Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Investor Presses For PetSmart Sale

Jana Partners LLC continued to call for PetSmart Inc. to consider a sale, saying that it would "not hesitate to seek significant board change" at the next annual meeting if the pet-supply retailer fails to act.

A representative for PetSmart didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this month, Jana disclosed it had taken a nearly 10% stake in PetSmart and said it would seek 
conversations with the company about strategic options.. . .  more

Ahold USA To Purchase Eastside Marketplace

Scott Laurans, owner and president of Eastside Marketplace, an upscale supermarket for the past 33 years on the east side of Providence, R.I., announced an agreement to sell the supermarket to a subsidiary of Ahold USA. The sale is expected to close on or about Aug. 2. The intention is for the Eastside Marketplace employees and management team to remain in place, running the business as Eastside Marketplace. Mr. Laurans will remain in an advisory role, and General Manager Brian Pacheco will continue in his current position, managing all aspects of the business. . . . more

Why Kmart Still Sucks, Losing Stores, Staff, Customers

The first Kmart -- founded in 1962, originally part of the Kresge chain -- preceded the first Walmart by only four months, its death sentence signed at its birth. In the 1960s, Kmart grew to 600 stores, but it has since barely doubled that number. Walmart, meanwhile, has grown to 11,000 stores in 27 countries by perfecting its aggressive strategy of negotiating its suppliers down to bare-bone margins to get those everyday low prices.

Kmart limps along, the Jonah of discount chains, never earning the status of J.C. Penney, Target, Kohl's, Macy's and Sears. Those blue light specials began in 1965 and have continued on and off, but Kmart has still struggled. It remains one of the larger U.S. mass market retail chains.. . . more

Teens, young adults love shopping, personalization, deals

Shopping ranks as a favorite activity among nearly half of all teens and young adults aged 13 to 24. According to a new survey of more than 1,000 teens and young adults ranging from ages 13 to 24 conducted by Alexander Babbage in partnership with Forest City Enterprises Inc., shopping at malls ranked above a virtual shopping experience among the entire group, with the 13-to-17-year-old age group showing the strongest preference for a bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.  

In addition to music, movies and video games, 46% of teens and young adults cited shopping as one of their favorite activities. Results also show that teens and young adults visit large shopping centers more frequently and spend more money there than at any other virtual or physical shopping venue. Specifically, the survey found that 71% of monthly expenditures by 13-to-17-year-olds and 69% by 18-to-24-year-olds are made in bricks-and-mortar shopping locations.  . . . more

Equinox to pay $110M for remainder of Millennium's fitness-club portfolio

0728 LA Fitness BostonEquinox Fitness Clubs has agreed to pay $110 million for a portfolio of properties in Boston and other major U.S. cities from an affiliate of Millennium Partners.

The deal is expected to close by end of business today and marks the completion of a broader deal to transition ownership of health club properties to Equinox from Millennium. That agreement was first set in motion in 2011 when Equinox paid $130 million for another portfolio of properties.. . . more

Market Basket managers to quit unless CEO reinstated

Market Basket managers have reaffirmed their commitment to working for nobody else but fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, saying they’ll quit if he isn’t reinstated — a threat that could remove the working management of most of the chain’s stores, already reeling from a loss of customers and protests by thousands of workers.

Managers and assistant managers from 68 of the Tewksbury chain’s 71 stores had signed a petition by yesterday evening stating they would resign immediately if Demoulas isn’t reinstated “with full authority” or another buyer other than Demoulas purchases the company, according to Steve Paulenka, a former Market Basket facilities and operations supervisor who was fired July 20 for helping spearhead employee protests and job walk-offs.. . . more

Wegmans Plans 2 New Supermarkets in Mass.

Wegmans Food Markets says it plans to add 10 new stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions over the next year or two.

The Rochester-based supermarket chain says it’s planning to open four stores in Virginia, two each in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and one each in Pennsylvania and Maryland.. . . more

Monday, July 28, 2014

Retailers fighting 'funk' every way they can

Fendi is trying out a temporary "pop-up" store to attract a younger consumer in New York City. Bright colors inside the store feature neon signs to promote the #FendiSoho hashtag. Ever since Container Store Group CEO Kip Tindell said retail is in a "funk," investors have been trying to get a fresh read on the consumer.
Back-to-school shopping and holiday preparations are already looming large as the all-too-important second half of the year approaches. Funk or not, retailers can't afford to sit back and wait for the tide to turn.. . . more

Video tour of new TargetExpress; four more locations on tap

Target Corp. has pulled back the curtain on its new small-format store, TargetExpress, in the “Dinkeytown” section of downtown Minneapolis. The 20,000-sq.-ft. store is just steps away from the University of Minnesota.

The new format, Target’s smallest store to date, features an edited assortment of merchandise, including fresh produce, grab-and-go food and snacks, pharmacy, home, seasonal, electronics, and beauty. Rather than traditional shopping carts, the store has hand-held baskets and two-tiered carts that are designed for quick-trip shopping.. . . more

Other stores try to meet demand during Market Basket boycott

Market Basket employees have been rallying for nine days in support of their former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Customers have been supporting them as well by boycotting the store. Now, other area grocery stores are having a hard time keeping up as their stores see more business.. . . more

RadioShack Gets Notified That It’s Out of Compliance With NYSE

RadioShack Corp., the struggling electronics retailer, was notified by the New York Stock Exchange that it’s out of compliance with requirements because its stock has traded below $1 for 30 straight days.

Under the exchange’s rules, RadioShack has six months to get back into compliance by boosting its stock price to at least $1 on the last trading day of the month and having an average closing price at that level over a 30-day period, according to a statement yesterday.. . . more

Retailers can expect 3.9% more growth in the second half

IMG_5163.JPGJack Kleinhenz, the Cleveland-based chief economist for theNational Retail Federation, has lowered his retail forecast for 2014 because of less-than-stellar sales in the first half. But he and the retail federation expect business to pick up by at least 3.9 percent for the rest of the year, as shoppers hit stores ready to spend, spend, spend.

Kleinhenz, who had said in January that retail sales would rise 4.1 percent this year, compared to 3.7 percent last year, now says this year's growth will be closer to 3.6 percent. That includes store sales but excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants. . . . more

Dollar Tree, Inc. to Acquire Family Dollar Stores

 Dollar Tree, Inc., the nation's leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, and Family Dollar Stores, Inc., a leading national discount retailer offering name brands and quality, private brand merchandise, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Dollar Tree will acquire Family Dollar in a cash and stock transaction. The value of the consideration is $74.50 per share, a 22.8% premium over Family Dollar's closing price as of July 25, 2014.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, is expected to close by early 2015, at which time the Family Dollar shareholders will receive $59.60 in cash and $14.90 equivalent in Dollar Tree shares, subject to the collar described below. . . . more