Many US consumers will see their pay rise starting this month under the new tax law, which could boost sales at retailers including Walmart, Costco Wholesale and Amazon. Taxes will decline about $2,119 this year for a family making $75,000, according to the Tax Policy Center.
J.Crew has hired Starbucks executive Adam Brotman as its new president and chief experience officer. Brotman has spent nine years at Starbucks, and as chief digital officer, he led the tech teams that developed the coffee chain's mobile ordering and payment capabilities.
Weddington Way, an online retailer of bridesmaid dresses that sells only its own styles and lets wedding parties shop together in virtual showrooms, will open its first brick-and-mortar location in the Boston area this week. The company, acquired by Gap last year, will open inside a Banana Republic store in Natick, Mass.
Twitch, the app that allows users to watch others play games, is laying the groundwork for a major rollout in Europe. This includes a move by the Amazon-owned service to expand its content range to include such things as fitness and music in a bid to win over more advertisers.
Watch and jewellery retailer Olivia Burton will open its first retail store in London's Covent Garden in May. The brand, which launched in 2012 and sells its products online, joins other retailers such as Tom Ford Beauty and Chanel that have opened Covent Garden locations.
Montreal-based MTY Food Group will acquire Canadian restaurant concepts Timothy's World Coffee and Mmmuffins from Le Duff America, the US affiliate of French company Groupe Le Duff. The sale comes as Le Duff focuses its efforts on launching its Brioche Doree concept in the US, Le Duff America CEO Olivier Poirot said.
Tops Friendly Market and Winn-Dixie parent Bi-Lo are both preparing for possible bankruptcy filings in the coming weeks, sources said. Both chains are carrying heavy debt loads and facing growing competition.
Consumer fatigue with apps and all that they demand is growing, and chatbots stand poised to take their place, writes PHD chief Mike Cooper. This is key for brands, with chatbots' ability to instantly access social profiles and personalize information for a variety of functions without the hassle of navigating different user interfaces, he writes.
US fashion brands have begun offering more options for larger women, but the $14.2 billion lingerie industry has lagged when it comes to offering stylish bras in bigger sizes. Retailers Lane Bryant and Torrid offer a wider variety of bras in larger sizes, and e-commerce startup ThirdLove recently added 16 larger sizes.
Amazon has launched a food retail pilot project in the Indian city of Pune, making it the first foreign-owned e-commerce company to sell food directly to consumers in India. Last year, Amazon applied to India's government to start selling locally produced food.
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