Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kohl's, Macy's turn landlords in bid to unlock real estate value

Department store operators Kohl's Corp and rival Macy's Inc are betting on a potential money-spinner - carving out prime space within their sprawling stores and leasing them to other retailers.

The move underscores the pressing need for the two chains to better monetize their real estate assets at a time when fewer people are visiting malls and instead shopping online for everything from clothes to home decor items.. . . more

Retail Real Estate Investors Hunt for Yields in Secondary Markets

In 2016 investment in secondary urban retail properties increased by 43.5 percent, while investment in primary markets were down 46.1 percent, according to JLL’s Retail Investment Outlook for Q4 2016.

Retail properties in secondary cities are meeting investor demands for both steady incomes and strong demographics. For those investors, those attributes are more than enough to offset whatever the properties lack in prestige. . . . more

Texas Roadhouse stock plunges on sales fears

texas roadhouseSame-store sales at Texas Roadhouse Inc. ended 2016 on a bad note, sending the company’s stock down nearly 13 percent on Wednesday.

The Louisville-based casual-dining chain reported same-store sales of 1.2 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 27. Sales are slightly better so far in 2017, up 1.5 percent, the company said on Wednesday. And the chain still expects positive same-store sales in 2017.. . . more

Amazon applies for a liquor license for its secretive drive-through grocery store in Seattle

Amazon has applied for a liquor license for its secretive drive-through grocery store in Seattle (a stock picture of their convenience store Amazon Go)Amazon has applied for a liquor license for its secretive drive-through grocery store in Seattle.
The pilot store will allow customers to place their orders online, then drive up to the store during a specific 15-minute to two-hour window and have their groceries delivered to their cars.

The 9,700 square-foot building described in plans as 'a new model of grocery shopping,' according to USA Today.. . . more

Why Indochino is opening new stores in shopping malls

Indochino is on a growth mission — and it wants that growth to happen inside shopping malls.

The made-to-measure suit retailer, known for its tech-forward showroom style, will open eight new showrooms in the U.S. and Canada in 2017, bringing its store total to 18.

“We’re not expanding blindly,” said CEO Drew Green. “We want to eventually get to 150 stores, and I think we can get there by working with top-tier malls.”. . . more

Kohl's quarterly profit beats on higher margins

A sign marks a Kohl's store in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., February 21, 2017.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Department store operator Kohl's Corp followed larger rival Macy's Inc in reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher margins despite a drop in sales during the crucial holiday selling season.

Kohl's said on Thursday that its full-year sales could fall 1.3 percent or grow 0.7 percent, which translates to sales of $18.44 billion-$18.82 billion.

Sales at Kohl's stores open at least a year fell 2.2 percent.. . . more

Chico’s turns a profit in Q4

Tighter inventory management and reduced promotions are helping to keep Chico’s FAS on the right financial path.
For the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2017, Chico’s reported net income of $13.5 million compared to a net loss of $21.1 million for the same period last year. 
The company’s same-store sales dropped 2.5% due to reduced transaction count and an increase in average dollar sale. Fourth quarter average unit retail increased primarily due to a reduction in promotional activity.. . . more

An overwhelming amount of retailers are losing money chasing Amazon

Shoppers at a Target store in Brooklyn, New York.Brick-and-mortar retailers are becoming more competitive online by providing tighter delivery windows and offering the option to pick up digital orders in-store.

There's only one problem.

As they invest billions of dollars to close the gap with Amazon, the overwhelming majority of traditional retailers still hasn't figured out how to profitably fill online orders.. . . more

TJX announces expansion to complement HomeGoods retailer

The Framingham owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls yesterday disclosed it will launch a second home decor concept to complement its HomeGoods chain.

Off-price retailer TJX Cos. Inc. plans to open the first four of those stores later this year, CEO Ernie Herrman said during a fourth-quarter earnings call yesterday. Herrmann was scant on details and did not disclose the name of the new chain.. . . more

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Medford, Massachusetts, Wegmans Opening This Fall

Wegmans Coming to Medford's Meadow Glen Mall Hiring is under way for 200 full-time positions at Wegmans’ new Medford, Massachusetts, location. The company’s fifth store in the state is scheduled to open this fall on the north side of Mystic Valley Parkway at Locust Street.

The 120,000-s.f. store will include a Market CafĂ© with indoor and outdoor seating and “The Burger Bar,” a family-friendly, casual restaurant counter that serves burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, specialty milkshakes, soups and sides.. . . more

Analysis: Macy’s making some progress

Despite the torrid time it had in the final quarter of 2015, Macy’s has not managed to translate that weakness into a period of holiday cheer this time around. Sales continue to slide at a fairly hefty pace, with particular weaknesses in apparel. The latter is especially disappointing given the extremely soft sales during the prior year when the weather was firmly against winter fashions.
There is no doubt that, like other players, Macy’s suffered from the reduction in traffic to malls across the holiday period. However, we also think that it did little to help itself with shops that remained, for the most part, uninspiring and badly merchandised. Against an exceedingly tough backdrop, Macy’s seems to be making very little effort on the shop floor – a position that does not bode well for the future.. . . more

Sporting goods retailer gears up for new store openings

Dick’s Sporting Goods is expanding its breadth.
The chain is preparing to open five stores during the second week of March, a move totaling approximately 180,000 sq. ft. of retail space.. . . more

A Wal-Mart convenience store?

A walk-in beer cooler inside a new Walmart convenience store on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 on FM 1187 in Crowley, Texas. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)Staff Photographer In a parking lot on Main Street in this nondescript town of 14,000, Wal-Mart is testing out what it hopes could be its next small thing -- a genuine convenience store.
It’s one of two convenience stores Wal-Mart opened last month. The other is in Rogers, Ark. near Wal-Mart’s Bentonville headquarters. Both stores are in the parking lots of Wal-Mart Supercenters.  Wal-Mart continues to test small store formats even though it abandoned its 12,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Express stores last year.. . . more

Wal-Mart keeps working to make inroads against Amazon

The nation's largest retailer keeps working to make headway against the largest online seller.

Wal-Mart drew more shoppers to its namesake stores in the United States and its online sales soared 29 percent in the fourth quarter, which covers the critical holiday shopping season. That's an indication that its efforts to lower prices and improve web services are helping it compete better against Amazon, which has built fierce loyalty with its Prime two-day shipping program.. . . more

Bloomin’ Brands closes 43 restaurants

Bloomin' Brands is closing 43 underperforming restaurantsBloomin’ Brands Inc. said on Friday morning that it has closed 43 underperforming restaurants amid persistently weak same-store sales at most of the company’s casual dining brands.

Same-store sales at its flagship Outback Steakhouse chain fell 4.8 percent, and declined 2.3 percent at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in the quarter ended Dec. 25. Same-store sales fell 1.9 percent at Bonefish Grill, but increased slightly, 0.2 percent, at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. . . . more

Burger King and Tim Hortons owner nears deal to buy Popeyes

A popeyes restaurant sign is seen on the intersections of Broadway and New Orleans a cross the street from the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland November 4, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos BarriaRestaurant Brands International Inc, owner of the Burger King and Tim Hortons fast-food chains, is nearing a deal to acquire Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The deal, which will likely value Popeyes at more than $1.7 billion, is a bet by Oakville, Ontario-based Restaurant Brands that it can use its international reach to introduce Popeyes' Louisiana-style fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits to more diners globally.. . . more

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Another sporting goods retailer calling it quits

It’s closing time for MC Sports.
The chain, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 14, is closing all 66 of its stores across the Midwest. A joint venture between Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group is conducting the going-out-of-business sales, which are now underway.. . . more

Nordstrom’s big, beautiful stores are losing ground

The downtown Seattle Nordstrom store is one of the company’s more than 100 full-line stores, which are seeing changes in spending habits.  (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times)For many years, Nordstrom has been regarded as a poster child for how traditional retailers should respond to the rise of e-commerce.

But, as the past year has shown, even Nordstrom isn’t immune from the larger forces rocking brick-and-mortar retailers these days, with department stores hit particularly hard.

While Nordstrom’s total sales have risen over the past year, its profits have not.. . . more

Toys “R” Us Lays Off 10%-15% of Corporate Employees

Image result for toys r usToys “R” Us Inc. recently laid off between 10% and 15% of its corporate employees, the latest retailer to cut jobs as shopping rapidly shifts from physical stores to online ones.

For the nine weeks ended Dec. 31, its sales at U.S. stores open at least a year declined 2.5%. Overseas, they fell 4.9%.. . . more

A majority of millennials shop online for groceries

When it comes to shopping for groceries, millennials are apparently no fan of supermarkets.
Nearly two-thirds of millennials shop online weekly for groceries, and this demographic has the potential to transform the retail grocery business, according to new research released by Clavis Insight.. . . more

Cabela's Deal Is Salvageable and Pessimism Is Overdone

Image result for cabela's and bass proIt's been a little over four months since outdoor-gear retailer Cabela's Inc. agreed to a $5.5 billion takeover by closely-held rival Bass Pro Shops at a mammoth premium, valuing it at $65.50 apiece. Since then, it has slipped more than 26 percent from its post-offer peak to as low as $46.28 on Wednesday because the deal, once a sure thing, is now anything but.

But if a transaction is completed, even at a renegotiated price, the stock is arguably trading at steeper discount than it deserves. Which will it be?

Here's why shareholders are rightly concerned:
. . . more

These retailers top customer service expectations

Exceptional customer service is key to driving long-term customer loyalty — and once again, B&H Photo Video, The Home Depot and Zappos are blazing the path.  
For the second year in a row, these three heavy hitters topped the 20th Annual Mystery Shopping Study. The report from Astound Commerce recognized retailers who excel in customer service through an assessment of “must-have” website features and behavior based on engagement with available touchpoints.. . . more

Higher customer traffic boosts Wal-Mart's sales

Image result for walmart storeWal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected U.S. sales, helped by more customer visits to stores and accelerating online activity, and the world's largest retailer's shares rose more than 3 percent.

Wal-Mart said sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 1.8 percent, excluding fuel price fluctuations, during the fourth quarter ended on Jan. 31.. . . more