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Destination Maternity reducing headcount as part of restructuring

BY Marianne Wilson

Destination Maternity Corp. is streamlining its product and sourcing teams as it strives to become a “leaner and more nimble” organization.

The move is part of the maternity apparel retailer’s efforts to reduce costs following “ongoing rationalization” of its overall product mix and improvements in inventory efficiency. It is expected to yield net cost savings of approximately $1.2 million to $1.4 million in fiscal year 2019.

Destination Maternity expects the restructuring, which includes headcount reductions in its product and sourcing divisions, to result in a one-time severance charge of approximately $0.5 million during the third quarter of 2018.

“Recognizing the need to focus our product assortment, rationalize costs and improve inventory efficiency, we completed an in-depth review of our product offer, overall inventory levels and distribution channels,” said CEO Marla Ryan. “Through this effort, we identified profitable solutions to improve our product mix and reduce inventory as we begin 2019. We also made the difficult decision to reduce headcount in our product and sourcing divisions to better rationalize resources and costs across the organization.

The restructuring is part of the initial stages of Destination Maternity’s previously announced plan to improve its long-term growth and profitability.

“While these actions are never easy, the changes we are implementing will enable us to become a leaner and more nimble organization,” said Ryan. They will also allow us to reallocate more of our resources on becoming a digital flagship serving the needs of today’s millennial moms and moms2be.”

As of August 4, 2018, Destination Maternity operates 1,114 retail locations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including 480 stores, predominantly under the trade names Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod and Destination Maternity, and 634 leased department locations.

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Amazon’s newest partner is a money-movement specialist

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon is giving shoppers in foreign countries who buy goods on its platform a new way to pay for the goods.

The online giant is partnering with Western Union Company to launch a new payment option for cross-border shopping. International shoppers can now pay in person, in local currency where available, for their online purchases through the Western Union agent network.

“We’re leveraging our money movement platform to make it easier to shop global and pay local,” said Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union.“By facilitating the complex foreign exchange and settlement process, we’re opening up more consumer choices and access to online shopping for tens of millions of potential new Amazon customers.”

Customers in “select countries” will be offered the new payment option on the Amazon checkout page. Shoppers will be sent a code and instructions on how to make the payment at a participating Western Union agent location. Western Union’s platform will also power the process for cash refunds for product returns.

Forrester Research estimates that cross-border shopping will make up 20% of e-commerce by 2022, with sales reaching $630 billion. Choice, quality and cost are the main motivations for consumers to shop online from overseas. But there are challenges and concerns about the lack of payment options for consumers who prefer to pay in person or consumers who are not comfortable using online payment methods.

With operations in more than 200 countries and territories, Western Union’s platform processed an average of 32 transactions every second and moved $300 billion in principal across 130 currencies in 2017.

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The trade war isn’t putting a damper on Tapestry’s holiday season

BY CSA Staff

The parent company of brands including Coach and Kate Spade New York isn’t worried about being slapped too hard with tariffs during the holidays.

Tapestry (formerly Coach) will be keeping China on its radar this upcoming holiday season, but not just to keep a lid on potential tarrifs. Rather, the company is turning its attention to the Asian market for long-term growth, according to CNBC.

The company has been divesting its sourcing from China since 2011, and only between 3% and 4% of the company’s handbags currently come from China, according to the report.

With a plan to keep tariffs under control, Tapestry can focus on how to build a stronger presence across the Asian marketplace. This strategy includes leveraging “the strengths of the organization and the platform of supply chain and talent that we have across the world to help brands grow globally. We’re especially focused on the Asian markets, where we have seen great performance over the last few years,” Tapestry CEO Victor Luis told CNBC.

To read more, click here.

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