The group, which has been struggling for years with falling sales and fading popularity, has been hit hard by the pandemic: food stores did remain open, but fashion sales fell by as much as 84 per cent in May, according to Retail Detail, and the retailer fears that some consumer habits have now changed forever.
M&S has lagged behind in e-commerce and faced fierce competition from fast fashion retailers Primark and Asos.
Christian Louboutin steps into Macau
Christian Louboutin has opened its first boutique in Macau, with a shop design based on its founder’s neoclassical apartment in Paris, featuring marble furnishings and flower-painted walls designed by French artist Alexandre Poulaillon.
According to Louboutin, the boutique “looks like a living room where women do not feel like they are in a store but in the home of a friend who loves them and knows them well”.
The opening is a bold move in a region still affected by Covid-19 restrictions especially as it is known as a gambling mecca and is strongly dependent on tourism. Border restrictions have been in place to varying degrees since the outbreak began, with reduced border crossings and quarantine restrictions applied.
Nike makes big changes at the top
Nike has shaken up its leadership team and announced company-wide job cuts to fight back against a pandemic-related slowdown.
The company said the job cuts, which it declined to quantify, will result in pre-tax, one-time employee termination costs of roughly US$200 million to US$250 million ($280 million to $350 million), CNBC reports.
Nike has made sweeping changes to its executive team as it intends to focus more on its digital business, as it believes Covid-19 has permanently shifted consumer shopping habits.
Among the leadership changes, Nike has named the former head of its global categories, Amy Montagne, as vice president of its men’s business. It named the former head of its specialty businesses, Whitney Malkiel, as head of its women’s business. The former head of Nike’s North American kids business, McCallester Dowers, has been named head of kids globally.
They are all reporting to Michael Spillane, who is becoming head of a new consumer creation division, CNBC reports.
7-Eleven warns of Cambodia scam
Cambodia may be the target of a bogus 7-Eleven “franchisor”, an unauthorised party representing itself as the master franchisee in the country and attempting to sell outlets.
The convenience store chain has been forced to issue a warning against the operative, confirming that Thailand’s CP All is the sole master franchisee in the market, with the exclusive right to open and operate 7-Eleven stores there.
The first store is scheduled to launch in Phnom Penh next year.
Black-owned businesses skyrocket
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, Business Insider reports that in the US, interest in supporting Black-owned businesses has never been so high.
Search activity for Black-owned businesses on the Yelp platform increased by 7043 per cent in the last two months compared with the same period in 2019. Yelp users searched for Black-owned businesses over 2.5 million times between May 25 and July 10 and in 2019, there were around 35,000 similar searches during the same period.
Justin Norman, Yelp’s vice president of data science, told Business Insider in an email that Yelp has never seen such a significant increase in support for Black-owned businesses.
“In general, most of the spikes we see are tied to holidays and events,” Norman said. “We haven’t seen a previous movement-based spike to date and we’re thrilled and inspired by the continued support and increase in searches for Black-owned businesses.”
Ikea moves into clothing
Ikea is set to move beyond furniture and homewares into clothing and lifestyle items, and will launch its inaugural collection in Tokyo on July 31, the city’s TimeOut website reports.
The line is expected to be launched worldwide if it is successful in Japan.
The line, officially called the Efterträda Collection, is a collaboration between Ikea in Sweden and Ikea Japan. “Efterträda” directly translates as “successor”.
The initial release features 10 items including a water bottle, tote bag, T-shirt and hoodie that are printed with the barcode of Ikea’s popular Billy bookcase.
Ikea has been busy in Tokyo, recently opening a new city-centre concept store in Harajuku, and there are plans to open another store near Shibuya Crossing this northern winter.