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Drexler: Walmart should have bought J.Crew

BY CSA STAFF

Retail veteran Mickey Drexler, the former CEO and current chairman of J.Crew Group, has never been afraid to speak his mind.

Speaking at the New York Times‘ DealBook Conference on Thursday, Drexler said he did not understand Walmart’s acquisition of online clothing retailer Bonobos, and that the discount giant should have bought J.Crew, reported CNBC.

Drexer also said that “things have been miserable in retail,” and that “the last two or three years have not been fun whatsoever,” according to the report.

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Thirty retailers earned a perfect score on this index

BY Marianne Wilson

Some of the nation’s leading retail chains are among the businesses making strides when it comes to inclusion and equality.

Thirty retailers received 100-point scores on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, which measures LGBTQ workplace equality and is issued by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. (See list at end of article.) A total of 63 retail companies were rated, and 609 businesses overall.

The Index rates companies under five broad categories: non-discrimination policies; employment benefits; Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion; public commitment to LGBTQ equality; and responsible citizenship. America’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBTQ workplace equality. The results of this year’s CEI, showcases how hundreds of U.S.-based multinational companies are not only promoting LGBTQ-friendly workplace policies in the U.S., but helping to advance the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace abroad.

“Major retailers know that their talent pool and their consumer markets are diverse,” said Deena Fidas, director of the HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program. “It’s no surprise then that these well-known brands are making huge strides for LGBTQ inclusion and earning top marks on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.

Here are the retailers that scored 100:

• Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
• American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
• Ascena Retail Group Inc.
• B J’s Wholesale Club
• Barnes & Noble Inc.
• Best Buy Co. Inc.
• Caleres
• Car Max Inc.
• Coach
• Dollar General Corp.
• GameStop
• Gap Inc.
• Hallmark Cards Inc.
• The Home Depot
• J.C. Penney
• Kohl’s Corp.
• L Brands
• Nordstrom
• Office Depot
• PetSmart
• Replacements Ltd.
• Sears Holdings Corp.
• Staples
• Starbucks Corp.
• Target Corp.
• Tiffany & Co.
• The TJX Cos.
• Toys “R” Us
• Wal-Mart Stores
• Walgreens

The full report is available at hrc.org/cei.

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Office Depot in new venture to sell business services

BY Marianne Wilson

Office Depot continues to emphasize its business services offerings as it seeks to evolve from a traditional office-supplies retailer to a broader business services provider.

The chain on Tuesday announced the launch of BizBox, a business services platform designed to provide start-ups and small business companies access to services needed to grow their businesses. The new venture, which will be offered through a subscription with monthly services starting at $99, builds upon Office Depot’s previously announced acquisition of CompuCom Systems.

The BizBox website will be enhanced with new features and services based on customer feedback and demand, according to Office Depot. It will also be introduced into retail stores.

“We have the ability to reach nine million small business customers through our touch points around the country,” said Gerry Smith, CEO, Office Depot. “Uniting this deep expertise with the world-class IT services of CompuCom will help solve customer problems in a way few others are doing right now. The BizBox platform is an essential element of our commitment to innovation.”

BizBox members will have access to third-party experts who will help them with a range of services, from creating and designing websites to accounting, payroll and human resources functions to asset management and legal services. Other digital services, such as e-mail marketing and social marketing, will also be available.

According to a recent Office Depot study of 1,500 small business and start-up owners, nearly one-third of established businesses do not have a website, and over half do not do any kind of social marketing at all.

“We know from talking to them (small business owners and entrepreneurs) every day they feel pulled in a million directions, and often don’t know where to turn for support for all their needs,” said Kevin Moffitt, chief digital officer for Office Depot. “BizBox is a platform designed to help reduce some of the stress and barriers that prevent entrepreneurs from turning their ideas into reality, and is the first service of its kind backed by the business expertise of a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.”

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