Fung Global Retail & Technology tracks store openings and closures for a select group of US retailers.
What Is Happening This Week?
In contrast to the general retail environment and the slew of store closures this year, some retailers have announced plans to expand their footprint in the US market. Under Armour has opened 10 stores year to date, and department store chain Belk plans to open two new stores in October. Meanwhile, Italian intimate apparel brands Intimissimi and Calzedonia, both owned by Calzedonia Group, hit the US market, with plans to open 10 stores across the East Coast by the end of the year. Finally, the Nordstrom family is seeking to privatize the eponymous US department store operator through equity financing.
Under Armour Unveils Restructuring Plan
Under Armour announced plans to close stores and cut jobs as it looks to revitalize its business amid tough competition in the North American athletic apparel market. Its restructuring plan includes a strategic shift in positioning from a performance-driven sports brand to a lifestyle brand, as well as store closures and job cuts. There are currently 179 stores in North America.
Belk Announces Two New Store Openings
Belk, a department store chain headquartered in North Carolina, plans to open two more department stores— in Georgia and Kentucky—in October 2017, bringing the total store count to 294 across the country. The new store initiative is part of a $40 million investment in store remodels, capital improvements and new store openings in 2017. The objective of the capital expenditure is to engage more customers with a strong focus on customer experience through new initiatives such as a “buy online, pick up in store” service, phone-charging stations and more easily assessable customer service.
Calzedonia Group Lands in US Market
Calzedonia Group, the Italian fashion brand that owns innerwear and swimwear brands Intimissimi and Calzedonia, will be opening 10 new stores in the US by September 2017. The group is signing contracts for an additional 20 stores next year, according to Marcello Veronesi, country manager of Calzedonia USA. This marks the first attempt for the Italian fashion brand to open physical stores in the US market, following its recent expansion into Hong Kong. The flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York opened last weekend, with the remaining nine stores to be located across the East Coast. The expansion into the US intimate wear market comes at a time when Victoria’s Secret is struggling domestically. Calzedonia operates 4,500 stores in 45 countries, while Intimissimi has 1,400 stores under its name globally.
Nordstrom Family is Seeking to Privatize Nordstrom Inc.
The Nordstrom family is seeking to privatize its namesake department store operator Nordstrom Inc., according to Reuters. The family, which owns 31.2% of the company, is planning to raise around $1 billion from private equity investors. The drive for privatization comes at a time when the Nordstrom family plans to invest heavily in longer-term improvements that would appeal to customers but likely be unpopular among shareholders in the short term. These new initiatives include e-commerce development, closure of underperforming stores, a focus on prime store locations and expansion of Nordstrom’s discount shopping chain Nordstrom Rack.