Manhattan jewelry flagship transports shoppers to Bali
Luxury jewelry brand John Hardy evokes its Balinese roots at its new, multi-sensory flagship in Manhattan’s SoHo.
The new boutique is the brand’s second U.S. location, and follows on the heels of its store in Houston. John Hardy’s foray into freestanding retail comes amid a full brand transformation, led by CEO, and former American Eagle Outfitter chief, Robert Hanson that includes reaching the customer at multiple touchpoints. (In 2014, John Hardy was acquired by private equity firm Catterton, which appointed Hanson as CEO.)
Additional plans include expansion of e-commerce and a limited number of retail boutiques in key cities.
Conceptualized by architectural firm Design Republic, the 1,200-sq.-ft., three-level flagship celebrate the brand's heritage and roots in artisan craftsmanship and is designed to engage all five senses with the myth and magic of Balinese artisanship.
The highlight of the space is the second-floor artisan workshop that will host master classes, workshops, talks, and various installations across various disciplines. It will also serve as an actual workshop for John Hardy artisan in residence from overseas.
The flagship blends together scent, sound, light and art for a reimagining of the brand’s jewelry workshop in Bali. A lush, custom scent wafts through the store, conjuring up the verdant grounds of Bali, while the lighting system (from Ketra) shifts throughout the day to evoke the rising and setting of the Balinese sun. A custom playlist blends nomadic beats and natural soundscapes.
In keeping with founder John Hardy's creative vision as an artist and environmental sculptor, the walls of the store showcase gallery-styled collections. Signature carved wood details punctuate the space with rich walnut and hammered gold inlays. A large-scale art installation hand-carved from teakwood tree root serves as a dynamic focal point.
Walmart tests convenience-store format with online grocery pickup service
Walmart has opened a 4,000-sq.-ft. format that offers pick-up of online grocery orders and a convenience store that also sells snacks, beverages and more.
The 4,000-sq.-ft. location, in Thornton, Colorado, also has on-site gaso-line station, the Denver Business Journal reported.
It’s the second location for the concept, with the retailer opening its first pick-up and fuel station in April, in Huntsville, Alabama, according to the report.
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Walmart settles same-sex spouse benefits discrimination suit
Walmart has agreement to a settlement in a lawsuit that accused the retailer of discrimination against gay employees who were unable to get healthcare coverage for their same-sex spouses.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the discounter will set aside $7.5 million to compensate the employees affected by the denial of spousal benefits from 2011 to 2014. (Walmart changed its policy to include same-sex spouses on Jan. 1, 2014, shortly after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.)
The company said the settlement includes "no more than a few thousand current and former Walmart associates."
“We’re happy both sides could come together to reach a resolution,” Sally Welborn, senior VP of global benefits, Walmart, said in a statement. “We will continue to not distinguish between same- and opposite-sex spouses when it comes to the benefits we offer under our health insurance plan.”