Walmart has named its first-ever chief belonging officer.
The retailer giant named A. Denise Malloy-Deaderick to the post, which is an evolution of the chief diversity officer position. The appointment is effective April 14.
Prior to Walmart, Malloy-Deaderick spent 17 years at Johnson Controls, most recently as senior director, market strategy diversity, a newly-created position responsible for identifying, tracking and reporting diversity ROI to the business unit.
In the role, she also was responsible for developing formal diversity processes and partnerships necessary to ensure the onboarding, development and promotion of exceptional talent, and worked with business and market leaders to significantly impact the workplace, marketplace and community.
Malloy-Deaderick also worked at J.P. Morgan and Xerox.
In a related post on her LinkedIn page, Malloy-Deaderick wrote that she looked forward to “diving in and engaging with the over 2 million associates around the globe to work toward workplace diversity and inclusion that drives equitable outcomes for all.”
“To my new, fellow Walmart associates, I’m excited to begin partnering with you to continue to create a culture where we all feel we belong,” she added.
Mastercard: Retail sales up 4.7% year-over-year in March
Consumers continue to prioritize experiences and essentials in their spending.
U.S. retail sales increased 4.7% year-over-year in March, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales, excluding automotive, across all forms of payment. (The metric reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation.)
At a national level, nominal spending growth was down slightly compared to February, which saw a 6.9% year-over-year increase. Spending trends in March, however, were consistent with those experienced earlier this year.
In other March results, e-commerce sales were up 13.0% year-over-year, while in-store sales rose 2.8%. Restaurant sales grew 11.6% and grocery sales rose 5.6%.
The home improvement, home furniture/furnishings and electronics sectors continued to experience a dip in year-over-year growth as consumers prioritized experiences and essentials, noted Mastercard.
“There are a number of factors influencing how today’s consumer is shopping including inflation, the labor market, food and gas prices, and the path of interest rates,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “But they’re still spending -- we’re seeing varied growth sector by sector, with purchases largely shifting to necessities and experiences.”
Shoe City liquidating; Gordon Brothers to sell store leases
Esco Ltd. (doing business as Shoe City) has filed for bankruptcy.
The Baltimore-based athletic footwear and apparel chain, which has been in business for more than 70 years, operates 39 stores throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on March 31, and the bankruptcy court authorized going-out-of-business sales.
Gordon Brothers announced it will sell retail leases and operate going-out-of-business sales at all 39 Shoe City locations. The stores range in size from 2,000 to 9,900 sq. ft., and include street front, regional mall and strip center sites.
“These leases offer a fantastic opportunity for retailers looking to expand their footprint,” said James Avallone, senior managing director, real estate at Gordon Brothers. “The stores offer high-traffic locations with attractive co-tenancy and favorable lease terms with options.”
Beginning April 6, storewide price reductions go into effect at all store locations with up to 30% off original prices on the entire stock of athletic footwear and apparel, including new arrivals and highly sought-after brands.
Additionally, store fixtures are available for purchase throughout the going-out-of-business sales.
The global fast-fashion giant will open its first two beauty “flagships,” in Oslo, Norway. The first H&M Beauty will open on April 5, at Karl Johans gate 14. The second will open on May 25, in Oslo City shopping center.
Approximately 3,230 sq. ft. each, the two H&M Beauty shops are located within existing H&M locations, and will have direct access from the street. The merchandise mix will include a wide selection of H&M’s private-label beauty products along with more than 80 Scandinavian and other external brands.
H&M Beauty has been created to give customers an elevated store experience, and will include beauty bars and dedicated beauty advisers. The design mixes cocktail bar and spa-like aesthetics, offering a social scene as well as opportunities for self-care and wellness.
The two new shops are the start of H&M Beauty's journey with the goal of creating both a physical and digital beauty universe where the customer can be inspired and buy their entire look, the company said.
“We are very happy that we can now offer our customers a well-curated beauty assortment that goes hand-in-hand with the fashion we offer,” said Catherine Wigzell, general manager, H&M Beauty.
“Our goal is to inspire every customer who enters an H&M store, or who shops online at hm.com, to leave with a complete look across fashion and beauty.”
In March, H&M entered its 77th market with the opening of a store in Albania. As of March 30, the company had a total of 4, 414 stores around the globe.
The store, called BTS POP-UP: Space of BTS, will open in late April. Billed as the first “official” BTS store in the United States, the space will be open for three months. Anticipating high first-day crowds, doors will open two hours before and one hour after traditional mall hours on opening day.
The store will carry a wide variety of BTS merchandise, including stationery, apparel, homeware and fashion items, and will offer numerous interactive photo opportunities. Due to the high demand for merchandise, products will be sold until supplies last and have limited restock, according to a release.
In August 2022, BTS Pop-Up opened a temporary store at Toronto Eaton Centre, in downtown Toronto. The location remained open through December.
Previous BTS pop-up stores have opened around the world, with multiple store locations throughout South Korea.
Belk expanding its outlet store concept — here are the locations
For the first time in its 135-year history, Belk is expanding in the outlet space.
The department store retailer is opening five Belk Outlet locations within the next seven days. Belk debuted the concept at the start of 2023, converting its store in Greeneville, Tenn., into the first-ever Belk Outlet. The feedback from customers was overwhelmingly positive, according to the company.
Here are the locations of the five new Belk Outlet stores:
911 E Main Street, Laurens, S.C. (opening 3/30);
19 Claypool Hill Mall, Cedar Bluff, Va. (opening 3/30);
3093 East Main Street, Suite B, Russellville, Ark. (opening 3/30);
2801 Wilma Rudolph Blvd, Clarksville, Tenn. (opening 4/4); and
6640 Douglas Blvd., Douglasville, Ga. (opening 4/4).
Belk Outlet stores will include discounted items that come directly from the retailer’s larger stores across its footprint and customers will have access to many new items, including high-end and designer brands that these locations may not have carried in the past.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., the privately-owned Belk operates nearly 300 stores in 16 Southeastern states. In September 2022, the company named Don Hendricks as CEO. He had been serving in the role on an interim basis since May 2022, following the resignation of Nir Patel, who left to join GameStop.