Stores Weekly
First Edition

Hamdi Ulukaya has been painting walls — and not just those of his original upstate New York Greek yogurt plant. Ulukaya, founder, chairman and CEO of Chobani, sat down with Terry J. Lundgren, recently retired executive chairman of Macy’s Inc., for “The Chobani Way: Hamdi Ulukaya’s Principled Journey in Building an Empire” during NRF 2018. There, he wove a story of community, investment and creativity as rich and thick as any of his company’s goods.

In a brisk, high-speed panel discussion at NRF 2018, executives from Brandable, Fitlogic and b8ta discussed highly disparate approaches to the same goal: product nirvana — defined as the moment that occurs when the product, the channel, the presentation and the perceived value of the whole offering attain a kind of perfection in the mind of the consumer.

Historically, talks about supply chain have been about cost. That often has meant moving farther and farther out, which can make the production cycle even slower. But what if a production cycle could go from 40 or 50 weeks to 15 or 20? Spencer Fung, CEO of Li & Fung, answered that question as part of a session at NRF 2018, “Creating the Supply Chain of the Future.”

Apex Supply Chain Technologies

It would be too easy to say this is a story about Detroit. Rather, it’s the story of urban incubation with Detroit at the center, a prime example of what can happen when retailers take risks, partner with challenged communities and invest heart and soul in bringing troubled areas back to life. “Urban Incubators: Fueling Accelerated Retail Growth” highlighted Shinola, Whole Foods Market and Detroit Denim Co. during NRF 2018.

From working in an hourly associate position at Walmart to running one of the top retail businesses in America, Sam’s Club CEO John Furner has come a long way in the retail industry. Furner appeared before 800 students to share his story in a keynote at NRF Foundation’s Student Program at NRF 2018.

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Instagram might have started as a hip photo-sharing app for filter-loving shutterbugs, but now it’s both a beloved app and a key tool for consumers and retailers to connect, talk and share. Marne Levine, COO of Instagram, and Tyler Haney, founder and CEO of sportswear retailer Outdoor Voices, discussed how to play and win in this digital space during a panel at NRF 2018, “The future of retailing: How tech is changing the game.”

Being lean and growing wildly would seem to be polar opposites. For any company, lean means the need to operate efficiently and hold down costs. Growing wildly means finding success in an all-out market push to establish the company and its brand. That tells the story of Seattle-based MOD Pizza, whose rapid rise as a retail dining destination in the fast-casual food segment has been off the charts.

Oki Data Americas, Inc.
NRF News

A new pair of shoes can make all the difference to those affected by natural disasters. On NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast, Soles4Souls CEO Buddy Teaster discusses how the nonprofit serves communities in crisis, as well as entrepreneurs in developing countries.

An improving economy kept January retail sales nearly as good as the holiday season’s strong showing — dropping only 0.26 percent seasonally adjusted from December — and fueled a healthy 5.4 percent increase year-over-year.

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NRF has hired Christian Beckner as senior director of retail technology. Beckner is a former U.S. Senate homeland security advisor and will head NRF’s cybersecurity program that helps retailers protect sensitive consumer data nationwide.

World of Coca-Cola
Axis Communications Inc.
Retail Deals

Alliance Data Systems Corporation, a global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, announced that its Columbus, Ohio-based card services business, a provider of branded private label, co-brand and business credit card programs, has signed a new agreement to provide private label credit card services for Lucky Brand. An iconic, all-American fashion retailer that began crafting vintage-inspired jeans in 1990, Los Angeles-based Lucky Brand operates 154 specialty retail and 82 outlet locations throughout the United States, in addition to a growing online presence.


Brookshire Brothers, a 121-store retailer with locations throughout Texas and Louisiana, is joining the network of independent retailers who have selected Rosie to bring convenient, easy to use and time-saving online shopping to their customers. They begin with the launch of Brookshire Brothers Anywhere Powered by Rosie at two locations in their home market of Lufkin, Texas.


SAP SE and Badgley Mischka unveiled the Badgley Mischka Runway mobile app by SAP, available exclusively on the iPhone and iPad, allowing audience members at the designer’s February 13 New York Fashion Week fashion show to interact, in real time, with the collection as it debuted down the runway. Backed by SAP technology, the Badgley Mischka Runway app will also provide a unique post-show experience for both on-site and virtual attendees.


Global Brands Group Holding Limited, one of the world’s leading branded apparel, footwear, fashion accessories and lifestyle product companies, announced a multi-year global licensing agreement with AllSaints, a contemporary British fashion house that creates clothing and accessories for men and women, best known for its iconic biker jackets. As part of the agreement, Global Brands will design, produce and distribute men’s and women’s shoes, socks, cold weather accessories, belts and costume jewelry under the AllSaints brand name.


Basic Fun, the Boca Raton, Fla., toy and novelty company, has purchased the assets of K’NEX, the Pennsylvania-based construction toy company where creativity clicks. K’NEX will join Tech 4 Kids and Uncle Milton as the latest addition to “the new” Basic Fun.


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