Amazon in early talks to buy stake in India’s Reliance Retail at Reuters. “The conglomerate, controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, was previously in talks with China’s Alibaba to sell a stake in Reliance Retail, but a deal could not be sealed due to differences in valuation, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.” Read more
Nordstrom family reportedly prepares proposal to increase stake in retailer at CNBC. “A group of Nordstrom family members that own 31.2% of Nordstrom have been working on a proposal to increase their stake in the department store to more than half, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.” Read more
Meijer Expands “Shop & Scan” to All Ohio Stores Press release
Birkenstock picks Venice as the home of its second U.S. store by Adam Tschorn at LA Times. “The German brand known for its strappy, contoured-footbed sandals has picked a pedestrian-heavy stretch of Abbot Kinney Boulevard as the location of its second company-owned stand-alone store in the U.S. (The first bowed in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in October 2018.)” Tiered subs.
The Container Store opens its first Custom Closets store in Los Angeles – Dallas next up Press release
Key Amazon exec Jeff Blackburn to take one-year sabbatical in 2020 by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “It’s never easy to find a good time for a break when always scaling so fast, but now feels like the right time for me and my family,” Blackburn wrote in an internal email obtained by GeekWire.” Read more
Zulily lays off employees as part of restructuring; CEO says business is at ‘critical inflection point’ by James Thorne. “A Zulily spokesperson confirmed the layoffs but declined to provide details about how many employees were affected. Personnel at the company’s Seattle and Columbus offices were let go. Zulily employed 1,300 people in Seattle as of January.” Read more
Top 25 Global E-Commerce Power Players, 2019 (Lore #2, Carey #8, Cosset #12) Press release
Amazon Pushes Brands to Be Less Boxy by Annie Gasparro at Wall Street Journal. “Amazon offered a $1 credit to producers for each item sold in packaging that met the new standard ahead of deadline. Companies that haven’t complied by Aug. 1 will face a $1.99 surcharge on each item sold in packaging that runs afoul of the new standard.” WSJ subs.
Impossible Foods goes to the grocery store at TechCrunch. “After receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Impossible Foods has cleared the last regulatory hurdle it faced to rolling out in grocery stores. The company is targeting a September release of Impossible products to join its competitor Beyond Meat on grocery store shelves.” Read more
Amazon Isn’t Buying Your Home, Just Filling It Up by Laura Forman at Wall Street Journal. “…despite some hyperbolic declarations in the press, Amazon isn’t getting into real estate, much less taking on the likes of Zillow Group and Redfin.” WSJ subs.
EG Group Reaches Deal to Acquire Cumberland Farms at Convenience Store News. “Cumberland Farms operates approximately 600 convenience stores in seven Northeast states and Florida. The c-store chain began exploring a sale this spring.” Read more
Dollar General has a new beauty brand for under $5 and it’s going viral at CNN Business. “The barriers to building a brand are not as stringent as they were in the past,” said Wissink from Jefferies. “That’s why you’re seeing almost every retailer launching some level of beauty.” Read more
The biggest mall owner in the US could be the one to save retailers on the cusp of going out of business at CNBC. “I think it’s very possible — we’re going to be very smart about it,” Simon CEO David Simon said on a post-earnings conference call when asked if he would consider investing in more of the landlord’s tenants. “We’re certainly as good as the private-equity guys when it comes to retail investment. And so, I wouldn’t rule it out.” Read more
Jeff Bezos sells $1.8 billion worth of Amazon stock in three days at CNBC. Read more
Banana Republic is selling hijabs. Muslim shoppers wonder: Is it inclusion or appropriation? by Abha Bhattarai at Washington Post. “On the one hand, it does feel like they’re profiting off of us,” said Leena Snoubar, 25, an American Muslim fashion blogger whose Instagram handle @withloveleena has nearly 800,000 followers. “But on the other, it’s a way to normalize hijab and make us feel more included.” Tiered subs.
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