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Week in Tech: 05/31/2014

What's new in the world of technology.

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RETAILERS CUT TECH CAPEX: Retailers searching for momentum in the digital age aren’t necessarily putting their money where their e-commerce is.

A study of capital expenditures conducted by analysts at Wells Fargo Securities found that, while capex among a large sample of retailers increased 8 percent last year over 2012 levels, amounts earmarked for e-commerce and information technology dropped 2 percent.

ABERCROMBE LINKS WITH ASOS: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has taken its first steps into the world of wholesaling and said it will sell items from its namesake brand through online retailer Asos. “Given Asos’ strong and growing traffic, this partnership will enable us to increase brand consideration and engagement with an attractive margin structure,” said Mike Jeffries, ceo of the struggling retailer.

GUESS LOOKS TO STRENGTHEN OMNI POSITIONING: Paul Marciano, chief executive officer of Guess Inc., signaled that the Los Angeles-based jeanswear and sportswear giant could be preparing to de-emphasize brick-and-mortar retail in the same way that it began to favor the retail arena over wholesaling about 15 years ago.

“Omnichannel remains our key strategic initiative with a very big growth potential for many years to come,” he said.

MYSALE OFFERING SET:
The Mysale Group, which operates flash-sale Web sites in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the U.S., said it plans to raise 40 million pounds, or $67 million at current exchange, with a flotation on London’s secondary Alternative Investment Market next month. Mysale Group also acquired Cocosa.com, the luxury fashion flash sales site that shuttered late last year.

TARGET’S ADVISORY COUNCIL: Target Corp. formed a digital advisory council to help accelerate its tech transformation.

The discounter has come under criticism for not being fast enough on technology and for problems with its Web site, including the data breach that impacted millions of consumers last holiday season.

NRF FOCUSES IN ON THE WEB IN RE-BRANDING:
The National Retail Federation is bullish on the Web. “It’s pretty clear to us that over the holiday season, the difference between winners and losers is that winners were more successful at delivering a seamless and integrated experience across all their platforms,” said Matthew Shay, president and ceo of the trade association. “It’s only going to accelerate.” The NRF is undergoing an image refresh with a new logo, new offices and a new Web site.

THE ‘NETFLIX’ OF BEAUTY:
Adam Sandow’s looking to launch the Netflix of beauty with BeautyDNA.com, which will bow to the public next month.

“BeautyDNA is a game changer in that it will evolve how women discover beauty products,” said Sandow, chief executive officer of the company that bears his name. The firm’s portfolio also includes retailer Fred Segal and magazine NewBeauty.

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