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The mega store utilises sustainable technologies, such as a photovoltaic solar array on the roof, an electric vehicle charging station and a recycling station for soft plastics and polystyrene.
Online investment swamps Gap profits
Clothing store Gap has fallen short on its quarterly profit as it attempts to pivot its brand to online. The move led to a surge in marketing and shipping costs, which saw the retailer’s shares plummet 11 per cent.
The company forecast its Q4 sales to be stagnant or slightly higher than last year, and warned of pressure on margins due to higher shipping costs ahead of the festive season.
Gap’s online sales lifted to 61 per cent during Q3 as shoppers who were stuck at home purchased joggers, yoga pants and tops from brands such as Old Navy and Athleta. But operating expenses rose eight per cent that same quarter.
The company recently launched online campaigns such as “Stand United” and “Be the Future”, and will continue making marketing investments, CEO Sonia Syngal said.
“With this Covid environment and really a lot of the weaker players seeing a significant amount of disruption, we see this as an important time to be investing in our brands for demand generation,” she told analysts.
The retail giant said that it plans to shut down several Gap and Banana Republic stores globally, but it will open more Old Navy and Athleta stores, which earn more than the other brands.
The San Francisco-based retailer reported a net income of $95 million, or 25 cents per share, for the three months ended October 31, down from a profit of $140 million, or 37 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected the company to earn 32 cents per share.
L’Oreal names Gemma Chan as its new brand ambassador
British Actor Gemma Chan has been named L’Oreal’s newest brand ambassador. The skincare brand said it was drawn to the actor’s strong values on inclusivity and feminism, which align with those at the heart of L’Oreal. Chan uses her platform to advocate for gender equality, race diversity and children’s rights.
“Gemma Chan is proof of the success that happens when you have the confidence to follow your own dreams, and speak up for others to be able to follow theirs,” said Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, global brand president at L’Oreal Paris. “Committed to her causes with innate female strength, she’s a source of inspiration beyond the screen, for young women to be the change.”
Chan joins a long list of impressive ambassadors for the brand, including Helen Mirren, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Katherine Langford and Lily-Rose Depp.
“I’ve always believed that we should embrace our difference as our strength,” Chan said. “I’m thrilled to join L’Oreal Paris, a family of empowered women of all origins standing together to show the power and beauty of diversity.”
EU funds The New Cotton Project
In a world-first for the fashion industry, a group of 12 brands, manufacturers, suppliers, innovators and research institutes will join together to demonstrate a new circular, sustainable fashion model.
The European Union’s New Cotton Project will demonstrate that while circular fashion is crucial in the future of the industry, it can be achieved right now.
Over three years, textile waste will be collected, sorted and regenerated into cellulose-based textile fibres, which are unique to the Finnish biotechnology group Infinited Fiber Company. These fibres will then be turned into fabric and used by Adidas and brands in the H&M Group. Once customers are done with their garments, a take-back scheme will allow the pieces to enter another phase – being reused, recycled or regenerated into new fabrics to embark on the journey again.
European Commission’s EU Circular Economy Action Plan aims to make sustainability commonplace in the fashion industry. Partners in the New Cotton Project come from Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Turkey.
New World Development opens the new “11 Skies”
Hong Kong’s New World Development Company has opened a HK$20 billion mixed-use development project at the Hong Kong International Airport’s SkyCity: 11 Skies, which is set to be the region’s largest retail, dining and entertainment hub.
The 350,000-square-metre complex will also house wealth management and wellness services, including the Bank of China (Hong Kong), Citibank, Standard Chartered, FTLife Insurance and Trinity Health Enterprise.
Three grade A office towers will be linked to more than 800 shops, including more than 120 dining concepts.
“11 Skies will be a game-changer for Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area,” said Adrian Cheng, CEO of the New World Development and founder of the K11 Group. “It is the first project that comprehensively combines retail, dining, entertainment, together with wellness and wealth management in one complete ecosystem for people in Hong Kong, Greater Bay Area and the rest of the world.”
Funtastic completes Toys ’R’ Us acquisition
Australian toy wholesaler Funtastic has completed its acquisition process of the Hobby Warehouse Group, which houses Toys ‘R’ Us, Babies ‘R’ Us, and Mittoni. Shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of the transaction.
Funtastic has also acquired new shares in the company under the underwritten placement and conversion of existing debt to equity. All new shares issued under the Placement and Debt Conversion and the new shares approved by the AGM commenced on November 26.
Louis Mittoni has taken on the position of managing director and chief executive of the combined company, with Kevin Moore acting as chairman and former director and chairman Bernie Brookes stepping down.
Mittoni said their wholesale operations, Mittoni Technologies and Funtastic, will continue to support all retailers with a wide range of the best-known branded technology, toys and baby products.
“We are looking forward to building a company with strong foundations and big plans for growth,” he said.
According to Mittoni, Toys ’R’ Us is now one of the fastest growing online retailers in ANZ and they want to accelerate that growth in 2021 with further expansion plans, plus the commencement of Babies ‘R’ Us.
The next stage of Toys ‘R’ Us’ relaunch involves building new physical and digital logistics, as well as innovative, experiential retail stores.