Report: Amazon seeks deals with major retailers
Seattle – Amazom.com is reportedly seeking to strike deals with about 10 major retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Lord & Taylor, to sell their goods via listings on its e-commerce site. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon wants to provide links to the retailers’ own sites from its site, which would boost those retailers’ traffic while providing Amazon with a new stream of customer data and add justification for its reported plan to raise the annual fee for its Amazon Prime free shipping program.
The initiative could begin as soon as summer 2014, with Amazon including goods from those retailers in its Amazon Prime free shipment offering, though the retailers would manage and pay for actual delivery of goods. Amazon has a similar program in place with smaller retailers where they pay Amazon for any traffic or transactions generated and process the transactions, with Amazon collecting customer data.
It is not certain whether any large retailers have already signed on to the program. Amazon declined comment.
New Sears Appliance & Hardware Store opens in Texas
Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. has opened a new Sears Appliance & Hardware Store located in Huntsville, Texas. The store was the fourth Sears Appliance & Hardware Store to open in 2013 and will celebrate its official grand opening Feb. 28-March 1.
The new 18,000-sq.-ft. store offers in-store services such as blade sharpening, key cutting and screen repair, as well as products typically found in local hardware stores, such as fasteners and electrical and plumbing supplies.
"By converting a local Sears Hometown store into our new Sears Appliance & Hardware, we’ve nearly tripled our floor space, now offering consumers 18,000 sq. ft. of a much greater assortment of merchandise, all at low prices," said owner Damon Fenley. "The Huntsville community has given us such a warm welcome since day one, we can’t thank them enough and look forward to building more relationships and becoming a valuable partner."
G Asset proposes partial buyout of Barnes & Noble
New York — G Asset Management, LLC ("GAM"), a private investment management firm, has made a proposal to acquire 51% of Barnes & Noble Inc., valuing the company at $22 per share, or about $1.3 billion. This is a 10% increase on the $20 per share offer G Asset made for 51% of Barnes & Noble in November 2013.
Alternatively, G Asset has proposed to acquire 51% of the Nook segment, valuing the segment at $5 per share. The investment firm stated in its proposal that it was extremely confident that if the Nook segment is separated from the profitable retail and college business, substantial shareholder value would be created. In August 2013, Barnes & Noble said it would not split its retail and e-reader businesses.
G Asset has previously stated that it views Barnes & Noble as substantially undervalued in its current form, with the aggregate value of its key segments not reflected in its share price.
Both offers are subject to, among other conditions, the obtaining of the necessary financing, due diligence, and the negotiation and executing of definitive transaction documents.