July 30, 2014

Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had been pressuring Family Dollar to sell the company, has reduced his ownership stake in the company from 9.39% to 6.09%.

Matthews, N.C. – Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had been pressuring Family Dollar to sell the company, has reduced his ownership stake in the company from 9.39% to 6.09%.

July 30, 2014

Amazon.com is making a serious bid to control the Indian e-commerce market with a planned $2 billion investment in its Indian operation.

Seattle – Amazon.com is making a serious bid to control the Indian e-commerce market with a planned $2 billion investment in its Indian operation. In a statement emailed to major U.S. media outlets, Amazon said it sees “huge potential” in India’s economy and e-commerce market.

July 30, 2014

Amazon.com and Blackhawk Network Inc., a prepaid and payments network, have teamed up to bring customers a new way to manage and spend their gift cards.

Seattle – Amazon.com and Blackhawk Network Inc., a prepaid and payments network, have teamed up to bring customers a new way to manage and spend their gift cards. Using the new Amazon Wallet app, customers can more easily store, redeem and check the balance of gift cards from dozens of major retailers and restaurants.

July 30, 2014

PayPal is rebranding its Bill Me Later online credit service as PayPal Credit.

San Jose, Calif. – PayPal is rebranding its Bill Me Later online credit service as PayPal Credit. PayPal says it is making the name change as it moves credit more towards the center of our business, aligning it more closely with the overall brand.

In addition, PayPal plans to introduce PayPal Credit to the U.K. and Germany, based on requests from customers and retailers. The company also plans to expand PayPal Credit to other markets in the future.

July 30, 2014

CBRE Group, Inc. announced that Geoffrey Harris has joined the firm’s Capital Markets’ Debt and Structured Finance team as senior VP.

Phoenix — CBRE Group, Inc. announced that Geoffrey Harris has joined the firm’s Capital Markets’ Debt and Structured Finance team as senior VP.

Based in Phoenix, Harris will play a key role in originating net-leased transactions for the firm nationally, in the multi and single-tenant, office, retail and industrial properties space.

Harris joins CBRE from Meridian Capital where he was managing director. He previously served as VP of Capital Markets at Marcus & Millichap.

July 30, 2014

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. will acquire 55 Super Pantry convenience stores and related assets from Tri Star Marketing Inc.

Laval, Canada - Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. will acquire 55 Super Pantry convenience stores and related assets from Tri Star Marketing Inc. Fifty-one of the stores are located in the state of Illinois ,and four stores located in the state of Indiana. These stores offer Phillips 66 and Mobil branded motor fuel.

July 30, 2014

Parents and their children in grades K-12 will spend a combined $543 on back-to-school items, and double that, at $1,223, on college spending.

New York -- Parents and their children in grades K-12 will spend a combined $543 on back-to-school items, and double that, at $1,223, on college spending. According to new survey data from Deloitte, parents alone expect to spend 13% less than in 2013.

July 30, 2014

RKF has arranged a 1,900-sq.-ft. lease with high-end bedding retailer Duxiana at 9 West 20th Street in the Flatiron District.

New York — RKF has arranged a 1,900-sq.-ft. lease with high-end bedding retailer Duxiana at 9 West 20th Street in the Flatiron District. Located on the north block between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, this will become Sweden-based Duxiana’s third Manhattan location, and marks the brand’s return to the Flatiron District after a previous relocation.

July 30, 2014

Expenses associated with the development of its e-commerce platform helped drive net income at Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. down 59% to $2.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, from $6.1 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

El Segundo, Calif. – Expenses associated with the development of its e-commerce platform helped drive net income at Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. down 59% to $2.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, from $6.1 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

For the fiscal 2014 full year, Big 5 currently anticipates opening approximately 12 net new stores

July 30, 2014

First Data has taken a key step toward expanding its payment services by acquiring Gyft Inc., the Silicon Valley-based company that entered the $100 billion gift card market in 2012 and pioneered the concept of a mobile wallet for gift cards.

Atlanta -- First Data has taken a key step toward expanding its payment services by acquiring Gyft Inc., the Silicon Valley-based company that entered the $100 billion gift card market in 2012 and pioneered the concept of a mobile wallet for gift cards.

July 30, 2014

FTD Companies Inc. will acquire the Provide Commerce floral and gifting business from Liberty Interactive Corp. for $430 million in cash and stock.

Downers Grove, Ill. -- FTD Companies Inc. will acquire the Provide Commerce floral and gifting business from Liberty Interactive Corp. for $430 million in cash and stock. Both companies have annual revenues of more than $600 million.

July 30, 2014

In the early days of e-commerce, internet shopping was supposed to spell the demise of the physical store. Pure play online retailers would sweep all before them, rendering the retail store a historical curiosity.

By Dave Richards, Accenture

July 30, 2014

Indian e-commerce platform Flipkart has received about $1 billion in funding from investors including existing backer Tiger Global Management, as well as new stakeholders Morgan Stanley and Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC.

Bangalore, India – Indian e-commerce platform Flipkart has received about $1 billion in funding from investors including existing backer Tiger Global Management, as well as new stakeholders Morgan Stanley and Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC. Flipkart operates as an online marketplace for 3,000 individual merchants, similar to China’s Alibaba.com.

July 30, 2014

The Kroger Co. Cincinnati/Dayton Division associates working at Kroger stores in metro and surrounding areas have ratified a new labor agreement with UFCW Local 75.

Cincinnati - The Kroger Co. Cincinnati/Dayton Division associates working at Kroger stores in metro and surrounding areas have ratified a new labor agreement with UFCW Local 75. It merges the formerly separate Cincinnati and Dayton contracts.

The contract covers 12,766 associates working in 76 stores in Cincinnati, and 4,945 associates working in 32 stores in Dayton.

July 30, 2014

For much of the last year, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have been mired in a slump. Not only was last holiday season the toughest in several years, the consumer discretionary sector, which includes retail, was the only one of the 10 macro S&P sectors to be in the red for the first half of 2014. As a result, retail is widely perceived to be in a funk.

By Bill Davis, Director, MB&G Consulting

For much of the last year, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have been mired in a slump. Not only was last holiday season the toughest in several years, the consumer discretionary sector, which includes retail, was the only one of the 10 macro S&P sectors to be in the red for the first half of 2014. As a result, retail is widely perceived to be in a funk.

July 30, 2014

Nordstrom has announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at the Empire Outlets in Staten Island.

New York — Nordstrom has announced plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at the Empire Outlets in Staten Island. The 34,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2016. The property is being developed by BFC Partners.

July 30, 2014

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has named Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. and Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.as NRF’s Legislators of the Year.

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) has named Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. and Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.as NRF’s Legislators of the Year. The awards presentation was made during the Retail Advocates Summit, NRF’s annual congressional fly-in.

July 30, 2014

AVI Foodsystems and Cafaro Co. have teamed to bring Bob Evans Farms into the mall food court environment.

Youngstown, Ohio — AVI Foodsystems and Cafaro Co. have teamed to bring Bob Evans Farms into the mall food court environment.

Warren, Ohio-based AVI collaborated with Bob Evans Farms to introduce Bob Evans Express, which scales down the traditional Bob Evans restaurant into a concept that works in venues such as workplace cafes, airports, travel plazas and universities.

July 30, 2014

Net income at Destination Maternity Corp. fell 36% to $5.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 from $8.6 million a year earlier.

Philadelphia – Net income at Destination Maternity Corp. fell 36% to $5.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 from $8.6 million a year earlier. Expenses related to the planned relocation of Destination Maternity’s corporate headquarters and distribution facilities, as well as costs related to its proposed and withdrawn merger with Mothercare plc, drove the reduction in net income.

July 30, 2014

RadioShack is opening 21 new interactive remodel stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Fort Worth, Texas -- RadioShack is opening 21 new interactive remodel stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. RadioShack began remodeling and opening highly experiential concept stores across the country in July 2013, and has refreshed its more than 4,000 U.S. company-owned stores.

July 30, 2014

J. Crew was ranked number one for overall online customer service in June 2014.

New York – J. Crew was ranked number one for overall online customer service in June 2014. According to monthly benchmark analysis from customer service analysis provider StellaService, J. Crew ranked first in phone support, 10th in email support and 12th in returns.

J. Crew last topped the rankings in January, but is one of only six companies to remain within the top 25 since that beginning of the year.

July 30, 2014

Sixty-six percent of retailers attending the recent Big Data & Analytics for Retail Summit believe the number one way to ensure a successful holiday season is to understand customer behavior to drive sales and build loyalty.

Santa Cruz, Calif. - Sixty-six percent of retailers attending the recent Big Data & Analytics for Retail Summit believe the number one way to ensure a successful holiday season is to understand customer behavior to drive sales and build loyalty. Moreover, data from business analytics provider Looker shows that four-in-10 retailers feel they are still ineffective when it comes to using data to improve business performance.

July 30, 2014

Twitter reported a net loss of $144.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, up from $42.2 million in the same period a year earlier.

San Francisco – Twitter reported a net loss of $144.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, up from $42.2 million in the same period a year earlier. Stock compensation drove the increase in net loss.

Revenue more than doubled to $312.17 million from $139.29 million. In Twitter-specific metrics, average monthly users grew 24% to 271 million. Seventy-eight percent those users were mobile, a 29% increase from the same period a year earlier.

July 30, 2014

Ulta Beauty, in partnership with Thanx Media has implemented Oracle Endeca Site Search and Experience Manager solutions.

Chicago – Ulta Beauty, in partnership with Thanx Media has implemented Oracle Endeca Site Search and Experience Manager solutions. Oracle Endeca has replaced a third-party search solution, now tightly integrating the browse and search navigation.

July 30, 2014

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. plans to open 10 new stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

Rochester, N.Y. – Wegmans Food Markets Inc. plans to open 10 new stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. The stores include one in Maryland, two in Massachusetts, two in New Jersey, one in Pennsylvania, and four in Virginia.