Retail Roundup—Schultz passes the key, Bebe goes online only

Starbucks
Incoming Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson will start his new role on April 3.

Starbucks CEO Schultz passes key to successor 

CEO Howard Schultz ended his last Starbucks shareholders meeting with the passing of a key—the door key to the original Starbucks store at Seattle's Pike Place Market—to his successor, Kevin Johnson. Schultz will now become executive chairman and focus on the company's higher-end businesses. (The Seattle Times)

Bebe to shutter all stores, remain online

Bebe announced it plans to shutter all of its physical stores in an attempt to avoid filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move comes after four years of losses for the apparel chain. In hopes of a turnaround, Bebe will shift its focus to being an online-only brand. (Bloomberg)

Easter to bring record spending

U.S. consumers will spend more than ever this Easter holiday, which falls nearly three weeks later this year than in 2016. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), spending for Easter is expected to reach $18.4 billion, up 6% over last year's record $17.3 billion and a new all-time high in the survey's 14-year history. That's an average spend of $152 per person. (NRF)

Payless considering bankruptcy

Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource is said to be seeking bankruptcy protection and may close as many as 500 stores as part of a reorganization plan. That's fewer than the originally projected closure of 1,000 locations. As with other physical retailers, Payless has struggled to keep up with the shift to e-commerce. (USA Today)

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