Walmart, CVS Health execs to address NRF 2018 convention
Executives from Walmart and CVS Health will be among the biggest names addressing the National Retail Federation’s 107th annual convention in mid-January 2018. Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon and Helena Foulkes, CVS Health executive vice president and president of CVS Pharmacy will address the conference on its first and second days, respectively.
McMillon will join Washington, D.C.-based NRF’s president and CEO Matthew Shay to talk about retail strategies concerning the changing face of retail on Jan. 14, 2018, and Foulkes will speak to attendees about empowering customers to improve everyday health care on Jan. 15., 2018. Foulkes also will offer insight about CVS Health’s purpose-driven culture and how that informed the company’s pending acquisition of Aetna, NRF said.
“The retail industry is going through a transformation, and that’s the theme you will hear from all of our speakers at this year’s show,” NRF Senior Vice President for Retail Strategy Cristina Ceresoli said. “These are strong industry leaders with expertise and insights that will inspire, challenge and encourage others to enhance their brands through customer service, technology and constantly embracing the change driven by the consumer.”
Also added to the list of speakers was Tommy Hilfiger, founder and principal designer at his eponymous company, who will close out the conference on Jan. 16, 2018. Hilfiger, Foulkes and McMillon round out a roster that includes executives from Alibaba Group, Apple, Facebook, Chobani and various other leading companies.
NRF 2018 will take place Jan. 14-16, 2018. The organization said it adds speakers and breakout sessions weekly on its website.
Kao USA to acquire Oribe Hair Care
Beauty company Kao USA is building up its salon division with its latest acquisition. The company will be acquiring Oribe Hair Care from Luxury Brand Partners and onboarding Oribe Hair Care co-founder and co-president Daniel Kaner as the president of the newly acquired entity, Cincinnati-based Kao said.
“Oribe is a stellar brand and a perfect fit for the Kao Salon Division portfolio,” Kao’s salon division global president Cory Couts said. “And Daniel will be an exciting and inspiring addition to our management team. Daniel's appointment not only guarantees the continuity of all that is extraordinary about Oribe but is also a progression of our company's mission to appeal to the most artistic and business-minded salon professionals in the world.”
Oribe began as a prestige hair care brand, but has grown to a global brand with products spanning skin care, hair care, body care, makeup, tools and accessories. Its products are sold in specialty retailers and in the salon segment. Under Kao, the business will continue to be based in New York City with current management, reporting to the Kao salon division.
“Kao is the ideal place for Oribe Hair Care to take the next step in its transformative journey,” Kaner said. “I have a deep respect for their organization and talented leadership team. Our friendship and business relationship goes back years, most successfully with the strategic partnership in the United States between Oribe and Goldwell color. We have always believed that hair care should be an immersive and luxury experience, and Kao is incredibly supportive of the high standard that we set for ourselves.”
The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Helen of Troy selling Healthy Directions division
Helen of Troy will be selling its direct-to-consumer nutritional supplements and health guidance segment Healthy Directions. The El Paso, Texas-based company will be divesting the division to privately held VMS company Direct Digital for roughly $46 million in cash and a supplemental payment with a target value of $25 million that will come on or before Aug. 1, 2019, Helen of Troy said.
Helen of Troy CEO Julien Mininberg said that the sale was aimed at focusing the company’s portfolio on its leadership brands — Braun, Honeywell, PUR, Vicks, OCO, Hydro Flask and Hot Tools — as part of its strategic transformation. He noted that the company would also be looking for future acquisition opportunities as part of the plan.
“The direct-to-consumer systems and fulfillment capability we have built for Healthy Directions will continue to be of value to Helen of Troy’s remaining portfolio,” Mininberg said. “This will allow us to continue building on the investments and know-how in direct-to-consumer online sales, and the fulfillment efficiencies we have gained in our distribution center.”
Helen of Troy will use the proceeds from the sale to pay down its debt, make acquisitions or repurchase shares, the company said.
“We are extremely pleased to add Healthy Directions to our health and wellness platform. Healthy Directions’ family of highly respected doctors and wellness experts will be a tremendous complement to our portfolio of nutritional brands,” Direct Digital co-founder and president Brandon Adcock said. “The Healthy Directions marketing platform will further strengthen Direct Digital’s omnichannel strategy by adding robust, authoritative content, as well as market leading direct mail capabilities. We believe this combination, together with our distinctive entrepreneurial culture, lean operating structure, and efficient business model, will enable Direct Digital to continue to bring innovative and category leading nutritional supplements to market.”