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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On June 19, 2019, it was reported, Forever 21 has gone further in its efforts to avoid bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. The publication reported that the retailer has hired restructuring advisers, citing sources familiar with the matter. Latham & Watkins LLP is on board to help renegotiate leases that could involve shuttering stores, and Alvarez & Marsal was hired to overhaul operations, the Journal said. In addition to the rent relief, the fast-fashion retailer hopes to raise money, in part to replace a JPMorgan Chase loan it's burned through to cover losses, according to the report. Forever21 didn't immediately return Retail Dive's request for comment.
    • On June 18, 2019, it was reported, as Walmart outsources finance and accounting work to New York-based professional services firm Genpact, the retail giant is laying off 569 employees at a corporate office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification in that state. A Walmart spokesperson confirmed the move to Retail Dive in an interview and said the Genpact partnership was announced last fall. "This was a difficult decision that affects friends and associates we care about deeply. We appreciate their important contributions, and we're committed to handling every transition over the next seven months smoothly and respectfully," she said. "We are maintaining a corporate presence in Charlotte. As our company continues evolving, we've said we must strike the right balance between managing the needs of our business, our associates and our customers." Walmart's Charlotte office will remain open for its "People Solutions" team, which provides some human resources services like background checks and drug testing for prospective employees and to support a Walmart U.S. regional office, according to the spokesperson.
    • On June 17, 2019, it was reported, industry veteran Ron King plans to close King's Home Furnishings after 60 years in business. The mid-priced furniture store got its start in 1959 by King's father Henry King, moved just once and just a couple of blocks down the same street, and through this month was still employing the original slogan: "Where Quality Tells and Price Sells."
    • On June 17, 2019, it was reported, home furnishings manufacturer and retailer Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is adding Allison O'Connor as the company's new president and CEO effective July 15. O'Connor has more than 30 years of merchandising and retail leadership at brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Terrain and Williams-Sonoma. Most recently, she helped lead the expansion and growth of Australian homewares brand, Sheridan. "We are thrilled to have Allison coming aboard. She has a proven track record in building an omnichannel business with excellence," said Mitchell Gold, chairman. "Allison has the skills and equally important, the heart to help us carry our ethos forward while keeping us at the forefront of our industry, as we have been over the last 30 years." Bob Williams added, "Allison's experience is exactly what our company needs. When I first met her, I was taken with her intellect and warmth, and that she is a 'shopkeeper' at her core." Gold will remain as chairman focused on vision and strategy, and Williams will remain as president of design. O'Connor will be based at the company's headquarters in Taylorsville, N.C. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams owns and operates 30 retail stores and a manufacturing and one-million-square-foot distribution center in North Carolina to support the brand's retail, wholesale, office, contract and hospitality sectors.