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Marianne Wilson



October 2019

Sometimes perception gets in the way of reality. Such is the case, I think, with the death of physical retail.


December 2020

The company that has been buying bankrupt brands has added another retailer to its growing portfolio.

Lowe’s has teamed up with the NFL to bring some holiday cheer to those who need it most.

Costco Wholesale Corp.'s sales continued to rise in November, but at a slightly lower pace than in the two previous months.

Tailored Brands is ready for its next chapter.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is escalating its rollout of VillageMD health care clinics.

At Home Group reported its highest comps and best third-quarter performance since going public in 2016 as consumers continue to spend on decorating and organizing their homes amid the pandemic.

The Aaron’s Company has begun trading as an independent company.  

The coronavirus is driving major change across retail stores and putting a new spotlight on restroom hygiene. 

Kohl’s Corp. is betting big on beauty — and Sephora.

With the pandemic surging across the country, Starbucks Corp. is recognizing the efforts of front-line responders. 

Fewer consumers went shopping during the five-day period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and those that did spent less. 

A 25-year company veteran is retiring from Foot Locker.

The news that Sephora plans to open hundreds of in-store shops at Kohl’s stores has brought a reaction from its longstanding retail partner, J.C. Penney.

November 2020

The recently retired CEO of online footwear and accessories retailer Zappos has died at 46 after sustaining injuries in a house fire.

Stonewall Kitchen has opened up shop in Boston.

The pandemic has proved no match for Tropical Smoothie Café’s expansion. 

Traffic plunged in stores on the official start of the holiday shopping season even as it set new records online.

Ascena Retail Group has entered into a deal that will greatly boost Sycamore Partners’ retail portfolio.

The formerly high-flying Arcadia Group has come back down to earth with a thud.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has named John Welling as senior VP, merchandise planning, allocation & operations, effective immediately.

Consumers across the globe joined the U.S. in Black Friday shopping.

Gap Inc. reported third-quarter earnings that just missed Wall Street expectations amid strong performances from both Old Navy and Athleta.

Customer Growth Partners has updated its holiday forecast to a 5.8% year-over-year growth, to a record $749 billion.

The retail industry ranked three overall out of 10 industries in a study of brands based on emotional connections made with customers during the pandemic.

A luxury at-home fitness company that offers a smart exercise mirror is expanding in malls across the country.

Nordstrom reported third-quarter earnings that bested analysts forecasts, helped by strong growth online.

A company veteran has taken over the reins at Victoria’s Secret. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods is going all-in on the outdoors and CEO Ed Stack is leading the charge.

Gap Inc. has made two additions to its senior team, naming its first-ever chief growth officer and a new CEO for Banana Republic.

Foot Locker is adding two new locations for its community-based “power” store format. 

Dollar Tree reported third-quarter sales and earnings that beat estimates and sounded an upbeat note about the holiday season. 

Best Buy Co. reported third-quarter profit, revenue and same-store sales that were above expectations, but sounded a warning note about the holiday season.

The country’s largest specialty kiosk retailer sees plenty of opportunities to expand — even amid the pandemic.

Abercrombie & Fitch easily topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales and earnings amid cost controls and strong online demand.

J. Crew Group has promoted a company veteran to its top post.

Lauren Hobart

The man who built Dick’s Sporting Goods into the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer is stepping down as CEO.

Most (85%) shoppers expect to shop in the period that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday. 

Woman smiling at laptop in front of Christmas tree

More consumers plan to shop online (61%) than in-store (54%) on Black Friday. The findings are part of a new survey by Deloitte, which revealed that 57% of shoppers are anxious about shopping in-store during the holiday season due to the pandemic

Guitar Center sign

Guitar Center has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to reduce its debt by $800 million. The largest seller of musical equipment in the U.S.  said it plans to keep its nearly 300 U.S.

CVS Health Corp. has named a retail and digital veteran to lead its pharmacy and retail division.

man and woman holiday shopping

The National Retail Federation issued an upbeat holiday forecast despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, citing a strong stock market, rising home values and record personal saving rates.

Walmart Health storefront

Walmart Inc. has brought its freestanding health care format to Chicago.

The Children’s Place is approaching its critical fourth quarter with caution as it deals with a range of factors, from “historically low demand” for holiday dress-up to rising COVID-19 cases to added delivery costs.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. is getting a new finance head.

The nearly 100-year-old Naturalizer brand is making a big pivot to digital.

7-Eleven has opened the fifth location of its new “evolution” store concept. 

Ugg is selling more than its iconic footwear these days.

Employers in the U.S. are focused on the impact of the presidential election and extended remote work.

Foot Locker Inc. delivered strong top- and bottom-line growth in the third quarter with profit and same-store sales blew past expectations.

Retail Ecommerce Ventures has acquired yet another iconic — and bankrupt — retail brand.

Fred Segal will offer interactive shopping and exclusive promotions through a livestream commerce network.

BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit and sales fueled by strong online growth.

When it comes to the best prices, it’s hard to beat Amazon.

Retailers are shifting their holiday hiring due to the pandemic.

Williams-Sonoma is heading into the holidays on the heels of a strong third quarter, fueled by record sales at its namesake brand and as consumers continue to spend on all things related to the home.

Macy’s Inc. reported a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss but its sales fell as spending declined on apparel and accessories amid the pandemic.

Saladworks is “laser-focused” on expanding in the California market.

Lowe’s Companies reported surging sales, including a 130% increase online, as customers continued to spend on their homes during the pandemic.

The TJX Cos. reported third-quarter sales and earnings that beat the Street and said it plans to reinstate its quarterly dividend payment.

Atlanta, Houston, and Orlando were the metropolitan areas leading the road to retail recovery in October.

Starbucks is raising the pay of its store employees in the U.S.

Dollar General is increasing its bonus payouts to frontline workers as COVID-19 cases spike nationwide. 

Americans will be more conscious of where they shop this holiday season.

Target Corp. reported a blockbuster quarter that easily outpaced Street estimates as the discounter continues to leverage and benefit from pandemic-related shopping trends.

Retail sales grew for the sixth month in a row in October, but the pace of growth slowed ahead of the presidential election, rising COVID-19 cases and the lack of a second stimulus.

Join Chain Store Age’s webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m. (EST), for a wake-up call on the changing customer experience.

Kohl’s Corp. swung to a loss in its third quarter as the pandemic continues to impact sales but the retailer still managed to top its own expectations amid online growth.

Qurate Retail Group is losing its longtime CEO. 

Best Buy is investing in clean energy.

The Home Depot reported a strong quarter as it continues to benefit from consumers’ increased spending on home improvement projects amid the pandemic.

The National Restaurant Association is defending its industry against claims that restaurants are a source of COVID-19 community spread.

Walmart Inc. reported another strong quarter as its e-commerce sales continued to soar amid the pandemic. 

Most Americans have confidence that businesses are implementing recommended cleaning protocols amid COVID-19.

Guitar Center plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the year.

Teens are not abandoning retail stores when it comes to holiday shopping.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is expanding footprint.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s plans to accelerate its omnichannel transformation doesn’t mean the home goods retailer has given up on brick-and-mortar. Far from it.

Target Corp. has rebuilt two stores in record time.

Francesca's Holdings Corp. is considering its options, including bankruptcy.

A new survey reveals that holiday shopping has gotten off to an earlier start than usual this year and that cash will definitely not be king this season.

The Home Depot will acquire HD Supply Holdings, a national distributor of maintenance, repair and operations products in the multifamily and hospitality end markets.

Dillard’s turned a profit in the third quarter as it kept a tight lid on inventory and cut expenses by $100 million.

American consumer confidence is at 52.5 for November, statistically even with October.

The ongoing pandemic will continue to boost spending on consumer packaged goods during the holidays.

Members can earn points in Claire's Stores’ new loyalty program through social engagement.  

Drug stores and supermarket pharmacies nationwide will be administering free COVID-19 vaccines when they become available.

Retailers will be under mounting pressure this holiday season to ensure deliveries arrive on time and at the correct destination as online spending continues to sure amid the pandemic.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. continues to make progress in its goal to streamline its portfolio and shed non-core businesses. 

The National Retail Federation has asked New Mexico to release information related to new restrictions placed on retailers and eateries as the state experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The year 2021 will see a strengthened recovery of all U.S. commercial real estate sectors as the broader economy bounces back from the pandemic-induced recession. 

Walmart is expanding its pet business to tap as the market for pet supplies and pet care continues to grow.

Nordstrom will be offering festive experiences this year in-store and on-line as part of its re-imagined holiday celebrations.

Online shoppers in the U.S. spent $218.1 billion on retail purchases during the third quarter of 2020.

Justice has found a new home. 

There may be a second life yet for Century 21 Department Stores. 

Winn-Dixie’s footprint in Florida continues to grow.

Meijer has once again been honored for improving freight efficiency and contributing to cleaner air within their supply chains.

Bebe Stores is diversifying. 

Herman Miller has opened a new retail format dedicated to high-performance “task” chairs and other products that support the home office and small business worker.

The deal to save J.C. Penney has been approved by bankruptcy court.

Red Lobster has joined one of the restaurant industry’s fastest-growing trends.

CVS Health is making a community investment in the city of Orlando.

Ulta Beauty is expanding its footprint in a partnership with Target Corp.

Rite Aid is piloting a new store design that puts the pharmacist up front in the shopping experience. 

Party City swung to a profit in its third quarter and reported sales and earnings that topped Street estimates amid strength in its core categories. 

VF Corp. is adding a hot streetwear brand with 12 stores and a cult following to its portfolio. 

Practical splurges and gifting driven by guilt will be the big sales drivers this holiday season.

Casey’s General Stores is expanding its presence in the Midwest.

Walmart Inc. continues to redefine its global operations as it focuses on its business at home.

CVS Health Corp. beat estimates for the third quarter and raised its full-year guidance amid strong demand for its ever-expanding health services. 

The federal government is looking to block Visa’s $5.3 billion planned acquisition of fintech start-up Plaid on grounds that it would limit competition in the payments industry.

Petco Animal Supplies may go public — again. 

Tuesday Morning Corp. has filed a reorganization plan that includes the sale of real estate in its Dallas home town.   

Karen S. Lynch

The ranks of women leading Fortune 500 companies is about to get a new member.

Furniture Factory Outlet is hoping for a sale. 

Trader Joe’s is sharing information about how many of its workers have had COVID-19.

Supermarkets in New Jersey will no longer be able to give paper bags to customers starting in mid-2022.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is entering the Asian market via an acquisition.

H-E-B continues to expand its store footprint. The grocery retailer, which operates some 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, has opened its first-ever location in Lubbock, Texas. The 122,000-sq.-ft.

An eatery that specializes in customizable bowls starring “superfoods” such as acai is on the fast-track.

It’s holiday time again at Starbucks Corp.

In a deal that ends family ownership after nearly 200 years, struggling footwear brand and retailer Clarks has sold a majority stake in the company to Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital.

Shoppers are not deserting physical stores this holiday season. 

7-Eleven may be getting ready to sell off some locations as part of an acquisition.

Pet Valu plans to “wind down” its U.S. operations due to the severe impact from COVID-19.

Men’s Wearhouse has unveiled a new store concept that incorporates digital elements and reflects the brand’s continued evolution of the customer experience. 

EQ3 is expanding its footprint in the U.S.

Voters on Tuesday in Colorado approved one of the most progressive state-run paid family and medical leave programs in the country.

Target Corp.’s unique style is on full display in the 30 new stores it has opened this year, with safety a constant across all the locations.

Comcast Corp is reportedly in talks with Walmart Inc. to develop and distribute smart TVs.

Wayfair Inc. reported third-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ expectations as consumers continue to work from and update their home amid the pandemic.

Walmart Canada is investing more than $110 million this year, including in-store renovations and technology, to provide a faster, safer and simpler shopping experience whether customers shop in-store, online, or with pickup at the store.

Saks storefront

Some of Manhattan’s iconic stores are taking extra precautions in preparation for potential unrest surrounding Tuesday’s presidential election. The windows of Macy’s flagship in Herald Square on West 34th Street and the Bloomingdale’s flagsh

Chico's storefront

Chico's FAS said its amended and extended $300 million senior secured credit facility has closed.  The facility consists of a $285 million asset-based revolving credit agreement and a $15 million "first-in last-out" term loan, maturing

Walmart shelf-scanning robot

Some tasks are just as well done by humans as by robots.   Walmart has ended its push to use roving robots in store aisles to keep track of its inventory, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Genesco Journeys store

Genesco Inc. has started a search for a new finance head. The footwear and accessories retailer  announced that Melvin G.

Ocado logo

Ocado Group, the U.K. online grocer and automated fulfillment center partner of Kroger Co., is acquiring two U.S.

Dunkin' storefront

In one of the largest restaurant deals in more than a decade, the parent company of the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins chains is going private.


FIC Restaurants has filed for bankruptcy protection with plans to sell itself. The parent company of Friendly’s Restaurants announced an agreement to sell “substantially all” of its assets to Amici Partners Group, an entity affiliated with BRIX H

Publix storefront

Publix Super Markets’ net and comparable sales surged in its third quarter, once again fueled by coronavirus-triggered demand.

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