Starbucks plans 1,500 new stores, expanded offerings
Seattle – Starbucks Coffee Corp. plans to open 1,500 new stores worldwide during 2014, including 600 in North America. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that Starbucks is under-stored in many markets, including North America, during a conference call discussing the company’s second quarter financial results.
Other plans for 2014 including rolling out its made-to-order soda product at 3,000 U.S. stores and in South Korea and China, as well as testing expanded lunch offerings. Furthermore, Starbucks may license the technology for its mobile app, which could produce substantial revenue.
Wal-Mart changes Asia management structure
Hong Kong — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is changing the management structure of its Asia operation with a series of promotions. Scott Price, currently president and CEO of Walmart Asia, will move to a senior management role as executive VP, international strategy and development, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, integration and purchase leverage, based at Wal-Mart’s world headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Greg Foran, currently president and CEO of Walmart China, has been named president and CEO, Walmart Asia, and will be based in the company’s Asia regional office in Hong Kong. Sean Clarke, Walmart China’s current COO, has been named president and CEO of Walmart China. The changes are effective June 1.
"These promotions allow us to tap into the extraordinary talent we have in our company, leverage their unique strengths to benefit the entire organization, and ensure continuity of leadership in China and the region," said David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International. "While these moves highlight the internal talent we have at Walmart, they also show how we are able to build global talent to meet the needs of the company wherever we operate."
Wet Seal to phase out Arden B banner
Foothill Ranch, Calif. – The Wet Seal Inc. will begin winding down its Arden B brand. Arden B currently operates 54 mall-based stores and an e-commerce website.
In fiscal 2013, Arden B generated net sales of $60.4 million and represented 11% of consolidated net sales. Thirty-one Arden B locations will transition to Wet Seal Plus merchandise and the remaining 23 locations will transition from Arden B to Wet Seal merchandise. Where permissible, Arden B locations will be refreshed with either Wet Seal or Wet Seal Plus signage. The company expects to complete this conversion by the start of the back-to-school selling season in late July 2014.
Through lease expirations and the exercise of early termination provisions, the Company will close 15 Arden B locations through the remainder of fiscal 2014 and 16 Arden B locations in fiscal 2015. For the interim period while Arden B locations remain open, the stores will offer Wet Seal or Wet Seal Plus merchandise, as noted above.
Effective immediately, the Wet Seal merchandising organization assumes responsibility for Arden B stores. The buying, planning and allocation team for Arden B will be impacted by the wind-down. The release of some team members and reduction in other expenses will result in annualized pre-tax cost savings of approximately $1.3 million beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2014.
Wet Seal expects to incur approximately $100,000 of charges for severance costs in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 and approximately $300,000 of charges for store employee retention programs in the second and third quarters of fiscal 2014. The company also anticipates non-cash asset impairment charges of up to approximately $3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 pertaining to Arden B store assets. In addition, the exercise of early lease termination provisions in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 is expected to result in approximately $500,000 of payments related to unamortized tenant allowances. Wet Seal intends to negotiate with landlords and pursue other alternatives to expedite the transition and exit of the remaining 23 Arden B locations where leases do not expire prior to its fiscal 2015 year end.
“This was a difficult decision that followed a comprehensive review of the business and market dynamics,” said John D. Goodman, CEO. “We would like to thank all of our Arden B team members for their hard work and dedication to the brand, and also extend our gratitude to our loyal customers.”