Financial News

Which retail companies have reported the most successful year-over-year growth? How much did company X spend on its latest expansion? In the Retail TouchPoints Financial News section, industry insiders can find out what their peers are spending and how they are faring in the marketplace. This information can be useful for future implementation strategies, real estate ventures and growth opportunities.

Warby Parker Raises $75 Million Ahead Of Possible IPO

One month after revealing a goal to expand to 100 U.S. stores, Warby Parker has unveiled how it plans on funding this level of growth. The eyewear retailer has raised $75 million, bringing its total funding to date to nearly $300 million. T. Rowe Price, an asset management firm, led the Series E round. Warby Parker said it plans to use the money for research and development and technology investments. One recent initiative is the Prescription Check mobile app, which lets eligible customers complete vision tests at home and acquire a new prescription without having to visit an eye doctor in person.

Alibaba Founders Take $20 Million Stake In Rent The Runway

Rent the Runway has received a $20 million investment from Blue Pool Capital, a fund that invests the wealth of Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, according to a report in Recode. This financing round values Rent the Runway at slightly under $800 million, according to research firm Lagniappe Labs. Rent the Runway was already profitable on an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) basis, and Co-Founder/CEO Jennifer Hyman wasn’t planning on looking for new capital. The company’s last fundraising round was in 2016, when it secured a $60 million Series E investment led by Fidelity. However, Hyman saw the involvement of Alibaba’s founders as a unique opportunity for the retailer.

JCPenney Cuts 360 Jobs, Ramps Up Sephora Presence In Stores

  • Published in News Briefs
JCPenney is cutting another 360 jobs, including 130 positions from its corporate office in Plano, Texas and another 230 from its group, regional and support teams in stores. The cuts are part of the department store’s restructuring, and come less than a month after the company announced it would lay…

99 Cents Only Names New CEO, COO

Deep discount retailer 99 Cents Only Stores has named Jack Sinclair CEO upon the retirement of President and CEO Geoffrey Covert. Sinclair joined the company in 2015 as Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer. As part of the executive shuffle, Jason Kidd, Senior VP of Store Operations, has been appointed COO.

Glossier Raises $52 Million To ‘Keep Building The Beauty Company Of The Future’

Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand, has secured $52 million in Series C funding, bringing total venture capital to $86 million. Existing investors IVP and Index Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Thrive Capital, Forerunner Ventures and 14W. New investors Imaginary Ventures and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz also joined. Founder and CEO Emily Weiss sent an email blast this morning to all Glossier subscribers with the headline “Business News (It’s Good),” explaining how the new cash infusion would be used for, “More of the same, really. Just keep building the beauty company of the future: the one you shape.”

Wall Street Wakeup: New Business Metrics Define Retail Success

The host of the NPR business show Marketplace often asserts that Wall Street is not the economy (usually before he shares the day’s Dow Jones gains or losses). For retailers, particularly publicly held companies, Wall Street valuations definitely are part of their economy — even though those valuations don’t always correspond with today’s retail realities. For example, on Feb. 20, Walmart reported that it had only half the online sales growth in Q4 that it had in Q3, sending the company’s stock down more than 10% before market closing — the company’s biggest one-day decline since Jan. 8, 1988. The dip accounted for nearly one-third of that day’s Dow Jones 255-point drop, revealing a short-term lack of confidence in Walmart’s long-term strategy — despite a sustained record of e-Commerce success since Walmart’s acquisition of in August 2016.

Brick-And-Mortar Financial Index Dips 4.54% Year-To-Date

The rise of e-Commerce has had a major impact on more than just retailers. It has reshaped how investors, businesses and policymakers view the industry. Simply put, as brick-and-mortar retailers shrink in square footage and lose share to online sales, it becomes more difficult to quantify their performance. Solactive, a developer of financial indices, and ProShares, a provider of exchange-traded funds (ETF), sought to change that by creating an index to benchmark the modern brick-and-mortar landscape. The Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store Index, developed in November 2017, is designed to provide a snapshot of how the market views the health of the sector.

Barnes & Noble Cuts Jobs To Save $40 Million, Hires New Chief Merchandising Officer

Barnes & Noble is laying off an unspecified number of employees to save approximately $40 million in annual costs. In a regulatory filing, the bookseller said it would pay $11 million in severance and other costs related to the layoff. "The new model will allow stores to adjust staff up or down based on the needs of the business, increase store productivity and streamline store operations," the filing revealed.

With $200M In New Funding, CEO Declares Instacart Is ‘Just Getting Started’

A battle of the titans continues to play out as Amazon and Instacart each move to capture more convenience-hungry grocery customers. In a Feb. 12 blog post, Instacart Founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta declared that the five-year-old home delivery service “is just getting started,” as he announced a new $200 million funding round that raises Instacart’s valuation to approximately $4.2 billion. “In 2017, the online grocery market reached a tipping point,” Mehta wrote. “Offering customers the ability to buy their groceries online went from being a nice to have to being mission critical for grocery retailers.” He noted that 70 million households in the U.S. and Canada have access to Instacart delivery services from nearly 200 grocery partners, including seven of the top eight North American supermarket retailers.

Birdzi Secures Funding Round, Partners With Three Platform Providers

Birdzi, a provider of personalized digital customer engagement solutions for grocery retailers, has closed a Series A funding round with REVTECH, a retail technology accelerator that focuses on high-growth ventures in retail, grocery and hospitality. Financial terms have not been disclosed. Birdzi is using the new funding to expand its sales and product teams as it launches a new Personalized Wellness initiative in partnership with ScriptSave, a provider of prescription savings plans for grocery store pharmacies.

Tapestry Gets A Lift From Coach Sales; Expands Influence In Asia-Pacific

The first post-rebrand holiday season has been a fruitful one for Tapestry, with its Coach brand driving the company to beat Wall Street estimates in fiscal Q2. Overall revenue for Tapestry, the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade & Co. and Stuart Weitzman, rose to $1.79 billion in the quarter ending Dec. 30, beating the average analyst prediction of $1.77 billion, according to Reuters. Global same-store sales of the Coach brand rose 3%, while Kate Spade's same-store sales dropped 7%. On the surface, the Kate Spade dip may appear to be a negative, but Tapestry insists that it is by design. The company said fewer sales of Kate Spade-branded products were made online, as it continues to cut back on wholesale distribution and flash sales of that particular banner.
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