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Report: Wal-Mart may bid on Hong Kong grocery chain

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart is considering entering the bidding for Hong Kong-based grocery chain ParknShop, Reuters reports. Wal-Mart is currently exploring options to enter the initial bidding process for ParknShop, which closes Aug. 16.

ParknShop is owned by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., which in turn is owned by Li Ka-shing, reputedly the wealthiest man in Asia. The chain may be valued as high as $4 billion.

Wal-Mart, which has not commented publicly, said last year it would open 100 new stores in China by 2015.

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Michaels honors vendors and suppliers

BY CSA STAFF

IRVING, Texas — The relationship between retailers and their suppliers are of paramount importance, and Michaels Stores marks that relationship every year at its annual partner conference, where the company recognizes its top partners at its Vendor and Supply Chain Partner of the Year Awards.

Michaels recognized the contributions of 12 vendor and supply chain partners to the retailer during the past year.

EVP of category management Philo Pappas recognized Plaid Enterprises as Michaels’ overall Vendor of the Year for product innovation, customer education and inspiration; quality products; and efficiency in supply chain. Aaron Brothers SVP and GM Jim King recognized Faber-Castell USA as Aaron Brothers’ overall Vendor of the Year for its contribution to the growth of Aaron Brothers’ kids department.

The following companies were also recognized for their partnership and contributions.

Coats & Clark, Inc., Product of the Year

Elmer’s Products, Inc., Outstanding service

VISTAR Corporation, Outstanding service

Tru Vue, Inc., Outstanding service

Polygroup Limited, Innovation

American Crafts, LC, Powerful Brands

DecoArt, Inc., Powerful Brands

Michaels supply chain continues to grow and the retailer recognizes that as the need for speed to market becomes more critical, the supply chain must run as efficiently as possible. The company has expressed a commitment to supply chain partners who work to be an extension of its business and offer innovative solutions to optimize the supply chain. EVP of supply chain Tom DeCaro honored Keystone Freight Corporation, Marisol International and Intelligrated with the Supply Chain Partner of the Year award for their commitment to Michaels’ supply chain efficiency.

Irving, Texas -based Michaels Stores, Inc. owns and operates 1,113 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada and 122 Aaron Brothers stores, and produces 11 exclusive private brands including Recollections, Studio Decor, Bead Landing, Creatology, Ashland, Celebrate It, Art Minds, Artist’s Loft, Craft Smart, Loops & Threads and Imagin8.

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Macy’s does LIDS licensing deal

BY CSA STAFF

Locker Room by LIDS is the name of a new licensed team merchandise department that will appear in 200 Macy’s stores and Macys.com beginning this fall which could help the nation’s largest department store operator become more relevant to sports fans.

The agreement calls for LIDS departments to appear in 25 stores this fall with an additional 175 stores in early 2014. The emphasis on markets that are home to professional and college sports teams. Each department will contain licensed products associated with professional and collegiate teams, including those in NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA. The assortment will encompass apparel and headwear for men, women and children, as well as home and novelty products such as glassware, throws and gnomes. Custom embroidery is also expected to be available in selected locations.

The size of the in-store licensed departments will vary from 500 to 1,000 square feet with plans calling for the incorporation of an interactive kiosk through which customers can place online orders that can be shipped directly to their home or another designated address.

“Through our partnership with LIDS, Macy’s will be able to offer a focused assortment of team-related merchandise that is tailored to the fans who shop in each Macy’s store,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chief merchandising officer. “This is a natural and powerful expression of our My Macy’s approach to serving local customers. Moreover, with Macy’s rapidly emerging omnichannel capability, we can efficiently sell and fulfill orders for customers who may be fans of teams anywhere in America, or who are buying gifts for friends and family who live elsewhere.”

The expanded product offering strengthens Macy’s status as a destination for activewear and complements the retailers’ assortments in active apparel and accessories, as well as athletic footwear which is supplied to Macy’s customers in partnership with Finish Line, according to Gennette.

For its part, LIDS Sports Group president Ken Kocher said the deal is an opportunity for LIDS to capture underserved markets in virtually every major sports city in the U.S.

“Combining our expertise in sports licensed merchandising with Macy’s retail dominance gives us the ability to serve a much larger cross section of sports fans both in-store and online,” Kocher said.

LIDS currently operates more than 1,000 retail stores and is a division of Genesco, the specialty retailer who also operates Journeys. Macy’s operates 840 department stores.

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