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Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. has announced that Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., the 11-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, has been named to the company’s board of directors.

“Larry has been part of the DICK’S Sporting Goods family for nearly 10 years, and we’ve gotten to know him very well,” said Ed Stack, Chairman and CEO in a statement, adding, “Larry has a deep understanding of the business of sports and its market dynamics. Larry is a man of integrity, and he shares our values and our commitment to caring for communities. Based on his background, Larry will be a great addition to our board.”

The company added that Fitzgerald is an active member in the business community. He joined the Sports Matter Advisory Board of The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation in 2018 to help inspire and enable youth sports participation, and he recently purchased a minority ownership stake in the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.

“I’ve long admired Dick’s Sporting Goods, and over the years have had the opportunity to see up close what they stand for and who they are as a company. We share a passion for sports, supporting young people and serving our communities,” added Fitzgerald.

Outside the field of play, through the “Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund,” founded in 2005, Fitzgerald has used his personal platform to support children and families in-need, with a focus on promoting literacy and technology skills, as well as spearheading efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer. In honour of his mother who passed away from breast cancer in 2003, Fitzgerald founded the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund. The organization is dedicated to supporting causes that his mother was passionate about, including support for Black women with breast cancer, the prevention of HIV/AIDS among Black communities and education initiatives for urban youth.

In 2017, Fitzgerald was a co-winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player for excellence on and off the field. He has made five USO tours to visit soldiers overseas and has helped dig wells and build irrigation systems in Ethiopia with Oxfam, a global nonprofit working to end poverty. Fitzgerald has donated substantially to various schools, groups and parks around the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, where he was born and raised. Fitzgerald played college football at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned unanimous All-America honors, and received a B.A. in Communications from the University of Phoenix.

Picture:Dick's Sporting Goods website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-07-2020”

Truworths, the South African owner of Office, has said it is in the process of negotiating further funding for the British footwear retailer.

It is also looking into different restructuring initiatives, including a staff redundancy process and store lease negotiations, in a bid to “secure the long-term viability” of the struggling retailer.

Truworths, which bought a majority stake in Office in 2015, said as a group it has been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. “As stated in the previous announcement, the Covid-19 pandemic will weigh negatively on the group’s results for the current period, and will result in an impairment of the Group’s carrying value of the Office trademarks and right-of-use assets relating to store leases,” the company said.

In August, Truworths said it was planning to close up to 15 loss-making Office stores in the UK as part of its turnaround strategy.

Photo credit: Office Shoes, Facebook

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”16-07-2020”

British footwear retailer Johnson Shoes has been saved from administration in a move that will see half of its stores close.

The company has been bought by Newjohn Ltd, part of independent retailer Daniel Footwear.

As part of the administration, the company’s stores in Windsor, Newbury, East Sheen, New Malden, Beaconsfield and Richmond have ceased trading. Its remaining stores in Teddington, Twickenham, Walton-on-Thames, Farnham, Staines and Northwood have all been saved, and will continue to trade as Johnsons Shoes. Sixty-six jobs have been saved.

Ian Defty, joint administrator from CVR Global, said in a statement: “Rescuing any high street retailer during one of the most volatile economic periods in living memory is no mean feat – so we are pleased to have saved a significant number of jobs and half of the store’s estate.

“The business has traded strongly for many years, but last year was particularly difficult for them as they battled with rising rent and business rates, combined with the increasing competition from online shopping.

“However, we believe we have found a buyer who, with more than 20 years of retail experience, is the perfect fit for Johnsons Shoes as they are ideally placed to help them expand their online presence and product offering.”

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”16-07-2020”

Next has reportedly been selected as the preferred UK franchise partner for the UK arm of Victoria’s Secret.

The British retailer has agreed to an outline deal to take over the brand, according to Sky News. But the future of its retail estate reportedly depends on whether Victoria's Secret UK's landlords will agree to restructuring its lease terms to reflect challenging market conditions.

Dozens of other parties, including Marks & Spencer, were reportedly interested in taking control of the brand, though Next was ultimately chosen by administrators at Deloitte, who were called in last month.

It is understood that Next has an exclusivity agreement until the end of September to finalise a deal.

This insolvency only affects the UK operations of Victoria's Secret. Its other markets, including the US, are being operated as usual by parent company L Brands.

A retail industry source told Sky that Victoria's Secret will likely want to retain a significant physical retail presence, including its flagship store on London’s Bond Street, though some may have to close permanently. The brand currently has 25 outlets across the UK.

Each company in the proposed deal would have benefits to reap from the tie-up. Next would have control of one of the most well known lingerie brands in the world, while Victoria’s Secret would benefit from Next’s strategy which has outperformed a struggling sector and yielded impressive growth across both its physical and digital channels.

In May, it was revealed that Next was planning an ambitious expansion to become an online host for other brands, a project it had been quietly working on over the past year and that will allow it to run other fashion brands’ websites and back-end operations.

Photo credit: Brands resources

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”16-07-2020”

During the first quarter under review, the Richemont Group’s trading and operations were strongly impacted by Covid-19 resulting in sales decline of 47 percent at constant and actual basis to 1,193 million euros (1,360 million dollars). The company said in a statement that sales contracted significantly across all regions, channels and business areas, notwithstanding a 49 percent increase in China.

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA added that performance reflected unprecedented levels of disruption and widespread temporary closures of internal, franchise or multi-brand retail partner stores, as well as the closure of Online Distributors’ fulfilment centres.

Richemont Q1 sales decline in all core markets

In Europe, sales were down 59 percent to 436 million euros (497 million dollars), with all markets impacted by public health protection measures, as well as subdued local demand and a lack of international tourism when stores gradually reopened during the quarter. Sales in Asia Pacific declined 29 percent to 1,013 million euros (1,155 million dollars) reflecting declines across all markets, with the exception of China, which delivered triple digit online sales growth and very strong domestic retail sales in the absence of overseas purchases from the Chinese clientele from the mainland.

Sales in the Americas contracted by 61 percent to 277 million euros (315.7 million dollars), with business areas impacted significantly by the temporary store and distribution centre closures. In Japan, sales declined by 64 percent to 112 million euros (127.7 million dollars), as stores were closed for most of the quarter under review. The year-on-year sales decline in the Middle East and Africa was contained to 38 percent to 155 million euros (176.7 million dollars), partly reflecting the recent internalisation of operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as advanced purchases in anticipation of the Kingdom’s VAT increase on July 1, 2020.

The company added that retail and wholesale sales decreased by 43 percent and 65 percent to 1,052 million euros (1,199.5 million dollars) and 435 million euros (496 million dollars), respectively, due to temporary store closures, severely reduced tourism and generally weak consumer sentiment. Retail sales were lower across geographies, with the exceptions of strong increases in China and the local South Korean market. Online retail sales decreased by 22 percent, largely due to the temporary closure of the Online Distributors’ fulfilment centres, following strong double digit growth in the comparative prior year period. Excluding Online Distributors, the contribution of online sales rose to 8 percent of group sales from 2 percent in the prior year period, fuelled by strong demand across all business areas.

Richemont reports strong drop in sales across product categories

The company further said that 41 percent decrease in sales to 1,083 million euros (1,234.8 million dollars), at the Jewellery Maisons reflected lower sales across all product lines and regions, with Asia Pacific recording a lower rate of decline than the business area average. In China, sales increased by 68 percent over the period driven by increased online and offline retail spend and the contribution of the recently opened Cartier flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion.

Sales at the Specialist Watchmakers decreased by 56 percent to 359 million euros (409.3 million dollars), while Online Distributors recorded a 42 percent sales decline to 356 million euros (406 million dollars), as a result of temporary distribution centre closures and a highly competitive pricing environment. The group’s other businesses posted a 59 percent sales reduction to 204 million euros (232.6 million dollars), with all maisons impacted by temporary store and distribution centre closures.

Image credit:Olaf Tamm Hamburg Germany for Richemont

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-07-2020”

Tilly’s, Inc. said, since their respective reopening dates and through July 14, 2020, customer traffic in the reopened stores has decreased by 27 percent and comparable store net sales in the reopened stores have decreased by 5.1 percent with a very wide disparity in comparable store net sales results on a per store basis, and with negative comparable store net sales in both off-mall and mall-based stores, each on an aggregated basis.

The company said in a statement that total comparable net sales for the second quarter, including ecommerce and periods for which physical stores were temporarily closed, were 101.8 million dollars, a decrease of 10.6 million dollars or 9.4 percent. Comparable store net sales from physical stores were 60.7 million dollars, a decrease of 36.2 million dollars or 37.4 percent, while net sales from ecommerce were 41.2 million dollars, an increase of 25.7 million dollars or 165.9 percent.

The company began the second quarter with all 239 of its stores closed to the public as a result of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Beginning on May 15, 2020, the company began reopening its stores in a phased approach and reopened 144 of its stores during the second half of May, 88 more stores throughout the month of June, and three additional stores during July, totalling 235, or 98 percent, of its total 239 stores prior to the July CA Closures.

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-07-2020”

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. is aligning its workforce with its store optimization strategy and reduced store footprint. The company said in a statement that JCPenney has identified 152 store closures following a comprehensive evaluation of store performance and strategic fit for the company and is having ongoing negotiations with landlords. In connection with this organizational realignment, the company has decided to reduce its workforce by approximately 1,000 corporate, field management, and international positions.

“These decisions are always extremely difficult, and I would like to thank these associates for their hard work and dedication. We are committed to supporting them during this period of transition,” said Jill Soltau, Chief Executive Officer of JCPenney, adding, “The global health and economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has forced retailers to make difficult decisions. For JCPenney, that includes reducing our footprint and accelerating our store optimization strategy while we implement our Plan for Renewal.”

The company added that the organizational restructuring will create a smaller, more financially flexible company, and will help ensure JCPenney emerges from both Chapter 11 and the Covid-19 pandemic as an even stronger retailer. As announced on May 15, 2020, JCPenney entered into a restructuring support agreement with lenders holding approximately 70 percent of its first lien debt to reduce the company’s outstanding indebtedness and strengthen its financial position. To implement the financial restructuring plan, the company filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Picture:JCPenney newsroom

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”16-07-2020”

PVH Corp has announced it will be closing all of its Heritage Brands outlets and cutting around 12 percent of its office workforce as it looks to streamline its operations in the region amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, whose portfolio comprises Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Heritage Brands, said around 450 positions would be cut across all three brand businesses and corporate functions - a move expected to save it around 80 million dollars annually.

It also said it would be exiting a total of 162 Heritage Brands outlets, which are expected to operate until mid-2021. PVH Corp’s Heritage Brands includes Arrow, Van Heusen, Warner’s, Olga, Izod and Geoffrey Beene.

“The structural changes occurring in the North American retail landscape have required us to take a hard look at our North American operations and identify where we can optimize costs across our business model,” PVH chairman and CEO Manny Chirico said in a statement. “As a result, we are making the incredibly difficult decisions to close our Heritage Brands Retail business and eliminate a significant number of positions throughout our North American organization to align with the lower revenue base.

The company said it expects to incur pre-tax charges of around 80 million dollars over the next 12 months in connection with these actions. The charges primarily consist of severance, lease termination costs, inventory markdowns and noncash asset impairments.

PVH president Stefan Larsson said: “While these decisions are always challenging, they are strategically important for the long-term health of PVH. The Covid-19 crisis is dramatically reshaping the retail landscape in ways that we believe will be long-term in nature and far-reaching in terms of consumer purchasing behavior.

“We are adapting our businesses and rebalancing our cost base to improve our competitiveness and financial profile and, where appropriate, are reallocating resources to our businesses that drive greater returns. We continue to focus on delivering sustainable, profitable long-term growth for all of our stakeholders, and we will continue to advance our business by looking for additional efficiencies.”

Photo credit: Tommy Hilfiger

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”15-07-2020”

Sales for the period to June 30, 2020 at Asos were up 10 percent to 1,014.2 million pounds with a steady improvement, reflecting increasing warehouse capacity, underlying improvement in demand and a beneficial returns profile. The company said in a statement that active customer base increased to 23 million, up 16 percent year on year, with particularly strong growth in new international customers, while item growth was 15 percent but ASP declined driven by ‘lockdown’ product mix and limited demand for occasion wear.

Commenting on the results, Nick Beighton, the company’s CEO, said: “Our performance in P3 shows that we are delivering against this aim despite the tough economic and social backdrop. We have learnt a lot and adapted quickly, and Asos finishes the period with improved underlying profitability. While we remain cautious about the consumer impact of Covid-19 looking forward, we are on track to deliver strong year-on-year profit growth and to return to positive free cash flow for the full-year.”

The company expects FY20 PBT expected to be towards the top end of market expectations, despite material incremental Covid-19 costs, supported by rigorous performance management, continued removal of non-strategic cost and beneficial returns profile. Asos further said that strong net cash position reflecting proactive actions; robust cash management expected to deliver return to positive FCF in FY20.

Picture:Asos website

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”15-07-2020”

Comparable sales at Burberry declined 45 percent in Q1, easing to negative 20 percent in June, while growth in Mainland China and Korea in June was ahead of pre Covid-19 levels. Total sales for the quarter declined by 48 percent to 257 million pounds.

“In Q1, sales were severely impacted by the drop in luxury demand from Covid-19 and we expect it will take time to return to pre-crisis levels with the resumption of overseas travel. We are encouraged by the improving trends in all regions and the promising exit rate for June. We saw an excellent response to new product launches in recovering economies as well as online. Demand for leather goods was particularly strong in Mainland China and Korea, bringing new, younger luxury customers to the brand,” said Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer of Burberry Group plc.

Burberry reports decline in Q1 sales across markets

The company said, Asia Pacific declined 10 percent in the quarter but returned to growth in June. Within this, Mainland China grew mid-teens in Q1 but grew ahead of the January pre Covid level of 30 percent in June, supported by some repatriation of sales due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

EMEIA declined around 75 percent, impacted by lockdown measures and a significant reduction in travel. June sales improved but continued to be impacted by a significant headwind due to tourist flows. The Americas declined 70 percent, however, Burberry added that following the easing of restrictions, trends have improved significantly into June.

All product trends were negative during the quarter, impacted by Covid-19 related store closures.

Burberry expects Covid-19 impact to continue in Q2

The company further said that throughout Q1 2021 COVID related government restrictions eased allowing the gradual reopening of retail store network from peak closures at the end of March. This underpinned a progressive improvement in comparable retail sales growth with June declining around 20 percent compared to a 45 percent decline for the total quarter.

Looking ahead, in the absence of full year guidance due to the macroeconomic and global health uncertainty, the company believes that the second half, and the course of the pandemic from here, will largely depend on the actions governments pursue to control the spread of the virus as economies restart, including their responses to second viral waves, as well as the phasing of store re-openings, an easing of travel restrictions, and the on-going consumer response.

Burberry expects the second quarter to continue to be materially impacted by the pandemic. Based on comp retail sales performance in June 2020, the company expects Q2 2021 to decline by 15 percent to 20 percent. In wholesale, H1 2021 sales decline is anticipated to be around 40 percent to 50 percent and gross margin to decline by around 200bps to 300bps year-on-year and operating expenses to reduce by a mid-teens percentage compared to last year.

Photo courtesy of the brand

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”15-07-2020”