H&M is closing 250 stores
- New York (CNN Business) - H&M is closing 250 stores next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, as people increasingly shop online.
- The fast-fashion retailer has 5,000 stores worldwide, so Thursday's announcement accounts for 5% of its total store count.
- The Swedish retailer said its third quarter, which encompasses sales from June to August, recovered as time went on because of store reopenings and "strong and profitable" growth in online shopping.
- Still, September sales declined 5% compared to the same month a year ago.
- H&M rival Inditex, which owns Zara and other fast-fashion brands, said earlier this year it plans to close as many as 1,200 stores this year and next.
- American Eagle Outfitter and GameStop also recently announced plans to close hundreds of stores because of the rise of online shopping.
Allbirds CEO Joey Zwillinger on the startup's $100 million round, profitability, and SPAC mania
- Though the company saw its business slow this year because of the pandemic, its products are now available to purchase in 35 countries and its 20 brick-and-mortar stores are sprinkled throughout the U.S. and Europe, with another outpost in Tokyo and several shops in China.
- JZ: The biggest market by far is the U.S., and the same day that we started here in 2016, we also launched in New Zealand, so that’s been very good to us over the last four years, too.
- We also launched wool-based weather-proofed running shoes in April that have blown away our expectations but [were fast discovered by] people who haven’t really been running for 10 to 15 years and are running again [because of gym closures].
California Rolls Out Diversity Quotas for Corporate Boards
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Wednesday that will require the boards of publicly traded companies based in the state to have at least one racially, ethnically or otherwise diverse director by 2021.
- The new quota is the first of its kind in the U.S. and follows a similar California measure enacted two years ago that mandated female directors on all boards of the state’s public companies.
- The law is expected to have wide-ranging impact within the state’s borders and beyond, potentially sparking fresh debate...
New kids on the block join 2020’s property power players
- The housing market had only shown a revival in the second half of 2019 when prices began falling again, the big retail landlords wrote off billions of dollars from the value of their portfolios, and office tower owners were left wondering how long their buildings would stay empty.
- This year, his team has taken part in some of the biggest real estate sell-downs in some time: from advising on the divestment of Qube Holdings’ $2.5 billion portfolio of logistics assets, to the auctioning off of a $1 billion stake in Ampol’s petrol stations and finding a buyer for Telstra’s massive Clayton data centre complex in Victoria.
- Until the virus arrived in March, thousands of Australians spent their working week in these office towers, a $23 billion portfolio either owned or managed by Dexus.
- For sheer innovation alone, their plan for a $1 billion office tower near Central Station in Sydney wins them a placing as commercial real estate developers.
Lendlease retail fund drops 23pc in value
- Units in Lendlease's Australian Prime Property Fund Retail shed almost a quarter of their value over the year to June, reflecting the fortunes of the wholesale fund that in August gave itself another three years to meet redemption requests of investors wishing to exit.
- Units in the wholesale retail fund dropped 23 per cent to $1536.89, documents filed with corporate regulator ASIC show, as the value of assets in the trust fell to $4.2 billion from $5.6 billion.
- The fund sold out of Westfield Marion mall in SA to meet redemption requests this year.
- The fund extended the redemption period after its responsible entity determined it was not liquid – not in general solvency terms, but in terms of the definition that 80 per cent of its properties were liquid assets that could be realised at market value during the set redemption period.
Fund managers wait for signs of recovery after listless quarter
- Australian investors are waiting for firm signs that the COVID-19 recovery trade is taking hold and that it's safer to move into stocks leveraged to the economy, such as the banks, culminating in a sluggish third quarter.
- The ASX struggled from July to September, trading sideways for the best part of three months before ending the quarter with a 1.4 per cent loss.
- Companies with offshore growth and relatively low cyclicality have been the structural winners of the quarter, such as buy now pay later star Afterpay, Mr Curtayne said.
- Looking ahead, "if the economic growth outlook gets worse over the next three months then we are likely to see some of these bond proxies or structural growth companies do quite well and outperform again".
- The fourth quarter has traditionally been the best for global markets but investors are buckling up for a bumpy ride as political, economic and trade tensions rise.
Amazon introduces the Amazon One, a way to pay with your palm when entering stores
- In the middle of a pandemic when customers are often wearing plastic gloves to stores alongside their face masks, Amazon’s physical retail team is introducing a new biometric device that will allow shoppers to pay at Amazon Go stores using their palm.
- The company on Tuesday introduced its purportedly “contactless” Amazon One, a scanner of sorts where you’ll first insert your credit card, then hover your palm over the device to associate your palm signature with your payment mechanism.
- Amazon says the new device uses computer vision technology in real-time to create the unique palm signature — a choice the company made because it believes palm recognition is more private that some other means of biometric authentication.
- The device doesn’t require you to have Amazon account to enter the store — just a palm and phone number — but customers can associate their account to see their usage history on the Amazon website.
U.S. Retail Bankruptcies, Store Closures Hit Record in First Half
- Retail bankruptcies, liquidations and store closings in the U.S. reached records in the first half of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated industry changes, particularly the shift to online shopping, according to a report.
- In the first six months, 18 retailers filed for chapter 11 protection, mostly concentrated in apparel and footwear, home furnishings, grocery and department stores, according to the report by professional-services firm BDO USA LLP.
- They include department-store operators Neiman Marcus Group Ltd., J.C....
Introducing Amazon One—a new innovation to make everyday activities effortless
- Today, our physical retail team is excited to introduce a new innovation called Amazon One. Amazon One is a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work more effortless.
- The service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature.
- We’ll start in select Amazon Go stores, where Amazon One will be added to the store’s entry gate as a convenient choice for customers to use to enter the store to shop.
- Once you’re enrolled, to use Amazon One to enter these Amazon Go stores, you’ll just hold your palm above the Amazon One device at entry for about a second or so, and be on your way.
Huboo, the 'full stack' fulfilment provider, picks up £14M Series A
- Huboo, the U.K.-headquartered startup that offers an end-to-end fulfilment service for online retailers of all sizes, has raised £14 million in Series A funding.
- Using what it calls a “micro-warehousing” and a vertical software model, the full-stack service promises to store your stock, and then “pick, pack and deliver it” automatically as customer orders are placed.
- The idea is that by “democratising” fulfilment, online shops can focus on the parts of the business where most value is added, such as customer service and choosing which products to develop and/or sell.
- In addition, he says the direct-to-consumer (D2C) “revolution” is rapidly gaining pace, “with a new breed of agile young D2C businesses bypassing conventional retail channels to engage directly with consumers”.
- To that end, Huboo will use the new funding to support what its CEO describes as three strategic priorities: software development, U.K. expansion, and establishing an on-the-ground European presence as Brexit hardens.