ESL Investments, the hedge fund run by Sears chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert, submitted a $4.6 billion bid to purchase Sears’ remaining 500 stores as well as Sears brands Kenmore and DieHard. Sears filed for bankruptcy in October. The acquisition would be via a newly-formed company, called Newco, according to Chain Store Age. ESL “envisages significant strategic initiatives and investments in a right-sized network of large format and small retail stores, digital assets and interdependent operating businesses.”
Keith Weed is retiring from his role as chief marketing officer at Unilever. Weed joined Unilever in 1983 and became chief marketing and communications officer in 2010. The news comes in the wake of the appointment of Alan Jope as chief executive of the FMCG giant, replacing the departing Paul Polman, according to Campaign. Jope is president of the company's personal care division.
Mountain Dew is debuting a beverage early next year that is not a soda or an energy drink, but will be placed with the latter in stores. “Game Fuel (not to be confused with the powdered G Fuel), a specially concocted refreshment that Mountain Dew is calling ‘the first drink made by gamers, for gamers.' It’s essentially an evolution of some of the limited edition varieties of the past,” according to Forbes.
Abercrombie & Fitch is tweaking its executive lineup. Kristin Scott, currently brand president of the strong-performing Hollister Co., has been appointed to the newly created role of president, global brands, effective immediately. She will be responsible for driving the growth of all Abercrombie brands globally. The company eliminated the individual brand president positions.
Centipede, Galaga, Pac-Man and Street Fighter II are making a comeback thanks to several companies. Some struggling game brands, like Atari, are getting a boost from continued interest in older games. Retailers are getting into the mix as well, with the likes of Amazon and Target scrambling to provide space exclusively for classic video games and related merchandise, according to The New York Times.
The Ikea Planning Studio will focus on "smart solutions for urban living and small spaces," says the Swedish furniture and home goods retailer in a release. Ikea created the concept store with the help of New Yorkers, who provided input throughout the planning process. Ikea’s own research found that people are increasingly moving into more urban areas.
Air New Zealand’s Christmas ad shows an unrepentant American child in a “Make Christmas Great Again” hat on Santa’s “naughty” list. The three-minute promo shows naughty kids from around the world gathering for a summit organized with the help of the airline. They promise to be nicer and do good deeds next year, like eat more vegetables, but the “naughty” kid from America is reluctant.
Discount shoe retailer Payless set up a fake luxury store in Los Angels called Palessi and stocked it with Payless shoes. Influencers were invited to check out the collection at a grand opening party. “The store had a high-end look and feel, but the shoes on the shelf were the same ones that normally retail for prices between $19.99 and $39.99, according to the company,” according to SFGate.
Old-line tuna companies like Chicken of the Sea International and StarKist Co. "are trying to reboot demand for tuna fish" by "selling it in cans, pouches and kits with trendy flavors or as a healthy snack" in an attempt to attract younger consumers and "hold on to their dominance in a shrinking market."
Japanese company Fast Retailing "is blurring the lines between online and offline shopping at the newest location of its fashion-forward, low-cost apparel brand, GU," according to Chain Store Age. "The store allows shoppers to experiment with clothing combinations on a virtual mannequin and create a digital avatar." Customers can order online and then pick up their items at a nearby GU store or a designated Seven Eleven location.