DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

PetSmart expands with new concept stores

BY Marianne Wilson

PetSmart continues to grow its store portfolio — and is also testing new formats.

The chain opened 20 stores across the U.S. and Canada for the quarter ending October 31, 2016. This adds to the 23 stores it opened in the first and second quarters, bringing the total number for the year to 43 new locations.

Among last quarter’s openings were the PetSmart Pet Spa in Oceanside, N.Y., and PetSmart at the Beach in Toronto, new concept stores where the company is testing innovative ways to combine pet services and an enhanced pet lifestyle experience in a smaller retail footprint. The stores feature a unique, modern design with 5,000-8,000-sq.-ft. footprint, which is smaller than PetSmart’s typical stores, which average approximately 18,000 sq. ft. -20,000 sq. ft.

A first for PetSmart stores, the PetSmart Pet Spa store concept includes a self-service dog wash, a new grooming salon design and a coffee bar-lounge area with complimentary coffee and comfortable seating for pet parents, among other amenities.

“We are excited about our continued growth in key markets across North America,” said Brian Amkraut, senior VP of real estate, strategy and initiatives. “These new stores allow us to build on the continued trend of premiumization in the pet industry. We are able to reach more pet parents by expanding in new growth markets and providing more convenient locations and options to our pet parents.”

In addition to continuing to expand its brick-and-mortar locations, PetSmart recently launched its new and improved web site, which has a mobile-responsive design and a commerce-meets-content experience with key enhancements that reflect feedback from pet parents.

The site includes features including a one-page checkout and new tailored home delivery options such as recurring subscription-based shipping, as well as same-day and scheduled delivery in 16 U.S. markets.

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C-SUITE

New CEOs to Watch in 2017

BY Marianne Wilson

The past year brought with it seismic shifts as the retail industry continued to adapt to the evolving digital landscape and changing shopping habits. It also brought with it a changing of the guard, as many companies anointed new leaders to steer their ships in a transformed marketplace.

Here are six newly arrived (or soon to arrive) CEOs to keep an eye on in 2017:

Jeff Gennette, Macy’s Inc.

A 33-year-Macy’s veteran who came up through the ranks, Gennette takes the reins from longtime CEO Terry Lundgren in the first quarter of 2017. He will be filling some big shoes: Lundgren, a widely respected corporate leader, transformed Macy’s into a $27 billion department store giant. But even his Midas touch has been upended in recent years as the company found itself caught in the middle of increased online competition and changing shopping habits.

Gennette, who was chief merchandising officer of Macy’s before being named president in 2014, is Lundgren’s handpicked successor. He takes over at a critical time for the retailer as it works to optimize its store portfolio and make itself more relevant in a digital age. (Lundgren will continue as executive chairman and work alongside Gennette.)

Shira Goodman, Staples Inc.

This 24-year-company veteran took the reins permanently in September, after being named interim CEO in May in the wake of the departure of longtime leader Ron Sargent.

Goodman brings a wealth of experience to her role, having served in a variety of key leadership positions at the office products giant, from president of North American operations to executive VP of global growth to executive VP of marketing.

She leads a company that continues to regroup after its attempt to acquire rival Office Depot was squashed due to antitrust concerns. Goodman has made narrowing the company’s focus to North America as a strategic priority.

Kevin Johnson

Macy’s Gennette has some big shoes to fill, but Kevin Johnson’s challenge is even more formidable: stepping into the shoes of a legend. On April 3, 2017, Starbucks COO Johnson will succeed Howard Schultz as chief executive of the global coffee empire Schultz built from the ground up.

The consensus is that Johnson is the right person for the job. His strong technology background — 16 years at Microsoft and five as CEO of Juniper Networks — dovetails with Starbucks’ business becomes increasingly digitally oriented. (As for Schultz, he will remain the company's executive chairman and will focus on the new, higher-end Reserve brand and social initiatives.)

Brad Weston, Petco

There will be a new top dog at Petco on Feb. 1, when 26-year company veteran Jim Myers passes the baton to president and chief merchant Brad Weston.

Weston joined Petco in 2011, coming from Dick’s Sporting Goods where he served senior VP and chief merchandising officer. At Petco, he leads the marketing and e-commerce teams, along with driving the company's overall business strategy, operations and merchandising activities.

Industry experts say his diversified background will be a plus for the fast-growing Petco, which is adding stores — it opened 64 stores in 2016 — and growing its online business at a fast pace.

Rick Keyes, Meijer

For the first time in Meijer’s 82-year history, it has a CEO whose last name in not Meijer. The family-owned and operated retailer broke with tradition and named company president (and non-family member) Rick Keyes, as CEO, succeeding Hank Meijer, who stepped down as chief executive (he is executive chairman).

Keyes, who has been with the chain for 27 years, oversees a 230-store retail company that is expanding both online and in brick and mortar, where it is remodeling existing stores and opening new ones, as it deals with increased online competition.

Steven E. Rendle, VF Corp.

The new man in charge at VF Corp., whose brands include The North Face, Timberland, Vans, Wrangler and Nautica, is an outdoor and action sports industry veteran who has been with the apparel conglomerate for 16 years.

Steven Rendle most recently served as president and COO of VF. His track record at the company, where he has been deeply involved in nearly every aspect of the business, is expected to serve him well as chief executive. The company has found itself under pressure by falling traffic at department stores and outlet stores.

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MOBILITY

Amazon Prime Video makes big global expansion play

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon Prime Video just made a massive move expanding its global reach.

The pure play’s video streaming service is now available in 200 countries, including The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany Austria, France, Canada, Japan, and other major markets, including India — a move that allows it go toe-to-toe with its biggest streaming competitor, Netflix.

By adding India to its roster, Amazon enables the country’s Prime members to access its portfolio of Bollywood new releases and regional Indian blockbusters within a few weeks of their release; Hollywood movies; day-after-broadcast U.S. TV shows, and kids’ programming. This launch also makes Amazon’s Original Series’ available in India for the first time.

The video service coincides with members’ Amazon Prime annual fee of 499 INR (approximately $7.40 U.S. dollars).

Amazon Prime Video’s global initiative is meant to send a message to rival Netflix, which expanded its reach in January. Netflix is currently available in 130 countries, according to Fortune.

Neither company’s streaming service is available in China.

In addition to reach, Amazon continues to pit itself Netflix through new investments in its original content offerings. In fact, Amazon reported it was doubling its spending on video content in the second half of 2016, compared with last year, according to Business Insider.

The two companies also continue to compete on member pricing. For example, Prime costs $99/year or $10.99/month, rivaling Netflix’s basic fee which starts at $8.99.

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