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The TJX Companies, Inc. has announced that on September 16, 2020, its board of directors elected José B. Alvarez to the board, effective immediately. The company said in a statement that Alvarez previously served on TJX’s board from 2007 through 2018.

Commenting on Alvarez’s appoint to the board, Carol Meyrowitz, Executive Chairman of the board of The TJX Companies, stated: “His range of experience, deep knowledge of the global retail industry and understanding of our company can bring valued insight into the boardroom and add to the strength and diversity of our board. We look forward to working with José again as we continue to focus on the near- and long-term strength, stability and success of the company.”

Alvarez, the company added, is a member of the faculty of the Harvard Business School, which he joined in 2009 after holding various senior executive roles in the food retail industry. He served as executive vice president - global business development for Royal Ahold N.V., a global food retail group, in 2008 and served in a number of key management positions at Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover, a U.S. division of the group, from 2001 until 2008, including president and chief executive officer and executive vice president, supply chain and logistics. He previously held executive positions at Shaw’s Supermarkets after beginning his career at American Stores Company in 1990. Alvarez has also been a member of the board of directors of United Rentals, Inc., an equipment rental company, since 2009.

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-09-2020”

Rocket Internet SE has announced a consolidated loss of 12 million euros (14.2 million dollars) for the first six months in 2020. The company said in a statement that it generated 45 million euros (53.3 million dollars) of consolidated revenue and earnings per share of negative 0.07 euro in H1 2020. The company added that loss of associates and joint ventures increased from negative 48 million euros in Q1 to negative 84 million euros (99.5 million dollars) in H1 2020. The company said that main driver for the overall improvement in consolidated loss versus the first quarter was the financial result of 80 million euros in H1 2020.

Commenting on the first half trading, Oliver Samwer, founder and CEO of Rocket Internet said: “In the first half of 2020, we have seen very high volatility, both in private and public markets. Overall, the private participations continue to be heavily negatively impacted by Covid-19, while many public stocks have had positive performances in Q2 2020.”

Highlights of core companies under Rocket Internet

Rocket Internet’s selected companies developed well operationally in H1 2020, despite the impacts of Covid-19. Global Fashion Group grew group revenue to 608 million euros (720.6 million dollars) in H1 2020, a 0.7 percent growth in euro terms when compared against H1 2019 and 10 percent growth on a constant currency basis. Net merchandise value (NMV) transacted over its platform accounted for 31 percent in Q2 2020, while active customers increased by 21.6 percent to 15 million. The gross margin amounted to 41.8 percent, up 2.1 percentage points and the adjusted EBITDA margin was negative 2.2 percent, a year-over-year improvement of 2.6 percentage points.

Home24 grew revenue to 222 million euros (263 million dollars), a 31 percent increase year-over-year on a constant currency basis. Revenue in Europe increased by 31 percent to 177 million euros and Brazil saw very strong revenue growth of 30 percent on a constant currency basis, but when factoring in the weakening of the Brazilian Real, this amounted to 5 percent growth in euro terms or 45 million euros in the first half of 2020. The adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 3 percent compared to negative 13 percent in H1 2019.

Picture:Facebook/Zalora

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-09-2020”

In the first six months of this year, the John Lewis Partnership made a loss 55 million pounds, while sales were up marginally by 1 percent. The company said in a statement that in John Lewis, online sales growth was strong at 73 percent, helping to offset the impact of shop closures, with overall sales down 10 percent on last year. The company has also decided not to pay any bonus coming March due to the current circumstances.

“The outlook for the second half is clearly uncertain given the broader macroeconomy. Christmas trade is also particularly important to profits in John Lewis. In April, we set out a worst case scenario for the full year of a sales fall of 5 percent in Waitrose and 35 percent in John Lewis. That remains our worst case view. We now believe the most likely outcome will be a small loss or a small profit for the year,” said Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.

John Lewis added that sales momentum is starting to build in reopened stores, with sales down around 30 percent on last year, ahead of expectations, while stores in retail parks are down by around 15 percent and are doing better than city centres, especially London which is down around 40 percent. Online now accounts for more than 60 percent of sales, from 40 percent before the pandemic.

Commenting on non-payment of bonus, White added, “The Partnership Board has now confirmed that there will not be a bonus next year given our profit outlook. Outside of exceptional circumstances, we would now expect to begin paying a bonus again once our profits exceed 150 million pounds and our debt ratio falls below 4 times. Once our profits rise above 300 million pounds and a debt ratio below 3 times, we would expect to pay a bonus of at least 10 percent.”

Picture:John Lewis media gallery

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”17-09-2020”

Next brand full price sales in the first half of this year were down 33 percent on last year and total sales including markdown sales were down 34 percent, while profit before tax was 9 million pounds. Next plc said in a statement that since full price sales at the beginning of the second half have continued to exceed expectations and the company has revised central scenario for full year profit, up from 195 million pounds to 300 million pounds.

For the first half, Next full price sales were down 62 percent on last year. The company added that in the first six weeks, prior to the period of lockdown, full price sales were down 9 percent. Stores gradually reopened following lockdown and in the last six weeks of the first half, full price sales were down 39 percent and were down 32 percent on a like-for-like basis. Total sales including markdown sales were down 61 percent resulting in a loss of 175 million pounds.

Review of first half performance at Next

The company further said that online full price sales in the first half of the year were down 11 percent with Label UK particularly affected by the lack of demand for occasion and party clothing along with some stock shortages as partners were unable to reinstate orders it had cancelled. Within the Label UK numbers, Lipsy, which is heavily dependent on occasion dresses, was down 48 percent. Excluding Lipsy, Label UK sales were down 12 percent. In the first half, total online sales including markdown sales were down 14 percent and online profit was 128 million pounds, down 28 percent on last year.

Next said, sales in the first quarter struggled across all regions, but in the second quarter the company saw encouraging growth in Europe and the Middle East, up 53 percent and 20 percent, respectively, but the remaining regions have been significantly affected by longer lead times and the increased delivery charges due to restricted flight availability and freight surcharges charged by carriers.

Next Sourcing, Lipsy and the company’s franchise business all experienced significant reductions in sales and profits. As a result, profits from other activities dropped from 14 million pounds last year to a loss of 2 million pounds this year. The company’s franchise partners currently operate 183 stores in 35 countries, and it has one wholly owned store in the Czech Republic. Sales were significantly affected by Covid lockdowns in most of the territories in which the company’s franchise partners operate.

Next revises central profit outlook to 300 million pounds

The company said, in the last thirteen weeks since the stores reopened, Next brand full price sales have been much better, down 2 percent on last year. However, the company believes that recent sales are very unlikely to be indicative of its sales performance for the rest of the year.

Next’s new central scenario assumes that sales will be down 12 percent for the rest of the year and profit to reach 300 million pounds. In its downside scenario, the company assumes that full price sales will be down 34 percent for the rest of the year and profit at 110 million pounds, while the upside scenario assumes full price sales are down 4 percent for the rest of the year and profit of 370 million pounds.

Picture:Next Plc image gallery

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”17-09-2020”

AppsFlyer, SaaS (Software as a Service) mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform, analysed the key shopping patterns and behaviours of consumers.

During lockdown, in-app shopping activity surpassed the 2019 Q4 golden quarter by 12 percent, this is an indication for retailers to boost its e-commerce presence as there has been a rise of 35 percent in app installs.

Shani Rosenfelder, head of content & mobile insights of AppsFlyer, said in a statement: “Given that in-app shopping activity skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic in Q2, surpassing even the 2019 Q4 rush, we can expect the 2020 holiday season to be one for the record books.

“This year, more than ever, it is critical that marketers prepare a carefully-planned strategy to ensure consumers are able to find, explore, and shop within their app instead of turning to a number of alternatives. Special attention should be given to messaging that relays a sense of empathy to rekindle the holiday spirit during troubled times."

App usage surpasses shopping peak of 2019

The UK has seen an increase of 7.6 percent in its app usage in May 2020, rising to 8 percent in June 2020. In Europe, there was a spike of 7 percent in May 2020, versus 6.7 percent at its peak in November 2019.

Demand for e-commerce apps during lockdown

The UK experienced a 156 percent spike between February and May 2020 in iOS non-organic stalls, while Android grew by 142 percent. The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region saw a 56 percent rise in non-organic installs during lockdown, between the months of February to May 2020.

Spending surge during spring in spite of lockdown restrictions

In the UK, there was an increase of 166 percent in ad spends between March and June 2020, and consumer shopping surpassed Q4 in all shopping categories: fashion spend reached 14 percent in May 2020, compared to 12.3 percent in November 2019.

Doug McMillen, vice president of enterprise strategy of AppsFlyer, added: “The opportunity is tremendous for brands and marketers, with added pressure to not only provide access to eCommerce via shopping apps, but to also implement creativity, compassion and understanding throughout marketing efforts and UX.

“With this report, coupled with a recognition that a frictionless experience is essential as brick and mortar physical shoppers navigate a new-to-them mobile experience, marketers are now armed with the data and direction needed to create positive impact and ROI this holiday season.”

Photo credit: Pexels, Artem Bali

Author: Andrea Byrne
Posted: ”16-09-2020”

As of June 30, 2020, the Salvatore Ferragamo Group reported revenues of 377 million euros down 46.6 percent at current exchange and 46.9 percent at constant exchange rate. Revenues in the second quarter registered a 60.1 percent decrease at current exchange and 59.4 percent at constant exchange rates. The company said in a statement that the drop in revenues has been determined by the rapid diffusion of the pandemic caused by Covid-19.

In the first half, the company’s gross profit decreased by 50.5 percent to 226 million euros. Its incidence on revenues was down 480 basis points, moving to 60.0 percent, from 64.8 percent of 1H 2019. The gross operating profit (EBITDA) decreased by 83.9 percent over the period to 30 million euros, while operating profit (EBIT) was negative at 74 million euros vs. 94 million euros positive in 1H 2019. The company said that pre-tax profit was negative for 93 million euros vs. 79 million euros positive last year, net profit was negative 86 million euros vs. 60 million euros positive in 1H 2019, while the group net profit was negative 82 million euros against 58 million euros positive in 1H 2019.

Salvatore Ferragamo’s retail and wholesale channels posts sharp sales decline

At the first half period, the group’s retail network counted on 643 points of sales, including 389 directly operated stores and 254 third party operated stores in the wholesale and travel retail channel, as well as the presence in department stores and high-level multi-brand specialty stores. In the first half, the retail distribution channel posted consolidated revenues down 41 percent or 41.1 percent at constant exchange rates, with a decrease of 41 percent at constant exchange rates and like-for-like. In the second quarter, retail revenues decreased 51.2 percent or 50.7 percent at constant exchange, with a 51 percent like-for-like performance.

The wholesale channel registered a decrease in revenues of 56.4 percent or 56.8 percent at constant exchange rates penalized by the performance of the travel retail channel and of fragrances. In the second quarter, wholesale revenues were down 75.7 percent or 74.4 percent at constant exchange rates.

Salvatore Ferragamo’s performance across geographies

The company added that Asia Pacific area confirmed as the group’s top market, reaching over 44 percent of total revenues, decreased by 39.9 percent or 39.1 percent at constant exchange rates. The second quarter performance in the area showing 35.3 percent drop at constant exchange, recovered vs. the previous quarter, benefitted from the positive performance of the retail channel in China, which recorded a revenue growth of 11.6 percent at constant exchange rates. The company further said that a similar growth trend has been registered, in the second quarter, in the retail channel in South Korea, that reported a positive performance in 1H 2020.

Ferragamo said, the Japanese market registered a 37.4 percent decrease in revenues or 39.3 percent at constant exchange in the first half, with second quarter sales down 56.1 percent or 58.4 percent at constant exchange rates penalized by the stores closures in the period. EMEA posted, in 1H 2020, a decrease in revenues of 51.7 percent or 51.2 percent at constant exchange, with second quarter sales down 71.9 percent at constant exchange strongly impacted by the stores closures and the lack of tourists’ flows in the period.

North America recorded a revenue decrease of 54.4 percent or 57.8 percent at constant exchange in the first half, with second quarter revenues down 81.1 percent or 83.2 percent at constant exchange rates, while revenues in the Central and South America in 1H 2020 were down 54.6 percent or 50.1 percent at constant exchange, with second quarter down 89.2 percent or 83.1 percent at constant exchange.

All product categories, at constant exchange rates, reported a decrease in 1H 2020 vs. the same period of last year with the fragrances division registering a decrease in Revenues of 66.6 percent.

Picture:Facebook/Salvatore Ferragamo

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-09-2020”

Inditex Group sales continued to recover during the first half of 2020 to reach 8 billion euros, decline of 37 percent, helped by an improved second quarter, when the fall in sales slowed to 31 percent, from a decline of 44 percent in the first quarter. The company said in a statement that it also returned to net profit in the second quarter of 214 million euros leaving behind the Q1 net loss. First half net loss was 195 million euros. The company added that leaving out the 308 million euros provision recognised in the first quarter to accelerate the integration of the store and online platforms, the group would have recorded a net profit of 39 million euros in the first half.

Commenting on the results, Inditex’s Executive Chairman, Pablo Isla, said: “The recovery and strong performance are due to the hard work, engagement and creativity of everyone in Inditex. I am particularly pleased with our online sales growth, which demonstrates the critical importance of our integrated store and online platform strategy. This is a cornerstone of our unique business model with three key pillars flexibility, digital integration and sustainability. Day by day this combination is proving its solidness”.

Inditex sees further positive progress in Q3

As many as 87 percent of the group’s stores were closed during the month of May, with business gradually returning to normal since. Inditex has currently managed to open 98 percent of its stores around the world. The group’s total sales were boosted by very strong online growth, which reached 74 percent year on year in the first six months of the fiscal year. Gross margin remained at 56.2 percent of sales, compared to 56.8 percent in 1H19.

The company added that third quarter continues to see a progressive return to normality, with online sales growing sharply and store sales recovering gradually. Store and online sales in local currencies between August 1 and September 6, 2020 were down 11 percent against a comparable of 8 percent growth during the same period of 2019.

As approved by the shareholders during the annual general meeting, Inditex said, on November 2, 2020, the company will pay an ordinary dividend of 0.35 euros per share from 2019 profits.

Picture credit:Inditex

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-09-2020”

Kohl's Corp. (KSS) disclosed in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it reduced corporate jobs by about 15 percent, as it looks to save cash due to the business impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to reports, the department store operator cut jobs at its headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, as well as offices in New York and Milpitas, California.

The retailer expects pre-tax costs of about 23 million for the restructuring actions, the majority of which will be recorded in the third quarter of 2020.

The company expects the job cuts will save it about 65 million dollars per year.

Together with its February 2020 restructuring actions, the company expects to save more than 100 million dollars per year, the retailer said in a statement.

Kohl's said in February that it would lay off 250 jobs. The lay offs included an entire "layer" of regional store leadership positions and restructuring teams in its merchant organization.(DPA)

Author: DPA
Posted: ”16-09-2020”

New Look CVA approved New Look Retail Holdings Limited has announced that the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposal launched on August 26, 2020 has been approved by the requisite majority of its unsecured creditors. The company said in a statement that the approval for the CVA proposal means the comprehensive financial recapitalisation transaction announced on August 13, 2020 to extend New Look’s facilities, deliver a new money investment of 40 million pounds and significantly de-leverage the balance sheet can now be progressed towards completion. The CVA proposal includes approval for a three-year rent holiday on 68 of its stores and rent reductions on hundreds of others as the company struggles to stay afloat.

Commenting on the development, Nigel Oddy, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our landlords and creditors for their support for our CVA, which, alongside the consequential financial restructuring that will now be progressed, will provide us with enhanced financial strength and flexibility, and a sustainable platform for future trading and investment.”

The company added that the said transaction, which has already received the requisite support from its secured financial creditors, will provide New Look with the financial strength, funding and flexibility to execute on its strategy, including a debt for equity swap on New Look’s current debt, reducing senior debt from 550 million pounds to 100 million pounds, and significantly decreasing interest costs, an extension of primary working capital facilities, which provide further financial support to the group with no near-term maturities, and an injection of 40 million pounds of new capital to support the business plan.

“The approval of the CVA is an important milestone in New Look’s restructuring, enabling the business to move forward. The CVA will provide a stable platform for its management team’s strategy,” added Daniel Butters, CVA supervisor at Deloitte.

Picture:Facebook/New Look

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-09-2020”

Apex Global Brands’ revenues for the second quarter were 4.4 million dollars, a decrease of 22 percent. The decline in revenues, the company said in a statement, reflects the non-renewal of certain Cherokee brand licenses and the decrease in sales of licensees’ products related to Covid-19 shelter-in-place orders. For the first six months, revenues totalled 8.4 million dollars, a decrease of 21 percent from 10.7 million dollars in the first six months of fiscal 2020.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought tremendous uncertainty to the retail sector, including a profound impact on our licensees domestically and abroad,” said Henry Stupp, Chief Executive Officer of Apex Global Brands, adding, “Ultimately, while we cannot predict the long-term impact the pandemic will have on our licensees’ abilities to meet their royalty agreements, we have adapted and positioned our company to manage the new realities of the retail market.”

The company’s operating income in the second quarter reached 2 million dollars compared with 1.6 million dollars in the second quarter of the prior year, while operating loss during the first six months was 7 million dollars. Net loss for the quarter was 1.3 million dollars or a loss of 2.38 dollars per diluted share compared to net loss of 1.3 million dollars or a loss of 2.34 dollars per diluted share in the second quarter of the prior year. The company added that net loss for the first six months was 3.2 million dollars or a loss of 5.69 dollars per diluted share compared to a net loss of 3.5 million dollars or a loss of 6.69 dollars per diluted share in the prior year. The company’s adjusted EBITDA totalled 2.3 million dollars in the second quarter, while adjusted EBITDA in the first six months decreased to 3.4 million dollars.

Picture:Facebook/Everyday California

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-09-2020”