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Inside Retail (Jul 26th, 2017)

Nike Inc. (NKE) CEO Mark Parker has agreed to take a 71 percent pay cut this year and will now make $13.9 million. Last year, Parker received $47.6 million, making him one of the best-paid CEOs in the U.S. Last month, amid increasing competition from Adidas, Nike said it planned to lay off more than 1,000 employees. The company, in a regulatory filing, also said it planned to scale back the pay of other executives. Nike shares are up 15.4 percent year to date, and up 4.0 percent the past year. – CNN MONEY

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Rent-A-Center Inc.’s shareholders are demanding the company begin the process of selling itself. Marcato Capital Management LP, an activist hedge fund with a stake in Rent-A-Center, said it would remove the company’s board members who are set for re-election next year. Marcato, in a letter to Rent-A-Center, said it knew of at least one party interested in buying the company. Rent-A-Center has previously rejected takeover offers from private firms like HIG Capital and Lone Star Funds. Earlier this month, it rebuffed a takeover offer of $800 million from Vintage Capital. – REUTERS

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Hershey reduced its forecast for sales growth this year, citing challenging market conditions. The candy retailer said that despite a positive second quarter Easter season, its non-seasonal candy sales have been negatively impacted by a decline in customers visiting stores. Hershey reported a 1.5 percent increase in revenue in the second quarter, with sales of pastel-colored Kisses and milk-chocolate eggs performing well. But now it expects full-year sales growth of 1 percent, down from a previous range of 2 percent to 3 percent. – FINANCIAL TIMES

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Sales in the U.S. toy industry increased 3 percent in the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2016, according to The NPD Group, a global information company. That puts it on track for growth of about 4.5 percent for the year, which is slower than the growth at the start of 2016 compared to 2015. “Much of it has to do with the fact that the industry is comparing against strong Star Wars movies sales from last year,” said Juli Lennett, NPD group’s U.S. toy analyst. Mattel Inc. (MAT) shares are down 23.5 percent so far this year, while Hasbro (HAS) shares are up 35.5 percent. – NPD GROUP

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Mall company executives are facing significant pay cuts as the industry struggles with declining sales amid waning foot traffic. The largest mall owners in the U.S. – Simon Property Group Inc., GGP Inc. and Macerich – are reducing the compensation of their senior management teams. Reducing executive pay in the corporate world is fairly rare, but the real-estate investment trust industry is structuring pay packages in a way that compensation cuts occur as stocks fall, according to FPL Associates LP senior managing director Jeremy Banoff. – WSJ

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is partnering with JD.com, a Chinese e-commerce marketplace to integrate their operations and platforms. Together they plan to hold a “8.8 omni-channel shopping festival” on Aug. 8. That event will rival Singles Day, which is held by e-commerce giant Alibaba and drew in $18 billion in sales last year. The partnership allows the two companies to help each other complete orders as they share supply chains and customers resources. “Our ability to tap into JD.com’s advantages across logistics, big data, technology and customer service gives Wal-Mart a huge advantage in reaching China’s rapidly expanding consumer class,” said Wal-Mart China’s senior vice president of commerce and technology. – RETAIL DIVE

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