Retail Roundup—March retail sales up 5%; Hudson's Bay appoints marketing chief

In the hotel industry, labor costs average roughly 50 percent of total operating expenses, prompting hotel operators to get creative.
Retail sales were up 5% in March from the same month in 2017. (jansucko)

March retail sales increase 5%

March retail sales increased 5% year over year. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers were spending despite unseasonable weather and uncertain economic policies. (Business Wire)

Hudson's Bay hires new chief of marketing

Hudson's Bay Company appointed Bari Harlam as chief marketing officer in charge of advancing marketing across all of thne company's retail banners in North America. Harlam has served in senior marketing roles at BJ's, Swipley and CVS Health. (Business Wire)

Rumors of Apple news service

Apple is planning to create is own premium news service through the combined Apple news team and its Apple Texture acquisition. The new app will reportedly launch within the year and offer a subscription, sharing revenue with publishers. (Verge)

Net-A-Porter founder launches retail tech fund

Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet is launching a venture capital firm that will invest in retail technology startups. Imaginary Ventures has thus far raised $75 million and has invested in Farfetch, Appear Here and Daily Harvest. (Business Insider)