Friday, December 8, 2017

$600M Fenway Center, long a Sisyphean effort, set to begin construction

Image result for fenway center projectAfter nearly two decades of planning, and several setbacks along the way, Fenway Center is set to finally begin construction.

Fenway Center’s first phase includes an eight-story, 100-unit residential building, a 14-story, 212-unit apartment building, 200 parking spaces and 37,000 square feet of retail space. Both buildings will be built on terra firma — that is, the ground — and will not require air-rights over the Pike. . . . more

Sears Gains as Investor Asks Chain to Consider Going Private

Image result for searsSears Holdings Corp. shares rose after investor Memento SA recommended the retailer consider going private, saying that “excessive” short selling has hammered the stock.

The firm, which serves as investment manager for Switzerland’s Spadone family, also called for an investigation into recent surges in short selling. Memento said in an open letter to Sears’s board that it owns nearly 2 million shares and believes in the long-term value of its stores, brands and employees.
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Carpionato aims to add hundreds of jobs with Benny’s redevelopment

Image result for benny's storeThe Carpionato Group announced Thursday it expects to add hundreds of short- and long-term jobs as it works to redevelop 29 current and former Benny’s store locations.

Kelly Coates, a senior vice president at Carpionato, said the real estate development company is committing more than $100 million to the project. That amount doesn’t include how much they are paying to buy the properties, which is not being disclosed, from the Bromberg family that owns Benny’s.. . . more

US employers add 228K jobs; unemployment rate stays 4.1 pct.

Image result for jobs U.S. employers added a robust 228,000 jobs in November, a sign of the job market's enduring strength in its ninth year of economic recovery.

The unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, the Labor Department reported.

Friday's jobs report made clear that the U.S. economy is on firm footing and is likely benefiting from more resilient global growth, with all major economies across the world expanding in tandem for the first time in a decade.. . . more

Porter Square Galleria in Cambridge Welcomes Target as Anchor Tenant

Target has signed a lease with CBRE/New England to open a small-format store in July 2018 in a 28,893-square foot space at Porter Square Galleria in Cambridge, MA. Galleria is owned by CBRE Global Investors sponsored fund. Additional tenants of the Galleria include Anna’s Taqueria, Sprint, Potbelly and Parrelli Optical.

Nearly 19,000 square feet of space remains available at Porter Square Galleria. This includes 16,500 square feet on the lower level and a 2,303 square foot restaurant space on the first floor.. . . more

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ahold Delhaize Creates Parent Company For U.S. Brands, Names Holt CEO

Image result for Ahold Delhaize USA logoAhold Delhaize is creating Ahold Delhaize USA effective Jan. 1, 2018. Ahold Delhaize USA will be the parent company for all of Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. companies, including its local brands, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant, Hannaford, Giant/Martin’s and Peapod, as well as Retail Business Services (RBS), a U.S. shared services company providing support to the brands.

Ahold Delhaize USA will be led by Kevin Holt, who will be appointed CEO of Ahold Delhaize USA, effective Jan. 1. Holt currently is COO of Ahold USA. In this new role, he will remain a member of Ahold Delhaize’s management board and executive committee and will continue to report to Dick Boer, CEO Ahold Delhaize. Frans Muller, deputy CEO Ahold Delhaize and chief integration officer, who serves as acting COO Delhaize America (ad interim) will focus on the continued smooth integration of Ahold Delhaize.. . . more

Lululemon strong in Q3; upbeat about holiday

Some other players in the sports and athleisure market may be having a rough time of it these days, but Lululemon Athletica Inc. is not one of them.

The maker of yoga wear and other specialty apparel raised its forecast for the year after easily topping analysts’ estimates for the third quarter, fueled by strong digital growth. Lululemon’s net revenue increased 14% to $619.0 million in the quarter ended Oct. 29.

Total same-store sales increased 8%, Comp sales surged 26% in the direct channel and 2% in stores.
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Home Depot to improve stores; sets $120 billion sales goal

The nation’s largest home improvement retailer on Wednesday authorized a $15 billion share repurchase program and said it would accelerate investments in key areas of its business, including its stores.

Home Depot plans to invest in such areas as its stores, associates, supply chain and delivery capabilities. CNBC put the investment at $4.5 billion over the next three years, and said the chain would also build a new website for professionals.. . . more

Dollar General to open 900 stores, accelerate remodels in 2018

Dollar General on Thursday reported results for the third quarter that beat Street estimates and announced aggressive remodeling plans and new store growth for the coming year.

The discounter will execute approximately 2,000 real estate projects in fiscal 2018. The emphasis will be on remodeling. Dollar General plans to open 900 new stores (compared to an estimated 1,285 new units in fiscal 2017), remodel 1,000 existing sites and relocate 100 stores (compared to 760 combined remodels and relocations this year).. . . more

Hey Alexa, where are all the lower prices at Whole Foods?

Image: Siggi's yogurts are seen with lower, Amazon prices on the shelves of Whole Foods. Three months after Amazon bought Whole Foods, promising lower prices and impending savings at the notoriously expensive supermarket, it’s time for a reality check. Frequent shoppers may have noticed that relatively few products are cheaper than they were before the takeover in August.

Several new surveys find that the price rollbacks have been very limited so far — both the number of products affected and the discounts offered — even after additional price cuts on some best-selling grocery items and holiday staples just before Thanksgiving.. . . more

Online sales pass $1 billion every day

Woman makes christmas shopping online with laptop, above viewAll 35 shopping days this holiday season have generated $1 billion or more in online revenue, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights.

A total of $65.15 billion has already been spent, putting the 2017 season on track to reach a historic $107.4 billion, per Adobe. Purchases from desktops lead online revenue, making up 56 percent of online traffic. Smartphones follow at 37 percent, and tablets are at 7 percent.. . . more

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Omnichannel Is Now; Retail’s Future Is Beyond

Image result for DRINK at American eagleIs omnichannel the retail of the future? In the view of venture capitalist J. Skyler Fernandes, no—it’s retailing now. Speaking to a standing-room-only audience at ICSC’s New York Deal Making conference Tuesday, the managing director of Cleveland Avenue cited a recent Harvard Business School study showing that 70% of consumers buy in multiple channels, while just 7% buy only online and the remainder buy only at physical stores. In other words, omnichannel has become the norm.

Even as online and mobile shopping makes further inroads into brick-and-mortar traffic, Fernandes predicted the death of pure-play e-commerce. For one thing, he noted, “Mobile commerce is literally eating e-commerce’s lunch.” . . . more

Second-to-last Benny’s store closing Thursday in Providence

Image result for Benny's storeThe Benny’s store on Branch Avenue will close its doors for good on Thursday, leaving only one store in the much-loved chain, a spokesman said Tuesday morning.

That will leave the store in Greenville as the last in the chain, though its days are also numbered. While an exact date has not been set for the Greenville closing, the entire chain was expected to cease operations by the end of the year when Benny’s announced in September that it was closing after 93 years.. . . more