Burberry Group has been pulling back on some of its wholesale contracts with department stores in an effort to gain more control of its brand in the US. The UK-based brand has been falling out of favor with US luxury shoppers who are opting for brands seen as higher-end, including Chanel, Hermes International and Louis Vuitton. "The stronger your brand, the more you can say to the department store, 'Buddy, I manage things directly or forget it,'" Bernstein Luxury Analyst Mario Ortelli said.
Teen fashion retailer Aeropostale will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in the next few days, with a plan to close more than 100 of its 800 stores, sources said. Macy's launched Aeropostale as a private-label brand in the 1980s, the first branded mall stores opened in 1987, and the chain went public in 2002.
The House of Representatives will consider a measure in the next few weeks to include footwear in a 1941 law that requires the military to buy American-made uniforms and equipment. Athletic shoes have been exempt because of a perceived lack of US manufacturers. Boston-based New Balance has been pushing for the change, which could boost the company's orders and allow it to hire more employees at its five US factories.
Growing consumer demand for organic foods is fueling a new round of expansion among food retailers in the Twin Cities. Lucky's Markets is looking for expansion sites in the area, while retailers including Hy-Vee, Fresh Thyme, Cub Foods and Trader Joe's have announced new store openings in Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Fairway Group Holdings has reached an agreement with creditors for a restructuring and filed for bankruptcy protection. The gourmet food retailer, which has struggled amid increasing competition from larger chains that offer organic and healthy foods, operates more than 12 stores in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Ahold USA's Giant sends meat to Maryland Food Bank instead of throwing it away as part of the retailer's Meat the Needs program, one of several initiatives by grocers in the area to cut down on food waste. Baltimore-area Whole Foods stores have also joined the effort, separating unsold food to be composted, recycled and sent to the landfill, and Wegmans works to find uses for misshapen produce rather than throwing items out, such as using them in salads and soups.
Maryland-based Giant Food is sponsoring the two-day National Capital Barbecue Battle in Washington, D.C., next month, which will include a cooking competition, celebrity chefs and live bands. Attendees "will have an opportunity to taste many of the very best products we offer in our stores, including delicious local offerings," said Gordon Reid, president of Ahold USA-owned Giant.
Fitbit nearly doubled its fitness tracker sales between 2014 and 2015, shipping 21.3 million devices in 2015. Fitbit faces steep competition from Apple, and Chief Business Officer Woody Scal said his company is poised to slowly add more features to Fitbit over time, including the ability to discover and prevent health problems.
Best Buy will team up with virtual reality firm Oculus to launch demonstrations of the Oculus Rift headset at 48 Best Buy stores starting Saturday. Sales of the $599 gadgets at Best Buy stores will be limited as Oculus catches up with filling pre-orders, which were delayed by parts shortages.
Indian online fashion retailer Myntra will re-launch an e-commerce website on June 1 after going app-only a year ago. Customers want the choice of channels and the company has launched new product categories including furniture and jewelry that people want to see on larger screens, CEO Ananth Narayanan said.
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