Three Tips for Franchising Success

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of attending and sponsoring the annual FaegreBD Franchising Summit. While slowed consumer spending and a lively national debate around minimum wage rates and unionization have made for a challenging climate, franchising leaders are resilient and committed to the business model. Continue reading

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Marketplace Fairness Act: Is Change Around the Corner?

Congress has shelved and unshelved the proposed Marketplace Fairness Act for years now. The act, which the House passed in July and is expected to hit the Senate floor this September, focuses on enacting legislation that would allow states to collect the sales and use tax from Internet or remote sellers. At the most basic level, the act would levy a tax on online purchases. Continue reading

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Breaking Down Walls: Four Trends Reshaping the Future of Brick-and-Mortar

Digital’s transformative influence in retail is a theme that my colleagues and I have written about extensively, and it’s real. But despite all the headlines surrounding the growth of e-commerce and mobile sales, there’s a glaring figure that’s often overlooked: With only five percent of total U.S. retail sales being made through exclusive online retailers, such as Amazon, and another five percent via the online channels of traditional brick-and-mortar stores, the remaining 90 percent of retail sales still occur in-store. In other words, brick-and-mortar is—and will continue to be—a vital fixture in the industry moving forward at least for the near future. In fact, even some of the most successful brands that began online—including Birch Box, Warby Parker and Rent the Runway—have experimented with or permanently set up shop in a physical location.  Continue reading

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Retailers Reconsider In-Store Floor Space, Turning Department Stores into “Mini-Malls”

As retailers balance the increasing need for varied products and the decreasing need for space, many large anchor tenants like Macy’s and J.C. Penney are choosing to lease their square footage to specialty retailers, creating “stores-within-a-store” or “mini-malls.”

These sublease arrangements can provide various benefits to the anchor tenants. For example, they can: Continue reading

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BDO Knows Retail & Consumer Products Alert: What Does a CEO/CFO Need to Know about an Inversion Transaction?

Over the last several months, a number of major U.S. corporations, including Walgreens most recently, have announced tentative plans to relocate their headquarters abroad. This complex practice, known as an “inversion transaction,” can significantly reduce corporate income tax liabilities for businesses. However, it’s also currently subject to increased levels of scrutiny from Congress, shareholders and the public. With the scope and number of these transactions on the rise, and with the issue now in the international spotlight, it’s increasingly important that retail and consumer products companies understand what exactly inversion involves, as well as its potential advantages and risks.

For these insights and more, read our latest BDO Knows Retail & Consumer Products Alert, and let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

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Mid-Year Retail IPO Outlook – All About Alibaba?

This week the NRF lowered their expectations for retail sales growth in 2014. The group adjusted its forecast to a 3.6 percent increase for the year, down from the 4.1 percent increase they had predicted in January. Still, they were bullish for the second half of the year, noting that consumers are likely to feel more optimistic about spending in the months ahead. With back-to-school on the horizon and holiday preparations already underway, what is the outlook and appetite for IPOs in the retail and consumer industry during the back half of the year? Continue reading

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Christmas in July? Natalie Kotlyar Weighs in on the 2014 Holiday Shopping Season

It may still be July, but retailers have been hard at work for months in an effort to prepare for the 2014 holiday shopping blitz. Last season, digital trends significantly impacted sales, pushing retailers to reconsider and reshape their strategies in order to maintain their competitive advantage during the busiest time of the year. As our own Natalie Kotlyar recently discussed in Retail TouchPoints2014 Holiday Outlook Guide, retailers are now focused on leveraging last year’s digital success stories and lessons learned to stay ahead of the pack and distinguish themselves in today’s extremely competitive market. Continue reading

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Retailers’ Labor Risks Surge Despite Promising Job Market

Slow and steady is the best way to characterize the retail industry’s recent growth: Over the past three months, overall sales have continued to edge up slightly, and consumer confidence has kept pace with modest gains, reaching its highest point in June since January 2008. With these reticent indications of growth, retail executives remain cognizant of various pressures in the industry, especially around the retail labor market. Continue reading

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Top Posts of Q2

We are now halfway through 2014, and before we look ahead to the two busiest times of the year for retailers, we want to provide a quick overview of Q2. Over the past three months, we focused extensively on the risks that retail and consumer product companies face. Amid intense competition and consolidation, we saw companies attempting to navigate new avenues for strategic growth, while at the same time locking down their digital platforms due to heightened risks surrounding cybersecurity. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll continue to monitor these trends and how they develop during the back-to-school rush. Also, be on the lookout for upcoming insights into the retail labor market, as well as our mid-year IPO update. Continue reading

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