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News Briefs

  • 3/27/2023

    BTS to open pop-up store in New York City

    BTS Pop-Up

    BTS fans in the New York area will soon be able to immerse themselves in the brand.

    The iconic South Korean boyband, whose seven members are global pop icons, will open a pop-up at The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, located on the West Side of Manhattan. 

    The store, called BTS POP-UP: Space of BTS, will open in late April. Billed as the first “official” BTS store in the United States, the space will be open for three months.  Anticipating high first-day crowds, doors will open two hours before and one hour after traditional mall hours on opening day.

    The store will carry a wide variety of BTS merchandise, including stationery, apparel, homeware and fashion items, and will offer numerous interactive photo opportunities.  Due to the high demand for merchandise, products will be sold until supplies last and have limited restock, according to a release.

    In August 2022, BTS Pop-Up opened a temporary store at Toronto Eaton Centre, in downtown Toronto. The location remained open through December.

    Previous BTS pop-up stores have opened around the world, with multiple store locations throughout South Korea.  

  • 3/27/2023

    Belk expanding its outlet store concept — here are the locations

    BELK outlet interior

    For the first time in its 135-year history, Belk is expanding in the outlet space.

    The department store retailer is opening five Belk Outlet locations within the next seven days. Belk debuted the concept at the start of 2023, converting its store in Greeneville, Tenn., into the first-ever Belk Outlet. The feedback from customers was overwhelmingly positive, according to the company.

    Here are the locations of the five new Belk Outlet stores:

    • 911 E Main Street, Laurens, S.C. (opening 3/30);
    • 19 Claypool Hill Mall, Cedar Bluff, Va.  (opening 3/30);
    • 3093 East Main Street, Suite B, Russellville, Ark. (opening 3/30);
    • 2801 Wilma Rudolph Blvd, Clarksville, Tenn. (opening 4/4); and
    • 6640 Douglas Blvd., Douglasville, Ga. (opening 4/4).

    Belk Outlet stores will include discounted items that come directly from the retailer’s larger stores across its footprint and customers will have access to many new items, including high-end and designer brands that these locations may not have carried in the past.

    Based in Charlotte, N.C., the privately-owned Belk operates nearly 300 stores in 16 Southeastern states. In September 2022, the company named Don Hendricks as CEO. He had been serving in the role on an interim basis since May 2022, following the resignation of Nir Patel, who left to join GameStop.

  • 3/27/2023

    Banana Republic enters new product category

    Banana Republic

    Banana Republic is following in the footsteps of its sister brand, Gap.

    The retailer, a division of Gap Inc., has launched BR Home, an upscale home goods collection with bedding, décor and rugs. Available online and in select Banana Republic U.S. stores as of March 28, BR prices range from $80 for plush decorative pillows to $6,500 for luxurious, handwoven rugs made in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. 

    “Our expanded home collection is central to our vision to be the premier lifestyle brand that positions BR as an experiential and cultural cornerstone in our customers’ lives,” said Sandra Stangl, president and CEO of Banana Republic. “Banana Republic is a destination for discovery, adventure and imagination.”  

    The products in the collection, which is exclusively created and curated by Banana Republic, are made of the highest-quality materials and natural fabrics, such as fine European linen, plush cotton cashmere and organic cotton, the company stated.  

    “Discovery and self-expression are an integral part of our customers’ lives at home, work and away,” said Aaron Rose, head of commerce and experience for Banana Republic. “We know our customers care deeply about great style, design, and quality in all aspects of their lives, and we are excited for BR Home to be a central part of their personal lifestyle.”   

    BR Home builds on last fall’s launch of Art, Curated by Banana Republic, a collection of exclusive works from artists and photographers. 

    In May 2021, the Gap brand teamed up with Walmart to launch a line of home goods, Gap Home, sold exclusively by the retail giant. In May 2022, the two retailers expanded the partnership to launch Gap Home Kids.

    [Read More: Walmart expands home partnership with Gap Inc.]

  • 3/23/2023

    Uniqlo to expand U.S. footprint


    Uniqlo, a division of Japan-based Fast Retailing, is planning to open around 20 stores a year in the United States, with an ultimate goal of approximately 400 locations in the next few years, reported Women’s Wear Daily. Currently, Uniqlo operates 46 stores in the U.S. and another 16 in Canada.

    On March 24, Uniqlo opened a 7,800-sq.-ft. store at  Newport Centre in Jersey City, N.J.  It’s the company’s fifth New Jersey location. Building on the retailer’s longtime support of refugees around the world, Uniqlo Newport Centre staff held a community shopping event with Welcome Home Jersey City, inviting newly arrived individuals and families to shop for new clothing. 

    According to the WWD report, Uniqlo plans  add stores in existing markets where it already has built a foundation, including New York City; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles and Vancouver, British Columbia.

    Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing operates approximately 2,400 stores around the globe.

  • 3/22/2023

    Paris Baguette to open 64-plus U.S. locations in 2023

    paris baguette

    Paris Baguette is expanding into Canada as it looks to expand its footprint across North America.

    The French-inspired bakery café has opened its first location in Canada, at the Yonge Sheppard Centre in Toronto. It plans to open at least seven stores across Canada this year.

    In addition, Paris Baguette plans to open 64-plus locations in the United States in 2023, including both corporate-owned and franchise locations. The company, whose portfolio currently includes 120 U.S. sites, has set a goal of 1,000 cafés in North America by 2030.

    Paris Baguette’s initial growth in Canada will be concentrated in the following markets: Ontario, focusing on the greater Toronto area; Alberta, with locations in Edmonton and Calgary; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

    At 2,300 sq. ft., the new Paris Baguette in Toronto has seating for up to 20 customers. It features the chain’s updated store environment, which includes a modern design with French architectural features that add eclectic flair.

    Large self-serve displays feature an extensive menu of pastries, breads and cakes, and an open kitchen provides a window into Paris Baguette bakers and cakers at work. A large center island showcases signature treats.

     "The expansion of our bakery cafés into Canada marks an exciting period of growth for Paris Baguette," said Darren Tipton, CEO, Paris Baguette North America. "We can't wait to celebrate moments of joy with our guests as we establish our neighborhood bakery cafés in Toronto and bring our vision to life throughout Canada."

    Paris Baguette is based in South Korea, and has nearly 4,000 locations worldwide. The company’s U.S. headquarters located in Moonachie, N.J.

  • 3/21/2023

    Bloomingdale’s in a first with new C-suite post

    Bloomingdale’s has added a new position in its executive suite.

    The upscale department store retailer, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, has named Denise Magid its very first chief merchant. Magid will drive the strategic direction and performance of all Bloomingdale's merchandising initiatives, and ultimately influencing the future growth of the Bloomingdale's brand.

    Magid joined Bloomingdales in 2019 as GMM, ready-to-wear, concessions, adding off-price in 2020 and women's accessories in 2021.  Prior to Bloomindale’s, she held senior leadership roles at both Intermix and Saks Fifth Avenue,

    "We are confident that Denise's vision and leadership will continue to strengthen our relationships with our brand partners and further refine how we can cater to the unique needs of the Bloomingdale's customer. We look forward to Denise's impact in this newly created role," said Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO Tony Spring.

    The creation of the chief merchant role is a historic step for Bloomingdale's and allows the brand to build on the exciting momentum coming off its strong 2022 performance and its 150th anniversary celebration, the company said.

    "I look forward to taking on the role of chief merchant and working closely with the GMMs and the Bloomingdale's team to push the boundaries of what's possible,” Magrid said. “Bloomingdale's  holds a special place in the retail landscape, yet I truly believe the best is yet to come."

    A division of Macy's, Bloomindale’s currently operates 34 Bloomingdale's stores, 20 Bloomingdale's The Outlet stores, and two Bloomie's stores in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

    In addition, Bloomingdale's has an international presence with a location in Dubai and Kuwait.

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