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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.

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 Jet.com 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.

Bon-Ton Files For Bankruptcy, Plans To Reorganize

  • Published in News Briefs
Although the department store sector had a promising holiday season, one struggling retailer is taking drastic measures to try to complete a turnaround. Bon-Ton Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid growing debt. Bon-Ton has $572 million in debt due in December 2018 and carries $850 million altogether, according to…
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SheerID Raises $18M To Fuel Verification Product

SheerID, an eligibility verification services company, has closed $18 million in Series B funding led by Centana Growth Partners. The company plans to use the investment to fuel product innovation and accelerate market adoption in digital commerce.

Paytronix Secures $65 Million Investment To Expand Product Suite, Market Focus

Paytronix Systems, a loyalty, rewards and guest engagement analytics software provider, has secured a $65 million growth equity investment from Great Hill Partners. Launched in 2001, Paytronix will use the funds to accelerate its growth and improve pay-at-the-table and other technologies it provides to 16,000 U.S. restaurant locations, including the Panera Bread and California Pizza Kitchen chains. The company also intends to expand its geographic footprint and market focus, though no specifics were shared in a statement.

True Fit Closes $55M In Series C Funding

True Fit, a Massachusetts-based startup that provides an online fit recommendation engine for apparel and footwear, has raised $55 million in Series C financing. The round was led by Georgian Partners, with participation from existing investors Jump Capital, Signal Peak Ventures, Intel Capital and new investor Cross Creek Capital.

Shelfbucks Raises $9 Million To Support In-Store Display Platform Rollout

Shelfbucks has raised $9 million in Series B funding to roll out its MEASURE merchandising platform to drug and grocery store chains across the U.S. The platform will integrate with more than 20 CPG companies and hundreds of in-store merchandising display campaigns in 2018. CPG companies can integrate the Shelfbucks MEASUREplatform into product displays to actively measure execution and performance of every display each day throughout the entire supply chain and life of a campaign. The secondary promotional displays are designed to generate significant incremental sales from store perimeters and aisles.
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