Friday, September 30, 2016

Malls, stores consider new ways to protect shoppers

Image result for mall securityMore sophisticated cameras. Security robots. Customers feeling shaken by recent attacks at U.S. malls may not notice huge changes — but mall operators are testing and putting in place new technologies and other measures to offer people more protection without intruding too much on their shopping time.

Mall executives say shoppers have been adamantly opposed to airport security tactics like metal detectors. So they're trying other things, and increasingly using mass notifications that let them send text and email alerts to tenants within seconds in case of a crisis.. . . more

Costco earnings get boost from switch to Visa

Image result for costco and visa cardCostco Wholesale Corp.'s June switch to Visa Inc. is paying off.

The warehouse club chain reported higher quarterly profit Thursday boosted by lower credit card fees and other terms from its new deal to accept Visa-brand cards, replacing a long-term alliance with American Express Co.

For the quarter ended Aug. 28, Costco's profit rose 1.6% to $779 million despite higher wages, lower gasoline sales and deflationary pressure on food items including meat and eggs. Those expenses were "offset in particular with everything related to this credit card transition," Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said on a conference call.. . . more

Save-A-Lot's fate could be decided within weeks

Save-A-Lot store at 3645 Page Blvd. in St. LouisA lead buyer reportedly has emerged for Save-A-Lot, the Earth City-based grocery chain that Supervalu Inc. has been considering selling.

Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp. has made the best offer in an auction for Save-A-Lot, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Minneapolis-based Supervalu announced in August it was evaluating a possible sale of Save-A-Lot as an alternative to its year-old plan to spin off the chain into a separate publicly trade company.. . . more

Bunker Hill redo unveiled

Renderings filed with the Boston Planning and Development Agency show Bunker Hill GP Venture LLC’s plans for a 3.3 million-square-foot, mixed-income residential development to replace the 1,100-unit Bunker Hill public housing project in Charlestown, slated for demolition.

The $1 billion-plus, 13-block One Charlestown project will include 1,100 affordable 
housing units to replace the current 1941-built public housing, 2,100 market rate and workforce housing units, a new street grid, 90,000 square feet of civic and retail space, and two parks.. . . more

Fox & Hound, Champps to be acquired for $26.8M

Fun Eats and Drinks LLC won an auction last week to acquire Last Call Guarantor LLC, the owner of sports bar chains Fox & Hound and Champps, out of bankruptcy with a bid of $26.8 million.

The apparent sale of Fox & Hound and Champps comes amid a notably active period in the restaurant space. Private-equity groups and other buyers have been investing or buying restaurant companies, while struggling chains have been replacing CEOs.

The activity has come amid a broad decline in U.S. restaurant same-store sales that has hit all industry segments.. . . more

Farm and Ranch giant buys Petsense


Tractor Supply said Thursday that it has acquired 100% of Petsense, LLC, a leading specialty retailer of pet supplies and services with 136 stores in 25 states.

Tractor Supply plans to continue to grow the Petsense store base at a target rate of 15% to 20% annually and will convert its two existing HomeTown Pet stores to Petsense stores.. . . more

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Nordstrom Rack among new stores opening at Braintree Marketplace

With the opening of a Nordstrom Rack store Friday morning, the Braintree Marketplace shopping center begins a revival.

The store occupies part of the building that housed a K-Mart store – one of the center’s original tenants – which closed earlier this year. Also moving into the building is a Saks Off 5th Outlet store, which should be open in time for the holiday shopping season, said Mayor Joseph Sullivan.. . . more

Google Express shopping service expands across New England

A Google Express delivery truck is parked in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Google Express, the online advertising company’s home-delivery shopping service, will begin operating across New England this week as part of a national expansion expected to cover the entire United States by year’s end, the company said.

The broader delivery area means Google Express will be available to 70 million more people in the Northeast, Google said. Express is now available to roughly three-quarters of the country, general manager Brian Elliott said.. . . more

Pier 1 Imports' new shareholder called its poison pill 'nonsensical'

Image result for pier qIt's an official feud now.  Pier 1 Imports' new shareholder called the retailer's poison pill "a nonsensical scare tactic being used by the board to make us appear to be a threat."

Alden Global Capital, the largest active shareholder of Pier 1, was responding to the Fort Worth-based company's board decision on Tuesday to adopt a shareholder plan to make it harder for anyone to complete a hostile takeover.

Separately, Pier 1 said it swung to a loss in the second quarter and its board has decided it needed to pay three top executives retention bonuses. . . . more

Sears, Claire’s at high risk of retail failures, Fitch says

Image result for k mart store closingsSears Holdings Corp., Claire’s Stores Inc. and Nine West Holdings Inc. are among seven chains at high risk of defaulting within a year as shoppers shift to online merchants and spend more on experiences, according to a Fitch Ratings study of retail bankruptcies.

The companies were named in a 114-page report Wednesday that found retailers wind up liquidated almost three times more often than other companies in bankruptcy because customer defections are making turnarounds harder to execute.

Other chains at risk include True Religion Apparel Inc., 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, Nebraska Book Co. and Rue21 Inc., Fitch said.. . . more