Retail, Mall Groups Ask Trump, Congress for Coronavirus Relief

| Mike O'Brien

The National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers are asking the Trump administration and the federal government for relief for members who are being hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, much as are other industries such as airlines and hospitality, as mall, store and restaurant closures grow.

Ulta Beauty Has Strong Q4 Online, Responds to Coronavirus Threat

| Mike O'Brien

Ulta Beauty saw ecommerce sales increase 20% to 30% during fiscal 2019 ending Feb. 1, 2020, aided by a store pickup rollout chain-wide, while also taking steps in store to address the growing coronavirus threat. Ulta also reduced hours of operation, is temporary closing some stores and discontinuing hair services in stores.

After Shedding the Coat, Burlington Stores Is Mothballing Ecommerce

| Douglas P. Clement

After spending years trying to shed its “coat factory” branding – think Boston Market on the fast casual side – Burlington Stores is shedding something else: ecommerce. The CEO said ecommerce represents just 0.5% of total sales and doesn’t leverage the company’s “treasure hunt” draw for shoppers, giving stores a huge advantage.

Modell’s Sporting Goods Plans to File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

| Douglas P. Clement

At Modell’s Sporting Goods it’s game day, every day. So says the Facebook page banner video, but Chapter 11 bankruptcy day is looming for the nation’s oldest family-owned and operated sporting goods retailer. CEO Mitch Modell confirmed the retailer stopped searching for a rescue investor, and a bankruptcy filing is imminent.

Target Upbeat on Q4, 2019 Results and Strategic Plans

| Douglas P. Clement

Target CEO Brian Cornell piled on superlatives when discussing Q4 and 2019 results, including six consecutive years of 25%+ growth in ecommerce sales. Same-day (order pickup, drive up and Shipt delivery) accounted for more than 80% of Target’s Q4 comparable digital sales growth of 20%, compared to 1.5% overall comp growth.

Coronavirus Impacts Being Felt Far and Wide in Retail, Ecommerce

| Mike O'Brien

Escalating concerns over the spread of the coronavirus are affecting every industry and sector, and retail and ecommerce are certainly no exception. This includes not only challenged supply chains in Asia and other affected countries but also things like runs on certain products in supermarkets and price clubs as consumers panic.

Coronavirus Market Volatility Has Cole Haan Delaying IPO

| Douglas P. Clement

Footwear and lifestyle accessories brand Cole Haan’s plans to raise a reported $100 million in an IPO are on hold due to market volatility related to coronavirus concerns, several media outlets reported. Reuters said Cole Haan declined comment on the news, adding Warner Music Group Corp. also delayed its IPO plans for the same reason.

Fifth Wall’s $100M Fund Helps Ecommerce Brands Add Stores

| Douglas P. Clement

Calling out Amazon for destroying brand differentiation and citing customers’ demands that brands be wherever they want them, real estate venture firm Fifth Wall closed a $100 million fund to help digital natives add stores. The fund is backed by some of the largest retail real estate owners and service providers in the U.S. and abroad.

1-800-Flowers Acquiring PersonalizationMall from Bed Bath & Beyond

| Mike O'Brien

1-800-Flowers is acquiring PersonalizationMall.com from troubled retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond, which has been in the midst of a major turnaround effort, for $252 million. The deal includes a newly renovated 360,000-square-foot production/distribution center, a database of B2B and B2C customers and its website and mobile platform.