1. GAP Inc. spins off Old Navy
GAP announced Thursday morning that it will split into two separate publicly traded companies: One, Old Navy and the other, yet to be named, consisting of GAP, Banana Republic, Intermix, Hill City and Athleta. Chairman of GAP, Robert Fisher said “Following a comprehensive review by the Gap Inc. board of directors, it’s clear that Old Navy’s business model and customers have increasingly diverged from our specialty brands over time, and each company now requires a different strategy to thrive moving forward”. The retailer also said that as part of restructuring efforts, it will close over 200 stores in the next two years.
2. Amazon kills physical dash buttons
Amazon has decided to stop selling dash buttons that lets shoppers order essentials like detergent and paper towels at will. However, it will continue to support existing buttons. The reason behind the move is that “customers are increasingly using programs like Alexa Shopping, which provides a hands-free shopping experience, and Subscribe & Save, which lets customers automatically receive their favorite items every month”, an Amazon spokesperson said.
3. 7-Eleven enters India
Convenience retailer 7-Eleven has reportedly signed a master franchise agreement with a subsidiary of Future Retail Ltd to develop and operate 7-Eleven stores. Future Retail plans to build new 7-Eleven stores as well as convert some of its existing stores to the 7-Eleven banner. Future Retail is the largest retailer in India with a huge physical footprint (both stores as well as warehouses and suppliers). 7 Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 67,000 stores across 17 countries.
4. AdoreMe acquires Belabumbum
Digitally Native lingerie retailer AdoreMe has acquired the nearly 20-year-old maternity apparel company Belabumbum. The latter was founded in 2001 as a boutique lingerie line and later expanded to maternity and nursing wear. Belabumbum is also one of the leaders in the maternity wear market, selling wholesale to Nordstrom, Macy’s and Lord & Taylor. For AdoreMe, which continues to scale its offline presence and compete with the likes of ThirdLove and Victoria’s Secret, this acquisition would mean product line expansion and acquiring new customers.
5. 300 store closures in 24 hours
GAP, JCPenny and Victoria’s Secret have announced more than 300 store closures in a single day. Late on Thursday, GAP announced that it would spin off Old Navy as a separate company and close more than 200 stores in the coming months. Earlier in the day, JCPenny announced the closure of 27 of its stores which included 18 full-line department stores and 9 furniture stores. Late on Wednesday, Victoria’s Secret announced that it would be shutting down 53 of its stores after failing to arrest declining same-store sales. These closures have reportedly brought the total number of store closures for 2019 to 4500.