GNC steps up online payment options for Chinese customers
A wellness retailer is making is easier for its Chinese shoppers to make online purchases.
By partnering with Alipay, GNC Holdings is enabling all registered users of the payment platform in China to purchase vitamins, supplements, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition, diet, and energy products on its e-commerce site. Besides being a leading online payment provider in China, Alipay has 520 million registered users that access the platform to make online and mobile payments.
The partnership is part of GNC’s ongoing effort to support growing demand among Chinese customers for health and nutritional products sourced from the United States. Besides the country becoming more health conscious, demand is on the upswing since Chinese customers trust the authenticity and quality of U.S.-based merchandise. These two factors are contributing to a growing market among China’s vitamins and dietary-supplements, a segment that is expected to increase to $28.7 billion by 2021, according to Euromonitor International Ltd.
The move is also expected to contribute to GNC’s climbing online transaction growth. Despite these gains however, GNC’s same-store sales (which include GNC.com) slipped 0.9% in domestic company-owned stores for the second quarter ended June 30.
Yet, GNC’s interim CEO, Bob Moran remains bullish on the company’s online efforts.
“For the second quarter in a row, we saw meaningful transaction growth, improvement in our dot.com business and increased enrollment in our loyalty programs,” he added. “We believe this business is headed in the right direction, and we remain focused on execution and sales growth.”
Abercrombie continues global expansion with partners
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is entering a new market in the Middle East.
The teen retailer announced that, in partnership with Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim, it will open the first Abercrombie & Fitch store in Saudi Arabia, at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah. The store is part of the previously announced franchise agreement between Majid Al Futtaim Fashion and Abercrombie.
Including the launch in Saudi Arabia, Majid Al Futtaim has partnered with the U.S. retailer on a total of six Abercrombie & Fitch and three abercrombie kids stores in the Middle East in a mix of franchise and joint venture arrangements. The franchise agreement will see the brands eventually expanding into Oman and Bahrain.
“We are looking forward to bringing our unique Abercrombie & Fitch store-based brand experience to our customers in Saudi Arabia, and complementing our existing omnichannel capabilities, supporting our goal of providing our customers with the ability to engage with our brands, whenever, wherever and however they choose to do so,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “We are proud to have Majid Al Futtaim as a partner to drive and support our continued expansion throughout the region.”
Planalytics issues initial estimate on lost retail sales due to Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey, the first Category 4 Hurricane to make U.S. landfall since Charley in 2004, is poised to have the same, if not larger, economic impact.
That's according to a report by Planalytics, whose initial estimate on lost retail sales due to the hurricane in the consumer/retail sector is $1 billion. Restaurants will take the biggest hit as these businesses do not make up for lost traffic. Malls and apparel stores will also take a big hit as consumers are focused on making 'need based purchases' immediately, Planalytics said. Retailers with a large percentage of their total store base in Harvey's impacted areas include Dillard’s, Fred's Stores, Stage Stores, Cato Corp., 99 Cent Only Stores, and Hibbett Sports.
Home centers and hardware stores will see an eventual increase in traffic as consumers make purchases needed for clean-up efforts and repairs, Planalytics said.
Read the full report here.