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Pier 1 to close 450 stores; Topgolf hires banks for potential IPO


* Pier 1 Imports Inc. said it expects to close approximately 450 stores, as well as certain distribution centers, in a bid to reduce its expenses and after it expressed "substantial doubt" in the company's ability to continue as a going concern in 2021. The home furnishings retailer also said it will lay off corporate employees. In a separate Bloomberg News report, sources said the company presented a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan to creditors in December 2019 and has held talks with lenders about possible financing. A representative for Pier 1 declined to comment, the report added. Shares of the company closed down 16.9% to $5.18 on Jan. 6.

* Topgolf International Inc. hired banks to help set up a potential IPO that could value the company at about $4 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing anonymous sources. The Dallas-based leisure facilities operator is working with banks including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. on an IPO that could take place as soon as this year, according to the report. Topgolf, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Bank of America did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's requests for comment.


* Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.-owned Uniqlo's first store in Hanoi, Vietnam, which is expected to open in the spring of 2020, will be located at the capital's Dong Da district. The site will span 2,500 square meters over two floors at the Vincom Center mall.


* Shinsegae Inc.-owned discount retailer E-Mart Inc. will exit its Pierrot Shopping chain, which it opened in 2018, in a bid to focus on its big-box retail business, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. South Korea's E-mart reportedly will close its Pierrot Shopping discount store in Seoul's Myeongdong district first, then shut the six remaining locations in 2020.


* LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton SE's makeup chain Sephora will sell items from actor Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand Goop on its online platform and will launch Goop's skincare line Feb. 28 across its stores in North America, CNBC reported. Paltrow reportedly told CNBC in an interview that the company has been considering having a wholesale partner, adding that the Sephora agreement was "just too good of an opportunity to reach a new customer."

* New York-based Revlon Inc. appointed Sergio Pedreiro as COO, effective immediately. Pedreiro will join the maker of beauty and personal care products on Jan. 8 from waste management company Estre Ambiental SA, where he was CEO.


* Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC reported that group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, decreased 1.7% in the 22 weeks to Jan. 5, mainly driven by a 1.7% decline in sales at the company's retail arm, while its wholesale unit saw flat growth. Morrisons said trading conditions continued to be challenging and that customer uncertainty was sustained.

* Coty Inc. partnered with Kylie Jenner to further develop the media personality's beauty business. Christoph Honnefelder, former executive vice president of specialty beauty retailer Douglas, was named CEO of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin, effective "in the near future."

* EG Group Ltd. is looking to make an offer to buy Caltex Australia Ltd., challenging the A$8.66 billion takeover proposal made by Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. in November 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The British fuel station and convenience store operator reportedly hired a financial adviser to help it assess making an offer for Caltex Australia. An EG Group representative declined to comment, while a spokesman for Caltex Australia said the company does not comment on speculation, Bloomberg said.

* The Kroger Co. is offering 3.95% senior notes that will mature Jan. 15, 2050, in order to raise $750 million. The offering was rated BBB by S&P Global Ratings and Baa1 by Moody's.


* Kingfisher PLC named Lego chief digital officer Jean-Jacques Van Oosten as its chief customer and digital officer, according to a Retail Gazette report.


* Hornby PLC reported that sales and margins during the Christmas trading period in 2019 have been "ahead of last year." It also said its largest shareholder, Phoenix UK Fund Ltd., agreed to increase the company's existing secured credit facility to the maximum principal amount of £9 million, payable in June 2021. Hornby will use the funds to increase its investment in technology and products for the coming year.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng gained 0.34% to 28,322.06. Nikkei 225 was up 1.60% to 23,575.72.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.11% to 7,583.60, and the Euronext 100 increased 0.12% to 1,157.28.

On the macro front

The International Trade report, Redbook, Factory Orders report and ISM nonmanufacturing index are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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