several organizational changes at the company, including the promotion of John Culver to the role of Group President for Starbucks Global Retail. His most recent position was Group President for China/Asia Pacific, Channel Development and Emerging Brands.

G-III Apparel Group Buys Donna Karan International For $650 Million

G-III Apparel Group, designer, manufacturer and marketer of branded apparel and accessories, has entered into a definitive agreement with French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) to acquire Donna Karan International, Inc., which includes both the Donna Karan and DKNY brands. The transaction is valued at $650 million and is expected to close in late 2016 or early 2017.

JCPenney Finalizes Chairman Transition During Tumultuous Times For Department Stores

Myron “Mike” Ullman III, the longtime and former CEO of JCPenney, is retiring from his position as company Chairman, effective August 1, 2016. Ullman will be succeeded by JCPenney’s current CEO, Marvin Ellison, as part of the transition plan the company outlined in 2014. Ellison has been working as President and CEO-Designee since November 1, 2014.  He came over from The Home Depot, where he served as EVP of U.S. Stores from August 2008 through October 2014. With a target goal of helping JCPenney reach $1.2 billion in profitability, Ellison has helped engineer a reversal in fortunes for JCPenney despite the disappointing Q1 results of other department stores. While JCPenney’s revenue dipped 1.6% in the quarter, the retailer narrowed its losses from $150 million to $68 million.

MasterCard Buys UK Payments Provider VocaLink For $920 Million

In another sign that MasterCard is determined to stay relevant in a rapidly changing payments landscape, the company will acquire a majority stake in payment systems provider VocaLink for £700 million (approximately $920 million U.S.). London-based VocaLink offers products including ZAPP, a mobile payments app leveraging Fast ACH technology. The company operates payment technology platforms supporting Faster Payments, a real-time account-to-account service enabling payments via mobile, Internet and phone, as well as the UK ATM network LINK. In 2015, VocaLink reported revenues of £182 million and processed more than 11 billion transactions.

Nordstrom Promotes Meden To CMO

Two Nordstrom execs are moving on up in the company. Scott Meden has been promoted to Executive VP and CMO, and Kristin Frossmo was named Executive VP of Nordstrom’s shoe division.

Mastercard Masterpass Will Serve 5M Stores In 77 Countries

Mastercard has introduced the global digital Masterpass solution, which allows consumers to pay online, through mobile apps or in brick-and-mortar stores. Currently available at hundreds of thousands of merchants online or in-app, Masterpass contactless payments will soon expand to more than five million physical locations in 77 countries, with 1.8 million merchant locations in the U.S. alone. "Easy and intuitive payment methods have become table stakes," said Craig Vosburg, President of North America Mastercard at an event introducing the new service on July 14. "We've evolved our network to enable connections, security, ubiquity and interoperability. We want to enable our customers to pay anywhere, anytime, any way they want."

Roundy’s Long-Time CEO Bob Mariano To Retire In September

Bob Mariano, a nearly 50-year veteran within the grocery industry, will be retiring from his post as CEO of Roundy’s effective Sep. 1, 2016. Mariano will continue to serve as a strategic adviser to Roundy’s and its parent company, Kroger, for two years after his retirement. Mariano has led Roundy’s since 2002, which now operates under four brands: Pick 'n Save, Copps, Metro Market and namesake brand Mariano's Fresh Market. Roundy's opened the first Mariano's store in 2010, and has expanded the brand to 34 store locations throughout the Chicago area.

Starbucks To Raise Wages 5% To 15% For All U.S. Workers In October

Starbucks is giving all of its U.S. employees something to cheer about. Effective Oct. 3, U.S.-based employees and store managers will receive an increase in base pay of 5% or greater. The range of wage increase will be determined by geographic and market factors, according to a letter from Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz. Starbucks also will be doubling its annual stock award for employees who reach two years of continuous service with the company. The combination of these changes will result in compensation increases of between 5% and 15% per employee.
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