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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On September 17, 2021, it was reported, Sears plans to close its last store in Illinois, the state that has been home to the retailer's headquarters since it was a mail-order catalog in the 19th century. A spokesperson for Sears owner Transformco confirmed the Nov. 14 store closing and planned redevelopment of the property, inside Simon Property Group's Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. Liquidation and disposition firm SB360 includes the Schaumburg store in a list of nine Sears and Kmart closures the firm is working on with Transformco.
    • On September 15, 2021, it was reported, Casper has laid off dozens of employees, including three C-Level executives: its chief marketing officer, chief technology officer and chief operating officer, sources say. The mattress company declined to comment. The round of layoffs, communicated to employees on Friday, largely impacted retail and operations teams, signaling that the business may be undergoing a broader restructuring. Laid-off employees were offered severance packages. Notably, the impacted executives were all fairly recent additions to the team. CTO Ben Clark has been with the company since July 2019, while former CMO Lisa Pillette joined Casper in March 2020. Casper COO Charles Liu had only been at the company for eight months before this round of layoffs. Casper's CFO remains at the startup, but that role has had some significant turnover as well. In an April 2020 business update, Casper announced that Gregory Macfarlane, its CFO and COO at the time, was leaving the company. Interim CFO Stuart Brown eventually took the role, and three months later resigned. The latest CFO, Michael Monahan, took the position effective August 31, 2021.
    • On August 19, 2021, it was reported, custom upholstery manufacturer Norwalk Furniture has entered into an agreement to give ownership to its employees through an employee stock ownership plan. Effective Sept. 1 and each year thereafter, all full-time employees will be given shares in the company through their retirement savings. The benefit is funded entirely by the company and requires no out-of-pocket investment by employees. The value of the shares at retirement will depend on the long-term performance of the organization. Upon completion of the transition, Norwalk's new owners through the ESOP currently will comprise 278 employees at the company's 440,000-square-foot plant here.
    • On August 13, 2021, it was reported, after months of speculation, Adidas announced it would sell Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for 2.1 billion euros ($2.46 billion), with the majority to be paid in cash. The brand conglomerate had reportedly made a $1 billion bid for the company in the spring. Authentic Brands plans to maintain Reebok's footprint "across retail, wholesale and e-commerce channels," according to a statement emailed to Retail Dive. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Adidas bought Reebok in 2006 for $3.8 billion, about $1.34 billion more than it is now being sold for. The company first announced it would divest Reebok in February.