It is no secret that the American retail business is suffering, but two pieces of news made us cringe a little bit today.
Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren announced today that they are considering getting into the outlet store business. Don’t start thinking strip malls just yet- the plan would actually involve smaller outlets in local malls. Outlets will help Macy’s reach a new customer base at low cost and help deal with extra inventory. Why sell extra merchandise off to T.J. Maxx and Ross when you can build that same model into your business as well?
This announcement came after news that Macy’s will be starting to create “lifestyle malls” that act as mini-malls within a mall where the departments would each act as their own store with open-air walkways in between. [bnet.com]
Tadashi Yanai, Chairman of Uniqlo, suggested he might be interested in making a bid for Gap Inc.. Yanai is no longer interested in a stake in Barney’s, but is still very interested in avenues for expansion in the US and worldwide. At least they won’t have to fight over who has the cooler collaborations. [timesonline.com]
At long last, Abercrombie & Fitch has agreed to cut prices, after initially refusing to react to the economy. Still reluctant to cut prices across the board, discounts will come as “‘meaningful’ discounts and running clearance sales at its European mall-based Hollister outlets and high-end Ruehl stores.” [stylesight.com]