News

Department store giant scales back holiday hiring

BY Marianne Wilson

Fewer stores translates into reduced holiday hiring for Macy's this year.

Macy's plans to hire a total of 80,000 workers for the holiday rush, down from about 83,000 last year. The company has been closing underperforming stores and currently operates some 70 fewer stores than it did last year.

However, while Macy's may need less seasonal workers for its brick-and-mortar operations, that is not the case online. Its total holiday hires for the upcoming season will include 18,000 employees to fulfill online orders, up by about 3,000 from last year.

Macy's announced its plans shortly after Target said it planned to increase its holiday hiring by some 40%.

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FINANCE

Aerosoles files Chapter 11; to focus online, wholesale

BY Marianne Wilson

Women’s footwear brand Aerosoles has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it looks to shutter nearly all of its U.S. stores.

The company has about 80 stores in the United States, and also sells its shoes through other retailers. It has begun store closing sales and is seeking approval from the Bankruptcy Court to proceed with the sales. Aerosoles said it plans to maintain four flagships, in New York and New Jersey, and will also enhance its e-commerce, wholesale and international businesses.

“By improving our financial structure and right-sizing our retail footprint, we will be able to refocus our business efforts on the execution of our turnaround strategy, said Denise Incandela, who was appointed Aerosoles’ interim CEO in June. “We will continue to create product that leads the market in comfort and fashion, grow our ecommerce, wholesale and international businesses, and promote innovative new marketing campaigns that will drive our business forward.”

The company listed assets of $10 million to $50 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million, according to its bankruptcy court filing. It said it expects to complete the restructuring within approximately four months.

“This process will allow us to emerge as a stronger brand and company and reinforces our commitment to providing a superior shopping experience in stores and online,” Incandela said.

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ECOMMERCE

Study: Hispanic customers going online for holiday shopping

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

With access to more disposable income, Hispanic consumers will up their holiday spending this year — especially through e-commerce.

This was according to “ThinkNow Retail Report 2017,” a study from ThinkNow Research and multicultural market research firm Jelena Group. Compared to last year, the study revealed that Hispanics and African-Americans are feeling as or more optimistic about their ability to spend this holiday season. Conversely, fewer non-Hispanic White and Asian consumers plan on spending more this holiday, compared to their responses in 2016.

Specifically, 33% of Hispanics will be spending more this year. Also revealing is where they intend to spend their discretionary income.

In 2016, 52% of all purchases made by Hispanic consumers were expected to be made at physical stores. This year, only 46% of all Hispanic holiday purchases are planned for physical stores.

E-commerce will gain those purchases, and 62% of Hispanics who will shop online will use their smartphones to place orders. That’s significantly higher than the 50% total market average, and 46% of non-Hispanic White online shoppers who intend to use their smart phones, the study revealed.

Amazon is the top online shopping destination for all consumers (55%), except among African- Americans, who will opt for Walmart (62%). Amazon and Walmart are top destinations for Hispanic consumers, but they are also more likely than other customers to visit the online sites for Target, Macy’s and J.C. Penney.

“Hispanic consumers are shopping more this holiday season despite speculation of a depressed Hispanic shopping trend,” says Mario X. Carrasco, co-founder and principal of ThinkNow Research. “While brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Target, may be seeing a decline in Hispanic consumers anecdotally, our research across 20 retailers shows more Hispanic consumers shopping at Amazon and Walmart.”

Part of the reason for the increase can be attributed to Hispanic consumers becoming more “shopper-savvy” across generations. “Retailers need to recognize that Hispanics are shopping, and connecting with them is more important than ever,” said Jennifer Elena, founder of Jelena Group. “Think mobile first as Hispanics will make purchases from their smartphone to find better deals.”

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