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Shoptalk to launch in Europe

BY Marianne Wilson

Shoptalk Commerce, the organizer of U.S. retail and e-commerce event Shoptalk, announced the launch of Shoptalk Europe, to be held at The Bella Center in Copenhagen on October 9-11, 2017, following Shoptalk’s U.S. event, which will take place at the Aria in Las Vegas on March 19-22, 2017.

Similar to its U.S. counterpart, Shoptalk Europe will focus on the evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy, and brings together leaders from established retailers and brands, disruptive startups, leading tech and Internet companies, prolific venture capital investors and other key stakeholders. Encompassing the trends and technologies disrupting retail and ecommerce throughout Europe, Shoptalk Europe will also incorporate important global perspectives.

“The overwhelmingly positive industry-wide reception we continue to receive for Shoptalk demonstrates the demand for an event that brings together the entire commerce ecosystem and resets the conversation to focus on the rapid evolution of today’s consumers,” said Shoptalk founder and chairman Anil D. Aggarwal, who founded Money20/20, the world’s largest consumer payments event, which recently held its own European event.

More than 2,000 attendees, including over 250 speakers and 200 CEOs, are expected at Shoptalk Europe’s inaugural three-day event. Attendees will range from local and global leaders and startups to high growth companies looking to enter and scale in the European marketplace.

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Ascena Q4 profit misses

BY Marianne Wilson

Ascena Retail Group Inc., which operates apparel stores under the Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and other banners, on Monday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings worse than Wall Street expected and also gave weaker-than-expected guidance for fiscal 2017.

The parent company of Lane Bryant, Ann, Justice and other apparel banners reported net income of $13.8 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

The company posted revenue of $1.81 billion in the period, topping Street forecasts. Same-store sales fell 4%.

“Fiscal 2016 was a challenging year for Ascena, characterized by a highly competitive selling environment and significant store traffic headwinds,” said CEO David Jaffe. “While we are seeing good customer demand during peak periods, off-peak demand has been inconsistent, and fourth quarter financial performance fell well below our expectations."

For the year, the company reported that its loss narrowed to $11.9 million. Revenue was reported as $7 billion.

The retailer said it expects full-year fiscal 2017 earnings in the range of 60 cents to 65 cents a share. Revenue is expected in the range of $6.9 billion to $7 billion. Analysts had been looking for a profit of 83 cents per share on revenue of $7.17 billion,

Looking back on the full year, Jaffe said the chain has made progress in four key areas of its business that bodes well for future growth.

“First, we were pleased by the Justice turnaround,” he said. “The Justice team delivered full-year operating margin in the middle of the guidance range we provided last September. Second, our integration of Ann continues to progress well, and we remain ahead of plan with our synergy and cost savings workstreams. Third, the new Ascena omnichannel platform went live at Justice in the fourth quarter, and the early reads on demand growth have significantly exceeded our expectations.”

Ascena retail group operates 4,900 stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico under the Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Dressbarn, Catherines and Justice banners.

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MarineMax in exec promotions

BY Marianne Wilson

MarineMax, the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer, has promoted longtime associate Brett McGill to COO, effective October 1, 2016.

McGill has served as executive VP operations at MarineMax since October 1, 2015 after serving as VP of West operations since May 2012. He began his career with MarineMax at its formation in 1998 and served in several roles with the company in positions that included director of information services and eventually VP of information technology, service and arts, before

In other appointments, MarineMax promoted Chuck Cashman to chief revenue officer, effective Oct. 1.

Cashman has served as executive VP sales, marketing and manufacturer relations since Oct. 1, 2015 after serving as VP of East Operations since May 2012. Since joining a predecessor to MarineMax in 1992, Cashman has held several positions of increasing responsibility within the company.

MarineMax currently has 56 retail locations throughout the nation.

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