Journalist, New York
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Sep 17, 2013

Sycamore takes 8 percent stake in Aeropostale

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – A buyout firm with a record of taking troubled retailers private disclosed on Tuesday that an affiliate had taken an 8 percent stake in Aeropostale Inc (ARO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), sending the struggling teen apparel retailer’s shares up as much 19.5 percent.

Between August 23 and September 11, Sycamore affiliate Hummingbird LLC bought 6.25 million Aeropostale shares at prices ranging from $8.2723 to $8.7564 each, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sep 15, 2013

Retailers must work harder to merge e-commerce, stores

NEW YORK, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Bricks-and-mortar retailers
are trying to compete with Amazon.com Inc and each
other by offering what they hope is the best of both worlds -
online sales with the option of store pickups, delivery and
returns.

When successful, this so-called omni-channel shopping -
allowing customers the choice of buying in a physical store or
online – can provide better service, more inventory and faster
delivery options, e-commerce experts said at the Reuters Global
Consumer and Retail Summit in New York last week.

Sep 9, 2013

Bodum sues J.C.Penney for poor shop-in-shop rollout

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Upscale coffee-press maker Bodum Group has sued J.C. Penney Inc Co (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for breach of contract, saying the retailer did not deliver on its promise to build and roll out modern, chic shops within its stores to showcase Bodum’s wares.

Bodum and Penney had reached a deal in November 2012 to have Penney prominently feature Bodum houseware products and Ordning & Reda office and stationery products as part of its now abandoned plan to transform its department stores into collections of “shop in shops.”

Sep 9, 2013

Neiman Marcus sold for $6 billion to Canada Pension Plan, Ares

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Reuters) – The owners of Neiman Marcus Inc NMRCUS.UL agreed to sell the U.S. luxury department store chain to two private investors for $6 billion, almost $1 billion more than they paid for the company in 2005.

The buyers, Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), said on Monday they will split ownership equally, with an undisclosed minority stake going to current management.

Sep 9, 2013

Traditional U.S. stores fight Amazon for online sales

By Phil Wahba and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – U.S. bricks and mortar retailers are racing to catch up with e-commerce giant Amazon.com in fast-growing online sales.

Retailers ranging from department store Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are linking online and in-store inventory systems, speeding shipping and promoting exclusive products to counter Amazon, which dominates U.S. online sales.

Sep 9, 2013

REUTERS SUMMIT: Traditional U.S. stores fight Amazon for online sales

By Phil Wahba and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – U.S. bricks and mortar retailers are racing to catch up with e-commerce giant Amazon.com in fast-growing online sales.

Retailers ranging from department store Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) are linking online and in-store inventory systems, speeding shipping and promoting exclusive products to counter Amazon, which dominates U.S. online sales.

Aug 28, 2013

Zale posts first full-year profit since 2008, shares soar

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Zale Corp (ZLC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter comparable sales on Wednesday, led by big gains at its flagship chain, and reported its first profitable fiscal year since the financial crisis in 2008.

Shares soared as much as 23.7 percent to $11.08, reaching their highest since November 2008, when the financial crisis decimated sales of mid-priced jewelry. The stock has nearly tripled since April.

Aug 28, 2013

Tiffany sees China sparkle as diamond demand grows

Aug 27 (Reuters) – Diamonds may be Tiffany & Co’s
best friend as strong demand for the sparkling gems in China
helped lift the U.S. jeweler’s global sales in the latest
quarter, leading it to raise its profit forecast for the year.

Diamonds have grown in popularity in China’s 465 billion
yuan ($76 billion) jewelry sector as affluent Chinese
increasingly opt for diamond jewelry over gold as gifts for
special occasions. Diamonds accounted for 30 percent of the
sector this year, up from 25 percent in 2008, according to
research firm Euromonitor.

Aug 27, 2013

Tiffany’s strong China sales offset tepid Americas business

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Tiffany & Co’s (TIF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) strong sales in China and higher prices helped mitigate disappointing business in its home market in the second quarter, leading the U.S. jeweler on Tuesday to raise its profit forecast for the year.

Shares of Tiffany rose 2.2 percent to $83.50 in trading before the market opened.

Aug 26, 2013

Analysis: Spending on cars, homes threatens apparel sales as holidays approach

By Jessica Wohl and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Even with consumer confidence at a six-year high, retailers ranging from Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are competing not only with each other but are also having to adapt to shifting spending patterns.

Many consumers are taking advantage of still-low interest rates, purchasing cars and houses, but at the same time they are holding back on shirts, dresses and shoes, which doesn’t bode well for many retailers in the run-up to the year-end holiday season.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Wahba joined Reuters in 2008 and has covered the exchanges, equity capital markets (IPOs), corporate bankruptcies and now covers retailers such as department stores and booksellers."
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
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