Wednesday, April 23, 2014

U.S. retail eCommerce sales will grow to $304.1 billion by the end of this year, and will increase to to $491.5 billion by 2018, according to a new report from eMarketer, which says digital spending on books, music and video this year will grow the fastest of all categories, but not by much.

Indeed, so single category will grow significantly faster than another, the company says. However, in terms of spending, computer and consumer electronics tops the list, projected to total $66.4 billion this year and rising to $108.4 billion by 2018. Next highest in spending is the apparel and accessories category, at $52 billion and rising to $86 billion over the next four years.

On the bottom end of the growth curve though is spending in the food and beverage category, projected to be $7 billion this year and increasing to just $10.9 billion in four years.. . . more

After 92 years, a Dorchester hardware landmark closes

Hamilton Hardware is expected to close at the end of Wednesday, after 92 years in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood, providing not just hardware and home-improvement advice but also a place for conversation.

“It’s a loss for the community,” said Jean Claude Remy, who first came in after he bought a house down the street 14 years ago. He was impressed by the selection they managed to cram into a 7,000-square-foot store. . . . more

Staples closing Cheshire, CT store

The Staples location at 943 South Main St.will close by July 5 as part of a nationwide shutdown of 225 stores that the Massachusetts-based office products retailer announced in March.

Kaitlyn Reardon, spokeswoman for Staples, said none of retailer’s other area locations — in Shelton, Stratford, Milford, Orange, Branford, Old Saybrook, Hamden and Wallingford — is slated to close at this point.

 The word about the closing of the Cheshire Staples comes just four months after the retailer closed its North Haven location on Universal Drive.. . . more

Bay State home sales fall in March, prices up

Home sold for saleSales of single-family homes in the Bay State fell in March, marking the fourth decrease in five months, according to a new report by market tracker The Warren Group.

Single-family home sales dropped 7.8 percent to 2,749 in March, down from 2,980 in March of last year. Real estate experts say the low inventory of single-family homes is the major reason why sales are falling.. . . more

McDonald’s vs. Taco Bell: Q1 Earnings Edition

149141049-sign-for-a-mcdonalds-restaurant-sits-in-front-of-anDon Thompson wants customers to know that at McDonald’s, “we actually crack eggs.” It was a point the CEO kept coming back to in his first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday as he attempted to reassure investors that new competition in the fast-food breakfast wars isn’t a serious threat to the Golden Arches and its flagship Egg McMuffin.

Breakfast has come into sharp focus ever since Taco Bell rolled out a new morning menu, and McDonald’s responded with a free coffee promotion. Taco Bell is among the chains vying for a slice of the fast-food breakfast industry, an area where McDonald’s has long enjoyed the lion’s share of sales. The industry did a total of $31.7 billion in U.S. sales in 2012, of which McDonald’s claimed about $10 billion.. . . more

GameStop tells analysts it’s planning to open 300 to 400 new technology stores

GameStop CEO Paul Raines told analysts on Tuesday that each one of its three new technology store brands have the potential to become $1 billion businesses.

While GameStop is closing about 120 to 130 U.S. stores this year, it expects to open or buy 300 to 400 stores from its newly acquired brands.. . . more

RadioShack store ops exec resigns

Troy Risch, executive VP of store operations at RadioShack Corp., has resigned to pursue other unspecified interests. The resignation is effective April 18, and his duties will be temporarily taken over by other executives.

Risch joined the company in December 2012. RadioShack is currently in the process of closing 1,000 stores. . . . more

Survey: Nearly all consumers are omni-channel shoppers

These days, virtually everyone is a cross-channel shopper: 95% of consumers frequently or occasionally shop a retailer's website and store, according to a recent survey by CFI Group that was sponsored by eBay Enterprise.

The study makes it clear that consumers want convenience. Almost all consumers want to be able to return online orders to local stores, or make a purchase online and be able to pick-up that purchase in a local store. Seventy-eight percent of consumers consider in-store pickup of online orders important, while nearly half consider it extremely important.  . . . more

Dublin retailer to open store at former Filene’s site

epa04176829 Pedestrians walk past a Primark store in central London, 23 April, 2014. Primark is to open its first stores in America, beginning with clothing store in Boston, Massachusetts, the clothing retailer announced 23 April. EPA/ANDY RAINPrimark, a Dublin-based clothing retailer, plans to open a 70,000 square foot store late in 2015 at a location once occupied by the Filene’s department store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, the site’s developer said Wednesday.

The developer is Millennium Partners, a firm known for such local projects as the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Towers.. . . more

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vornado, CBL Take Advantage of Investors’ Appetite for Retail to Get Rid of Lesser Assets

Two big announcements in the retail REIT space last week—Vornado Realty Trust’s filing with the SEC to spin off 81 strip centers and four malls into a separate publicly traded REIT and CBL & Associates Properties’ revelation that it plans to sell 21 of its assets over the next three years—underscore the new growth strategies being adapted by mall REITs in the absence of development and acquisition opportunities. The timing fits nicely with the rising appetite for retail properties among investors priced out of multifamily and class-A office sectors.. . . more

Retailer Smart & Final Preparing IPO

Warehouse-style retailer Smart & Final Holdings Corp. is preparing for an initial public offering as soon as this year, people familiar with the matter said.

The Commerce, Calif.-based company, which primarily sells groceries and cooking equipment, is majority owned by private-equity firm Ares Management LP. Ares is currently in the process of interviewing investment banks to lead a Smart & Final offering, the people said.. . . more