Online giant extending brick-and-mortar footprint
Online giant extending brick-and-mortar footprint.
Amazon is taking its bookstore concept to the San Francisco Bay Area, which has a reputation for supporting independent bookstores.
The company will open a bookstore at Broadway Plaza, an open-air center in Walnut Creek, California, reported the San Francisco Gate. Although no opening date was given, but Amazon is in the process of staffing up the store.
The first Amazon Books opened in November 2015, in University Village. It has since opened two additional locations, at Washington Square, Portland, Oregon, and Westfied UTC, San Diego.
More stores are in the works. Coming soon are locations at Garden State Plaza, Paramus, New Jersey, and Shops at Columbus Circle, New York City. In addition, Amazon plans to open stores in Chicago and the greater Boston area (two locations).
Amazon Books resembles a traditional bookstore, but uses online data to determine which titles to stock.
Specialty retailer to explore alternatives
An Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics chain is bringing in outside help as it struggles with sinking sales.
Hhgregg announced that it has engaged subsidiaries of Stifel Financial Corp. for advice on potential strategic and financial transactions as the retailer works to improve liquidity and return to profitability.
“We are committed to improving our results through our business strategy, including investments made to shift our focus to appliances and furniture, and additional expected cost reductions,” said Robert J. Riesbeck, Hhgregg’s president and CEO. “We believe it is an appropriate time to explore potential strategic transactions.
Founded in 1955, Hhgregg operates 220 stores in 19 states. It has struggled amid increased competition not only from online players but also such traditional chains as J.C. Penney, which has added expanded appliance departments to many of its stores.
The retailer reported disappointing results for its most recent quarter, which ended Dec. 31, with sales falling 24% to about $453 million. The chain posted a loss of $58.3 million in the quarter, more than double its $26.9 million loss in the year-ago period.
Ralph Lauren adds new exec positions
Ralph Lauren Corporation has created two executive positions as the company continues its turnaround efforts and to search for a new chief executive.
Ralph Lauren tapped Jonathan Bottomley to the newly created position of chief marketing officer, effective April 3. He will be responsible for evolving Ralph Lauren’s brand voice, leading the global marketing team and building cut-through marketing strategies across the company’s brands.
Most recently, Bottomley served as chief strategy officer of Virtue, a Vice Media Company. Prior to that, he was chief strategy officer and managing partner in the London headquarters of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, where he led strategic brand-building efforts for clients across the luxury and consumer lifestyle sectors.
In addition, Tom Mendenhall has been named brand president, Men’s Polo, Purple Label and Double RL. In this newly created role, all men’s brand functions will report into him, including design and merchandising, and he will be charged with maximizing brand strength to improve sales growth.
Mendenhall joins Ralph Lauren from Tom Ford International, where he served as COO for more than a decade, working alongside Tom Ford to build the brand from its inception. Prior to that, he was a senior VP at Abercrombie & Fitch.
“As we write our next chapter, we continue to add exceptionally strong leaders with the passion, energy, and talent to lead our company into the future,” stated Ralph Lauren. “Both Jonathan and Tom bring a fresh perspective and incredible depth of brand experience to Ralph Lauren. They each have impressive track records and we are looking forward to welcoming them into our leadership as our evolution continues.”
In February, the company announced that its CEO and president, Stefan Larsson, would step down on May 1, in what it described as a mutual agreement to part ways.