Sears pins its future on small stores selling appliances, mattresses. Here’s what that looks like

Two other Sears Home & Life stores are also opening in Anchorage, Alaska, and Overland Park, Kansas. Boutros’ team will also consider opening Home & Life shops where there are already full-line Sears stores, if there’s ample demand from Sears’ customers. They also sell small appliances like vacuums, major appliances such as those manufactured under Sears’ Kenmore brand and connected home products. Major appliances including Kenmore and other leading appliance brands, displayed in kitchen vignett


Two other Sears Home & Life stores are also opening in Anchorage, Alaska, and Overland Park, Kansas. Boutros’ team will also consider opening Home & Life shops where there are already full-line Sears stores, if there’s ample demand from Sears’ customers. They also sell small appliances like vacuums, major appliances such as those manufactured under Sears’ Kenmore brand and connected home products. Major appliances including Kenmore and other leading appliance brands, displayed in kitchen vignett
Sears pins its future on small stores selling appliances, mattresses. Here’s what that looks like Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-24  Authors: lauren thomas, steve odland, erik lundh
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stores, small, pins, selling, future, life, store, park, looks, brands, kenmore, source, mattresses, overland, heres, sears, appliances


Sears pins its future on small stores selling appliances, mattresses. Here's what that looks like

The grand opening of the new Sears Home & Life store in Lafayette, Louisiana. Two other Sears Home & Life stores are also opening in Anchorage, Alaska, and Overland Park, Kansas. Source: Sears

Like many suburban shopping areas, Overland Park, Kansas, has a Whole Foods grocery store and a Cheesecake Factory. Now, it’s among the first to have a Sears Home & Life store. For five decades, from 1967 to 2017, Sears had presence in the booming town, which is also home to Sprint’s headquarters. But the Sears department store and auto center at 9701 Metcalf Ave. went dark two years ago, to make way for a glitzy mixed-use development. This is the narrative many people associate with Sears these days: store closings and liquidation sales. But a shiny, new Sears Home & Life store is the tale the company wants people talking about as it looks for a fresh start after narrowly escaping liquidation. Sears on Friday is opening its first such smaller-format stores — selling mainly mattresses, appliances and connected home products — in Overland Park and in Anchorage, Alaska, and in Lafayette, Louisiana. The company hopes these areas will draw new customers and nostalgic ones who shopped at now-shuttered Sears department stores in those neighborhoods and want the once-bankrupted brand back.

Sears is taking lessons from its storied past, with more than 125 years in business as an iconic American retailer, combined with its historic strengths in selling home goods like appliances, in hopes of creating its future. But it will also continue to face headwinds — like tariffs on consumer goods — and trendy, digitally native brands — like furniture retailer Wayfair and mattress-maker Casper — encroaching on its turf. “We are looking for alternative ways to build our business,” Peter Boutros, chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart, said ahead of the Overland Park grand opening. “The brand has so much equity, … even with what we’ve been through.” Sears Holdings, which owned Sears and Kmart, filed for bankruptcy protection in October with about 700 stores. A $5.2 billion sale saved the company, including its Kenmore and DieHard brands, and put everything into an entity called Transform Holdco. Transform Holdco is controlled by ESL Investments, a hedge fund owned by former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, and has about 425 Sears and Kmart locations still operating throughout the country. Sears Home & Life is the company’s next chapter.

The “Welcome” Service Desk at the Sears Home & Life store where customers can meet with experts and explore how new appliances would look in a full-scale kitchen. Source: Sears

“This is an evolution in response to two things in the market,” Boutros said. “We are known for our home services, appliances and mattresses. And the second thing is … customers still want to shop for big-ticket items, lay on a mattress to test it, or talk to a home service expert in a physical store.” The retailer said it designed the Home & Life stores based on feedback gathered from opening a handful of smaller-format stores selling just mattresses and appliances in 2017 in Fort Collins, Colorado, Pharr, Texas, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and Honolulu. Those four stores are still open and will now be converted to Home & Life-branded locations. Beyond the three openings Friday, Sears won’t say exactly how many Home & Life locations it plans to operate. But it says it’s already scouting other real estate across the country. And it seems to have a strategy for where it wants these stores to be.

Young families

“We are looking for emerging communities where young families are building homes,” Boutros said. “Also where boomers are downsizing. … What we have to do with the boomers group is win back their trust, win back their confidence — that they will come back and shop with us for all the things we are known for.” Overland Park, for example, is considered one of the better suburbs to raise a family in the Kansas City area, with highly rated public schools. It was recently rated by neighborhood-review site Niche as the No. 1 city to buy a home in the U.S., ahead of places like Plano, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Boutros’ team will also consider opening Home & Life shops where there are already full-line Sears stores, if there’s ample demand from Sears’ customers. But the new Home & Life locations are just a fraction of that size — at roughly 12,500 square feet — and are going to meet consumers where they’re spending the most time, likely not in enclosed shopping malls. “Personally I think an open-air center … for convenience, driving up … makes more sense for us,” he said. “We are not as encumbered as being inside a mall. There’s more flexibility.”

Mattress display at new Sears Home & Life store featuring top brands including Tempur-Pedic, Beautyrest, Sealy, Serta, Simmons and Stearns & Foster (only available in Overland Park and Lafayette). Source: Sears

The new Home & Life stores offer mattresses from brands like Serta, Sealy and Tempur-Pedic. They also sell small appliances like vacuums, major appliances such as those manufactured under Sears’ Kenmore brand and connected home products. Sears has a deal with Amazon in which some Kenmore appliances, like refrigerators, are now Alexa-enabled. A huge focus of these stores is also service, the company said. The Home & Life location in Overland Park has a service desk where shoppers can bring questions while they’re browsing. It has a “Search Bar,” akin to Apple’s Genius Bar, where shoppers can order anything from either Sears’ or Kmart’s website that’s not in the store and get it delivered. It also includes other services like curbside pickup and buy online pick up in store. To be sure, when compared with other advancements retailers have been making to their bricks-and-mortar stores in recent years, Sears’ upgrades within the Home & Life concept might not seem that exciting. Best Buy’s stores selling appliances have similar help-service bars with trained tech representatives, and expanded delivery options. Same with Home Depot and Lowe’s. Even big-box chains like Walmart and Target will give Sears’ growth strategy a run for its money — they offer many of the same items, like mattresses and appliances. The mattress category in particular is being flooded with competition from start-up brands like Casper, Purple, Leesa, Tuft & Needle, Eight Sleep and Nectar, which sell directly to consumers, bypassing department stores. Mattress Firm is shutting more than 200 locations, as online mattress sales ballooned more than 60% in 2017. Does Sears Home & Life really stand a chance?

The Sears Home & Life store offers Smart Home and Home Services areas, where shoppers can explore connected home products and shop replacement parts for any appliance. Source: Sears

“I’m glad [Lampert] is still trying to find the format that works,” said Alan Lacy, former Sears chairman and CEO. “A point of differentiation with Home & Life is it has the Kenmore brand. That does still have some value, so there’s something to fight with there.” “But a challenge is going to be the appliance category is something people purchase from rarely,” Lacy added. “The principal competitors — Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy — all have shoppers in their stores with more frequency.” Sears’ competitors are more “top of mind” with many consumers in the U.S. today, he said. Each Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy reported same-store sales gains — a closely watched measure of a retailer’s health — during their latest fiscal quarters. Investments in their stores and websites are paying off and clearly still driving traffic. Sears, by contrast, has seen its sales steadily decline. It went 42 quarters with only one three-month period of gains in same-store sales. Its last profitable year was in 2010. In the midst of its bankruptcy proceedings, it lost $318 million during the November-December holiday season, according to SEC filings, though some of that was because of bankruptcy costs.

At the Sears Home & Life store, customers can browse leading appliance brands, including Kenmore, and assorted smart home products in kitchen vignettes. Source: Sears

Lessons from the past

Notably missing from the Sears Home & Life store in Overland Park is apparel, something Sears and Kmart locations have carried for decades. (Clothing and accessories can still be ordered at the store using the Search Bar.) Boutros said Sears — with Home & Life — really has to “lean into what we are known for,” which is its DieHard tool brand, Kenmore washers and dryers, and overall expertise in installing bulky appliances. “We’re not trying to create new categories,” he said. “We’re not trying to create something we’re not.” Of course, just because Sears is putting money into its Home & Life concept doesn’t mean it will work. Sears less than a year ago devoted resources toward completely renovating a store at Oakbrook Center in Illinois. It trimmed the size of the store, added more modern fixtures and mixed up the merchandise. But seven months after the renovations were complete, the store shut in April. Transform Holdco said it opted not to acquire the lease of the Oakbrook store because the location wasn’t making money.

Major appliances including Kenmore and other leading appliance brands, displayed in kitchen vignettes at the new Sears Home & Life store. Source: Sears


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-24  Authors: lauren thomas, steve odland, erik lundh
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stores, small, pins, selling, future, life, store, park, looks, brands, kenmore, source, mattresses, overland, heres, sears, appliances


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Huawei says its own operating system could be ready this year if it can’t use Google or Microsoft

Huawei could have its own operating system for smartphones and laptops ready for use in China by fall this year, the head of the company’s consumer division told CNBC. That meant Huawei would no longer be able to license the version of Google’s Android operating system that’s complete with all of the U.S. firm’s services. Huawei has said in the past that it has its own operating system waiting in the wings if it were to be permanently blocked from Google and Microsoft software. However, Yu said


Huawei could have its own operating system for smartphones and laptops ready for use in China by fall this year, the head of the company’s consumer division told CNBC. That meant Huawei would no longer be able to license the version of Google’s Android operating system that’s complete with all of the U.S. firm’s services. Huawei has said in the past that it has its own operating system waiting in the wings if it were to be permanently blocked from Google and Microsoft software. However, Yu said
Huawei says its own operating system could be ready this year if it can’t use Google or Microsoft Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-23  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, store, ready, google, huawei, told, cant, apps, yu, huaweis, operating, system, app, microsoft


Huawei says its own operating system could be ready this year if it can't use Google or Microsoft

Huawei could have its own operating system for smartphones and laptops ready for use in China by fall this year, the head of the company’s consumer division told CNBC. Still, he stressed that would only happen if the company were completely stopped from using Google’s and Microsoft’s software. The Chinese technology giant was placed on a U.S. blacklist that required American firms to get permission from the government before selling anything to Huawei. That meant Huawei would no longer be able to license the version of Google’s Android operating system that’s complete with all of the U.S. firm’s services. However, Washington granted a temporary 90-day reprieve for Huawei, which will allow it to continue using American technology — for now.

Huawei has said in the past that it has its own operating system waiting in the wings if it were to be permanently blocked from Google and Microsoft software. Now, one of the company’s top executives has told CNBC that the operating system could be ready by the fourth quarter of this year, with a version for its markets outside of China available in either the first or second quarter of 2020. “Today, Huawei, we are still committed to Microsoft Windows and Google Android. But if we cannot use that, Huawei will prepare the plan B to use our own OS,” Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, told CNBC on Thursday. If Huawei isn’t allowed to use Android, it could be damaging because the phones won’t have the Google Play Store where consumers can download apps. Instead, users would need to find other ways to install their favorite applications.

However, Yu said Huawei’s own app store, known as the App Gallery, would be available on its own operating system. The App Gallery is installed on Huawei’s devices currently, but Google’s Play Store is often the default app store for consumers. The Huawei executive stressed that Huawei’s own operating system would only be rolled out if the company were permanently blocked from using Google or Microsoft products. “We don’t want to do this but we will forced to do that because of the U.S. government. I think the U.S., this kind of thing, will also not only be bad news for us, but also bad news for the U.S. companies because we support the U.S. business, so we will be forced to do this on our own,” Yu said. “We don’t want to do this but we have no other solution, no other choice.”

Challenges

There are several challenges that could face Hauwei’s own operating system. Firstly, Huawei will need to make its own software have a user experience that can match Google and have the “versatility of collection of apps,” according to Neil Shah, a research director, at Counterpoint Research. Secondly, making apps secure will be key. “Ensuring security of apps is paramount which involves scanning and certification of apps for the store which is a humongous task and could be challenging and resource intensive. The last thing Huawei would want is privacy or security issues plaguing the offering,” Shah told CNBC.

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-23  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, store, ready, google, huawei, told, cant, apps, yu, huaweis, operating, system, app, microsoft


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A growing number of Chinese consumers are switching from Apple’s iPhone, paper says

Customers look at products in an Apple store in Beijing on December 11, 2018. Huawei is winning over more and more Apple fans in China as the escalated trade tensions have stoked “nationalist sentiment,” according to the South China Morning Post. China’s consumers are increasingly favoring their domestic brands after the U.S. stepped up its action against Huawei, the paper said. The article cited a few anecdotes where people switched to Huawei smartphones from their beloved iPhones to show their


Customers look at products in an Apple store in Beijing on December 11, 2018. Huawei is winning over more and more Apple fans in China as the escalated trade tensions have stoked “nationalist sentiment,” according to the South China Morning Post. China’s consumers are increasingly favoring their domestic brands after the U.S. stepped up its action against Huawei, the paper said. The article cited a few anecdotes where people switched to Huawei smartphones from their beloved iPhones to show their
A growing number of Chinese consumers are switching from Apple’s iPhone, paper says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-23  Authors: yun li
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, support, trade, tensions, chinese, store, brands, paper, consumers, number, switched, iphone, switching, winning, apples, growing, huawei, apple, china


A growing number of Chinese consumers are switching from Apple's iPhone, paper says

Customers look at products in an Apple store in Beijing on December 11, 2018.

Huawei is winning over more and more Apple fans in China as the escalated trade tensions have stoked “nationalist sentiment,” according to the South China Morning Post.

China’s consumers are increasingly favoring their domestic brands after the U.S. stepped up its action against Huawei, the paper said. The article cited a few anecdotes where people switched to Huawei smartphones from their beloved iPhones to show their support for the country and Chinese brands.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-23  Authors: yun li
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, support, trade, tensions, chinese, store, brands, paper, consumers, number, switched, iphone, switching, winning, apples, growing, huawei, apple, china


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Latest retail results show department stores need more than touch-ups. They need reinvention

A shopper checks on merchandise at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski | ReutersFor department stores, there may be no time left for subtlety. A slew of retail earnings the past two weeks makes clear that while Americans continue to shop, they increasingly aren’t ringing registers at department stores. Department stores also can’t turn to the retail trick of selling more groceries to bring in shoppers. With these restrictions, department stores have s


A shopper checks on merchandise at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski | ReutersFor department stores, there may be no time left for subtlety. A slew of retail earnings the past two weeks makes clear that while Americans continue to shop, they increasingly aren’t ringing registers at department stores. Department stores also can’t turn to the retail trick of selling more groceries to bring in shoppers. With these restrictions, department stores have s
Latest retail results show department stores need more than touch-ups. They need reinvention Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: lauren hirsch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, reinvention, shoppers, target, kohls, walmart, department, sales, online, retail, store, touchups, results, need, stores, brands, latest


Latest retail results show department stores need more than touch-ups. They need reinvention

A shopper checks on merchandise at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski | Reuters

For department stores, there may be no time left for subtlety. It is time for reinvention. A slew of retail earnings the past two weeks makes clear that while Americans continue to shop, they increasingly aren’t ringing registers at department stores. J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and Nordstrom all turned in disappointing first-quarter results — despite strong earnings at Walmart and Target. Sales at Kohl’s stores open for at least 12 months fell 3.4%, far steeper than the 0.2% drop analysts were expecting — its first same-store sales miss in two years. Penney’s same-store sales dropped 5.5%, worse than an expected drop of 4.2%. Nordstrom pulled back on promotions to boost profits, and it backfired. Sales dropped and it slashed its profit expectations for the full year. While each department store chain faces its own set of obstacles, all share in common a large store-base that is a burden as shopper foot traffic falls. These brands have declining clout amid the rise of online brands like apparel retailers Reformation and Untuckit. All have made varying degrees of touch-ups and improvements over the past few years, but none have evolved as completely as retailers like Walmart and Target. Walmart paid $3 billion to buy internet retailer Jet.com, through which its built up a coterie of online brands like Bonobos and ModCloth. It’s adding veterinary clinics to its stores and now runs an online pet pharmacy. The retailer also reshaped its geographic hold, making a multibillion dollar bet in India as it looks to move away from England. It’s made investments in same-day delivery in the U.S., and transformed some of its stores into distribution centers. Target, meantime, has turned from discount store into a chic, one-stop destination. It is remodeling its stores to make the apparel section look like a boutique, its make-up section like Sephora and its grocery sections more modern. But whether it be loyalty to brand, fear of losing shoppers or simply business constraints — U.S. department stores today remain what they were a decade ago.

Location, location, location

Department stores are, in part, restricted by geography. Many, aside from Kohl’s, are still located at the mall, even as traffic there declines. That’s in contrast to retailers like Target and Walmart, which are rarely located at malls. That means it’s harder for department stores to transform their e-commerce business through initiatives like “click and collect,” where shoppers have all the convenience of selecting items online and the instant gratification of picking up their items quickly at the store. This option has been a boost to both Walmart and Target’s businesses, but it is less convenient when shoppers need to go to the mall to fetch their purchases. Target’s e-commerce sales this quarter surged 42%, largely due to its curbside pickup service for online orders.

Product mix

The products department stores sell also impact how the businesses perform. Whereas Macy’s, Kohl’s and Nordstrom find themselves somewhere between discount and ultra high-end, Target and Walmart can cater directly to bargain shoppers, without worrying about hurting the image of the higher-end brands sold in their stores. Department stores also can’t turn to the retail trick of selling more groceries to bring in shoppers. Soda would look awkward next to a rack of clothes. Grocery sales and store-branded products have helped propel Walmart’s growth. Profit from Walmart’s store-label grocery brands helped drive its fiscal first-quarter earnings, which topped analysts’ expectations, executives said earlier this month. With these restrictions, department stores have still tried to evolve, in a tempered way. Macy’s introduced rotating marketplaces for popular brands and mobile checkout. Kohl’s is partnering with Amazon for returns and adding partners like Aldi’s and Planet Fitness to its downsized stores, with the hope it will drive foot traffic. But, for the large part, those changes haven’t addressed the fundamental weaknesses department stores are facing, in the same way Target and Walmart have been able to rebuild their business. Even as Macy’s says it plans to start downsizing some of its larger locations, it still has one of the country’s largest fleet of stores, which act as a drag on its earnings as sales stall. Together with the Bloomingdale’s brand it owns, it has 680 department stores across the U.S. Penney’s, which aborted attempts to sell appliances earlier this year, said it was was focused on improving fundamentals like merchandise assortment, but provided “little guidance as it fully develops its turnaround strategy,” wrote Telsey Advisory Group CEO Dana Telsey Wednesday.

True transformation


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: lauren hirsch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, reinvention, shoppers, target, kohls, walmart, department, sales, online, retail, store, touchups, results, need, stores, brands, latest


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Retailers to take a hit: Trade war could cause ‘widespread store closures’

Another potential round of tariffs in a tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China could have an unintended consequences: massive store closures. “The market is not realizing how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole said in a research note. “We think potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures


Another potential round of tariffs in a tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China could have an unintended consequences: massive store closures. “The market is not realizing how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole said in a research note. “We think potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures
Retailers to take a hit: Trade war could cause ‘widespread store closures’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, war, trump, struggling, 25, trade, list, cause, goods, hit, tariffs, retailers, closures, store, chinese, widespread


Retailers to take a hit: Trade war could cause 'widespread store closures'

Another potential round of tariffs in a tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China could have an unintended consequences: massive store closures.

The White House on Monday evening released a fresh list for about $300 billion in Chinese goods that President Donald Trump has said he’s contemplating hitting with tariffs as high as 25%. The list includes everything from clothing and sneakers to sporting goods and other accessories, often found at the mall.

“The market is not realizing how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole said in a research note. “We think potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility.”

Just last week, the Trump administration raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. But retailers, for the most part, were unscathed, with many of the items impacted by that hike hurting agricultural workers. Furniture, handbags and some consumer electronics were on that list, but not apparel and shoes.

Then, China retaliated on Monday by raising tariffs on about $60 billion of U.S. goods.

And now the Trump administration has proposed a new list that targets items like performance wear, windbreakers, headbands, gloves, bathing suits and ski suits.

UBS said it was already calling for nearly 21,000 stores to close by 2026 in the U.S. But now, it said a new round of tariffs could cause more than 50% of those closures to happen within the course of one year, rather than four, as it was estimating. And this is only looking a publicly traded retailers, Sole said. “We continue to think the apparel and footwear consumer’s willingness to spend remains tepid at best.”

Many retailers — and specifically those that sell clothing — have already been struggling, without the threat of tariffs hanging over them. Companies like Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Gymboree, Chico’s, Payless Shoesource and Charlotte Russe have been shutting stores, struggling to find ways to differentiate themselves from popular fast-fashion brands like Zara, and up-start brands like Everlane, Rockets of Awesome and ThirdLove.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, war, trump, struggling, 25, trade, list, cause, goods, hit, tariffs, retailers, closures, store, chinese, widespread


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Why every US company has a stake in Bed Bath & Beyond’s heated boardroom war

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond have declined from near-$80 in 2015 to as low as $10 earlier this year. A spokesman for the investors said they have a long track record of promoting diverse candidates. “Bed Bath, that board has had the same people for a long time.” There have been more retail store closures already in 2019 than in all of last year. In 2017 a record was set for store closures, but that record is expected to be eclipsed this year.


Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond have declined from near-$80 in 2015 to as low as $10 earlier this year. A spokesman for the investors said they have a long track record of promoting diverse candidates. “Bed Bath, that board has had the same people for a long time.” There have been more retail store closures already in 2019 than in all of last year. In 2017 a record was set for store closures, but that record is expected to be eclipsed this year.
Why every US company has a stake in Bed Bath & Beyond’s heated boardroom war Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-09  Authors: noah higgins-dunn, michael nagle, bloomberg, getty images, shironosov, reuters karen pulfer focht, -stephanie creary, assistant professor at the wharton school of busin
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, board, stake, low, track, record, war, company, bed, store, promoting, heated, boardroom, retail, beyonds, stock, bath, activist


Why every US company has a stake in Bed Bath & Beyond's heated boardroom war

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond have declined from near-$80 in 2015 to as low as $10 earlier this year. The stock has traded between $15 and $16 in recent days and is up strongly off its 2019 low as a result of the activist pressure. But it remains a battleground stock, and the battle is not just about the future of retail in the Amazon era, but the future of board composition across corporations.

Bed Bath said in a statement at the time of the board changes announced in April that the new appointees are “leaders in the fields of global retail, merchandising, technology, logistics, finance and governance” and have held senior positions in companies such as Amazon, Avon Products and Family Dollar Stores.

The activist investor group has offered 16 candidates they believe should replace the current board, including former executives from Macy’s, Guess, Pier 1 Imports and Gap. Almost all of them have retail experience focused in operations, ecommerce, marketing, private labels and corporate turnarounds. None of them, however, are people of color, while five of them are women. A spokesman for the investors said they have a long track record of promoting diverse candidates. He cited an article about the overall poor track record of activist hedge funds when it comes to promoting diversity on the board — his investors, according to the data, look good, but only in comparison to hedge funds making little to no effort.

“The boards don’t run the company, but if they’re not pushing the company toward the right direction and to try new things, then that’s the issue,” said Bobbie Lenga, who leads the global retail practice for Russell Reynolds Associates, an executive search and management consulting firm. “Bed Bath, that board has had the same people for a long time.”

The assumed role of a board of directors has been changing from primarily a defender of shareholder interests to a body that gives active input on competitive landscapes, especially in the battered retail sector. There have been more retail store closures already in 2019 than in all of last year. In 2017 a record was set for store closures, but that record is expected to be eclipsed this year.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-09  Authors: noah higgins-dunn, michael nagle, bloomberg, getty images, shironosov, reuters karen pulfer focht, -stephanie creary, assistant professor at the wharton school of busin
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, board, stake, low, track, record, war, company, bed, store, promoting, heated, boardroom, retail, beyonds, stock, bath, activist


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Amazon Go opens for the first time in New York. And the cashier-free store will accept cash

Amazon is finally bringing its cashier-less convenience store to New York. And it will also mark the first time this type of store, called Amazon Go, accepts cash. Amazon, having faced backlash from people who say its cashier-free stores are discriminatory toward the unbanked, is also now starting to accept cash in this New York location. It’s been reported that Amazon is considering opening up as many as 3,000 of its cashier-free stores by 2021. Amazon did not comment on when its other location


Amazon is finally bringing its cashier-less convenience store to New York. And it will also mark the first time this type of store, called Amazon Go, accepts cash. Amazon, having faced backlash from people who say its cashier-free stores are discriminatory toward the unbanked, is also now starting to accept cash in this New York location. It’s been reported that Amazon is considering opening up as many as 3,000 of its cashier-free stores by 2021. Amazon did not comment on when its other location
Amazon Go opens for the first time in New York. And the cashier-free store will accept cash Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-07  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, open, accept, cashierfree, cash, place, york, opening, stores, amazon, store, shoppers, opens, san


Amazon Go opens for the first time in New York. And the cashier-free store will accept cash

Amazon is finally bringing its cashier-less convenience store to New York. And it will also mark the first time this type of store, called Amazon Go, accepts cash.

The e-commerce company announced Tuesday that Amazon Go is opening to the public this week at Brookfield Place in downtown New York, on the second level of the enclosed shopping mall. The roughly 1,300-square-foot store makes this the twelfth Amazon Go location to open in the U.S. It is, however, the first one to make it to New York, with most of the others blanketing the West Coast, including in Seattle and San Francisco.

Amazon, having faced backlash from people who say its cashier-free stores are discriminatory toward the unbanked, is also now starting to accept cash in this New York location. While there still won’t be cash registers in the store, shoppers will have the option to use paper money or coins by having a store employee come to them with a mobile device to help them check out and pay, the company said. Otherwise, Amazon Go shoppers are able to simply walk in and out of the store’s turnstiles, scanning the Amazon app, to purchase items.

As catering to those people who don’t have credit cards or bank accounts has become a bigger topic for debate, Philadelphia was the first city to ban cashless stores earlier this year. New Jersey then passed a state-wide ban. And similar laws are still being looked at for New York and San Francisco.

The new store in New York, like the other Amazon Go locations, will offer grab-and-go food options for meals throughout the day, Amazon said, catering to people in a hurry. It also will sell Amazon’s own meal kits.

Brookfield Place in New York is notably surrounded by office space, sitting right next to the World Trade Center in Manhattan. It tends to draw in a huge lunch crowd for its high-end food hall that includes a French-inspired grocery store. There’s also an Equinox gym, and a slew of online retailers including Untuckit, Rhone and b&ta have opened up stores there. The Saks Fifth Avenue women’s shop recently closed at Brookfield Place, to be replaced by a co-working complex.

It’s been reported that Amazon is considering opening up as many as 3,000 of its cashier-free stores by 2021.

Amazon did not comment on when its other locations already open will start accepting cash, if at all.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-07  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, open, accept, cashierfree, cash, place, york, opening, stores, amazon, store, shoppers, opens, san


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Walmart is testing ways to trim the size of its store management staff

An employee welcomes customers at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location in Burbank, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Walmart is testing out a new employee structure within its stores in an attempt to cut down the size of its store management staff. Walmart will have its workers, ranked assistant store managers and department managers apply the positions, which are structured as management teams. Current managers also need to apply for new roles such as business leads, team leads and acade


An employee welcomes customers at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location in Burbank, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Walmart is testing out a new employee structure within its stores in an attempt to cut down the size of its store management staff. Walmart will have its workers, ranked assistant store managers and department managers apply the positions, which are structured as management teams. Current managers also need to apply for new roles such as business leads, team leads and acade
Walmart is testing ways to trim the size of its store management staff Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: nadine el-bawab, lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, walmart, size, team, ways, stores, testing, trim, workers, leads, management, managers, business, staff, structure, store, labor


Walmart is testing ways to trim the size of its store management staff

An employee welcomes customers at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location in Burbank, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.

Walmart is testing out a new employee structure within its stores in an attempt to cut down the size of its store management staff.

The nation’s biggest employer is looking to see if it can have fewer mid-level store managers overseeing workers, with these managers seeing both their responsibilities and their pay increase.

Walmart has been trying to trim its labor costs, but still needs to retain workers and attract talent in a tight labor market.

The new structure is already in place at 75 of its stores, and will be expanding to departments across 50 other supercenter locations over the next month.

Walmart will have its workers, ranked assistant store managers and department managers apply the positions, which are structured as management teams. Current managers also need to apply for new roles such as business leads, team leads and academy trainers. And the new plan will provide lower-ranking staffers with training, additional support from their managers and better recognition for good work.

Store managers will remain on the top of the structure, with newly created “business leads” ranked under them and “team leads” next in the hierarchy. Business lead salaries will be 10% higher than what assistant store managers currently make and team leads will receive a starting salary of $18 an hour.

These changes come after Walmart has endured decades of criticism from labor rights activists and lawsuits tied to its treatment of workers.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: nadine el-bawab, lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, walmart, size, team, ways, stores, testing, trim, workers, leads, management, managers, business, staff, structure, store, labor


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Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s opens UK’s first checkout-free store

All customers at the Sainsbury’s convenience store, in Holborn Circus, London, will scan and pay for their shopping using an app that they download to their smartphone. U.S. tech giant Amazon, for example, has opened a number of checkout-free Amazon Go stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco. Customers use their Amazon Go app to enter the store, where technology detects when items are taken off the shelves and put in a “virtual cart.” Once they are done shopping, customers walk out of the s


All customers at the Sainsbury’s convenience store, in Holborn Circus, London, will scan and pay for their shopping using an app that they download to their smartphone. U.S. tech giant Amazon, for example, has opened a number of checkout-free Amazon Go stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco. Customers use their Amazon Go app to enter the store, where technology detects when items are taken off the shelves and put in a “virtual cart.” Once they are done shopping, customers walk out of the s
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s opens UK’s first checkout-free store Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: anmar frangoul
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, customers, uks, store, pay, cash, amazon, sainsburys, checkoutfree, supermarket, giant, app, spokesperson, opens, scan, technology


Supermarket giant Sainsbury's opens UK's first checkout-free store

One of the U.K.’s biggest supermarkets has opened a till-free store. All customers at the Sainsbury’s convenience store, in Holborn Circus, London, will scan and pay for their shopping using an app that they download to their smartphone.

As shoppers walk around the store, they will scan the items they wish to buy, pay using an app and then scan a QR code to confirm they have paid.

The store has been remodeled for the new technology, with its checkout area and tills removed. The pilot will last for three months, Sainsbury’s said Monday.

A helpdesk has been installed to support shoppers who want to pay with cash or cards. Sainsbury’s said that 82% of transactions at the shop were cashless.

“This is an experiment rather than a new format for us – it hasn’t been done in the U.K. before and we’re really excited to understand how our customers respond to the app experience,” Clodagh Moriarty, chief digital officer at the Sainsbury’s Group, said in a statement.

“We’ll be with our customers and colleagues all the way over the coming months, iterating continuously based on their feedback before we decide if, how and where we make this experience more widely available,” Moriarty added.

A number of businesses are introducing technology that could transform the way people shop in stores. U.S. tech giant Amazon, for example, has opened a number of checkout-free Amazon Go stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco.

Customers use their Amazon Go app to enter the store, where technology detects when items are taken off the shelves and put in a “virtual cart.” Once they are done shopping, customers walk out of the store, with a charge made to their Amazon account soon after.

Earlier this month, however, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNBC via email that the company was planning to accept cash at its Go stores.

The spokesperson described the process as “you’ll check out, pay with cash, and then get your change.”

“We are working to accept cash at Amazon Go,” the spokesperson added.

CNBC’s Eugene Kim contributed to this report


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: anmar frangoul
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, customers, uks, store, pay, cash, amazon, sainsburys, checkoutfree, supermarket, giant, app, spokesperson, opens, scan, technology


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Apple defends itself against claims of anti-competitive practices

Apple said Sunday that it removed several parental control apps from its App Store platform because they put user privacy and security at risk. The statement was made in response to a New York Times story that suggested Apple had pulled the apps for anti-competitive reasons. Using MDM to track and limit phone use isn’t the intended purpose of MDM, Apple says. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said earlier this year that the fact that some apps Apple develops competes with developers on the


Apple said Sunday that it removed several parental control apps from its App Store platform because they put user privacy and security at risk. The statement was made in response to a New York Times story that suggested Apple had pulled the apps for anti-competitive reasons. Using MDM to track and limit phone use isn’t the intended purpose of MDM, Apple says. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said earlier this year that the fact that some apps Apple develops competes with developers on the
Apple defends itself against claims of anti-competitive practices Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-29  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, control, apple, mdm, anticompetitive, practices, app, claims, store, times, intended, removed, apps, defends


Apple defends itself against claims of anti-competitive practices

Apple chief design officer Jony Ive (L) and Apple CEO Tim Cook inspect the new iPhone XR during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California.

Apple said Sunday that it removed several parental control apps from its App Store platform because they put user privacy and security at risk.

The removed apps, according to Apple, were abusing a kind of technology intended for company-owned work phones called Mobile Device Management (MDM), which can give an app developer access to information including user location, browsing history, and what photos and videos have been taken with the camera.

The statement was made in response to a New York Times story that suggested Apple had pulled the apps for anti-competitive reasons.

The response, published on Apple’s website, is another example of how the company is walking a tightrope given its control of the App Store and its safety and security priorities along with new accusations from politicians and rivals that Apple uses its power over the software distribution platform to favor its own apps.

Apple said in its statement that it “is incredibly risky—and a clear violation of App Store policies—for a private, consumer-focused app business to install MDM control over a customer’s device.”

Most of the apps highlighted by the Times report enabled parents to limit the amount of the time they and their children spent on their iPhones and Android devices, and two developers have filed a complaint with the European Union’s competition office.

Apple continued: “Contrary to what The New York Times reported over the weekend, this isn’t a matter of competition. It’s a matter of security.”

One of Apple’s App Store guidelines says that “Apps should use APIs and frameworks for their intended purposes and indicate that integration in their app description.” Using MDM to track and limit phone use isn’t the intended purpose of MDM, Apple says.

Apple released software in 2018 called Screen Time that enables users to track which apps they use the most and restrict access to distracting apps. It’s installed by default on iPhones. “I think it has become clear to all of us that some of us are spending too much time on our devices,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said last summer.

In the weeks after Screen Time was released, 11 of the 17 most-downloaded screen-time and parental control apps were removed and restricted, according to the Times.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said earlier this year that the fact that some apps Apple develops competes with developers on the App Store is possibly anti-competitive. Spotify, which competes with Apple Music, has also accused Apple of anti-competitive practices.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-29  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, control, apple, mdm, anticompetitive, practices, app, claims, store, times, intended, removed, apps, defends


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