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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On November 21, 2014, it was reported, bankrupt retailer Alco Stores is going out of business, and closing its 198 stores, a victim of both the economy and the changing retail landscape. The company was founded 113 years ago and, over time, evolved into a full-line discounter serving primarily smaller communities. In recent years, it had faced increasing tough competition from deep-discount and dollar stores as well as online players. Alco was also hard hit by the recession, from which many of its customers have yet to fully recover. The company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, with plans to either sell or liquidate its business. In the filling, Alsoc cited a "lingering economic slowdown" for its situation, and said it hoped to sell better-performing stores while liquidating the rest. But in court papers filed this week, Alco said it has been unable to find any buyers to keep the stores open. On Thursday, the federal bankruptcy court "approved an order yesterday authorizing Tiger Capital Group LLC, SB Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC to conduct liquidation sales in each of Alcos stores. . More than $260 million of inventory, fixtures and equipment will be liquidated during the sale, which begins Friday, Nov. 21. "Alco's humble beginning as a single variety store in 1901 began a path of growth fueled by a strategy of focusing on smaller communities throughout the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest while offering a wide selection of products at heavily discounted prices," said Daniel Kane, managing member of Tiger Capital Group. "In addition to the convenience of being able to shop locally, the chain distinguished itself by emphasizing the kind of friendly, personal service that small-town consumers
    • On November 21, 2014, it was reported, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has entered into a franchise agreement with Grupo AXO to establish a retail store presence in Mexico. The franchise arrangement, the first in the company`s history, will encompass both the Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands. The first Hollister store is set to open in late spring 2015 and the first Abercrombie & Fitch store is expected to open in late summer 2015. The company anticipates a continuing rollout that will include stores in cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.
    • On November 21, 2014, it was reported, Amazon-owned Zappos has opened a 20,000 sq-ft store near its Las Vegas headquarters. The e-retailer's first-ever physical store is a pop-up developed with logistics company OrderWithMe that will be open 24-7 from Nov. 21 to Dec. 31, and that features entertainment and food and drinks.
    • On November 21, 2014, it was reported, Nasty Gal, the teen-fave online player with a cult following, has opened its first retail store, on Melrose Avenue in the heart of Hollywood, California. "We've been having a dialogue with our gal for eight years this month and to celebrate that, we're taking the conversation offline," said Sophia Amoruso, CEO and founder of Nasty Gal, and author of the best-selling #GIRLBOSS book. The 3,500-sq.-ft. store store is as offbeat and boundary-pushing as its founder. It is centralized around the try-on experience, with a mirrored glass structure at the center of the space which houses five fit rooms. The rooms will allow voyeuristic shoppers to try on clothes behind two-way mirrored doors, allowing them to see out with complete privacy.