Gloomy outlook for clothing retailers on both sides of the Atlantic. US apparel group Ascena has decided to shut down its Dressbarn business, and Britain's Marks & Spencer aims to close 100 stores by next year. Meanwhile, over 100 shoemakers are urging President Trump to stop rising tariffs on footwear imported from China. Stay informed!




Tuesday, 21 May 2019





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Gloomy outlook for clothing retailers on both sides of the Atlantic. US apparel group Ascena has decided to shut down its Dressbarn business, and Britain's Marks & Spencer aims to close 100 stores by next year. Meanwhile, over 100 shoemakers are urging President Trump to stop rising tariffs on footwear imported from China. Stay informed!




Europe & Middle East


Alliances in Spain ▪ Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne, the new owner of retailer Dia, could reach an agreement with the principal creditor to save the embattled chain. Meanwhile, consumer electronics chain MediaMarkt, owned by Germany's Ceconomy, is teaming up with eBay to create an online appearance for its stores in Spain (in Spanish).



High street blues ▪ Marks and Spencer will accelerate its store closure programme and shut down 100 outlets by the end of next year. The struggling UK retailer will report full-year results this week and analysts wonder how the billion-dollar deal with online grocer Ocado, announced in February, will weigh in.



Marketplace Israel ▪ Swiss sports retailer Intersport is reportedly looking for a partner to enter Israel and has met with senior executives of real estate company Azrieli. Israeli fashion chain Castro Model is a step ahead and in talks with online powerhouse Amazon to start joint operations in the country.




US & Canada


Online teams ▪ Department store retailer Kohl's has sealed a deal with Fanatics to sell the sports marketplace's licensed gear on its e-commerce platform. Kohl's is also an Amazon partner, featuring devices of the latter in its stores. Last month, the two companies announced that their alliance would expand to 1,150 stores.



Closures ahead ▪ Ascena Retail Group will close down its women’s budget clothing business, Dressbarn, shutting about 650 stores, claiming the chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability. The retailer has posted more than USD 1 billion of losses in the past four years.



Tech acquisition ▪ Lowe's has acquired Boomerang Commerce’s retail analytics platform. The Home improvement retailer will integrate the technology into its core retail business while bolstering strategic and data-driven pricing and merchandise assortment decisions.




Asia


Indian investments ▪ Ingka Group, the franchise partner of Ikea, has bought a minority stake in Livspace, an India-based online home design start-up. Meanwhile, US-headquartered restaurant chain Taco Bell plans to expand to more than 600 stores in India and has appointed Burman Hospitality as the master franchise holder.



Partnership trouble ▪ Japanese convenience store operator Familymart wants to end a 15-year Chinese joint venture with Taiwanese food conglomerate Ting Hsin International. The former is reportedly pursuing legal action against the latter over contractual disputes.



Diverse environment ▪ Starbucks has taken its signing store concept to China (with pictures) and launched a store designed for the deaf and hearing impaired in the city of Guangzhou. The outlet features exclusive artwork and unique merchandise created by deaf artists.




What to watch


Tariff worries ▪ 170 shoe companies, including Nike and Adidas, jointly sent an open letter to US President Trump calling on him to remove footwear from the proposed next round of tariffs on Chinese exports. Worries that the two superpowers are in for a longer, costlier trade war has started to affect financial markets.



Food appeal ▪ Caring for hungry shoppers with quality food offerings will increase transactions in a shopping mall, says a report by real estate firm Jones Lang Lasalle, suggesting that customers who eat in a centre are spending up 15% more per trip. The study surveyed more than 1,500 American adults.