Retailer News

Maplin Rolls Out "Smart Life" Rebranding

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Maplin Rolls Out

Maplin announces the rollout of its "store of the future" rebranding initiative, following "significant" improvements in both sales and footfall at refurbished outlets.

Designed by 20.20, the "store of the future" format made its debut on November 2016 in The Beehive Centre, Cambridge. Since then it was adapted and refined at 6 other stores in Staines, Sittingbourne, Crewe, Salford, Oxford and Chesterfield. Maplin says these stores have seen an average Y-o-Y sales increase of 15%, as well as an 18% increase in footfall.

The store format features interactive digital displays developed by SignStix. Maplin says the Cambridge Beehive outlet saw over 20000 digital interactions with the smart home kit on display, with customers interacting with the technology and getting advice from store staff.

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The Most Profitable Retail Square Footage is...

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The Most Profitable Retail Square Footage is...

Which brick-and-mortar retail is the most profitable on a sales per square foot basis? According to eMarket the answer is no other than Apple, who managed to buck the decline seen in most traditional retail outlets.

The analyst says the average retailer makes around $325 per square foot, down from nearly $375 in the early 2000s. In good part this is due to the disruption caused by Amazon, but some companies have managed to grow sales despite the decline. The most spectacular results come from Apple-- The iPhone maker makes $5546 per square foot, making it one of the most successful brick-and-mortar retailer in the world.

In comparison, second placing retailer Reis & Ivy makes $3970 per square foot, while gas/convenience chain Murphy USA makes $3721. Even top jeweler Tiffany & Co stands lower than Apple, since it makes $2951, and leading apparel retailer lululemon Athletica makes $1560.

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Lawsuit Blames Sprint for RadioShack Bankruptcy!

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Lawsuit Blames Sprint for RadioShack Bankruptcy!

A group of RadioShack creditors are blaming Sprint for the second bankruptcy of the anachronistically-named RadioShack-- and are suing US mobile carrier for the damages.

As Reuters reports, the lawsuit is looking for $500 million in damages. It claims "Sprint Corp used confidential information from its alliance with RadioShack Corp to open competing mobile phone stores, dooming the comeback by the electronics retailer and destroying jobs."

Sprint allegedly used insider information to open 200 Sprint stores near the best RadioShack locations, and as a result "destroyed nearly 6000 RadioShack jobs." In addition, the carrier is accused of further breach of contract by ignoring provide inventory and staff to RadioShack stores due to its own financial troubles.

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Metro Group Invests in Yoyo Wallet

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Metro Group Invests in Yoyo Wallet

Media Markt and Saturn owner Metro Group leads an investment in Yoyo Wallet, a London-based mobile payment and customer loyalty platform operating in the European market.

Launched in 2013, Yoyo allows customers to do fast and simple mobile ordering via app. It also handles payments and personalised loyalty programs. On the other hand, retailers get analytics and a campaign platfrom, and can also build Yoyo-powered retailer-specific branded apps.

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Dixons Carphone Ends US Sprint Joint Venture

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Dixons Carphone Ends US Sprint Joint Venture

Dixons Carphone announces an end to its US joint venture with mobile network Sprint after less than 2 years, the result of a "changing US mobile market landscape."

As a result, Sprint will acquire the Dixon Carphone share of the distribution joint venture. The team up had Dixons Carphone manage a number of Sprint-branded stores in US while providing consultancy services. Instead, the UK retailer plans to concentrate on the rollout of its Honeybee sales software, which is used under white label by the likes of Apple, across the entire Sprint operation.

“We have enjoyed working with Sprint to accelerate their store opening programme over the last 2 years and have developed an estate and a pipeline to help support their ambitious growth plans," Dixons Carphone CEO Andrew Harrison says. "With the significant shift in the US mobile market, now is the right time to transfer these stores to Sprint, and to concentrate on our exciting software business, Honeybee."

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Media Markt Opens Concept Store

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Media Markt Opens Concept Store

Media Markt plans to open a new store concept in Wilrijk and Eindhoven, adding a snack bar, coffee bar complete with barista and even a beauty salon.

The stores are designed to ensure a longer and more pleasant shopping experience. As such, furnishings are cozy while several seating areas allow customers to test out products. There are even areas where customers can race drones, play games and test out virtual reality hardware.

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Apple Opens Dubai Mall Store

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Apple Opens Dubai Mall Store

Apple announces a 3rd retail store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-- specifically at the Dubai Mall, set to open on 27 April, following the unveiling of a ground mural surrounding the storefront.

The store occupies 2 levels and reportedly offers views of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It will be open 7 days a week, 10am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday and 10am to midnight Thursday to Saturday.

Like many other Apple retail outlets it should host workshops for customers of all ages, as well as learning camps for kids. The company also promotes "field trips" for students wanting an "unforgettable learning experience" using Apple products.

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Amazon Buys "Amazon of the M. East"

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Amazon Buys

Amazon wants to bolster its presence in the Middle East with the acquisition of Souq, the online retailer often described as "the Amazon of the Arab world."

"Amazon and Souq share the same DNA-- we’re both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking,” Amazon says. "Souq pioneered e-commerce in the Middle East, creating a great shopping experience for their customers. We're looking forward to both learning from and supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources. And together, we’ll work hard to provide the best possible service for millions of customers in the M. East."

Souq sells CE, as well as fashion, household items and other goods. It claims to be the largest e-commerce player in the region, and was valued at $1 billion during its last round of funding back in 2016. Last year Souq was reportedly in talks with Amazon to sell a 30% stake, a deal also putting its value at $1bn, but TechCrunch sources claim the final asking price for the deal comes to around $650 million.

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RadioShack Faces Bankruptcy... Again!

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RadioShack Faces Bankruptcy... Again!

RadioShack is in the red for the 2nd time in 2 years, as owner General Wireless Operations (GWO) files for Chapter 11 protection after the failure of a co-branding deal with US mobile carrier Sprint.

GWO bought the RadioShack brand and its best stores in a series of bankruptcy auctions in 2015. It runs 1500 outlets, and plans to close 187 stores, either close or sell to Sprint another 364 stores and evaluate the remaining 1000 locations, with the option to liquidate.

The bankruptcy filing has CEO Dene Rogers claim a number of improvements and sales milestones during the short tenure of GWO. These include a 23% reduction in operating expensive and an 8% increase in gross profit dollars for 2016, the sale over over 1 million private-label headphones and 700000 Hulu login pins, a revamp of its e-commerce site and the integration of FedEx pick-up/drop-off points in 140 stores.

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Apple to Open Schildergasse, Cologne Store

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Apple to Open Schildergasse, Cologne Store

Apple announces a second retail store in Cologne, Germany-- the Store in Schildergasse 1-9, one of the busiest shopping streets in the country, will open on 28 March 2017.

The announcement confirms previous rumours on Apple working on a retail outlet in the German city. Schildergasse spans 500m from Hohe Strasse on the Easern End to Neumarkt on the Western End, and claims foot traffic of around 13000 persons per hour.

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Apple Preps Second Cologne Store?

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Apple Preps Second Cologne Store?

German website iFun.de shares photos of what appears to be a second Apple Store in the city of Cologne, as tarpaulins fail to hide a clearly lit Apple logo.

The Store is located on Schildergrasse, a busy shopping street in the city centre claiming foot traffic of around 13000 per hour. Dubbed "Apple Schildergrasse," it occupies a former retail outlet of the clothing brand Pohland, which vacated the building back in 2015.

According to Macerkopf, renovations have been going on in the building since April 2015. Close-up photos show Apple-style buildings and markings through the typically blacked out windows, and further confirming the existence of the store is the March 2016 posting of Cologne-based Apple retail job listings.

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