Tipsheet: Wmart Consolidates | Target Teams w/Joanna | Nstrom Nears Deal | Pirch Closes More


Wal-Mart Is Simplifying Its Sprawling U.S. Store Operations by Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg. “According to a person familiar with the overhaul, the retailer will consolidate its U.S. business to four divisions, down from six…The number of U.S. regions will be reduced from 44 to 36, according to the person…Wal-Mart was already operating with only five divisional chiefs.” Read more


Nordstrom family nears deal with Leonard Green in bid to take department store private at CNBC. “Nordstrom family members are close to choosing private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help fund a buyout of the eponymous department store, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday. Leonard Green would provide the Nordstrom family members with roughly $1 billion in equity to help fund the deal, the sources said.” Read more


…Nordstrom take-private move has 50% chance of success: source by Josh Kosman & Lisa Fickenscher at NY Post. “It’s impressive that the Nordstrom principals would want to double down on their business model when that model is being questioned,” Triangle Capital partner Richard Kestenbaum said.” Read more


Pirch, the Chain Cited as a Retail Savior, Will Shut Most Stores by Lindsey Rupp at Bloomberg. “Pirch, a high-end appliance and kitchen chain that’s been lauded for its innovative retail experiences, is planning to shutter most of its locations as it overhauls operations. The business, known for its in-store chefs and try-before-you-buy ethos, is refocusing on its profitable stores in California, a representative said in an emailed statement.” Read more


Bloomberg: Amazon Weighs Boston in Search for Second Headquarters by Taylor Soper at GeekWire. “While other cities may ultimately win out, Boston is being considered for its proximity to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an airport with nonstop flights to Seattle and Washington, D.C., and a lower cost of living than many other big cities, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter.” Read more


…AMAZON: “BLOOMBERG IS INCORRECT” – “Bloomberg is incorrect – there are no front-runners at this point. We’re just getting started & every city is on equal playing field.” Tweet 


Neiman Marcus Is Closing More Than 25% of Its Outlet Stores by Phil Wahba at Fortune. “…closing 10 of its 38 Last Call outlet discount stores, the better to focus on its highest-end locations.” Read more


Target teams up with HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines by Kavita Kumar at Star Tribune. “The partnership was announced Tuesday afternoon to more than 12,000 Target employees attending the Minneapolis-based retailer’s fall national meeting. The couple behind the show “Fixer Upper” appeared on stage at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to relay the news. The new brand, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, will be exclusive to Target. It will launch Nov. 5 and will be a multiple-year partnership.” Read more (tiered subs.)


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Groupon hires ex-Peapod leader by Lewis Lazare at Chicago Business Journal. “In her new role at Groupon, (Jennifer) Carr-Smith will lead Groupon’s local business, including key categories such as health, beauty & wellness, things to do and food & drink.” Read more


Startup Happy Returns is building a nationwide network of return points inside malls and mom-and-pop stores by Jason Del Rey at Recode. “To help fund the expansion of their returns network, Happy Returns recently raised a $4 million Series A led by Upfront Ventures. The venture firm’s partner Greg Bettinelli has joined the startup’s board, as has Bonobos co-founder and former Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly.” Read more


What’s the secret to Apple’s brand? Boiled down to one word, it’s sex. by Eric Johnson at Recode. “You’re either appealing to the brain, the heart or the genitals, and as you move down the torso, the margins get better, because the decision-making becomes more irrational,” Galloway said. “Ideally, you want to be in the business of appealing to people’s sex organs.” Read more


rue21 gets court approval to exit bankruptcy by Suzette Parmley at Philly Inquirer. “The company currently operates 758 stores in 45 states in shopping malls, outlets, and strip centers, as well as online at It originally had 1,179 stores in 48 states.” Read more


Home Depot Holds Firm At #1 in Radio at Radio Ink Read more


Sears Canada pensioners still fighting for payout by Francine Kopun at Toronto Star. “There shall be no distributions to other creditors . . . prior to the final determination of the Wind Up Motion,” Hainey wrote in the order. There are approximately 18,000 retirees and beneficiaries who rely on receiving monthly pension benefits from the Sears Canada Plan, which is underfunded by about $270 million.” Read more


Former Home Depot Executive named new Fresh Market CEO by John Brasier at Triad Business Journal. Read more


Gap is undervalued with a ‘powerhouse’ in Old Navy, analyst says at CNBC. “Jefferies has named Gap one of its top “Franchise Picks,” pegging the stock with a buy rating and a higher price target of $39 per share, up from $35. Gap’s stock closed Tuesday at $27.61, up nearly 6.5 percent.” Read more


Legendary General Manager Retiring from Neiman Marcus Dallas Store by Natalie Gempel at Paper City. “After a 23-year tenure with Neiman Marcus, Malcolm Reuben, vice president, general manager, Neiman Marcus NorthPark is retiring. He will remain in his role through the holiday season, finishing out his career with the luxury store on December 24, 2017.” Read more


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