Apollo Global Management has filed with regulators to take accessories retailer Claires public under the symbol CLRS. The private equity firm, which acquired the then debt-free chain in 2007 for $3.1 billion, hopes to raise at least $100 million in the public offering. Claires currently has more than $2.3 billion in debt, including $522 million in loans due in 2015.
Research released Thursday by Google indicates that among smartphone owners, some 79 percent can be classified as "mobile shoppers," using their devices for some aspect of the shopping experience, from finding store locations to finding goods. In fact, among those who use smartphones for any kind of shopping or browsing, some 84 percent do so in physical stores. Meanwhile 65 percent of consumers prefer using mobile websites to apps.
Last week the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, legislation that would allow states to compel online retailers, no matter where they are located, to tax consumers at the point of purchase - meaning more shoppers would pay sales tax for items snagged on online sites like Amazon or Ebay. For years, brick and mortar retailers have been required to charge customers sales tax at the point of purchase, while online sellers often have not.
The Las Vegas Market, part of the International Market Centers, announced it is shifting its winter 2014 market dates to Sunday, Jan. 26 through Thursday, Jan. 30. The decision to move the dates was based on feedback from gift and home dcor buyers and exhibitors and is expected to better accommodate the growing categories at the market.
French brand Beaba has opened a U.S. office and will assume distribution from Scandinavian Child. The feeding product company's new subsidiary is located in Hoboken, N.J. and will be the primary contact for retailers. For more information, email email@example.com.
German company CYBEX debuted a colorful collection of strollers, car seats and accessories in collaboration with American fashion designer Jeremy Scott. Inspired by his own childhood, Scott created a pop art "Food Fight" print exclusively for the collection. The print features popcorn characters taking on burgers and a soda bottle duking it out with a hotdog. Regal Lager, Cybex's American distributor, will present the Jeremy Scott collection at the ABC Expo in October.
Luxury children's wear manufacturer Pinco Pallino has signed a five-year licensing agreement for the production and distribution of Trussardi Junior, which will debut at Pitti Bimbo in Florence, Italy, in June. The collection will be divided into two lines, one of which will target high-end retailers. Pinco Pallino distributes through a network of flagship stores and more than 350 multi-brand shops and department stores worldwide.
Mobile payment startup Square is using its trove of data to build an engine for making local recommendations based on a customer's previous purchase history. The idea is that users who pay with Square via the company's Wallet app will be shown suggestions for other things they might buy nearby. If the feature proves successful, it could force companies like Facebook, Foursquare and Yelp to rethink the value of check-ins. Square, whose user base tripled to three million in 2012, has 330,000 merchants in its Yellow Pages-like directory.
Dallas Market Center, which hosts Dallas KidsWorld Market, announced Thursday that Cherie Marcum has been named executive vice president of finance at Dallas Market Center. She will be responsible for overseeing the company's financial processes, audits and budgeting system. Marcum previously served as vice president of finance for the organization. "Cherie has been instrumental in streamlining accounting functions and the budget process throughout the past six years," says Cindy Morris, COO of Dallas Market Center.
Charity organization Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) will partner with Fashion Delivers to host the seventh annual Women In Industry Luncheon fundraiser, which will honor four women from the fashion, real estate, entertainment and philanthropy arenas at an event on June 6. The honorees include Margaret Hayes, President of Fashion Group International; Kelly Neal Mariotti, CEO of First Candle; Joanne Podell, Vice Chairman, Retail Services, Cushman & Wakefield; and Maura Regan, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Consumer Products, Sesame Workshop.