Regional retailers are typically defined by geography, but Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk is a bit different than most. Distinguished by its signature Southern hospitality, the nation’s largest privately held department store chain has a dominant presence throughout the South and a footprint as far west as Oklahoma and north through Maryland. But its reach extends even farther, as Canadians and Californians alike shop its e-commerce site.
For many retail brands, Chapter 11 is not always the end of the story. Just consider the sequel being crafted by home furnishings retailer Bombay Company, which was founded in 1978 as a mail-order operation and grew to a national presence with 461 stores before filing for bankruptcy in late 2007 and closing all its U.S. locations.
Andrea Thomas, senior VP sustainability, Walmart, talked with Chain Store Age contributing editor Connie Gentry about what sustainability means at Walmart and how the company leverages its scale to make the biggest possible impact for global good.
As it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Wal-Mart Stores is being recognized for many achievements, not the least of which is its leadership in sustainability. On the green front, the chain has become a leader in best practices, with innovations that deliver positive results for consumers, communities and the company’s bottom line.
In recent years, specialty retailer GameStop Corp. has been among the fastest-growing global chains, opening 388 new stores in 2009, more than 350 in 2010 and 285 new locations last year. For its current fiscal year, GameStop is ramping down organic growth, anticipating the opening of some 150 stores, in deference to building on its dominant presence in the multichannel PC digital download market.
Throughout the industry, retailers are reinventing strategies, changing formats and resizing footprints. While many are downsizing prototypes, Casual Male Retail Group is transitioning from traditional 3,500 sq. ft. Casual Male XL stores to a big-box Destination XL format. Dennis Hernreich, who holds the dual titles of COO and CFO for Casual Male Retail Group (CMRG), talked with Chain Store Age contributing editor Connie Gentry about the opportunities and challenges of transforming the business to better serve an expanded market.
In the 39 years Michael Howard has been with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (the Exchange), he has traveled the world and proudly held leadership roles in one of the nation’s oldest and most far-flung retail organizations. Now in its 116th year of operation, the Exchange is responsible for some 3,024 facilities worldwide, including sites that serve troops deployed in combat locations or the most remote areas.