Friday, October 29, 2010

RioCan eyes acquisitions, higher rents in 2011

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust said on Thursday it has earmarked $600 million (US$588 million) for acquisitions in the coming year and expects rising competition for Canadian retail space will be "good for a landlord" and translate into higher rents.

RioCan is estimating about $150 million in acquisitions next year in Canada and $450 million in the United States. That come on top of expectations it will complete around $1 billion in acquisitions and investments in 2010 -- twice what it had forecast earlier in the year.. . . more

U.S. Economy Grew 2% as Consumer Spending Rises

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter as consumer spending climbed the most in almost four years, a sign the expansion is developing staying power.

The increase in gross domestic product matched the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and followed a 1.7 percent gain the prior three months, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Household purchases, about 70 percent of the economy, rose at a 2.6 percent pace, the best quarter of the recovery that began in June 2009.  . . . more

Retail M&A Volume Down Globally From 2009

IMAP Inc., a global merger and acquisition firm, released its annual Retail Industry Global Report, which details merger and acquisitions activity by industry, country and region over the last 12 months.

The report finds that merger and acquisition volume is down during the year ending with the third quarter of 2010 compared with the same period 12 months ago. Overall, IMAP says that $17.1 billion in retail merger and acquisition activity took place in the 12 months up to the end of the third quarter of 2010 in contrast with $25.7 billion in the 12 months up to the end of the third quarter of 2009.. . . more

Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne do a store switcheroo

One brand's loss is another's gain. To achieve a stronger foothold in the off-price world, women's retailer AnnTaylor Stores Corp. will take over 40 factory outlets being closed by apparel brand Liz Claiborne Inc.

Ann Taylor announced the move Thursday, adding that 35 of the spots will be branded as Ann's lower-priced Loft division, while five will house the company's namesake Ann Taylor merchandise.. . . more

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Plan advances for IMAX theater in Greenland

The show will go on for a plan to build a new IMAX theater, despite significant concerns over traffic that nearly delayed the project.

A lengthy meeting of the town's Zoning Board of Adjustment ended with the board granting all five of the requested special exceptions for a 12-screen Cinemagic/IMAX theater. . . . more

City decides not to take Filene’s downtown project site

The city won’t seize the gutted former Filene’s property in Downtown Crossing, despite the threat of an eminent domain takeover by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

“The site has a value in the tens of millions of dollars and it became clear to us that it would be too expensive to do a taking,” said John Palmieri, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.. . . more

Panera in Newton Centre to open next week

After a lengthy renovation and over a year of controversy, Panera Bread will finally open its doors to the Newton Centre community at a ribbon cutting scheduled for Monday morning at 11 a.m.

Panera first set its eyes on the Centre Street location in July of 2008, and obtained permission from the Newton aldermen to go forward after a heated debate in December of 2009. Residents were concerned about traffic, and also about the effect that a chain restaurant would have on neighborhood character.. . . more

Macy's Launches One-of-a-Kind "Gift Shops"

Macy's  today announced a stepped-up approach to holiday shopping, with gift-giving options for every customer's need, from first-ever grab-and-go "Gift Shops" and "Celebrity Gift Shops" to an International Gifting Center featuring presents with purpose. In 400 Macy's stores nationwide and on, new main floor "Gift Shops" will offer a one-stop gifting destination featuring limited-edition gifts exclusive to Macy's, including the latest techie gadgets, stylish apparel and accessories for you and your pets, hot beauty finds and chic home goods. . . . more

J.C. Penney's management meets with 2 new big shareholders

. . . more

J.C. Penney Co. management has met with its two new big shareholders.

Neither side is saying much about the daylong meeting a week ago between management and activist investor William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital and Vornado Realty chairman Steven Roth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mall Developers Look to Outlet Centers as New Avenue for Growth

As opportunities for new retail development have dwindled in recent years, REITs that have traditionally specialized in building regional malls started to look into building outlet centers.

The outlet sector has outperformed other retail property types during the downturn because of consumers’ focus on value. And with only 60 million square feet of outlet center space currently available in the U.S. market, there is opportunity for new construction, industry sources say.. . . more

Edens & Avant sells five shopping centers

Cedar Shopping Centers Inc. has closed on a deal to buy a portfolio of five shopping centers, including the Marlboro Crossing Shopping Center in District Heights, for an undisclosed sum.

Edens & Avant sold the group of centers, which totals 678,445 square feet of space in District Heights; Gettysburg, Va.; Richmond, Va.; State College, Pa., and York, Pa.. . . more

Heavyweights in the ring

High-volume mass-market retailers may seem to be marginal competition for home centers and hardware stores, but inspired by the soft economy, they are picking their competitive spots.

Of course, mass-market retailers are important rivals in a couple of critical categories, most of them associated with outdoor living. Recently, one major mass-market player has matched a home center on a major backyard initiative.. . . more

U.S. luxury, dept stores set for Christmas bounce

Luxury and department stores will be the biggest beneficiary of expected growth in the U.S. retail market this holiday season, according to the head of the National Retail Federation.

Matt Shay, speaking at the World Retail Congress in Berlin, said on Wednesday consumers were still looking for value, but that they were now basing this on quality and service, rather than just price, as they had done for the past two years.. . . more

REI to open three New York-area stores

Recreational Equipment Inc. said it plans to open three new stores in the New York City area next spring.

The Seattle retailer said it will open locations in Yonkers and Carle Place, N.Y., and Paramus, N.J. The new locations are in addition to REI's announcement that it will open a new location in Manhattan, N.Y. next fall. . . . more

Office Depot earns $54 million

For the third quarter, Office Depot reported earnings, after preferred stock dividends, of $54 million. That compares to a loss of $413 million in the third quarter of 2009.

However, the Boca Raton-based office supply company said sales fell 4 percent to $2.9 billion from $3.03 billion a year ago. . . . more

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Microsoft takes aim at Apple with store

The opening of another local retail store for tech shoppers Nov. 6 will have familiar elements: Grinning employees in colorful T-shirts high-fiving their first customers; cheering and chanting in the final seconds before the doors open; a minimalist and stylish environment intended to focus attention on personal computers and handheld electronic devices.

This won't be an Apple store, though. It will be a Microsoft store, debuting at the Mall of America with take-no-prisoners bravado: It will be directly across from Apple's longtime megamall store and is mimicking many of its rival's retail moves.
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Dave & Buster's getting closer to Burlington reality

Dave & Buster's, the Texas-based restaurant-and-arcade chain, is getting closer to becoming a reality in Burlington.

Burlington’s planning director, Tony Fields, said testimony at the Planning Board should begin in November for the proposed 660-seat, 35,000 square-feet complex. Dave & Buster's took out their application in June.. . . more

Monday, October 25, 2010

Holiday shoppers gearing up to open their wallets

Tight-fisted Americans may be ready to explode. Retail experts are predicting a much better holiday shopping season than last year, largely due to pent-up demand.

Since the worst recession since the Great Depression began at the end of 2007, Americans have kept their hands on their wallets, sending sales plummeting and giving the Grinch a run for his money.. . . more

Markets Smell Recovery as Consumers Drive Retail Sales

American shoppers are set to become the economy’s new source of strength.

Economists lifted estimates for consumer purchases in the third quarter after retail sales climbed more than forecast in September and the government said gains in the prior two months were larger than previously reported. Predictions of a 3 percent or more increase by RBS Securities Inc. and 2.6 percent by Morgan Stanley would mean the most robust household spending of the recovery. . . . more

Commercial pause in local real estate

The commercial real-estate market must adapt to the needs of today's shopper if it is going to grow, experts said last week.

The foreclosure of the Mall at Whitney Field last month is a sign of the times, and it's not just the economic climate. Experts say enclosed malls have seen their heyday, and that people are now looking forward to the convenience so-called "lifestyle" or "power centers" have to offer.. . . more

General Growth close to naming new CEO

General Growth Properties Inc is close to reaching a final agreement with Sandeep Mathrani, Vornado Realty Trust vice president, to become the No. 2 U.S. mall owner's new chief executive officer once it emerges from bankruptcy next month, a source familiar with the situation said.

The incoming board of the No. 2 U.S. mall owner met on Friday and has reached an agreement in principal with Mathrani, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Final negotiations are ongoing.. . . more

Office Depot Chairman and CEO Odland resigns

Office Depot Inc. announced this morning that its chairman and chief executive, Steve Odland, is resigning.

The disclosure of Odland's departure comes only days after the Boca Raton-based office supplies retailer agreed to pay more than $1 million in penalties to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe that the company, Odland, and a former executive had improper contact with certain analysts and major investors.. . . more

A&P’s loss doubles in Q2

The owner of the struggling Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. supermarket chain said in a news release Thursday it has completed the first phase of its turnaround plan by cutting jobs and reducing costs. It also announced that its second-quarter loss doubled in the period as revenue continued falling.

The company’s CEO Sam Martin said the quarter's results were "disappointing" but said the company's turnaround plan will help improve business.. . . more

Neiman Marcus to Open New Bargain Outlets

Neiman Marcus may be known as a place for Texas-size yearnings and price tags, but in a sign of the economic times for luxury retailers, the company is being drawn to a less haughty shopper.

The retailer, based in Dallas, is preparing to open a new line of outlet stores this fall called Last Call Studio, which will sell clothes that have never passed through a Neiman Marcus or even the retailer’s existing chain of Last Call outlet stores.. . . more

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hartford’s realty in bottom five

Hartford's commercial real estate market, along with Detroit, Trenton, N.J., Phoenix and Las Vegas, make up the five worst in the nation, The Associated Press reports, citing a study from Moody's Investors Services.

In compiling its survey, Moody's found conditions in the commercial market improved nationwide in the third quarter, with all seven property types moving out of weak rankings.

Demand for retail properties increased in the third quarter. . . more

New store proposed for JFK Plaza in Waterville, ME

A Tractor Supply Co. store will open in part of the former L.L. Bean call center at JFK Plaza early next year, if all goes according to plan.
The Planning Board voted 6-0 Monday to approve revisions to a previously-approved plan for the plaza.. . . more

Fresh Fruit Concept Evolving into Worldwide Chain

Most retailers have had slow growth plans since 2007. But Edible Arrangements, a Wallingford, Conn.-based chain that specializes in assembling elaborate bouquets of sculpted fruit for special occasions, has not been one of them.

The company offers a strong example to other tenants of how it is possible to expand, even amid a deep slump in consumer spending. In 2010 alone the company has opened a total of 69 new stores to date and plans to open between 30 and 40 additional stores before the year’s close.. . . more

RI unemployment to 11.5%, lowest since July 2009

Unemployment in Rhode Island fell three-tenths of a percentage point in September to 11.5 percent, continuing a downward trend and marking the lowest jobless rate in the state since July 2009.

The state Department of Labor and Training said on Friday that Rhode Island's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the seventh consecutive month.

The state's jobless rate is still much higher than the national rate, which stood at 9.6 in August.. . . more

GGP Proves Chapter 11 Restructuring Works for REITs

General Growth Properties Inc. will emerge from Chapter 11 restructuring early next month. With the company’s plan of reorganization confirmed by Judge Allan Gropper of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, GGP has become one of the few REITs to emerge from bankruptcy, and certainly the largest one to do so.

“From a purely technical point of view, GGP is a great illustration of why bankruptcy works,” says a source close to the transaction. “For the right kind of situation, bankruptcy is the only way to protect everyone’s interests.”. . . more

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bravo Brio plans initial public offering

Restaurant operator Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Inc. could raise as much as $80 million in an initial public offering expected this week.

Bravo Brio operates two Italian casual dining chains on the higher end of the sector: Bravo! Cucina Italiana and Brio Tuscan Grille. The company operates 47 Bravo restaurants in 20 states and 38 Brio restaurants in 17 states. . . more

Dartmouth puts brakes on Black Friday shopping

A Massachusetts town has approved tough new measures on retailers who want to open between midnight and 4 a.m. on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Under a bylaw approved Tuesday, stores that want to open early must seek a waiver and submit a police-reviewable safety plan to the town.. . . more

Tractor Supply income soars

Tractor Supply Co., a retailer of farm and ranch supplies, said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income rose 46 percent on increased sales of pet-related products and warm-weather items.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 5 percent. . . . more

Barnes & Noble chair won't bid without OK from committee

The chairman of bookseller Barnes & Noble said he won't form a group of investors to buy the company without consent of a special committee formed to evaluate offers.In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Riggio said he is "committed to a fair and transparent process that is designed to ensure that no potential bidder or investor has any advantage."

Barnes & Noble Inc. put itself up for sale in August in response to pressure from billionaire activist investor Ron Burkle. It subsequently won a proxy battle waged by Burkle.. . . more

Rite Aid testing co-branded store conversion with Sav-A-Lot

The conversion of four Rite Aid locations into co-branded Save-A-Lot/Rite Aid stores is complete, the drug store chain said Thursday.
As previously reported by Drug Store News, Rite Aid said it would convert some of its stores in South Carolina to also include a Save-A-Lot limited assortment grocery store. The four locations, which include two stores in Simpsonville, one in Greer and one in Travelers Rest, S.C., were part of the 10-store test Rite Aid announced in late September.. . . more

Wal-Mart's bid to build near Virginia battlefield set for court hearing

A hearing on a planned Walmart store near an endangered Civil War battlefield in northern Virginia has been delayed.

Lawyers were expected in Orange County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon, but the hearing was continued. The clerk's office said Thursday a new hearing date has not been set.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New England recovery continues but hiring limited

New England's economic recovery continues to advance as most businesses report improving sales, but limited hiring, according to a Federal Reserve survey released today.

The survey, which comes out eight times a year, found conditions for most industries are improved from a year ago, although commercial real estate and housing markets continue to struggle. . . . more

Redevelopment Authority approves sale of 45 acres to Mashpees

The Fall River Redevelopment Authority voted 3-1 Tuesday to sell 45 acres of a 300-acre parcel off Route 24 for an envisioned casino resort to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for $4.5 million, with an option to buy the remainder by mid-2012.

Like the prior deal the Authority approved but never signed, the tribe would hold an option to buy the remaining acreage for a total of $21 million.
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Developer Hopes to Bring Landmark Mall Back to Life

Right off I-395 and Duke Street, Landmark Mall is in a highly visible and populated area of Alexandria, Va., but over the past 10 years, the mall has slowly declined.
Much of the decline has been because big name stores like the Gap and Lord and Taylor have also gone elsewhere. To get the 51-acre area back on its feet, Val Hawkins is working with Alexandria and developer General Growth Properties to create a shopping, residential and commercial space that will cost about $400 million.. . . more

With stock in slump, Christopher & Banks CEO is out

Women's clothing retailer Christopher & Banks Corp. of Plymouth said Tuesday it had replaced CEO Lorna Nagler with chairman Larry Barenbaum, who will serve as interim CEO until a replacement can be hired.

Nagler, 53, took over as CEO in August 2007, a difficult time for the retailer because consumer spending was flat, and women's clothing retailers had been hit particularly hard. She was the fourth CEO at the firm in two years.. . . more

Holiday Shoppers Leaving Consumer Electronics Channel

Fewer shoppers plan to buy their holiday gift electronics at CE specialty stores, a new survey by The NPD Group shows.

According to the research firm's Annual Holiday Survey, CE stores dropped from fourth to sixth place on NPD's top 10 ranking of retail distribution channels, with only 19 percent of respondents saying they plan to shop there, down from 26 percent last year.

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Supervalu price cuts to pressure grocers

Supervalu Inc said it is preparing a new round of price cuts to win back lost customers, crushing hopes that the grocery industry could end the brutal competition that has dented profits over the last year.

Supervalu hopes its strategy will change consumers' views that prices at some of its supermarkets are higher than at competing stores, Chief Executive Craig Herkert said on a conference call.. . . more

Home Depot looks for U.S. growth

Home Depot Inc. thinks home is the best place to improve sales in the near-term, the retailer's chief executive said on Monday.

The home-improvement retailer will focus on the United States for growth for now as it has yet to find the right model to expand in China and other markets have either been tapped out or are not yet ripe for entry, CEO Frank Blake told Reuters in an exclusive interview.. . . more

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Blockbuster Failed at Failing

In retrospect, it seems obvious that the practice of driving to a store to rent a movie to watch at home was preordained to extinction. The surprise, and the business tragedy, is this: the company that delivers movies to 15 million doorsteps these days isn't Blockbuster — the retail chain that once dominated the industry — but an upstart, Netflix, that used little more than a website and knowledge of the postal service to topple a far more powerful and wealthy rival.

It had been clear for years that Blockbuster's model was unsustainable. Heck, Netflix was operating for six years before Blockbuster launched its own movie-by-mail service.. . . more

U.S. shoppers seen spending more at Christmas

Shoppers plan to spend more during the Christmas holiday season for the first time since a recession hit three years ago, according to a survey released on Monday.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 in holiday shopping this year, an increase of 1 percent from 2009, according to the National Retail Federation, a retail industry trade group.. . . more

Supervalu reports 2ndquarter loss

Grocer Supervalu says it had a steep loss of $1.47 billion in the fiscal second quarter due to charges tied to a labor dispute at its Shaw's chain and employee-related costs.

Supervalu, one of the weaker grocers going into the recession, has struggled with intense competition and finding the balance between customers' need for low prices and fluctuating food costs.

. . . more

Monday, October 18, 2010

Booze, coming to a Starbucks near you

If you thought the coffee at Starbucks was addictive, wait until you try the beer and wine.

Starbucks is experimenting with adult beverages at one of its "learning lab" locations in Seattle. The coffee chain said Monday that it has reopened its Olive Way store in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood after an extensive redesign.
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The Next Level: Blockbuster's Uncertain Future

In the nineteen-eighties, a new kind of chain store came to dominate American shopping: the “category killer.” These stores killed off all competition in a category by stocking a near-endless variety of products at prices that small retailers couldn’t match. Across America, independent stores went out of business, and the suburban landscape became freckled with Toys R Us, CompUSA, and Home Depot superstores. But the category killers’ reign turned out to be more fragile than expected. In the past decade, CompUSA and Circuit City have disappeared. Toys R Us has struggled to stay afloat, and Barnes & Noble is in the midst of a boardroom battle prompted by financial woes. And, last month, Blockbuster finally admitted the inevitable and declared Chapter 11. . . more

The Recession is Over: Department Stores Expand Again

In the depths of the recession, it seemed that perhaps department stores were going the way of the dodo. But then, slowly, customers returned. Comparable-store sales begin to rise, even at previously struggling luxury-end department stores such as Neiman Marcus. Earlier this month, both Macy’s (M) and JCPenney (JCP) turned in sales higher than their estimates.

Now, the once-unthinkable is occurring — chain after chainis announcing plans for new stores. It appears America isn’t done with shopping these old-time department-store brands. . . . more

Filene’s site has buyers lining up

More than a half-dozen developers, including some of the biggest names in the region, are vying to buy the Filene’s building site in Downtown Crossing, an eyesore that has become one of the hottest properties on the Boston market.
Since the current owner put it up for sale two weeks ago, the property has drawn interest from some major players in the real estate business. . . . more

Coach Eyeing Growth With Factory Stores

Coach ruffled some feathers when it last reported results in August, despite besting expectations.

The maker of designer handbags and high-end accessories announced a strategic change at that time: For the first time since the company came public in 2000, Coach said it would open more factory stores than full-price stores.. . . more

Should Walmart Grow so Fast?

We're sure landlords will be happy about this news: Walmart plans to open between 185 and 205 stores domestically next year. But is this such a good idea when the retailer's sales are down due to its core customer still getting hammered by the recession?

One strategy that seems like it will work well is the opening of smaller-format stores in urban areas and smaller markets. Walmart has between 30 and 40 of those on tap for next year, and we would assume that urban locations especially will be a big hit with consumers.. . . more

Loehmann's to close up to 15 stores over 12 months

Discount department store retailer Loehmann's said late Thursday that it will shutter as many as 15 stores over the next year and sell off the inventory.

Loehmann's Capital Corp., which is restructuring debt coming due next year, said more than half of its noteholders have agreed to let the company close the stores.

Loehmann’s, which is owned by Dubai investment group Istithmar, a unit of Dubai World, operates 60 stores in 16 states.. . . more

Anthropologie to Open Accessories-Only Store

Anthropologie is opening an accessories-only store Oct. 29 in Chevy Chase, Md., the first of several new retail concepts it will roll out.

Glen Senk, chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters Inc., Anthropologie’s parent, has said the company was close to finding a location for Leifsdottir in Manhattan and revealed the brand will open its first wedding store “somewhere like Texas, Nashville or Chicago.”
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JC Penney enacts 'poison pill' after Ackman move

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. says it is implementing a one-year "poison pill" in an effort to ward off any hostile takeover attempts in the wake of activist investor William Ackman taking a large stake in the company.

Ackman and his hedge fund Pershing Square Management on Oct. 8 disclosed a nearly 17 percent stake in J.C. Penney.
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Target Says ‘Small is Beautiful’

Target Corporation in order to tap the urban markets, where real estate remains a constraint, plans to introduce smaller format stores similar to that of its biggest rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The company informed that the new stores will vary in size from 60,000 to 100,000 square feet compared to its typical format of 125,000 to 180,000 square feet.

Target, will unveil its first smaller format store of about 90,000 square feet in Seattle in 2012, with plans of opening similar format stores in 10 U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore and Miami.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Shopper resurgence gains strength

Retail sales rose in September, the government reported Friday, fueling hopes that momentum will translate into a robust holiday shopping season for retailers.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 0.6% from the previous month to $367.7 billion, compared with August's upwardly revised 0.7% jump. Economists surveyed by had anticipated that September sales would grow 0.4%.
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Movie Gallery selling brands including Game Crazy

Movie Gallery Inc.,the rental video chain that filed for bancruptcy protection in February, plans to sell off its store brands Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery and Game Crazy, as well as their Web domain names and customer databases in an auction in the first half of November.

The company said Thursday that it and its debtors had filed a motion for the bancruptcy court to approve the auction.. . . more

Local food becomes priority at Wal-Mart

But advocates of sustainable farming wonder how ‘local’ world’s largest grocer can be

The local-and-sustainable food movement has spread to the nation’s largest retailer.

Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday announced a program that focuses on sustainable agriculture among its suppliers as the company tries to reduce its overall environmental impact.. . . more

Consumer Prices in U.S. Increase Less Than Forecast

The cost of living in the U.S. rose less than forecast in September, indicating companies are keeping a lid on price increases to stoke demand.

The consumer-price index rose 0.1 percent after 0.3 percent gains in the prior two months, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 0.2 percent gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Excluding volatile food and fuel costs, the so-called core rate was unchanged for a second month.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Study Says Value Added Tax Would Cause Loss of 850,000 Jobs

Creation of a European-style Value Added Tax being proposed by some Washington policymakers to reduce the federal deficit would result in the loss of 850,000 jobs in the first year, reduce gross domestic product for three years, and bring a permanent drop in retail spending totaling $2.5 trillion over the first 10 years, according to a comprehensive new economic analysis conducted for the National Retail Federation.               

“Supporters claim a VAT is the solution to the nation’s economic ills, but nothing could be further from the truth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. . . . more

ShopRite Opens New Maryland Store

ShopRite's expansion into Maryland continued Tuesday when a new outlet opened here, its first in Anne Arundel County.

The store is operated by Collins Family Markets, a member of the Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative. Collins runs other ShopRite stores in Philadelphia.  . . . more

British Chain Accessorize to Make U.S. Debut

When it comes to accessories, the British definitely know how to do it right.

Now we Yanks can join the party with the upcoming US debut  of the UK accessories chain Accessorize.

Set to launch stores on New York City's Bleecker Street Oct. 28 and Union Square West Nov. 18, the trendy retailer plans to open 100 stateside boutiques by 2015. . . . more

Gymboree Accepts Buyout Offer

The shares of Gymboree Corporation soared 22.4% to close at $64.83 on Monday and up to $65 mid-day Tuesday, after news of the company’s acceptance of the $1.8 billion buyout offer from Bain Capital Partners hit the market. The investment firm will acquire all the outstanding shares of the company, which currently stand at approximately 27 million shares, for $65.40 per share.

Gymboree, the children’s clothing retailer, notified that the acquisition price reflects a 57.4% premium to the company's closing price on September 30, 2010, before the possible transaction was speculated, and represents a 23.5% premium to last Friday’s closing price of $52.95.
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Wal-Mart has sights on small stores

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executives are committed to growing the company at home as well as abroad and will deploy smaller-format stores as it expands in big cities where it has little presence, executives told retail analysts Wednesday.

Supercenters, which have driven much of the company’s sales as it grew to be world’s largest retailer, still figure prominently in Wal-Mart’s future. But the company’s U.S. operations in the future will include a medium format of 30,000 to 60,000 square feet as well as a small format of less than 30,000 squarefeet for big cities and small towns.. . . more

Gap Inc. Updates Investors on Strategic Plan for the Next Three to Five Years

Gap Inc., one of the world’s largest specialty retailers, today updated investors on the company’s initiatives to increase its share of the $1.4 trillion global apparel market, through a combination of international and online expansion and improvements in the North American business.

“While never losing sight of our goal to gain market share in our North American businesses, our strong portfolio of brands combined with several powerful platforms such as outlet, online and franchise give us significant global runway,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap Inc. “We’re making the investments necessary to shift the balance of revenue over time to come increasingly from our online and international businesses.” . . . more

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nordstrom September Sales Rise

Nordstrom Inc's same-store sales for September 2010 improved 7.5% compared with September 2009. Total retail sales were $810 million, up 12.5% from $720 million September 2009.
The company reported an increase in same-store sales of 9.3% in the year to date. Total retail sales improved 14.1% to $5.83 billion from $5.11 billion for the same period in fiscal 2009.. . . more

Landlords Hope Pop-Ups Will Turn Permanent in 2010

As the 2010 holiday shopping season draws near, retailers have started rolling out ambitious pop-up store campaigns to take advantage of empty mall corners and drive up holiday sales revenue.

In the past few weeks, Toys ‘R’ Us, Borders, Build-a-Bear Workshop and Harry & David, among others, either announced plans to increase the number of pop-up store openings from last year or to foray into pop-ups for the first time. For their part, landlords hope all this pop-up activity will lead to permanent lease deals.. . . more

Wegmans’ first Mass. store coming to Northborough

After years of delays, the New York grocery chain Wegmans is opening its first Massachusetts store in Northborough, where it is planning a 135,000-square-foot behemoth that will rival the state’s largest supermarkets.
The store will anchor a $100 million shopping and residential complex called Northborough Crossing, which will include more than 380 homes, a Kohl’s, Golf Town, T.J. Maxx, and Toys ‘R’ Us, among other stores.. . . more