Friday, December 2, 2016

Malls give mom and pop stores new home

Shane Hartke, The DistrictAs national retailers struggle to keep up with e-commerce and ever-changing consumer tastes, opportunities are growing for a once-endangered species: the mom and pop store.

Big brands such as Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch are disappearing from malls amid downsizing or, worse, bankruptcies (think Aeropostale). In at least some cases, their former spaces are filling up with shops you probably wouldn't recognize, but might want to check out.. . . more

Nation’s largest mall debuts customized wayfinding technology

Mall of America is debuting new wayfinding kiosks that expand the concept of the typical mall directory.      
The mall recently installed six interactive wayfinding kiosks, from Express Image, that provide shoppers with customized assistance in as little as 10-20 seconds.. . . more

Pizza Hut's New Concept Restaurant in Shanghai Has Robots on Staff

The robot at Pizza Hut's ph+ concept store in ShanghaiAt Pizza Hut's new concept restaurant in Shanghai, a robot greets customers at the door and leads them to their table, rolling across the floor and beeping like R2-D2.

The robot makes electronic beeping sounds and says a few words, like "follow me," as he leads guests to tables. He doesn't take orders or deliver food. . . . more

Regency Centers/Equity One Merger an Outlier in the REIT World

Regency Centers/Equity One deal is shaping up to be a landmark merger, creating the largest REIT in the grocery-anchored shopping center space. After the deal is closed as expected in 2017, the combined company will have a total market capitalization of $12 billion, easily moving it past current sector leader Kimco Realty Corp., whose market cap is about $11.1 billion.   
Despite the positive attributes of the deal, however, the market should not expect to see a ramp-up in M&A activity in the sector.  Due to very unique aspects that underpin acquisitions in the sector, REIT-to-REIT transactions are rare and very company specific, sources say.. . . more

U.K. activewear retailer has big plans for the U.S. market

Sweaty Betty, the London-based retailer of stylish activewear for women, opened its ninth U.S. store — and third location in the Los Angeles area — on Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, reported The Los Angeles Times, with a location in San Francisco up next.
Sweaty Betty is looking to expand to at least 50 stores in the U.S. over the next five years, the report said, with about eight to 10 locations opening during the next 12 months. . . . more

Unusual demographic flocking to J.C. Penney

Shoppers at a JC Penney store in Aurora, Colorado. From magic mirrors to selfie walls, retailers' haphazard attempts to court millennial shoppers have not been short on gimmicks.

Perhaps that's what makes J.C. Penney's approach refreshingly simple.

Instead of throwing the latest trends and technologies in the face of these shoppers, Penney's has honed in on one specific subset of the diverse generation: millennial moms.. . . more

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stepping down; will hand reins to company COO

Image result for starbucks Howard Schultz is leaving his post as CEO of the company he built into a global coffee empire, but he’s not retiring.
Schultz will step down as CEO of Starbucks Corp. on April 3, at which time he will be appointed executive chairman and shift his focus to the company’s new upscale initiatives — the design and development of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the world and the expansion of the Starbucks Reserve retail store format — along with its social impact programs.  . . . more

Thursday, December 1, 2016

L Brands reports 7-percent increase in sales

L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, said this morning that sales for the four-week period that ended Saturday increased 7 percent to $1.25 billion from the same period in 2015.

The retailer said comparable store sales rose 4 percent for the period.. . . more

Lower food prices weigh on Kroger's profit forecast

A selection of Kroger brand products is displayed in Golden, Colorado September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File PhotoKroger Co, the biggest U.S. supermarket chain, lowered the higher end of its full-year adjusted profit forecast amid falling food prices and increasing competition from rivals such Wal-Mart and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc.

Food prices in the United States have been falling due to low oil and grain prices, and intense competition among retailers as big grocery sellers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc aggressively cut prices to attract customers.. . . more

Another apparel retailer sounds cautious note on holiday

Express reported a drop in third-quarter profit and slashed its full-year adjusted earnings outlook, warning that the holiday season will "remain challenging."

Revenue declined 7% to $506.1 million from $546.6 million, but topped Wall Street's view. E-commerce sales rose 15% to $96.3 million. Same-store (including e-commerce sales) decreased 8.5%.. . . more

Retailers Try to Extend Holiday Shopping Season, But Will It Make a Difference?

If you looked at your email notifications any time over the past two weeks, it’s likely you were barraged with promotion messages from a wide number of chain retailers, all of them touting major discounts. The promotions are part of an effort to stretch the holiday shopping season to encompass a larger part of November, in addition to December and January, industry analysts say.

In addition, although it’s still a tad early to speculate on overall same-store sales performance over the Black Friday weekend, with hard data not yet available, it once again demonstrated  the growing power of e-commerce and the importance of investing in omnichannel retail strategies.. . . more

Investment Sales Likely to Close Year at Slightly Lower Volume Than in 2015

It’s often the fourth quarter that’s the busiest time for deal-making in the investment sales sector. But that adage may not ring true this year. The rise in the 10-year Treasury rate could hinder some fourth quarter transactions—and that, coupled with fewer institutional and portfolio-level deals this year, could have 2016 close out at about 10 percent down compared to last year’s sales volume, sources say.

Retail deals totaled $62.9 billion, down 16.0 percent year-over-year, while hotel transactions totaled $30.9 billion, down 19.0 percent year-over-year.. . . more

Lower grocery prices, food stamp cuts hit Dollar General results

The sign outside the Dollar General store in Westminster, Colorado is pictured December 4, 2014. REUTERS/Rick WilkingDiscount retailer Dollar General Corp reported a surprise drop in quarterly comparable sales and tempered its full-year profit forecast, hit by lower grocery prices and reduced food stamp coverage in several U.S. states.

Food prices have fallen in the past few months due to low oil and grain prices as well as intense competition in the sector, resulting in aggressive price cuts by Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other food retailers.. . . more

American Eagle lowers forecast

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. on Wednesday issued a weaker than expected forecast for the fourth quarter as its CEO cited a “tough” retail environment. Its warnings issues similar statements from the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap.  
But the news was not all bad for American Eagle. The retailer’s net profit for the third quarter rose to $75.76 million, or 41 cents per share, from $74.11 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier. 
Net revenue rose 2.34% to $940.6 million, just missing analysts’ estimates. Same-store sales increased 2%, less than expected.. . . more

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Retail Clicks Beating Bricks -- 4 Ways To Recover

Like swimsuits marked 70% off in October, third-quarter retail sales were a little short when it came to physical presence, yet long in revealing the problem spots for major retailers.

Among those spots are online sales, which will evidently play a larger role in determining how well retailers perform through the holidays. The earnings reports of several major merchants showed that even when beating Wall Street estimates, brick-and-mortar stores are seeing declines due to online competition.. . . more

Shinola opens in Boston

Image result for shinola store at prudential centerShinola, the Detroit-based retailer that makes high-end watches, bicycles and leather goods built in the U.S., opened its first store in Boston last week in the Prudential Center.

The company, which has 609 employees (565 of them in the U.S.) now has nearly two-dozen stores around the world and is expanding rapidly. The company has two plants in Detroit that churn out leather goods and watches and plans to open another facility in Chicago.. . . more

Here's How Much Engagement Holiday Retailers Are Getting in Social Media So Far

Since Nov. 1, Origami Logic has been tracking 125 brands across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to gauge the level of engagement holiday-focused marketers are achieving.

The company, which offers marketing software and services, found that the brands it's tracking had generated nearly 1.2 million engagements from 805 posts through Cyber Monday.

Standout holiday retailers so far include Nordstrom, Lowe's and Old Navy.. . . more

Albertsons in advanced talks to buy Price Chopper

U.S. supermarket chain Albertsons Companies Inc is in advanced talks to acquire closely held grocery store operator Price Chopper for around $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

A deal would underscore the wave of consolidation sweeping the U.S. grocery industry, as regional chains struggle to compete against online retailers such as Inc, big box stores such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, and discount chains such as ALDI Inc.. . . more

Study details growth of online shopping over holiday period

Move over Cyber Monday, Cyber Week is the new buzz term. 
Cyber Week, comprised of Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 23 through Cyber Monday, Nov. 28, is attracting more shoppers as they “grow more and more comfortable shopping on their phones and tablets, opening up the timetable for brands to reach them during the holiday shopping season," said Tony Zito, CEO, Rakuten Marketing.. . . more

U.S. private employers boost hiring; consumer spending rises

U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in November and consumer spending increased last month, the latest signs of economic strength that could further cement the case for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month.

The ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday that private payrolls increased by 216,000 jobs this month, well above economists' expectations for a gain of 165,000 jobs. The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.. . . more

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Books, beer, and brisket as Barnes & Noble reopens in Edina, Minn.

itempropBarnes & Noble Inc. will open its new-concept store in the Galleria Tuesday, one with a full-service restaurant and bar aimed at getting people to stay longer.

The 21,500-square-foot store on the lower level replaces a 38,000-square-foot store in the upscale mall in Edina.. . . more

How the Strategic Opening of Retail Stores Can Revitalize City Neighborhoods

The opening of a new retail store or restaurant can quickly bolster a neighborhood, creating cascading benefits for the residents ranging from access to healthy food and convenient services to increased property values and safer streets.

Here are six snapshots of how the opening of retail stores dramatically upgraded Chicago neighborhoods that had fallen on lean times:. . . more

GDP rises at 3.2% annual pace, strongest in more than two years

The economy grew at the fastest pace in over two years in the third quarter as consumers and government stepped up their spending and exports surged.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 3.2% annual rate in the Commerce Department’s second reading, released Tuesday. That is the strongest pace since the second quarter of 2014. It beat the consensus estimate of a 3.1% growth rate among economists surveyed by MarketWatch.. . . more

Ex JCPenney CEO Allen Questrom: Sales have 'become a cancer' for department stores

Image result for macy's store sale "The sale has become a cancer" for department stores feeling increasingly out of touch with millennial and Generation Y shoppers, former JCPenney CEO Allen Questrom told CNBC on Tuesday.

"When business gets tough, we add another sale," Questrom told "Squawk Box," noting that there are plenty of brick-and-mortar stores like Zara and Uniqlo that do very well without perpetually offering sales to boost business.. . . more