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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.

Nordstrom Suspends Plan To Go Private, Will Remain Public In 2017

Four months after setting up a special committee to explore the possibility of taking its namesake brand private, the Nordstrom family has tabled the idea for the remainder of 2017. The group, which includes company Co-Presidents Blake Nordstrom, Peter Nordstrom and Erik Nordstrom, President of Stores James Nordstrom, Chairman Emeritus Bruce Nordstrom and Anne Gittinger, informed the Special Committee that it intends to resume considering the possibility of going private after the conclusion of the 2017 holiday season.

Cashier-Free Checkout Company Secures $5 Million In Seed Funding

Standard Cognition has raised $5 million in seed funding to accelerate go-to-market capabilities for its checkout-free AI-based shopping system. The round was led by Charles River Ventures, with additional participation from Initialized Capital, Y Combinator and other smaller firms and angels. The company has raised $6 million to date.

HelloFresh Plans IPO: Can It Thrive In The Crowded Meal Kit Market?

The recent rise of meal kit delivery services has encouraged yet another company to seek a big payout. HelloFresh announced plans to file for an IPO, to be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company, which is majority owned by German e-Commerce investor Rocket Internet, plans to raise up to $352 million to support the offering. Proceeds from this funding will be used primarily to finance the company’s long-term growth strategy, including the potential addition of new business lines.

Sears CEO Gives Struggling Retailer Yet Another Cash Infusion

Sears Holdings CEO and Chairman Eddie Lampert has gifted his company with an early holiday present. Affiliates of Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, loaned Sears $100 million in cash, according to an SEC filing. ESL Investments will pledge up to $100 million more to Sears by Dec. 1 as long as the retailer proves it has the property collateral to secure the loan. Any new loans under the agreement are due April 3, 2018, and carry an 11% interest rate.

Bluecore Secures $35M In Series C Funding

Bluecore, a behavioral and product data company, has raised $35 million in Series C funding. The round was left by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Georgian Partners, FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures.  

Rite Aid Names Former Walgreens Exec As President

After selling off 1,900+ stores to Walgreens earlier this month, Rite Aid is bringing one of its rival’s former top execs in as its new President and Chief Operating Officer. Kermit Crawford, the former EVP and President of Pharmacy Health and Wellness at Walgreens, will start at Rite Aid effective Oct. 5, reporting to Chairman and CEO John Standley. Crawford held a wide range of store operations and senior management positions during his 30-year tenure with Walgreens, which ended when he retired from the company in 2014. His responsibilities covered the company's pharmacy services, including its pharmacy benefit management services. In his last role at Walgreens, Crawford was responsible for all aspects of strategic, operational and financial management for the health and wellness division. 

Alibaba To Invest $15.2 Billion To Expand Logistics Network

  • Published in News Briefs
Seeking to fulfill its mission of fulfilling orders in China within 24 hours and within 72 hours anywhere in the world, Alibaba is investing $15.2 billion over the next five years to expand its logistics network. The investment will be used to increase R&D in logistics data technology, as well…
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Amazon Takes 5% Stake In Indian Retailer, Continues Global Push

Amazon is continuing its expansion into a number of international markets. Its investment arm NV Investment Holdings bought a nearly 5% ($27.6 million) stake in Indian retailer Shoppers Stop Ltd, the Mumbai-based company said in a filing. The investment in Shoppers Stop was relatively miniscule for the e-Commerce giant, which already has pledged a total of $5 billion to its Indian operations since 2014. And there’s plenty of value with a cheap buy in, especially if Amazon wants to learn about the country’s e-Commerce buying habits: the value of online sales in India is predicted to rise to $48 billion by 2020, according to Forrester.

Retail Kiosk Locksmith Startup Raises $25M In Series D Funding

KeyMe, a New York City-based locksmith startup, has closed $25 million in Series D funding to continue its expansion into retail and invest in more robust marketing. The latest round — led by Comcast Ventures, Battery Ventures and additional insider investor participants — brings the company’s total funds raised to more than $100 million.

EnterWorks Procures Funding Round From Black Dragon Capital

EnterWorks secured an undisclosed investment from its primary funding entity, Black Dragon Capital. The company will invest the money in its Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) platforms. Additionally, EnterWorks will use the funding to strengthen its R&D activities in user experience, microservices and the cloud, according to CEO Rick Chavie. The investment is designed to make the platform easier to use, raise customer value and improve user adoption.

‘Panic Mode’ Sets In As Sporting Goods Retailers Seek Answers

Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack made a headline-grabbing statement when he described the retail industry as being in “panic mode” during the company’s recent Q2 earnings call. But even if his comments about retail as a whole are hyperbole, his suggestion that “sporting goods is in the center” of “a perfect storm right now in retail” actually comes fairly close to the mark.  The sporting goods industry has taken some major hits since the end of 2015, most notably the bankruptcy and closing of former sector leader Sports Authority. Brands such as Sport Chalet and City Sports shuttered their operations, while Gander Mountain, Golfsmith and Eastern Outfitters were bought out by larger brands after bankruptcies.
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