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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On July 16, 2021, it was reported, Burlington Stores named Travis Marquette as its new president and chief operating officer to oversee the off-price retailer's stores, real estate, supply chain and information technology functions. Up until Wednesday, Marquette served as chief financial officer at fellow off-pricer Ross Stores, which announced his resignation earlier this week. Ross COO Michael Hartshorn is overseeing Ross' finance team until the company hires a new CFO. Marquette is set to begin at Burlington in October, according to a securities filing. He replaces Fred Hand, who left in May to become Tuesday Morning's CEO.
    • On July 15, 2021, it was reported, HBC is named after Hudson's Bay Company, a venerable Canadian department store that evolved from a 17th century fur trading business. The company expanded into a conglomerate in the 21st century, but, recently, has fractured. The company, for years,led in some capacity or other by U.S. real estate magnate Richard Baker, at various times, including now, as its chief executive controls Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S. and Hudson's Bay Co. in Canada, and until recently, Lord & Taylor in the U.S. and department stores in Europe. With the department store model in trouble and under pressure to maximize the value of its properties, HBC began unloading or shrinking its operations divesting its European holdings; eliminating its furniture stores and shifting that business to full-line Hudson's Bay stores; and, selling Lord & Taylor's flagship to WeWork, and then the rest of that business to apparel site Le Tote (with HBC retaining some ties to its properties). After several dismal years of falling sales and investor rebellion, HBC went private early last year. Now, the company is breaking down further. In a series of moves that run counter to retail's current omnichannel ideal, HBC is chopping up its crown jewel, luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue, with the help of cash infusions from private equity investors. Saks' stores will stay at HBC, while its e-commerce business spins off. The same goes for the off-price Saks Off Fifth business, which will be separate not just from the full-line business, but also split into digital and brick-and-mortar entities. It's a bewildering set of circumstances, though the company promises that it won't interfere with the customer's smooth interaction with the "Saks" brand.
    • On July 15, 2021, it was reported, Dollar General plans to hire up to 50,000 new employees by Labor Day, according to a press release. The company is looking for additional staff for its stores, distribution centers, trucking fleet and store support center. The hiring blitz comes as the dollar store retailer plans 1,050 new stores for fiscal 2021.
    • On July 13, 2021, it was reported, Nordstrom has acquired a minority interest in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands, "setting the stage" for a wider strategic partnership with the brands' new owner, U.K. apparel e-retailer Asos, the companies said Monday. Nordstrom has been the exclusive U.S. distributor of Topshop and Topman since 2012, per an emailed press release. With the brands' stand-alone stores closed, many after a 2019 restructuring, Nordstrom will be their only brick-and-mortar presence worldwide and will "have the exclusive multi-channel retail rights for Topshop and Topman in all of North America." The companies are also in discussions about how to showcase "a handful of Asos brands for Nordstrom customers." Starting this fall, Asos customers will be able to pick up their orders at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores.