Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Macerich Executives to Get $32 Million Sweetener If Firm Is Sold

moneyUntil very recently, four top executives at Macerich Co. faced getting paid almost nothing if the firm were to be sold and they lost their jobs as a result. Now they’re eligible for more than $32 million.

The shopping-mall operator said in its quarterly filing on Nov. 3 that it had adopted a cash-severance plan, ensuring that senior executives would get nice checks if they leave or are terminated within two years of a change in control. Such a move could signal a company is gearing up for a sale.. . . more

Mom-and-Pop Shops Are Threatening the Mall This Holiday Season

Image result for shopping mom and popsMore bad news for America’s shopping malls: Consumers are shopping closer to home. And increasingly, home is not where the malls are.

Spending growth at mom-and-pop businesses has outpaced that of the big chains in the past two years, according to Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at credit-card giant Mastercard Inc., which tracks purchasing patterns. When they’re not shopping online, Americans are seeking more personal connections and advice -- something they can find lacking at national retailers.. . . more

Deals aren't the only reason we shop on Black Friday

Bargains aren't the only reason we shop on Black FridayDoes the thought of nabbing handfuls of cut-rate DVDs and a heavily-discounted TV to watch them on get your adrenaline pumping? Then you probably have your favorite store mapped out for Black Friday shopping, your coffee pot programmed for midnight, and your running shoes ready.

But bargains aren’t the only reason people shop on Black Friday, a consumer psychologist told Popular Science. And by the way, she thinks most people would be relieved not to play the gift-shopping game at all. . . . more

J.Crew to close 50 stores as sales plunge again

A customer walks into a J.Crew store in New York.There is apparently no end in sight to the deterioration of the J.Crew brand.

Same-store sales plummeted 12% at J.Crew’s namesake brand in the third quarter and the parent company said on Tuesday it expected to close 50 stores this year, up from a forecast of 30 just three months ago. But such is the tailspin its sales are in.. . . more

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rough quarter for Chico’s

Women’s specialty apparel retailer Chico’s FAS reported declines in sales and profit for its third quarter as hurricanes took a toll on earnings.

The company reported net income of $16.7 million, down from net income of $23.6 million in the year-ago period. Results for the third quarter include the unfavorable impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Chico’s said the hurricanes resulted in reduced operating hours or the temporary closure of more than 300 stores, as well as a decline in direct-to-customer sales.. . . .more

Forget the Retail Apocalypse: These Chains Remain in Growth Mode

The retail industry has been closing thousands of locations this year, with chains like Sears Holdings Corp. and J.C. Penney Co. shuttering storefronts across the country.

But not everyone is on a diet. A number of discount retailers and other chains are still in expansion mode.. . . more

Urban Outfitters surprises in Q3 on strong earnings, sales

Urban Outfitters on Monday reported sales and earnings that blew past Wall Street estimates, fueled in part by a strong performance from its Free People brand and online sales.

Sales rose 3.5% to $893 million, a record for the company, Urban Outfitters said. Analysts had expected sales of $861 million.

Same-store sales, which include the comparable direct-to-consumer channel, rose 1%. Excluding the estimated impact of the North American hurricanes in the quarter, comparable retail segment net sales increased 2%. By brand, comparable retail segment net sales increased 5% at Free People, 2% at the Anthropologie Group and 1% at Urban Outfitters.. . . more

Some good news for Neiman Marcus as sales slump ends

Neiman Marcus Group on Tuesday posted its first sales increase in two years.

The luxury department store retailer reported that its total revenues increased 3.8% to $1.12 billion in its first quarter, which ended Oct. 28, compared with total revenues of $1.08 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 4.2% — the first increase since the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. The retailer credited its “digital first” strategy and recent investments in new technologies and marketing tools for its sales increase.. . . more

Dollar Tree Q3 profit and sales beat estimates

Dollar Tree on Tuesday posted better-than-expected sales and earnings results, fueled by a boost in customer traffic and spending in its stores.

Same-store sales increased 3.2%, more than analysts expected, driven by increases in average ticket and comparable transaction count. By brand, same-store sales rose 5% for Dollar Tree and 1.5% for Family Dollar.. . . more

Lidl vs. Aldi

Aldi bulding vs Lidl building.jpgA supermarket battle was between Aldi and Lidl is already well underway in Europe and is now shifting to the United States as the two Germany-based stores expand their footprints.

According to Aldi's corporate website, the first company store opened in 1961 and has been in the United States since the '70s. Currently there are over 10,000 Aldi stores worldwide and they have made plans to grow the U.S. numbers to 2,200 by 2020.  Lidl has a similar story. The chain opened its first store in 1973 and also found success in Europe before moving to the United States. Stores have begun opening up and down the East Coast this year. Lidl also has more than 10,000 stores in operation worldwide. . . . more

Curious George Store to stay in Harvard Square thanks to deal with landlord

Image result for curious george store
When a giant New York real estate firm acquired the Abbott Building in Harvard Square last year, it looked like the property's most famous retail tenant — the Curious George Store — might have to look for new space.

Now, thanks to an agreement with Regency Centers Corp., the iconic store that celebrates the classic children's book of the same name will stay put.. . . more

Monday, November 20, 2017

Foot Locker makes strides as Q3 tops estimates

Foot Locker’s quest to regain momentum got a boost in the third quarter as the chain reported better than expected revenue and earnings.

Total sales decreased 0.8%, to $1.87 billion, also better than expected. Same-store sales fell 3.7%.
. . . more

Retailers that close on Thanksgiving lose out, says location data

Recently, stores have made a point of keeping their doors shut on Thanksgiving–and even Black Friday–to encourage their employees and customers to spend time with their families. But taking the moral high ground comes at a cost, according to Foursquare, which gathers location data of about 50 million monthly global users of its apps and mines it for ad-targeting and other business insights.

Foursquare compared shopping patterns in states where there are so-called “blue laws” against department stores opening on Thanksgiving Day–Massachusetts and Rhode Island–to states that are allowed to open on Thanksgiving. . . . more

Hollister powers Abercrombie to better-than-expected Q3

Abercrombie & Fitch reported Q3 sales and earnings that beat Wall Street estimates amid signs that its turnaround is gaining traction.

Net sales for the third quarter rose 5% to $859.1 million. Direct-to-consumer sales, which include online, grew to approximately 24% of total company net sales, compared to approximately 23% last year.

Total same-store sales rose 4%. By brand, same-store sales rose 8% at Hollister and fell 2% at Abercrombie.. . . more

5 Brands Shaking Up the Grocery Industry by Changing What We Choose to Eat and How We Buy Food

In June, Chai Mishra launched Movebutter, a small online grocery store with 300 products that promised shoppers more curated and high-quality choices than major grocery stores, which stock as many as 50,000. A month and a half later, the company had a waiting list of 120,000 people who wanted to place orders on its website.

Movebutter is one of dozens of grocery and food brands aiming to grab their own chunk of the $627 billion Americans spent last year on groceries, per YouGov. Online grocers accounted for $12 billion of those sales, and 27 percent of U.S. adults said they’ve shopped from an online supermarket.. . . more

Stores seek holiday rebound

SLUMPING SALES: Retail advocates say crowds like these at the CambridgeSide Galeria in Cambridge can get a boost if the state cuts its sales tax from its present rate of 6.25 percent.Massachusetts retailers expect to see a holiday rebound this year after a slowdown in consumer spending and continued shift to mobile sales took an unexpected bite out of their November and December sales in 2016.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts is forecasting a 3.1 percent increase in holiday purchases, based on a survey of its 4,000 primarily small-business, brick-and-mortar members that points to stable consumer confidence and year-to-date sales in the low 3 percent range. The holiday sales season in Massachusetts starts in earnest at stores on the day after Thanksgiving, referred to as “Black Friday.”. . . more

Retailers experiment with a new philosophy: Smaller is better

Image result for showroom storesBrick-and-mortar retail chains, known for sprawling stores that stock a bit of everything, are trying to lift sagging sales using a different strategy: cozier spaces that sell very little of anything.

Showrooms — a retail model popular with bridal designers, car dealers and, recently, online apparel startups — are now inspiring mass-market heavyweights like Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters.. . . more

Shoppers want a better buying experience

Tired girl in shopping centreWhile most shoppers are satisfied with their overall retail experience, customer service is a pain point for many consumers.

Forty-four percent of in-store and 53 percent of online shoppers are dissatisfied with the returns/exchange process, according to the 2017 Global Shopper Study from Zebra Technologies.. . . more

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bon-Ton to close at least 40 stores

The Bon-Ton Stores is slashing its store base as its losses continue to mount.

The struggling department store retailer plans to close at least 40 stores through 2018. The company, which operates 260 stores under several banners, announced the news in its third quarter financial results, describing the closures as a “significant store rationalization program.”. . . more

Gap beats third-quarter sales estimates, raises full-year forecasts

Image result for the gapGap Inc reported quarterly results that beat estimates, driven by turnaround efforts to revive its Gap and Old Navy brands, and the clothing retailer raised its 2017 earnings and same-store sales forecasts.

Gap, like many other apparel retailers, had witnessed declining fortunes across its categories due to changing habits of consumers and an affinity to online shopping.

In response, the company has been stepping up investments to refresh its underperforming lines, spruce up online offerings and shorten the time taken to replenish clothes at its Old Navy and Athleta stores.. . . more

The 10 Most Expensive Retail Streets in the United States

colorful-bagsRetail landlords may be struggling, but it doesn’t mean rents in swanky retail corridors have suddenly become dirt cheap. Real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has just published its annual “Main Street Across the World” report and New York’s Fifth Avenue has once again claimed its spot among the most expensive retail streets globally. Here’s a breakdown on the most expensive streets in the U.S. and how much retail space goes for in these locations:. . . more

Fenway Center phase 1 OK’d

GREEN-LIGHTED: The Boston Planning and Development Agency approved phase 1 of the Fenway Center project, above. Phase 2 would build over the Mass Pike. The first phase of developer John Rosenthal’s Fenway Center project over the Massachusetts Turnpike has been green-lighted by the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s board.

The $590 million project, which has a two-phased construction plan, will begin with two mixed-use buildings on terra firma next to the Mass Pike.. . . more

Maine’s 2nd Market Basket to anchor shopping plaza planned for Westbrook

Market Basket will be the anchor tenant of a yet-to-be-built retail plaza at the former Pike Industries quarry on Main Street, the developer confirmed Thursday. A Walmart store initially planned for the anchor spot is no longer part of the project.

“I was able to negotiate to replace the Walmart Supercenter with Market Basket,” said Anton Melchionda, principal at Waterstone Properties Group. “We have a history with Market Basket. We’re biased, but we believe strongly that they are the premier grocery operator in the country, if not the world.”. . . more

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sierra Trading Post, HomeGoods Opening Nashua Stores

Sierra Trading Post, HomeGoods Opening Nashua StoresNashua's Royal Ridge Center shopping plaza will soon feature two new stores. Sierra Trading Post and HomeGoods are opening locations at the site of an old Sports Authority store at the plaza, located off the Daniel Webster Highway in South Nashua near the Massachusetts border. The HomeGoods store will be 25,000 square feet and the Sierra Trading Post store will be 18,000 square feet, according to The Wilder Companies, which manages the plaza. The company announced the store plans Monday.

"These additions will transform the former Sports Authority location into two on-trend stores," Deb Di Meo, vice president of leasing for The Wilder Companies. "It is sure to add new vibrancy to the busy Daniel Webster Highway shopping corridor.". . . more

Landlords, Retailers At Odds On Brick And Mortar

 Mall at Short Hills entranceMall and shopping center landlords and the retailers that would occupy their properties don’t see eye to eye on a number of areas related to brick and mortar stores, says FTI Consulting. As many as 93% of landlords agree or strongly agree that new stores are critical to retailers’ sales growth, while just 61% of retailers would say the same.

Owners and tenants also have differing views on location, store design and consumer experience. For example, FTI’s survey finds that landlords believe that being located near other high-traffic retailers and providing a compelling architectural design and physical environment—cited by 87% and 73%, respectively, of owners surveyed—are the two most important benefits they could offer a retail tenant.. . . more

Vitamin World Seeks Approval to Shutter 124 Stores

Image result for vitamin world store closingVitamin World Inc. has hired Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC to immediately start going-out-of-business sales at 124 stores in more than 30 states.

The Holbrook, N.Y., retailer on Tuesday asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., for permission to hire Gordon Brothers as its liquidation consultant and to approve a plan that would result in the closure of more than a third of its stores by the end of January, court documents show.. . . more

Best Buy earnings top estimates; raises revenue outlook

People walk into a Best Buy store in New York City.Best Buy reported second-quarter earnings and sales on Tuesday that topped analysts' expectations. Looking ahead, the company also raised its revenue outlook for the full year, and said stronger shopper demand for its technology products, such as smartphones and wearable devices, boosted its sales at established stores over the period.

Then, on a call with analysts and investors, management warned that an uptick in gross margins would "moderate" in coming quarters. Competition in the electronics category is expected to intensify toward the end of the year, and mid-single-digit comps are not a "new normal," Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said.. . . more

Walmart’s online sales explode; lifts profit outlook on strong third quarter

Walmart is heading into the crucial holiday season on fire, with the chain posting a 50% increase in online sales in its third quarter and topping the Street’s profit, revenue and comp sales estimates.

The retail giant’s total revenue rose 4.2% to $123.18 billion in the quarter, versus estimates of $121 billion. Net sales at Walmart’s U.S. operations totaled $77.724 billion, up from $74.550 billion in the prior-year period. Net sales at Walmart International rose 4.1% to $29.5 billion, with 10 of its 11 eleven markets posting positive comp sales.. . . more

Holiday gift predicted for Mass. retailers this season after last year’s lump of coal

Image result for holiday shoppingThe Retailers Association of Massachusetts is predicting a 3.1 percent bump in holiday season retail sales over last year, a welcome reversal after a loss in 2016.

The prediction from the state’s industry group is based on its survey of the 4,000 members of the statewide trade association. The projected increase is not as high as the the National Retail Federation’s prediction of between 3.6 and 4 percent for the holiday season.. . . more