Media Coverage Clipping Report
2017 Global Retailing Conference
Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts to speak at April's Global Retailing Conference Link
By Roger Fingas
AppleInsider
March 02, 2017

Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts will be one of the featured speakers at next month's Global Retailing Conference in Tucson, Ariz., according to the event's website.

The conference is scheduled for Apr. 20 and 21, where Ahrendts will be joined by executives from Macy's, Kendra Scott, Walmart, and other corporations. The only other major tech speaker present will be Alex Komoroske, a lead product manager at Google responsible for the Chrome Web Platform team.

Tickets for the event run between $400 and $695, with the lowest price being reserved for colleges, universities, and non-profits.

The subject of Ahrendts' talk is unknown, but since joining Apple in 2014 the executive has overseen some significant changes, such as new roles among retail workers. New and existing outlets have been adopting a more fashion-oriented aesthetic, combining elements like wooden shelves, tree groves, and oversized video displays.

Prior to Apple the executive was the CEO of Burberry, making her shift an unusual downgrade in job title, though Apple is a vastly bigger company.

One of the larger Apple projects spearheaded by Ahrendts has been manufacturing a "community" around each store. Some examples of this are "Teacher Tuesdays," and classes in which kids can learn to program in the company's Swift language.

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Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts appearing at next month’s Global Retailing Conference  Link
By Zac Hall
9TO5Mac
March 2, 2017

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts is set to appear as a featured speaker at this year’s Global Retailing Conference scheduled for next month in Tucson, Arizona. Ahrendts has led Apple’s retail and online stores since leaving her CEO position at Burberry between 2013 and 2014.

Here’s how the Global Retailing Conference (via @setteBIT) is described:
For 21 years, the Global Retailing Conference has consistently delivered practical information, proven techniques and ground-breaking ideas that enable individuals and organizations to succeed in the intensely competitive, global marketplace.

Macy’s CEO Terry J. Lundgren will moderate this year’s discussion at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort on April 20 and 21. Registration to attend is open now with tickets ranging from $400 to $695. Executives from other companies including Google and MasterCard will also be featured during the conference.

In addition to running Apple’s online store, Angela Ahrendts oversees Apple’s 491 retail locations across 18 countries as Senior Vice President of Retail.

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Enhancing in-store shopping experience is focus of University of Arizona retail conference Link       
tucson.com
Mar 7, 2017

Senior executives from some of the world’s foremost retail, technology and business brands will converge in Tucson next month, exploring ways to enhance the in-store experience for shoppers.

The 21st annual Global Retailing Conference, put on by the University of Arizona’s Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing, will be held April 20 and 21 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort.
This year’s theme, “What’s In Store,” will delve into integrating the digital and in-store shopping experience, evolving marketing tactics, creating innovative store concepts and tackling the demands of personalization.

“The retail landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace as shoppers demand new, more personal ways to engage with business,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, who will deliver opening remarks at the conference. “Innovative concepts and a faster-to-market approach are the keys to success for any retailer working to adapt to omni-channel shopping.”

In addition to Lundgren, speakers include Alex Komoroske, lead product manager at Google; Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail and online stores for Apple; designer Kendra Scott; Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, Steve Bratspies; and Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights for MasterCard.

For the full lineup of presenters, visit globalretailingconference.org

“Over the years, this gathering of the world’s top business leaders has proven to be the center of gravity for emerging ideas and concepts that have shaped the retail marketplace,” Lundgren said.
Registrations priced from $400 to $695 are being accepted for a limited number of attendees.

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Macy's Lundgren says 'great valuations' are fueling retail's appetite for M&A Link                                             
By Krystina Gustafson
CNBC
21 April 2017

As Macy's looks to turn around its business and end a two-year streak of same-store sales declines, Executive Chairman Terry Lundgren said a merger or acquisition could eventually be on the table. 

"We look all the time," Lundgren, who ended his stint as CEO last month, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "I think there's some great valuations in stock prices of companies that are well funded and that look like they have a runway for success in the future." 

The question is whether those companies would be the right fit for Macy's, Lundgren said. He added that the retailer has no acquisitions on its plate at this time, noting it has historically been conservative in snatching up new retail brands. 

The company's last acquisition was roughly two years ago, when it bought beauty retailer Bluemercury for $210 million. 

Lundgren, who previously served as the chain's CEO for more than a decade, added that recent speculation about a potential deal with Canadian department store operator Hudson's Bay was "overblown." Those reports had indicated that Hudson's Bay had approached its much-larger competitor, and had its sights set on Macy's real estate. 

M&A activity in the retail space has heated up recently, as traditional chains look for ways to compete with online retailers like Amazon. Wal-Mart acquired Jet.com last year and has since been on a buying binge in the e-commerce space. And earlier this week, Re/Code reported that Petsmart would acquire digital pet store Chewy.com for $3.35 billion. 

Lundgren's comments came from the Global Retailing Conference, in Tucson, Ariz., where new Macy's chief Jeff Gennette is speaking Friday. CNBC will have an exclusive interview with Gennette at 1 p.m. Eastern.  

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Macy's new CEO plans to take on TJ Maxx Link                                                                                              
By Krystina Gustafson 
CNBC
21 April 2017   

Macy's new CEO Jeff Gennette wants to bring its off-price brand, Macy's Backstage, to the mall.  The department store has been rolling this strategy out over the past two years. Macy's will add 30 locations this year. 

Less than one month into the job, Macy's new CEO Jeff Gennette has an ambitious goal. 

As the department store looks for ways to compete with off-price chains — and end a two-year streak of negative same-store sales — Gennette wants to bring the TJX model into the traditional mall. 
Macy's has slowly been rolling out its off-price brand, called Macy's Backstage, over the past two years. But what started as a standalone shop has now evolved into a dedicated section of discounted namebrand goods in its less productive stores. 

The retailer started with this approach last year, opening about 15 Backstage shops in its full-price stores. It will add another 30 of these types of locations this year, Gennette said. 

"We hope that by the end of 2017, what we're going to exit with is a viable off-price concept that is onmall, not off-mall like our ferocious competitors," Gennette told CNBC's "Power Lunch." 

Unlike department stores, most off-pricers' stores are located in open-air shopping centers. 
While many are quick to blame bricks-and-mortar retailers' woes on Amazon, off-price chains like TJ Maxx and Ross have stolen a chunk of consumer spending from traditional department stores. At the UBS Consumer & Retail Conference last month, Macy's CFO Karen Hoguet said those types of chains are a bigger threat to Macy's than the Internet. 

With roughly two-thirds of Macy's shoppers also spending money at off-price chains, opening Backstage shops in its full-price stores gives customers a new reason to come inside, Gennette said. In the malls where the company has tested this strategy, performance at the overall Macy's store improved, he said. 

"It wins if we get an extra purchase. It definitely wins if we get another visit. And it is a home run when you get a new customer," Gennette said. 

Critics argue that positioning off-price goods just steps away from full-price merchandise could end up cannibalizing Macy's more expensive items. But Gennette says the retailer has addressed this concern by making sure the items pertain to new categories or brands. 

In addition to its off-price aspirations, Gennette's plans for Macy's include finding ways to make money off its vast real estate portfolio, bringing in more exclusive brands, and upping the in-store experience through new dining options. 

"These stores are being reengineered for the new century and the new generation," Dana Telsey, CEO of the Telsey Advisory Group, told CNBC. 

Gennette's tenure comes at a difficult juncture for Macy's, whose shares are down nearly 30 percent over the past year. 

Speaking to CNBC in a separate interview Friday, former CEO Terry Lundgren said the company is always on the lookout for potential mergers or acquisitions. Though the executive chairman said nothing is on the table right now, there are "some great valuations in stock prices of companies that are well funded and that look like they have a runway for success in the future."  

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Global Retailing Conference 2017: Angela Ahrendts on Building Community in Stores Link

How the link between liberal arts and technology is driving Apple’s overall store strategy
By Kari Hamanaka 
WWD                                                                                                                             
April 21, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. — Apple Inc. continues to focus on community and culture as it works to revamp its stores, shifting to its new town square concept.

That the technology company has eradicated the word “store” out of its lexicon is not simply a marketing gimmick but best shows how it’s looking at its version of the next-generation store.

“We took the word store out of the title of everything,” said Apple senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts. “It’s called Apple Union SquareApple Covent Garden. It’s not a store anymore. What they do is so much more than what a store does.”

Ahrendts, who was on a family vacation, stopped in to speak on the final day of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing’s annual Global Retailing Conference, which capped Friday.

For Apple, the town square concept is carried throughout its retail stores with avenues for where the accessories are organized, a forum area with seating for entertainment, classes, a refined stockkeeping unit count and new creative pro positions at the store dedicated to teaching customers about various products.

The latter, which allows for online sign-ups, is being piloted at 54 stores and will be launched shortly, Ahrendts said.

From an internal perspective, the company also sees its retail points of distribution as another product in much the same way it views an iPhone or iPad.

“The architecture of our store is the hardware. The inside of the store, the experience, is the software,” Ahrendts said of how she relayed her broader vision to Apple’s overall workforce.
Ahrendts, who joined Apple from Burberry, said she logged travel to more than 150 of the company’s stores in her first year.

“You see what a hub, what a beacon, [the stores] are,” she said. “It’s not just to sell stuff. They already are a gathering place.”

The company counts nearly 500 stores worldwide, which account for 0.2 percent of the company’s distribution. Of those 500, 267 are located in the U.S.

The company is in the midst of replacing old stores with the new concept at a rate of about 30 to 35 a year as store leases expire. In some cases, those replacement doors represent a doubling or tripling in store size.

“We’re going as fast as we can,” Ahrendts said of the shift to the town square store concept.

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Global Retailing Conference 2017: Jeff Gennette on a Reimagined Macy’s Link                                                   
By Kari Hamanaka
WWD
April 21, 2017 

TUCSON, Ariz. — Macy’s Inc. president and chief executive officer Jeff Gennette didn’t sugarcoat the competitive landscape. 

Gennette, who recently succeeded Terry J. Lundgren to head the company, opened the final day of the annual Global Retailing Conference with a plan of how he planned to reimagine Macy’s. 

”It’s a very competitive landscape,” he said before the conference’s audience of industry executives and University of Arizona students looking to enter the industry. “Certainly, the U.S. consumer spending is increasing, but it’s changing and it’s being spent in different places. The competition is intensifying. I think with pricing transparency it’s changing the whole notion of value….There’s huge seismic shifts happening in the patterns and formats by which we do retail. You all know that the amount of square footage per capita in the U.S. is quite high and we probably have too much square footage. We’ve got new, emerging concepts like off-price and outlet and vendor direct and certainly the pure plays all popping in.” 

All that said, Gennette said he sees opportunity, pointing out a few interesting statistics, including that 90 percent of consumers are likely to purchase something when they’re directly involved with a sales associate. He also said 36 percent of Macy’s customers do not want to wait to have product they want shipped to their homes. 

“The opportunity for experience is bigger than ever,” Gennette said. 

The executive went on to detail the strategies he’s testing, laying out plans he largely disclosed in greater detail to WWD last month just ahead of the leadership change at Macy’s. 

At the center of that has been a narrowing of focus on the company’s best customers, gathering data and testing tactics from there. 

“We need to stabilize our core business, which has been falling off in the last couple years,” he said. “We need to continue the strong growth of our mobile and digital and need to find new paths for growth.” 

The company released new advertising in the spring that’s focused more on brand in hopes of cutting the cord with the idea that Macy’s is all about promotions. More marketing, with more of the spend going to digital, will roll out in the fall. 

The company’s also working with fewer suppliers, bringing the off-price business into its stores, testing next-generation stores and beefing up exclusive product. An example of the latter would be Cynthia Rowley’s soon-to-launch capsule for Macy’s. 

“We are in the business of creating a desire so it really is this balance between art and science,” Gennette said.  

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In Retail’s Reboot, Stores Fight to Stage a Comeback   Link                                                                                         
By Kari Hamanaka
WWD
24 April 2017  

For those who haven’t figured it out, there is no mistake there are going to be more winners — and probably even more losers — before retail’s down cycle ends. 

But even as the industry confronts a realism that is causing companies to examine every aspect of their businesses, those who can see through the dust that hasn’t settled yet are realizing one thing is abundantly clear: stores are in. 

“There’s still too much retail square footage out there. When you look at retail square footage per capita in the United States, it is still the highest in all the industrialized countries and that is going to get rationalized over time,” said Macy’s Inc. chief executive officer and president Jeff Gennette. “There are a lot of other players out there that are going to continue to close stores so at the end of the day, if you have a winning proposition that is customer-focused — the customer has tested it from a value perspective, a content perspective and a service perspective — and you know how to market that, if you do all that right, there’s room for any retailer to succeed. So I think there will be less square footage. I think there will be more malls closing. I think there will be more store closures. But there’s still a great role for someone who figures it out.” 

Macy’s Inc. executive chairman and board chairman Terry J. Lundgren is stoic in his outlook on the industry. 

“The advantage for someone like myself who’s been doing this for a long time is that I’ve seen these difficult periods happen every six or seven years in our industry,” he said. “If you dial back seven or eight years ago, you had the 2008-2009 financial crisis. You dial back seven or eight years, you had 2001, 09/11. Dial back from there and you’ve got bankruptcies in retail. So I’ve seen a number of these downturns and what happens historically, and I would predict this will happen again, is that there’s always a shakeout. There’s always a consolidation. There are always winners and losers in these difficult times and that’s what you’ll see again.” 

Gennette and Lundgren spoke with WWD Friday on Macy’s strategy and the state of the industry, a timely subject with Bebe Stores Inc. confirming that same day the closure of its entire physical fleet of stores following a steady stream of retail bankruptcies. The two were in Tucson, Ariz., along with other executives from the worlds of fashion, retail and academia for the University of Arizona Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing’s annual Global Retailing Conference. The two-day think tank followed a barrage of tech conferences that have been held over the course of the past two months largely focused on the latest and greatest in virtual and augmented reality, apps, digital marketing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data. But for Lundgren’s conference, a wave of speakers made an appeal for a return to basics, a call particularly apt with this year’s conference theme, “What’s in Store?” 

For Macy’s, the next-generation of retailing could mean smaller stores, virtual inventory, moving the offprice component in, integration of mobile, staffing allocated to the right departments and experimentation of lifestyle or specialty-type shops within the store. 

“If you’re an omnichannel retailer and you don’t figure out a way to arrest the erosion of your business in stores, it’s really hard to be successful,” Gennette said. “What’s in store matters. Experience in those stores matter. If you can get that store to flat with the growth we’re having in digital and in mobile, this thing really works.” 

Every downturn is different, requiring a different response from retailers, Lundgren said. 
“Einstein says it best: The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same things and expect a different result.’ So you can’t just sit back and hope things get better,” he said. “You have to make dramatic changes and each time, at least in our company’s history, every single time we’ve made dramatic changes and come out at the end of each of these cycles a much stronger, more successful more profitable company than we were going in.” 

Certainly some of the conference’s speakers focused on leveraging technology. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s U.S. chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies discussed a number of programs being tested ranging from endless aisle (giving customers access to a fuller breadth of stock-keeping units via digital displays in store) to mobile checkout. Fabletics general manager Gregg Throgmartin showed how data mined from the company’s 19 stores helps drive decisions. West Elm vice president of innovation Luke Chatelain and Google lead product manager Alex Komoroske talked about mobile experiences. 
Still, weaving in tech has to be done right. It can’t be technology for tech’s sake, as Bratspies and many others throughout the two days pointed out. 

“I think it’s about figuring out how to layer in technology, ways of thinking through what customers are trying to do in different parts of their journey, and using it as a tool and using the right technologies as a tool,” Komoroske said. “If you build an amazing app that has all this awesome functionality and nobody’s got the app, it doesn’t have influence. It’s not adding as much value as it could be. You have to approach it from the perspective of what your customers actually want to do.” 

“There’s a desire and a strengthening of how we connect experiences and ultimately, hopefully provide the best experience we can no matter how you’re connecting with the brand,” Chatelain told WWD. “I think there are a variety of ways consumers want to connect with brands and a lot of that is focusing on bringing it not only into a store environment, but also online. I don’t think there’s any one way you have to do it and it’s really depending on your business, who you’re talking to and what you’re selling.” 

When digital pure plays entered and succeeded in taking share from traditional retailers, the knee-jerk reaction was to turn to tech. However, a sobering and in some cases smarter approach to how technology’s being deployed may slowly be settling in within the industry. 
“I think we’re all learning that there’s almost no end to what some of this technology can provide for us,” Lundgren said. “But at the end of the day, that human element is so important and that’s what we’re all trying to figure out — how to turn our stores into an advantage. People are concerned about mall traffic declining and individual store traffic declining. How do we say that the stores are an experience that you just can’t get online? To me, that’s where this has got to go. We’ve got to take more advantage of that human element.” 

“When you’re not seeing customers, it’s death,” said Throgmartin during his talk. 
The executive oversees a fast-growing activewear brand, but before coming to Fabletics and being seen as an industry disruptor, he served as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of a business that was being disrupted. His great-grandparents founded electronics and appliance retailer H.H. Gregg Co., which filed for bankruptcy this year. 

“In a very tight timespan [10 years], hundreds of thousands of people stopped coming in the door,” said Throgmartin in pointing out the lesson he learned from that business in just how difficult it can be for established companies to change with the times. 

Angela Ahrendts has studied what has made certain brands successful in drawing in the consumer and it centers around being a gathering place for people. The senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc. said during her talk that community and culture — a mix of the humanities with technology — is what drives product development and how the company looks at its stores.

“Steve’s [Jobs] original vision always was that his products would educate,” Ahrendts said. “Education is a strategic pillar at Apple. Everything we do has an education bent to it. He consistently talked about enriching lives. Those values, those pillars are still there.” 

That’s why the new Apple town square concept — the company isn’t calling them stores — is designed around making it a place for people to hang out as much as it is about selling product, with classes, entertainment and product demos amid the iPads, iPhones and MacBooks for sale. 

Carlos Salcido, vice president of marketing at the upscale Mexico-based department store chain El Palacio de Hierro, said the company’s more than 700 annual community-based events, pop-ups with Louis Vuitton and Prada, in-store brand takeovers with Salvatore Ferragamo, culinary offerings in store, barber shops and magazines are all tactics that have helped reinvent the company’s version of the department store. 

“We’re sharing the history [of the community],” Salcido said during his presentation. “We’re sharing the experience. We’re adding value to the retail experience in a store. It’s not only to come to buy.” 

Bluemercury Inc. cofounder and chief operating officer Barry Beck said he’d rather customers go out with a bag of samples and not buy anything, than nothing at all. A focus on being a neighborhood shop within the communities Bluemercury operates has allowed the upscale beauty and spa retailer to go from ecommerce when it started 18 years ago to a fast-growing retailer acquired by Macy’s in 2015. He said, in a move contrary to what others in the space are doing, there’s room for another 300 Bluemercury stores in the U.S. longer-term. 

“I think one of the things all retailers need to remember is location is still everything,” Beck said Friday, the same day Bluemercury happened to open two stores. “There’s a complete structural shift in how people want to shop. People want to shop in their neighborhoods where they live.” 
Beck believes densification will lead to localization, creating the pathway for retailers such as himself to open more doors. Densification is why he said he was able to open a Washington, D.C., store one mile away from Bluemercury’s first store in Georgetown and saw no cannibalization. In fact, he said, the store is 200 percent over plan. “Bluemercury is basically becoming a substitute upscale drugstore,” Beck said. 

“One of the words of caution I give is you have to worry about being ‘Uber-ed,’” Beck said. “What do I mean by being Ubered? Being completely disrupted by these consumer shifts in behavior that you weren’t aware of.”  

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Global Retailing Conference 2017: Wal-Mart U.S. Chief Merchant on Retail Trends Link                                      
By Kari Hamanaka
WWD
April 21, 2017   

TUCSON, ARIZ. — Customers still love the box — or so says Wal-Mart U.S.’s chief merchant. 
As the industry continues to invest in technology, Wal-Mart U.S. plans to win through a combination of efforts that embrace physical and digital innovation. 

Steve Bratspies, Wal-Mart U.S. chief merchandising officer, spoke at the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing’s annual conference, to talk about what his company sees as the trends driving retail’s future. 
At the top of that list was a full-on embrace of physical stores. 

“People love to shop,” the executive said as he clicked to an image in his presentation of Beyoncé shopping at Wal-Mart. 

The company sees 140 million customers in its U.S. stores weekly and more than 90 million unique visitors to its online site monthly. Thus, while technology presents opportunities, innovation doesn’t always have to be tech-based, Bratspies pointed out. 

“Retail is a human relations business,” the executive said. “People want to see things. They want to touch things. They want to be able to interact.” 

Bratspies pointed to a recent overhaul of how the store is merchandised for back-to-school, which included better displays. The company has also introduced new beauty, pharmacy, baby, entertainment, hot foods and hardware departments at some stores in an effort to provide the services that can’t be had online. 

“When we nail the basics, we free up capital time and resources to invest in innovation,” Bratspies said. 
These include the ability to take a virtual reality tour of a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. Bratspies also went through a host of other programs the company is testing such as Scan & Go, which lets customers get what they need in stores and check out with their phones. There is also the endless aisle, which gives shoppers access to a much larger breadth of stockkeeping units, via in-store digital touch screens, compared to what could ever fit into a store. 

Free two-day shipping, unveiled in January, on walmart.com for more than 2 million items is expected to give the retailer firming footing on which to compete with Amazon. The site currently offers more than 35 million items. 

Last week the company revealed a discount on online items purchased on the web and then shipped to the store for pickup. The program currently offers discounts on some 10,000 items but Bratspies said that will expand to over a million items by June, helping squeeze out the additional cost associated with that last delivery mile to customer’s homes. That savings, Bratspies said, is then passed on to customers. 

“We’re creating price transparency to empower customers to shop smarter,” he said.  

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Combination of online and store presence more powerful than apart - video Link
CNBC
Friday, April 21, 2017

Dana Telsey, Telsey Advisory Group CEO and chief research officer, weighs in on comments from Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette on the future of Macy's and retail.

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Link to segment Terry Lundgren: We are looking all the time for acquisitions - video Link
CNBC
Friday, April 21, 2017

Terry Lundgren, Macy's executive chairman, speaks to CNBC's Courtney Reagan about Macy's place in the retail space and his outlook for the industry.

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Macy’s CEO: Department stores in malls still relevant, customer - video Link
CNBC
Friday, April 21, 2017

Jeff Gennette, Macy’s CEO, speaks to CNBC's Courtney Reagan about the future of Macy's and his plan to revive growth.

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Lundgren Says Macy's Is Always Pursuing M&A  Link                                                                                   
By Jayson Derrick
Benzinga.com                                                                                                                                   
April 22, 2017

Macy's Inc M 0.73% former CEO and now executive chairman, Terry Lundgren, was interviewed by CNBC's Courtney Reagan at the sidelines of the Global Retailing Conference.
Physical Stores Need To Be Improved

Lundgren stated the company is "very pleased" with its online business, as it actually ranks the third biggest online seller in its category and the fifth biggest internet company overall in the United States.

But this doesn't mean Macy's isn't focusing on the physical stores; management acknowledges there are many areas where it needs improvement. The company is focusing on turning the store experience as exciting as possible.

To help improve the business, Lundgren acknowledged that management "looks all the time" for suitable companies to acquire. If it were to see a scenario where acquiring a company is accretive to Macy's business and vision it would be open.

However, there is "nothing on the plate at the moment" even though valuations of many potential targets are "great" for a buyer.

Tax Reforms
Switching over to tax reform, Lundgren admitted there is a lot of good that can come out of a tax reform bill from the White House. In fact, the topic of making changes to the tax code to make companies more competitive has been going on long before President Donald Trump took office.

But the way the White House is trying to fund a tax reform through a border adjustment tax is "wrong" and "doesn't make sense" and the implications are beyond retail and apparel.

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Gennette: Macy’s Focused On Growing Core, Digital Businesses  Link                                         
By Greg Sleter                                                                                                                            
HomeWorld Business
April 24, 2017

Facing competitive headwinds from e-commerce and closeout retailers, Macy’s new CEO Jeff Gennette is focused on growing the company’s core business while also expanding the department store’s efforts in the digital space.

In an interview with CNBC from the Global Retailing Conference in Tuscon, AZ, Gennette— who officially took the CEO spot in March— highlighted several initiatives currently being tested to revitalize the struggling retailer. These include Macy’s Backstage concept and exploring new ways to enhance its customer’s in-store shopping experience.

The interview also revealed that 10% of Macy’s customers account for 50% of the retailer’s sales, and that two-thirds of Macy’s shoppers are also off-price shoppers.

Earlier this year, Macy’s announced it was closing 68 locations and reported a drop in comparable store sales and net income for the fourth quarter, which included the 2016 holiday shopping season.