Friday, October 21, 2016

U.S. mall investors set to lose billions as retail gloom deepens

A woman walks by a discount sign at an Abercrombie & Fitch store at a shopping mall in Garden City, New York, U.S. on November 28, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File PhotoThe dramatic shift to online shopping that has crushed U.S. department stores in recent years now threatens the investors who a decade ago funded the vast expanse of brick and mortar emporiums that many Americans no longer visit.

Weak September core retail sales, which strip out auto and gasoline sales, provide a window into the pain the holders of mall debt face in coming months as retailers with a physical presence keep discounting to stave off lagging sales.. . . more

Retail Industry Has Modest Expectations for Black Friday 2016

As the holiday season gets closer, retailers and mall operators are initiating more flexible shopping strategies to compete with e-commerce giants and get customers inside stores. Industry insiders predict a better performance this Black Friday than last year, but caution that doesn’t mean Black Friday 2016 will be one for the record books.

“I anticipate in regards to Black Friday that we will do better than last year, but it won't be blockbuster,” says Neil Stern, senior partner at Chicago-based consulting firm McMillanDoolittle LLP.. . . more

Walgreens posts strong 4Q earns, but delays Rite Aid deal

Image result for walgreens store
Walgreens Boots Alliance earnings topped $1 billion during the fourth quarter, easily surpassing analyst expectations, but the nation's largest drugstore chain also announced a delay in closing its latest megadeal.

Walgreens said Thursday that it expects to wrap up its $9.4 billion purchase of rival Rite Aid Corp. early next year, rather than by the end of 2016.. . . more

Get ready fashionistas, another Primark is coming

Boston, MA 090815 First floor of Primark store at Downtown Crossing, Tuesday, September 8 2015. (Globe Staff/Wendy Maeda) section: Business slug: 09primark reporter: Taryn LunaPrimark will debut its second Massachusetts location at the Burlington Mall in December, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Primark’s doors will open on Dec. 7 and will fill approximately 53,000 square feet with affordable “fast-fashion” clothing, home goods, and beauty products. The new location will feature 43 fitting rooms and 45 registers for a quick and convenient shopping experience.. . . more

Your groceries may be cheaper, but farmers and supermarkets feel the pain

If you’re just a little irked that gasoline prices have edged up recently, maybe this will cheer you up: Groceries are a bargain.

Average supermarket prices fell 2.2% in September from a year ago, the most since late 2009, and they’ve been down on an annual basis for 10 straight months, the longest such streak since 1959-60, Labor Department figures this week.. . . more

Google makes impressive store debut in Manhattan

Google has “popped up” in the SoHo section of downtown Manhattan with a temporary store that is all about experience.
The outpost, called "Made by Google,” is designed as a showcase for the company’s expanding line of electronic devices, and give visitors a chance to try out and experience its latest devices. The store does not sell any products, however. For that, customers will have to shop online or go to Best Buy.. . . more

Thursday, October 20, 2016

'Dead Malls' Resulting in Big CMBS Losses

CMBS loansRetail is the second-largest property type funded through CMBS loans (multifamily is the first) and as of October regional malls throughout the country were backed by $48.6B in CMBS loans, according to a recent Morningstar report.

The state of today’s malls—caused by the prevalence of e-commerce, the need for a hybrid digital and physical experience and the shuttering of department stores—has caused a ripple effect on the CMBS market and those loans backed by retail property.. . . more

Retailers turn to apps to lure shoppers back to stores

XXX IMG_7370.JPG B FEAFor anyone who has become lost trying to track down holiday light bulbs in a cavernous home improvement store or wants to know if trendy black mittens are in stock at a fashion retailer, digital help is on the way.

Retailers are giving their employees an assist from the latest technology to try to woo customers back to stores this season — even as an increasing number of shoppers make their gift purchases online. It's coming in the form of special apps that clerks or customers can access on their digital devices. They couldn't come at a better time in the fight to lure customers to malls or shopping centers.. . . more

The 5 Craziest Gifts in Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book

fantasy-gifts-2016_cobalt_jetFor 90 years, Neiman Marcus has brought the world “The Christmas Book,” an extensive catalog that rings in at 300 pages this year. You’re sure to find Badgley Mischka evening gowns, Fendi handbags, and Burberry sweaters—in addition to Neiman Marcus’s extensive cashmere collection. Then, there are the 10 exclusive, one-of-a-kind “fantasy gifts,” ranging in price from $25 to $1.5 million.

Here are the book’s most extravagant gifts: . . . more

What McDonald's needs: A follow-up to all-day breakfast

Image result for mcdonald's all day breakfastFor McDonalds, all-day breakfast was a big hit when CEO Steve Easterbrook launched it last October, but Wall Street is now wondering what else he can cook up. Critics still accuse the home of the Golden Arches of becoming too complacent in the face of heightened competition from rivals and changing consumer tastes.

And now that the hoopla surrounding the all-day breakfast promotion has died down, investors want more from the chain.. . . more

Starbucks plans new 'Reserve' targets in super-premium battle

Image result for starbucks reserve storeStarbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz on Thursday unveiled new growth plans for the chain's upscale Reserve brand as it fights off competition from super-premium coffee rivals like Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia.

Starbucks, which was instrumental in shifting U.S. consumers to higher-quality coffee and espresso-based drinks, will have Reserve coffee "bars" in up to 1,000 Starbucks cafes by the end of 2017 in a bid to one day dominate the so-called "third wave" coffee movement.. . . more

More Pension Fund Money Flowing to Commercial Real Estate

Pension funds have been following a clear path of increasing allocations to real estate over the past several years. Despite signs of a maturing market cycle, it appears that most institutions are likely to maintain that same course in 2017.

In past down cycles, institutions have become a bit skittish about real estate and pulled back on allocations. This time, there has been a bigger move towards real estate, says Greg MacKinnon, director of research with Pension Real Estate Association (PREA).. . . more

Walgreens, Rite Aid extend date of merger agreement to allow for store divestures

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid announced that they have mutually agreed to extend the end date of their merger agreement from Oct. 27, 2016 to Jan. 27, 2017.
The companies now expect the transaction will close in early calendar 2017.. . . more

US economy grows a bit faster in September, Fed says

U.S. economic growth picked up a bit as summer ended and fall began, supported by modest hiring, an uptick in consumer spending, and steady homebuilding, according to the Federal Reserve.

The Fed's "Beige Book" survey of economic conditions in its 12 regional bank districts, released Wednesday, found that growth was modest or moderate in eight districts, slight in three, and flat in the New York district. That's an improvement from its September survey, which found that growth weakened in two districts and was unchanged in two.. . . more

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

CVS rolling out its mobile payment system

After a test, CVS Health is launching its mobile payment solution, CVS Pay, on a national basis. 
CVS Pay is now part of the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, and integrates payment, prescription pickup and the ExtraCare loyalty program all into one quick scan at checkout.. . . more

Taubman Climbs After Activist Asks Company to Consider a Sale

Image result for taubman shopping centerTaubman Centers Inc. surged after Jonathan Litt, an activist investor known for targeting real estate companies, pushed for the mall owner to cut costs or consider a sale of the company.
Shares of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based Taubman climbed 7.1 percent to $76.22 at 9:56 a.m. in New York. They rose as much as 11 percent earlier this morning, their biggest intraday increase since May 2009.

“Maximizing sustained ‘shareholder value’ should always be a top priority and we believe hindsight clearly illustrates the stay independent strategy of 2003 has not maximized value,” Litt wrote in letter to Taubman’s board.. . . more