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Inside Retail (Apr 12th, 2017)

Gymboree is becoming yet another retailer headed for bankruptcy. The children’s retailer is reportedly preparing to file Chapter 11 protection as it faces its next interest payment on its loans, due June 1. The company, controlled by Bain Capital, is scrambling to reorganize debt and it may cede control to its lenders, according to Bloomberg’s unnamed sources. Gymboree, which has about 1,300 stores, warned last month that it may not survive as its cash was running thin. It’s been operating with more than $1 billion in debt and has not posted a profit in six years. – BLOOMBERG

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Abercrombie & Fitch just landed a deal with Zalora, an Asian e-commerce company. Zalora is based in the Philippines, operating in 11 markets in the region, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. For Abercrombie & Fitch, the deal expands its Hollister-branded products through Zalora’s stores followed by Abercrombie-branded merchandise later this month. That gives it direct access to Zalora’s more than 600 million customers at a time when it could use a sales boost. Abercrombie’s net sales fell 7 percent to $1.04 billion in the fourth quarter. – RETAIL DIVE

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Wal-Mart has announced ‘pickup discounts’ for online shoppers, laying down another gauntlet for Amazon.com Inc. in the battle to claim e-commerce market share. It’s a move that Amazon will have difficulty replicating without as many physical locations as Wal-Mart. In the discount, online orders that can be picked up at stores will get additional discounts on top of just an eliminated shipping fee. For example, a consumer buying a Vizio HD television for $1,698 would save $50 off the price. The strategy is designed to boost both online transactions and encourage in-store traffic that could lead to other sales. – REUTERS

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Adidas, Nike and American Eagle are among teens' favorite brands, according to a new study by Piper Jaffray. Young consumers are a highly coveted demographic among retailers for their potential to become life-long customers. Piper Jaffray, which interviewed 5,500 teens, revealed that brands like Under Armour and Gap are brands that are losing favor among teens. In handbags, Coach, Kate Spade and Michael Kors rank in the top spots. And teen interest in Apple products continues to rise, especially as users await the release of iPhone 8. – CNBC

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J.C. Penney Co., in its fight to survive declining sales, is overhauling some 750 salons to target a younger crowd with upgrades in furnishings and décor, and with online bookings. About 50 of those salons will be rebranded to The Salon by Instyle. The department store retailer is one of a growing number of brick-and-mortar retailers trying to give consumers a reason – other than browsing – for coming into their stores. The new salons will debut this summer. J.C. Penney said it will hire 4,000 stylists. Meanwhile, the company is also closing up to 140 locations, or about 14 percent of its stores, as part of its growth strategy. – INVESTOPEDIA

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Netshoes, a shoe, fashion and beauty retailer in Brazil, has priced its upcoming initial public offering of 8.25 million shares at $18 per share, raising $149 million. The company, one of the largest online retailers in Latin America, plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “NETS” and should start trading on Wednesday. Underwriters, including J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, have a 30-day option to buy an additional 1.24 million shares. Netshoes also has operations in Argentina and Mexico. – MARKETWATCH

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