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Report: Kohl’s takes visionary e-commerce approach

BY Dan Berthiaume

Menomonee Falls, Wis. – Kohl’s took what could be called a visionary approach to promoting and selling goods from its new Lauren Conrad designer collection online.

According to Advertising Age, Kohl’s livestreamed the debut of Conrad’s latest collection at New York Fashion Week on the Periscope social media site.

Items from the collection were then available for purchase on the Kohl’s e-commerce site. An interactive video allowed customers to click on specific items and link to them on the site for purchase. In addition, Periscope users could also interactively mix and match items from the collection.

"We're so excited to be able to offer our customers, as well as people who may have never seen Kohl's products before the opportunity to experience a runway show," Bevin Bailis, senior VP of communications and public relations at Kohl’s, was quoted as saying. "We're able to use our advantage in the digital space to reach a much broader audience."

Desktop, smartphone and tablet conversion rates all increased by significant percentages: Smartphone conversion rates increased nearly 7% and tablet conversion rates increased 12%. Desktop conversion rates, meanwhile, increased 7%.

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Simon names location of new development

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – Retail real estate firm Simon has announced the location for its Tulsa Premium Outlets.

The project will be built in the city of Jenks, Oklahoma. The first phase of the development will be approximately 325,000 sq. ft. and feature 80 to 90 stores. Construction in Jenks is scheduled to start in spring 2016 with an opening in summer 2017.

"We are eager to serve the entire Tulsa metropolitan market from this location," said Mark Silvestri, COO of Simon Premium Outlets. "We are really looking forward to bringing our vision of value shopping, which has been extremely popular throughout the world, to Tulsa."

Simon has long been active in Tulsa as it owns Woodland Hills Mall and has invested significant capital in that property, including the makeover of the food area renamed "Dining at the Hills.”

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Gymboree net loss declines, sales grow

BY CSA STAFF

Gymboree increased same store sales and profit in the second quarter, but the kids' retailer still plans to close dozens of stores and sell a distribution center.

For the second quarter ended Aug. 1, Gymboree reported net Sales of $273.5 million, an increase of 3.5% compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Same storesales (including online sales) increased 2%.Gross profit was $100.7 million, or 36.8% of net sales, compared to $96.4 million, or 36.5% of net sales, for the second quarter of fiscal 2014. And adjustednet loss was $11.1 million compared to $9.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2014, an increase of $1.5 million.

The company said the losswas negatively impacted by approximately $5 million as a result of receipt flow disruption driven by the west coast port slowdown.

As previously announced, the company has entered into an agreement to sell and lease-back its distribution center located in Dixon, California. Net proceeds received from the sale were $25.9 million of which approximately $10.9 million were restricted to fund capital expenditures or reduce the Company's liability under the Term loan.

For the full year, the company continues to expect Adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $95 million to $105 million.

During fiscal 2015, the company continues to plan to open approximately 12 stores and expects to close approximately 30 to 40 stores.

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