Today in Retail: Kohl’s Reinvents Its Brand

Today in retail, Kohl’s reinvents its brand, while Bed Bath & Beyond considers a sale. Plus, Binance unveils payments technology firm Bifinity, Walmart partners with Space NK, and rising gas prices complicate the retail sector.

Kohl’s Promises ‘Reinvention’ as Investors Push Sale

Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass defended the company’s progress at refreshing its brand Monday (March 7) amid investor pressure on the department store to consider a sale. As part of the brand refresh, Kohl’s plans to open more than 100 smaller-format stores in the next four years to draw in new shoppers. The stores — the first of which is being tested around Seattle — are about 35,000 square feet, compared to the 80,000-square-foot store found at the typical Kohl’s location. Kohl’s also wants to increase Sephora’s sales to more than $2 billion a year. The company has about 200 Sephora stores-within-stores and plans to have 850 by year’s end.

Bed Bath & Beyond Soars as Activist Investor Ryan Cohen Pivots From GameStop to Housewares

Activist investor Ryan Cohen is pushing Bed Bath & Beyond to consider a sale after serving as the co-founder of pet products retailer Chewy and chairman of video game retailer GameStop. He owns a 9.5% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond, putting him among its top-five shareholders. Cohen is pushing the home goods company to narrow the scope of its turnaround plan, make sure its inventory mix is ​​consistent with demand and to look at a sale of its buybuy baby offshoot, if not the entire company.

Binance Jumps Into Payments Processing, Eyes Web3

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has launched its own payments technology firm, Bifinity, which will work with payments processor Checkout.com to provide fiat currency on- and off-ramps for users of cryptocurrency exchanges so they can use digital assets for their retail purchases. Bifinity promises intuitive merchant application programming interfaces (APIs) and low payments processing fees, as well as a user-friendly front end for crypto buying and selling entry points. It will work with other exchanges as well, notably Singapore-based EQONEX, a Nasdaq-listed exchange and digital financial services firm.

Walmart to Import British Cosmetic Kiosk Concept ‘Beauty Space’ to US Stores

Walmart has partnered with British retailer Space NK to bring so-called “prestige beauty products” to its website and nearly 250 of its stores this summer in an effort dubbed BEAUTYSPACENK. The collection, which the companies said will be available on the Walmart website March 15, will include more than 600 products from 15 brands in skincare, makeup, haircare, bath and body, and other categories.

Retailers Face Brand New Competitor: Gas Prices

Gas prices are now above $4 per gallon nationally — and substantially higher in many places — making hopes for a full recovery of the retail sector anytime soon less likely by the day. To paraphrase Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti’s thoughts about dealing with inflation, “suppliers eat a little of it, retailers eat a little of it,” and consumers will eat the rest of it. For consumers looking to “tighten their belts” and stretch their household budgets a bit who might buy items in bulk or downgrade to a store brand or non-designer label, that strategy is largely unavailable to the motoring public who have long-term commitments keeping them in their current cars and trucks.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: ACCOUNT OPENING AND LOAN SERVICING IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT

About: Forty-two percent of US consumers are more likely to open accounts with FIs that make it easy to auto-share their banking details during sign-up. The PYMNTS study Account Opening And Loan Servicing In The Digital Environmentsurveyed 2,300 consumers to examine how FIs can leverage open banking to engage customers and create a better account opening experience.

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