Friday, May 26, 2017

HYM is buying Suffolk Downs today

Image result for suffolk downsThe HYM Investment Group, a Boston-based real estate firm behind some of the area’s largest and most complex mixed-use redevelopment projects, is set to close today on the purchase of the 161-acre Suffolk Downs property in Revere and East Boston.

HYM aims to begin with creating retail and residential, with office coming later. . . . more

Amid retail malaise, Costco has a healthy quarter

Shoppers look in the bakery and meat departments at Costco in Issaquah Monday March 14, 2016. — 0436626746 (Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)A slump among some retailers and the onslaught of online competition wasn’t enough to deter Costco, which posted healthy third-quarter earnings and sales growth Thursday.

Companywide, Costco’s comparable sales grew 5 percent, excluding the impact of fluctuating gas prices and foreign exchange. That’s higher than the 2 to 3 percent growth the company logged in the past four quarters. . . more

AmazonFresh Pickup stores open to Prime members in Seattle

Image result for amazon fresh pick upAmazon launched its new AmazonFresh Pickup grocery service for Amazon Prime members at two Seattle locations this morning, and GeekWire jumped at the opportunity to be the first people outside of the company’s own employees to try it out.

The concept is simple: Order your groceries online and pick them up in a designated time window at the AmazonFresh Pickup location. And the experience was, in fact, largely seamless.. . . more

Ulta sizzles in Q1 — offline and on

Ulta Beauty came out of the first quarter starting gate strong, with earnings that easily topped Wall Street estimates and big increases in store and online sales.  
Net sales increased 22.5% to a better-than-expected $1.31 billion from $1.0 billion in the year-ago period. Total same-store sales increased 14.3%, also more than expected, driven by 8.7% transaction growth and 5.6% growth in average ticket. 
Online, the brand was on fire. E-commerce sales skyrocketed 70.9% to $104.3 million from $61.0 million last year. Ulta said it now expects to grow e-commerce sales in the 50% range, compared to its previous guidance of 40%, in its current fiscal year.. . . more

Burlington Stores sales up 5% as off-price retail continues rout

Burlington Stores reported Thursday that its first quarter sales grew 5% from the year-ago period to $1.3 billion, driven mostly by an increase in new and otherwise non-comparable stores. Comparable store sales for the off-price retailer grew by 0.5%. 

For the year, Burlington’s management team expects total sales to grow by between 7.3% and 8.1% and comparable store sales to increase between 2% and 3%. The company also expects to open a total of 30 stores and spend $200 million in capital expenditures. . . . more

More Optimism About U.S. Buying Climate Signals Spending Rebound

Woman Holding Shopping BagsConsumer spending may be set to emerge from a weak first quarter as Americans last week became more upbeat about the buying climate than at any time in the last 15 years and optimism about personal finances reached a decade high, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday.

Highlights of Bloomberg Consumer Comfort (Week Ended May 21) Buying-climate gauge jumped to 46.7, highest since December 2001, from 44.8 Measure of  personal finances increased to 62.1 last week from 60.6 Sentiment about  national economy eased to 43.9, lowest since February, from 45.3 Overall comfort measure was 50.9 after 50.2.. . . more

Staples Said to Rebuff Cerberus; Sycamore Still in Running

Staples storeStaples Inc. has rejected a takeover offer from Cerberus Capital Management as too low, leaving  Sycamore Partners in the running to acquire the office-supplies retailer, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Framingham, Massachusetts-based chain this week turned down the bid from Cerberus, which valued the company at more than its current market value of about $5.8 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private.. . . more

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kitchen and bath products giant launches experiential retail concept

Kohler Co. is debuting a retail format designed to showcase its full offering of products and offer on-site product immersion — literally.   

The 10,000-sq.-ft. store features more than 20 kitchen and bath vignettes. It includes a private "bathing space" in which customers can experience such Kohler products as its digital showering system, showerheads and intelligent toilets.
Kohler plans to open nine KECs over the next year, with London to open soon. Additional locations include Los Angeles, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, New Delhi and Taipei, all opening later in the year.. . . more

J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler Confesses: I Underestimated How Tech Would Upend Retail

Image result for j crewMillard “Mickey” Drexler, the fashion genius whose ability to spot trends reshaped how Americans dress, has a humbling admission. He missed what might be the biggest trend of all—how quickly technology would change the retail industry.

“I’ve never seen the speed of change as it is today,” the 72-year-old chairman and chief executive of J.Crew Group Inc. said in an interview at his New York office. “If I could go back 10 years, I might have done some things earlier.”. . . more

Williams-Sonoma tops estimates

Williams-Sonoma Inc. on Wednesday reported better-than-expected quarterly results, fueled by a strong performance at its millennial-targeted West Elm division. 
Net revenues increased 1.2% to $1.112 billion, from $1.098 billion in the year-ago period. E-commerce net revenues increased 0.7% to $581 million. Online sales generated 52.2% of total company net revenues in the quarter, compared to 52.5% of total net revenues last year. 
Same-store sales inched up 0.1%. By brand, same-store sales rose 3.2% at Williams-Sonoma and 6% at West Elm. Comp sales fell 1.4% at Pottery Barn, 5.7% at Pottery Barn Kids and 14.3% at PB Teen.
. . . more

Sears posts quarterly profit on Craftsman sale, cost cuts

A Sears department store is pictured in La Jolla, California, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeSears Holdings Corp  reported its first quarterly profit in nearly two years, as the retailer benefited from the sale of its Craftsman brand and a program to cut $1.25 billion in costs, amid doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern.

However, sales continued the years-long decline, hurt by lower demand for groceries, apparel and home appliances at the retailer's Sears and Kmart stores.

Sales at Sears' U.S. stores open more than a year fell 12.4 percent, while at Kmart it declined 11.2 percent in the first quarter ended April 29.. . . more

Best Buy reports better-than-expected start to the year

itempropHigher sales in gaming amid the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and improved sales once delayed federal tax refund checks arrived, helped boost Best Buy to better-than-expected first-quarter results.

Overall sales in the quarter rose 1 percent to $8.5 billion, up from $8.4 billion a year ago. Comparable sales in the U.S. rose 1.4 percent, which was much better than the 1.5 to 2.5 percent drop the company had forecast. Online sales rose 23 percent.. . . more

Walmart is recapturing grocery share at an ‘accelerating rate’

A shopper in a Walmart store.Wal-Mart Stores is gaining a bigger slice of the $800 billion market and momentum picked up in the recent first quarter, according to a new report.

"Wal-Mart is taking back share from the traditional supermarket at an accelerating rate," according to Loop Capital analyst Andrew Wolf, who estimates the retailer now has a 21.5 percent market share in the U.S. traditional grocery industry.. . . more

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Seven Takeaways from ICSC RECon 2017, Day Two

While most of the buzz on the show floor this year has been around the upheaval in the regional mall space and the slowdown in the investment sales market, the overall mood remained positive. The story many industry insiders went with was that this is a time of opportunity to resolve challenges and make their centers stronger.

Here are takeaways from day two of the conference.
  1.  Expect retail rents to drop in the next year or two, said Michael Weiner, president of Excess Space Retail Services, a surplus real estate disposition and lease restructuring firm.
  2. . . . more