News Briefs


BJ’s names CIO

Anjana Harve, executive VP, CIO (Photo: Business Wire)

BJ’s Wholesale Club has a new chief information officer.

The membership warehouse club retailer named Anjana Harve as executive VP, CIO, effective immediately. She will also serve as a member of BJ’s executive leadership team.

Prior to BJ’s, Harve served as global CIO at Fresenius Medical Care where she led information technology, privacy assurance, cyber, digital and data security across key business units. She also held various CIO and technology leadership roles at Hill-Rom, Novartis and Shire, along with other senior management positions during her career.

Harve will be responsible for the strategic leadership and direction of the company’s information technology organization to drive business outcomes, optimize revenue growth and improve operating efficiencies. Harve will report to Bob Eddy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and serve as a member of BJ’s executive leadership team.

“I’m pleased to have a leader of Anjana’s experience joining BJ’s,” said Bob Eddy, chairman and CEO “She brings more than 25 years of experience driving innovative technology transformations and leading and inspiring high-performing teams. She will play a crucial role in further strengthening our technology to advance our long-term strategic growth priorities and deliver greater value for our members.”

Harve holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from Bangalore University in India and a master in business administration from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.

Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., BJ’s operates 238 clubs and 168 BJ's Gas locations in 19 states. 



GNC partners with wellness product data analysis platform


GNC Holdings Inc. is increasing its visibility into consumer preferences in vitamin, mineral and supplement (VMS) segments.

The vitamins and supplements retailer is partnering with wellness-focused data company SPINS as its new research partner for product development and product design in the VMS space. GNC hopes its exclusive, multiyear contract with SPINS will enable it to improve consumer integration and accelerate its innovation initiatives via SPINS’ proprietary attribution and product intelligence platform.

"GNC and SPINS share a deep commitment to deeply understanding and transforming the future of health and wellness," said Michelle Walkley, director, customer insights, GNC. "Having insight into the SPINS platform is going to enhance our current data-driven approach to understanding market trends and evolving customer needs. The SPINS data opens exciting new opportunities to even further drive customer-centricity across product development, design, and innovation."

"As consumers demand transparency, quality, and personalization in the health and wellness industry in ways never seen before, SPINS and GNC are uniquely positioned to collaborate and drive innovation together," said Andrew Henkel, executive VP of retail at SPINS. "We're excited to partner with GNC to shape the future of the VMS industry and improve the well-being of people around the world."

[Read more: GNC renews investment in subscription management technology]


Report: Walmart to open a store that also houses a police substation

Walmart exterior sign

Walmart is adding a new feature to one of its upcoming Neighborhood Market locations in Atlanta.

In December 2022, Walmart’s store in the city’s Vine City neighborhood closed after it sustained fire and water damage due to suspected arson.  The location is being converted to the retail giant’s smaller-format Neighborhood Market banner and is scheduled to reopen in May 2024.  Along with a pharmacy and grocery offerings that range from prepared foods to fresh produce to full-service deli,  the store will also include an Atlanta Police Department substation where an officer’s presence is intended to help deter criminal activity, reported local media source

The substation will be a place for Atlanta officers to fill out paperwork, hold meetings, or charge their phones or body cameras, according to the report. It will not be occupied at all hours. 

The goal is to keep people safe, but also to make sure shrinkage does not hurt Walmart’s bottom line so “they don’t want to stay here anymore,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in the report. 

The move to include the police substation comes as retailers across the board say rising levels of shrink due to organized retail crime and theft are cutting into their profits. 



American Eagle cites ‘positive momentum,’ raises full-year outlook

American Eagle Outfitters’ total net revenue rose 2% to $1.08 billion.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. reported second quarter profit and sales that exceeded expectations amid rising demand and cost-cutting efforts. 

“Demand picked up in June and July reflecting brand strength and on trend collections that are resonating well with customers, supported by exciting new marketing campaigns,” said Jay Schottenstein, chairman and CEO. “It’s encouraging to see positive momentum continue into the third quarter, across brands and channels.”

The apparel and accessories retailer company reported net income of $48.57 with earnings per share of $0.25 for the quarter ended July 29, compared to a loss of $42.46 million in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $0.16. 

Total net revenue inched up to $1.200 billion from $1.198 billion in the prior year. Store revenue rose   4%. Digital revenue declined 7%.

At American Eagle, revenue fell 1% to $767 million and comp sales declined 2%. Aerie’s revenue rose 2% to $380 — a second-quarter record. Its comp sales were flat.

Total ending inventory declined 7% to $637 million compared to $687 million last year, with units down 11%. The company said it continues to maintain inventory discipline.

“Looking to the second half, we are excited about future product arrivals, leveraging the positive response to early fall goods and delivering innovative customer connections,” said Schottenstein. At the same time, we are keeping a sharp eye on the consumer environment and planning appropriately. We are taking action to position the business for improved profit, with preliminary initiatives included in our increased 2023 outlook.”

For the year, management expects revenue to be up low single digits to last year, compared to its prior guidance for revenue in the range of flat to down low single digits. Operating income is expected to be in the range of $325 to $350 million, up from prior guidance of $250 to $270 million. 

“This reflects better than expected business performance in the second quarter, in addition to strengthened demand and continued profit improvement in the back half of the year,” the company said. 

The outlook includes approximately $25 million in benefits from the company’s profit improvement initiatives. 

The retailer operated 1,184 stores at the end of the second quarter, including 866 American Eagle stores, 300 Aerie stores, 13 Todd Snyer stores and five Unsubscribed stores.


GameStop cuts Q2 loss; sales inch up

Gamestop NYC shutterstock photo

GameStop narrowed its second-quarter loss in a big way.

The videogame and electronics retailer reported a net loss of $2.8 million, or a loss of $0.01 per share, for the quarter ended July 29, compared to a net loss of $108.7 million, or a loss of $0.36 per share,  for the year-ago quarter. Net sales inched up to $1.164 billion, compared to $1.136 billion in the prior year.

Once again, GameStop did not hold an earnings call regarding its results, which follow the firing of company CEO Matt Furlong in June and the election of elected Ryan Cohen as executive chairman. In its quarterly securities filing at the time, the company said Cohen’s leadership would “unlock long-term value creation for our stockholders.”

Transition costs related to European restructuring efforts were $4.3 million for the second quarter.
GameStop ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.195 billion. Its long-term debt remains limited to one low-interest, unsecured term loan associated with the French government’s response to COVID-19.


Crafter’s Companion moves warehouse management to the cloud

supply chain and technology

An international direct-to-consumer specialty craft retailer is improving warehouse management with cloud-based technology.

Crafter’s Companion, which is headquartered in California and the U.K. and sells its arts and crafts products via multiple channels in more than 40 countries across Europe, Asia, Australia and North and South America, is deploying the cloud-based e-commerce warehouse management solution (WMS) from Descartes Systems Group.

The retailer intends to obtain higher customer satisfaction as a result of faster order processing, and says it has significantly reduced its fulfillment error rate by increasing the accuracy of its existing pick and pack process using barcode-based scanning processes.

Specifically, Crafter’s Companion says it has achieved a 25% increase in fulfilment efficiency with an error rate of less than 1%. Order information is automatically available to be executed via mobile-driven multi-order pick-and-pack strategies, and then fed into Descartes and third-party parcel shipment systems.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Descartes and implementing its e-commerce WMS in our global, 54,000-sq.-ft. distribution center is an important milestone for the business,” said Sara Davies, founder and creative director of Crafter’s Companion. “The software is helping us operate to our full potential, as we continue to service our amazing worldwide community of customers.”

“We’re proud to enable Crafter’s Companion to pursue its global growth strategy with scalable processes and highly accurate fulfilment operations,” said Dirk Haschke, VP & GM, e-commerce at Descartes. “The company’s focus lies on its customers’ satisfaction and by ensuring efficient intralogistics processes, Descartes’ ecommerce WMS helps to fulfill the promises made.”

Founded in 2005 by Sara Davies, Crafter's Companion supplies its products directly to consumers online and through its retail stores, as well as via its trade, wholesale and TV shopping partners.