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    • On March 28, 2017, it was reported, Rent-A-Center Inc. has taken action to reduce the likelihood that an investor gains unsolicited control of the company. The nation's largest rent-to-own operator has adopted a stockholder rights plan, or a so-called poison pill, that would become exercisable if a group buys 15% or more of its outstanding shares. The move comes a month after activist investor Engaged Capital LLC, which owns a 12.9% stake in the company, stepped up efforts to push the furniture retailer, which has been struggling with slumping sales, to sell itself. "The Rights Plan is also designed to protect Rent-A-Center stockholders by reducing the likelihood that any person or group would gain control of the company through open market accumulation without appropriately compensating its stockholders for such control or providing the Board sufficient time to make informed judgments," Rent-A-Center stated.
    • On March 27, 2017, it was reported, shares of Finish Line sank as much as 20% Friday after the athletic apparel retailer released a quarterly and full-year report that missed expectations. Finish Line's Q4 consolidated net sales fell 0.4% to $557.5 million, beating the FactSet expectation for $548.1 million cited by MarketWatch, but Q4 same-store sales fell 4.5%, compared to FactSet's forecast for a 4.2% decline. The company generated a loss of $9.47 million or 23 cents per share, from a profit of $4.0 million or 9 cents per share in the year-ago period. In good news for both Finish Line and Macy's, sales at the department store rose 35% in Q4, and for the full fiscal year 2017, Finish Line said that consolidated net sales rose 2.5% $1.84 billion, with same-store sales increasing 0.3% and sales at Macy's up nearly 30%. In a conference call with analysts, CEO Sam Sato said Finish Line shuttered 24 underperforming stores in fiscal 2017, bringing the total number of closures to 78 over the last 24 months, and that the company has identified and plans to close another 15 to 20 locations this year, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
    • On March 27, 2017, it was reported, Coach may be ready to buy Kate Spade & Co. in weeks or even days for an unknown amount, sources told Business of Fashion. Both companies declined to comment, according to the report, but analysts have speculated the price tag could top $2 billion. Earlier this year, the luxury retailer, as well as rivals Michael Kors and other unnamed overseas companies, was said to be mulling bids on the handbag and accessories maker. Cowen & Company last week raised its target price of the Kate Spade brand in light of its assessment that there's an 80% chance it will be sold. Kate Spade last month said it is exploring "strategic alternatives," following pressure in November from activist firm Caerus Investors, which penned a letter to the company urging it to consider a sale.
    • On March 23, 2017, it was reported, financial services and liquidation firms Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group have been chosen to assist outdoor specialty retailer Gander Mountain in the closure of 32 under-performing stores nationwide, the firms said Thursday. The court approved liquidation sales while the retailer pursues a going-concern sale of its remaining assets, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. Brands offered during the liquidation include Under Armour, Yeti, The North Face, Coleman, GoPro, Shimano, Columbia, Guide Series, GSX, Carhartt, Merrell, Keen, New Balance, Reebok and Rocky, to name a few. Categories include shooting sports, hunting, fishing, camping, marine, apparel, footwear and outdoor lifestyle. Furniture, fixtures and equipment will also be on sale as part of the liquidation event. Closures include stores in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. A full list of store closures is on Tiger Group's website.