Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell made Retail Info Systems News' list of retail's seven top influentials for 2013, alongside Build-A-Bear Workshops tech chief Dave Finnegan and Moosejaw Mountaineering vice president Michael Moore. Executives from Sears, American Apparel, Canadian Tire and Destination XL round out the list.
Wisconsin-based home-improvement chain Menards has been expanding in the Midwest with new mega-stores that combine lumber, power tools and kitchen displays with groceries and general merchandise. At 200,000 square feet or bigger, the stores are more than four times the size of a typical Home Depot and twice as large as most Costco stores.
The news this week that Lululemon was pulling a batch of yoga pants from the shelves because they were too sheer didn't deter the workout wear brand's many fans, who pay up to $100 a pair for yoga pants that some say inspire them to work out. "They've tapped into a lifestyle. Becoming connected with people and community is probably the most powerful thing you can do to build a brand," said branding expert Eric Gustavsen.
Students from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh collaborated with Macy's to create a store window and fashion show to promote the retailer's new Bar III, INC and American Rag clothes for men. The store and school have a history of collaboration, including designing a window for Pittsburgh Fashion Week.
Red Lobster launched a test this week at two Orlando, Fla.-area restaurants of a fast-casual lunch service where patrons order and pay at the counter. The move comes as parent Darden Restaurants looks to boost sales by appealing to budget-conscious consumers.