Retail round-up: Monsoon Accessorize to shutter 141 shops, Amazon’s new Essex distribution centre and Jack Wills’ chairman to step down

Monsoon Accessorize jobs at risk in plans to close 141 joint brand stores

Monsoon Accessorize has decided to cease operating Monsoon and Accessorize brands in a single shop format as it calls time on 141 joint UK stores, The Guardian reports.

The high street retailer said their leases expire over the next five years.

The decision has put hundreds of jobs under threat.

The company said it would consider opening separate Monsoon and Accessorize shops in the areas currently with joint outlets, but job losses are possible.

Amazon pumps up investment in UK with Tilbury fulfilment centre

Etailer Amazon is set to open a new packing centre in Essex next year, creating more than 1,500 new jobs, BBC news reported.

The distribution centre will be located in Tilbury's dock area and would form a part of the London Distribution Park.

The retailer’s facility will come equipped with Amazon robots that bring products to staff.

Amazon vice president of UK operations, John Tagawa, said the new centre would help the company "continue to expand product selection" and "support more third-party sellers including small businesses" by dispatching goods on their behalf.

Ex-trade minister Lord Davies could resign as Jack Wills chairman

The chairman at fashion retailer Jack Wills since 2014, Lord Davies, is likely to step down from the role, according to Sky News.

Davies, the former trade minister, will hand over the reins to an unnamed successor as he looks to focus on his portfolio of other boardroom roles.

This comes as Jack Wills is expected to get a new minority shareholder in the form of Liberty department store owner Bluegem, replacing private equity firm Inflexion.

Once finalised, the transaction could involve millions of pounds of new equity to be injected to accelerate the brand's expansion.

The new capital proceeds would bolster its balance sheet and provide funds for Jack Wills to invest in growth.

German Etailer Zalando to open distribution hubs in France and Poland

Online fashion retailer Zalando is aiming to set up two new distribution hubs in France and Poland next year in a move to reduce average delivery times, Reuters reported.

The two new centres located close to Paris and Szczecin will be its only foreign hubs outside of Milan and should help Zalando better cater to its French market as well as customers in Poland and the Nordics, head of operations David Schroeder said in an interview.

Zalando will pump in €150m (£129.5m) in a 1,400,000 sq ft distribution centre close to Szczecin, which will open next summer and employ more than 1,000 people, Schroeder said.

The etailer will also open a local warehouse operated by an external provider close to Paris at the start of 2017, which will allow same-day or next-day deliveries to customers.

"If we continue to grow our sales by 20% to 25%, we will need new logistic capacity in one to two years," he added.

Toys R Us executive Richard Lennox joins Macy’s as chief marketing officer

Macy’s has hired Richard Lennox from Toys R Us as its new chief marketing officer, The Drum reports.

In his new role, Lennox will oversee Macy’s omnichannel market presence and strategy, including brand, promotional, store, digital and events marketing activity.

He comes to the department store chain from Toys R Us, where he was senior vice-president and chief marketing officer for two years.

Lennox succeeds Martine Reardon, who stepped down from the position after a 32-year stint at the US retailer.

Macy’s president Jeff Gennette said in a statement, “We had an outstanding group of qualified candidates for this position and believe that Rich Lennox has the entire package of experiences, creativity, leadership skill and business acumen to lead the marketing and special events of our renowned brand.”