Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ICSC: Brick-and-mortar favorite back-to-school shopping venue

The back-to-school (BTS) shopping season is already in full swing, with over one-third (37%) of consumers having begun their shopping – up from the 29% who started at this time last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. And roughly 90% of households indicated a selection of brick-and-mortar retail as a shopping venue for the BTS season. . . more

Target Debuts an Image-Recognition Shopping App

Target is introducing an app that lets users purchase items after scanning magazine ads with their smartphones. It’s the latest offering from retailers looking to boost sales with the use of improving image-recognition technology.

Starting this month, the app, called ‘‘In a Snap,’’ will recognize images for Target’s Room Essentials products in 10 home decor magazines including Architecture and Real Simple. A user can simply scan an image and when it is recognized by the app, the item gets added to a shopping cart for potential purchase.. . . more

Market Basket's rivals could be the only winners in Demoulas family feud

Demoulas Super Markets was the fastest growing retailer in Eastern Massachusetts again last year. Executives at rival supermarket chains increasingly worried about the fierce loyalty displayed by the company’s expanding customer base.. . . more

Crocs to shutter stores, cut workforce

Footwear maker Crocs Inc., best known for its colorful plastic clogs, announced a major restructuring that includes closing stores and job cutbacks.. . . more

Ross rolls out more units

Ross Stores this summer is opening 23 Ross units and seven dd’s Discounts stores in 17 states, part of the plan to open a total of 75 Ross and 20 dd’s this year.. . . more

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Market Basket Employees ‘Stick Necks Out’ at Huge Rally in Tewksbury

For the second time in four days, thousands of Market Basket employees flocked to Tewksbury to protest the firing of former Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas and demand his re-instatement. Leaders of the employee movement, who were fired by courier by the company’s current leadership late Sunday afternoon, said their fight must now head to the stores.. . . more

Founder of Aldi dies at 94

Karl Albrecht, who along with his brother Theo, created the Aldi supermarket chain from a small shop owned by his mother, has died at the age of 94, the New York Timesreported. . . . more

Facebook tests ‘buy’ button to help companies drive sales

Facebook is testing a new “buy” button designed to help businesses drive sales through Facebook in News Feed and on Pages. With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook.. . . more

Some online retailers seeing value in opening bricks-and-mortar shops

Some of the hippest online retailers around are pioneering an old concept: offline retailing. After years of squeezing traditional retailers, e-commerce companies that were once digital-only are seeing the value of hanging up shingles in malls and bustling shopping streets.. . . more

The IPO market is about to go LOCO

If you're not from Los Angeles, you may not have heard of El Pollo Loco. But if you're an investor, you may smell something juicy cooking this week. El Pollo Loco, which specializes in Mexican-style grilled chicken, is expected to begin trading in a couple of days. . . more

Monday, July 21, 2014

Primark Plans US Expansion, But Will They Succeed?

Discount fashion chain Primark has made its mark in Europe by offering fast-changing fashion at rock-bottom prices. The secret of its success: placing huge orders for top-selling items like socks, tops and jeans and passing on the savings to shoppers.
That is the formula it hopes will help it crack the $200 billion U.S. market next year. With an initial capital investment of under 200 million pounds ($340 million) Primark plans to open a store in downtown Boston toward the end of 2015, have 10 stores in the north east of the country by Easter 2016 and build out from there.. . . more

What Just Happened at Market Basket This Weekend?

A big local story from this weekend was centered around Market Basket and its employees’ ongoing movement to re-install former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. Here’s a quick refresher of what happened, as employees plan to rally at one of the chain’s Tewksbury stores later today.
What happened this weekend?. . . more

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sherwin-Williams net income jumps 13% in Q2; 80-90 new stores planned

Higher pretax income and gross profit helped push net income at The Sherwin-Williams Company up 13% in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 to $291 million, from $257 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales rose 12% to $3.04 billion from $2.7 billion, primarily due to higher paint sales volume in the paint stores group and acquisitions.

Sherwin-Williams plans to open 80 to 90 new stores in its paint stores group during fiscal 2014.. . . more

What’s the Smart Move for PetSmart?

Experts say PetSmart’s management team has a lot of options, thanks to its attractive free cash flow, strong balance sheet and solid business model.

Among those options: a leveraged buyout by a private equity firm; a strategic merger or acquisition; increasing its buyback efforts; and continuing to execute on its strategy.

The question is: Which option will provide investors with the best value?. . . more

Consumers are padding their checking accounts

checking accountsWith wounds from the Great Recession still fresh, chastened Americans are hoarding more cash in their checking accounts than at any time in the last 25 years.

The defensive stance, uncharacteristic of previous periods of low inflation and an improving economy, reflects how debt-burdened Americans have striven to clean up their personal finances since the recession ended five years ago.. . . more

House votes to expand tax break for store remodels

The House has passed legislation broadening a federal tax law that makes it cheaper for retailers to remodel their stores, the National Retail Federation said.

Lawmakers voted 258-160 today to make “bonus depreciation” permanent, and granted NRF’s request that it be expanded to include stores that are owned rather than just those that are leased. The measure now heads to the Senate.. . . more

Preview: Ten-Year Grocery Real Estate Report

As we noted in last month’s issue, we’ll soon be releasing the 2014 KeyPoint Report for Eastern Massachusetts/Greater Boston, based on our proprietary GRIID™ retail database. This year’s report includes a special historical section which we’ve called A Ten-Year Look at the Grocery Landscape. Here’s a preview of that section:

Overview: The last decade has seen significant changes in grocery shopping options - and in the grocery real estate landscape. The proliferation of dollar stores and their reallocations of floor space toward grocery items have made these value retailers an increasingly popular alternative to traditional grocers. At the other end of the spectrum, wholesale clubs are capturing a greater share of grocery expenditures, due to their pricing advantage on volume purchases, and considerable store growth by home-grown BJ’s.. . . more

Moe’s Inks 120 New Franchise Deals in First Half of 2014

Moe’s Southwest Grill signed 120 new franchise deals in the first six months of 2014, a record-breaking high for the brand. Moe’s continues its aggressive expansion this year with new restaurants being developed in significant markets, such as Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City.

This growth is fueled by both existing franchise partners as well as new partnerships with experienced, multiunit franchise partners with notable portfolios.. . . more

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Restoration Hardware faces loss of unused liquor license

0717 restoration hardwareRestoration Hardware could lose its unused beer and wine license for its Back Bay store.

The Boston Licensing Board has set a hearing for Tuesday, July 22, for the home furnishing chain to explain why the store is not serving beer and wine.. . . more

Market Basket employees threaten walkout

A group of Market Basket employees known as “Save Market Basket” have threatened to walk off the job as of 4:30 p.m. ET on July 17 if former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas is not reinstated. Demoulas had been waging a public battle with his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, a stakeholder and director of the company, about finances when he was fired by Market Basket operator Demoulas Super Markets Inc. in June.

The board of directors of Demoulas Super Markets elected retail executives Felicia Thornton as COO and Jim Gooch as chief administrative officer, and the two will serve as co-CEOs. In an open letter to Thornton and Gooch on Facebook, Save Market Basket said Arthur T. Demoulas must be reinstated will full, non-negotiable authority and that a non-answer by the deadline will be considered a no.. . . more