Freshly Squeezed: 07.08.19

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 07 Aug 2019

Barneys New York is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Boohoo has acquired Karen Millen and Coast’s E-commerce platforms. Get a healthy dose of news as we uncover the day’s top stories in E-commerce.

Barneys Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Barneys New York has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid rumours of a failing few years. As a result, many stores will be closing but plans to keep five of its ten shopfronts, including New York’s Madson Avenue, Beverly Hills, Woodbury Common, Livermore, San Fransisco and Copely Place. This comes off the skyrocketing rent that the department store is facing, as well as dropping sales. This is not the first time Barneys has filed for bankruptcy – in 1996 it filed for Chapter 11 but was purchased and preserved for more than two decades. The nearly 100-year-old store is now looking for a buyer, and according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York said it has raised $75 million to support the sale. If there is no chance of finding a buyer for the luxury goods store, it’s likely to liquidate. Read more about the potential future of Barneys New York here.

Apple Begins ‘Preview Rollout’ of Apple Card

Apple is trialling its latest venture to the public: Apple Card. For a select few, Apple began a ‘preview rollout’ of its new credit card to those who signed up for the Apple Card. The tech giant said that this credit card is not meant to ‘compete’ with other premium cards, such as the American Express Platinum – it’s supposed to be ‘broadly accessible’ for every iPhone owner and won’t have a setup that’s as strict as others. For iPhone users, the card allows them to make a payment from within the Wallet app, as well as use the physical version, that’s made of titanium with the Apple logo and chip reader. Unlike traditional cards, this is slightly heavier and doesn’t accept contactless payments – you must use your iPhone or Apple Watch for that. The card will not be available for Android users but can be used by iPhone users in any store, online or physical, where Mastercards are accepted. The full launch of the payment system will be available for US residents in late August.

Boohoo Acquires Karen Millen and Coast

British fast-fashion company, Boohoo Group, has acquired the e-commerce platforms for Karen Millen and Coast. The acquisition includes the online businesses and intellectual property for £18.2 million (approx. $33 million), but it didn’t purchase the brick-and-mortar stores. The two companies were put up for sale by its parent company, Kaupthing, an Icelandic bank. “Unfortunately, it has been necessary to announce 62 immediate redundancies. Like many high street retailers, Karen Millen has suffered from high product and other cost inflation, decreasing footfall, weaker consumer confidence and a complex global operation in an increasingly competitive market,” explained a spokesperson for Deloitte, who managed the deal. The high street stores of Karen Millen and Coast will remain, but the acquisition has already challenged the companies, with confirmed 62 jobs already gone following the purchase.

Fluent Commerce Receives Series B Funding

Fluent Commerce has received a Series B funding led by US growth equity firm Arrowroot Capital. The $33 million investment allows the cloud-based order management software company to ‘further establish market leadership’ and continue development of its ‘growing suite of unified omnichannel solutions’. “This is a very exciting time for Fluent Commerce, we are delighted to have gained support and investment from Arrowroot,” explained Fluent Commerce’s CEO, Graham Jackson. Arrowroot Capital’s Vice President, Matt Klein and Partner, Clem O’Donnell, will join the Fluent Commerce board.

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