Tuesday, November 30, 2010

US consumer confidence hits five-month high

US consumer confidence brightened in November to the highest level in five months, a key index showed Tuesday as the holiday shopping season swings into high gear.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose for the second straight month to 54.1 in November, much better than the 52.0 expected.. . . more

Lowe's reaffirms view, to tell of new growth plans

Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos. reiterated its sales and profit outlook for its current fiscal 2010 fiscal year, and it said it would announce new strategies to serve what it called more exacting consumers.

In a statement issued ahead of Lowe's analyst and investor conference, Chief Executive Robert Niblock said the company has contended with an uncertain housing environment and a "declining industry.". . . more

B&N loss narrows; e-book push weighs on outlook

Barnes & Noble Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed, but results missed expectations and the book seller issued a weak outlook as it continued to invest in an effort to sell more electronic books.

The company said Thanksgiving weekend, including Black Friday, was a bright spot in the current quarter, with revenue in stores open at least a year up 17.2 percent. But it forecast third-quarter and full-year results below expectations. . . more

Sales Flat For Holiday Weekend

But more shoppers came out
A research firm says major stores took in about the same amount of money Friday, Saturday and Sunday that they did Thanksgiving weekend last year, even though more shoppers came out.

ShopperTrak, which is based in Chicago, said Monday that customer traffic rose 2.8 percent, making up for a 1.1 percent decline in 2009, but shoppers were focused on deals.. . . more

Monday, November 29, 2010

Department stores gain Black Friday traffic

U.S. shoppers spent 6.4 percent more this Black Friday weekend than last year and hit department stores and clothing shops, rather than focusing on discounters as they had done in recent years.

Analysts said that after two years of flocking to Wal-Mart and even dollar stores in order to save money during the economic crisis, more confident consumers may have been ready for a change.. . . more

To keep up with the big stores, small retailers get creative

Retailers of all sizes are looking for a way to stand out this holiday season, in hopes consumers will begin to loosen their purse strings again. Several leading indicators point to a resurgence in consumer confidence, including the Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. At 69.3 at the start of the month, the index posted the highest reading since June, thanks to early holiday discounts.

But the smaller independent retailers are likely to feel more pressure, if only because sales gains are projected to be modest. . . . more

Record number of shoppers poised for Cyber Monday

After brisk online sales on Thanksgiving and through the weekend, retailers plan stepped-up Web-only promotions today — known as Cyber Monday — for the expected flood of shoppers back at work or their home computers after the holiday.

Nearly 107 million people will shop online today, up from 96.5 million last year, the National Retail Federation says. About 90% of online retailers will have Cyber Monday promotions today vs. about 72% in 2007. Marketing research firm ComScore estimates online holiday sales will finish the season up 11%, compared with just 4% growth in 2009.. . . more

This Black Friday outpaces last one

Early deep discounts led the way

Holiday spending appears to be off to a respectable start, with shoppers crowding stores and malls in bigger numbers than last year on Friday and steady traffic the rest of the weekend.

Add in strong spending earlier in the month and robust sales online, and retailers are feeling encouraged. That’s particularly true because shoppers also scooped up fashion and other items for themselves, though mostly where they saw bargains. The question remains how many dollars shoppers are prepared to spend before Dec. 24 in an economy that’s still bumpy.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Top Ten Retailers for Customer Service Released as Holiday Shoppers Hit Stores

With millions of Americans beginning to flood stores and websites in search of holiday deals, the NRF Foundation, the research and education arm of the National Retail Federation, has announced the top 10 retailers for customer service selected by shoppers in the sixth annual NRF Foundation/American Express® Customers’ Choice survey. The survey, which asked 9,291 shoppers which retailer provides the best customer service, was conducted by BIGresearch.

According to shoppers, the top ten retailers for customer service, in alphabetical order, are:
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U.S. clothing company J. Crew Group Inc. said Tuesday it had agreed to sell itself to two investment funds for $3 billion.

The price, at $43.50 per outstanding common share, represents a 29 percent premium over the company's average closing price in October, J. Crew said in a statement.. . . more

Black Friday now starts Thursday

Eat your turkey early this Thanksgiving.

With consumers expected to spend a bit more this holiday season, retailers are racing to get their doors open first and lure early shoppers with doorbuster specials. More stores than ever before are open Thanksgiving Day.
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The Black Friday Survival Checklist

Black Friday shopping isn’t an excursion to take lightly -- those big sales can be a risky proposition for your wallet, your health and even your safety.
An estimated 138 million Americans will hit the stores over Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s 4 million more than did so last year, and enough that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration reached out to 14 big retailers to underscore the importance of crowd control.. . .more

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

State revokes tax breaks for mall

 Massachusetts economic development board voted to nix tax breaks to a movie theater, hair salon, and other small businesses at a new upscale outdoor mall in Hingham, nearly one year after the state tentatively approved the requests. . . more

Bugaboo Creek parent files for Chapter 11

After abruptly closing several restaurants in Massachusetts, the parent company of the Bugaboo Creek Steak House chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. CB Holding Corp. of Mountainside, N.J., is trying to use the Chapter 11 process to find a new owner for the company, which also operates the Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse and The Office Beer Bar & Grill restaurant chains. . . more

Early deals draw shoppers, raise retail spirits

Shoppers spent a bit more in early November, raising retailers' spirits about the holiday season right before it kicks into high gear.

Early discounting on everything from TVs and sweaters as well as free shipping deals helped pull in shoppers in the first two weeks of November. Consumers coming out of their shells could be a gift for an economy that has suffered from depressed spending for almost three years.
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New England Burrito Chain Starts to Break Out

When it comes to creating long-term growth plans for a restaurant chain, sometimes the wisest course is to concentrate on the short term, according to John Pepper, CEO of Boloco, an up-and-coming fast casual concept based out of Boston.

Boloco started as a school project Pepper and a few friends undertook in the course of earning their MBAs and has grown into a regional player in New England. Since its first location opened in 1997, it has maintained steady momentum—the company has 16 restaurants operating already, a 17th under construction and up to four openings in the works for next year.. . . more

From fast food to fine dining, business is up at restaurants

America's appetite for eating out is starting to rumble again.

Three years after the $580 billion restaurant industry saw its harshest downturn in decades, there are signals that the worst may be over for an industry that suffered as people saved by eating out less.. . . more

J. Crew Nears a Sale to Chairman and Buyout Firms

J. Crew, the clothier of choice for the likes of Michelle Obama, is near a deal to sell itself for about $2.8 billion to the buyout firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, people with direct knowledge of the matter told DealBook on Monday.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, TPG — a former owner of the retailer — and Leonard Green would work with the company’s chairman and chief executive, Millard S. Drexler, these people said.. . . more

Retailers Brace For Uncertain Season

Consumer spending makes up a huge majority of the United States’ economic activity, and interest rates in a continuing decline have economists anticipating a rapid uptick in spending and even a “memorable” holiday season, as Apple predicted recently.

Retailers have been reporting strong monthly sales since summer, and September’s results were especially impressive industry-wide.

But Bob Sheehan, Vice President of Research at KeyPoint Partners, a Bulington-based retail real estate firm, warned that today’s results look impressive because they’re being compared to last year’s dismal showing.  . . . more

Saladworks Opens First CT location

Saladworks, the nation’s number one fresh-tossed salad franchise, announces today the grand opening of its first location in Connecticut at the Westfield Trumbull Mall’s dining terrace. Today’s opening of Saladworks in Connecticut is the first of the franchise’s long list of store openings in new markets. Fans can anticipate new stores in California, Texas, and North Carolina in early 2011.

Saladworks’ fresh look fits perfectly in the striking transformation of Trumbull’s new dining terrace. After undergoing a 16-month renovation, the dining terrace brings a new elegance to the traditional “food court.”. . . more

Whitney sees 5,000 bank branches closing

The bank shakeout is about to pick up steam.

So says Meredith Whitney, the analyst who made headlines around this time three years ago by predicting the demise of Citi's dividend. Whitney predicts in a report released Monday afternoon that profit-strapped U.S. banks will close 5,000 branches over 18 months.

That would amount to about 5% of bank offices, and would mark a new twist in a decades-long consolidation process.. . . more

Monday, November 22, 2010

Department store refuses to rush Christmas

It's a common complaint heard for decades: retailers launch Christmas shopping campaigns earlier and earlier each year.

Even consumer advocates complain that the rush to cash in on Christmas means Thanksgiving simply gets overlooked.

But it's not an issue at Nordstrom; their halls are never decked with boughs of holly before the turkey is served. . . . more

Walmart offers price matching on Black Friday

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will match competitor prices beginning on Thanksgiving Day and running through the weekend, one of the most popular holiday shopping periods of the year.

Customers can bring in competitors ads and Walmart says it will match the price of any identical price at the register. The offer does not apply to online purchases.. . . more

Many retailers bullish on holiday sales

If holiday retail sales don't recover this year with a resounding jingle, it won't be for lack of effort.

The prevailing theory among merchants and malls: Why limit the sales surge from Black Friday merely to the Friday after Thanksgiving? How about Black November? . . . more

Borders closing 17 stores

Bad news out of Michigan on Friday. The Detroit Free Press reports that the “Borders Group plans to close 17 Borders superstores nationwide after the holidays.”

Borders sales continue to fall. The company posted a net loss of $46.7 million at the end of the second quarter. The 17 store closings include superstore closings in Santa Barbara, CA, Nassau Park, NJ, downtown Portland, OR and Marlton, NJ. . . more

Friday, November 19, 2010

Looking to expand his empire

Boston developer Steve Samuels is near a deal to buy the massive Landmark Center office and retail complex near Fenway Park, an acquisition that would give him another marquee property in a neighborhood where he already owns many of the largest buildings.

Landmark Center would be Samuels’s biggest deal yet, giving him control of a 1.5 million-square-foot complex that is home to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and retail stores such as Best Buy.. . . more

Wal-Mart Plans 1st D.C. Stores

Wal-Mart Stores said Thursday it would open four stores here by late 2012, marking the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant's first outlets in the nation's capital.  

Wal-Mart said the stores, to be between 80,000 square feet and 120,000 square feet, would create 1,200 new jobs and 400 construction jobs, and would generate an estimated $10 million in tax revenue for the District.   . . . more

Foreclosure Rate Drops To Lowest Level In Nearly 2 Years

The foreclosure rate of homes has dropped to the lowest level since the beginning of 2009 as homeowners in deep trouble on their mortgages are either getting their mortgages reworked with the banks, foreclosed upon, or participating in the federal programs.
The numbers are still extraordinarily high but the feeling that we have crested and have passed the worst is starting to take hold in the real estate community.. . .more 

Uncertainty Lingers, but Saks Is Back

Saks has made a remarkable recovery since the depths of the recession, as the luxury shopper returns quicker than even the company's chief executive ever imagined.

CEO Steve Sadove told TheStreet that Saks took advantage of the recession, making significant changes that are now starting to bear fruit. . . . more

Whole Foods’ Sears lease fits grocer’s strategy

The decision by Whole Foods Market to open a new 34,000-square-foot store inside an existing Sears building in Greensboro by 2012 is part of a long-term company strategy to roll out smaller locations across the U.S.

Whole Foods, an Austin, Texas-based natural and organic foods chain operates some stores that are more than 65,000 square feet, but has been steadily reducing the size of its locations to create a more intimate shopping environment.. . . more

Lucky Brand Opens Three New Outlet Stores

Lucky Brand recently opened three new outlet stores just in time for the holidays

Calling all bargains hunters, outlet devotees, and fashion fanatics! Lucky Brand, a retailer known for vintage-inspired jeans, recently opened three new outlet stores, two in California and one in Massachusetts. The new outlets will offer great deals on fall and holiday products to encourage customers to stop in. . . . more

Q3 breaks American ecommerce records

Recently released statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show that ecommerce is becoming an even larger economic force as more and more shoppers realize the convenience and ease of shopping online.

In the third quarter of 2010, total retail sales in the United States equaled $978.7 billion, with ecommerce sales accounting for $41.5 billion - reaching a new record high of 4.2 percent of total sales. That compares to about a 2 percent share in 2004 and 1 percent in 2000.. . . more

Coutu prescription: A U.S. deal

Those who thought Jean Coutu Group Inc. had retreated permanently to safer ground after its failed purchase of the U.S. Eckerd pharmacy chain six years ago may want to re-examine that theory.

In a recently released autobiography, the chairman and founder of Quebec's iconic drug store chain reveals his thoughts about what went wrong after Coutu bought Eckerd's 1,500 stores from J.C. Penney Co. in 2004, only to cut its losses two years later. . . . more

Thursday, November 18, 2010

N.H. recovering jobs

State may return to normal by 2013

New Hampshire has recovered more than half of the 30,000 jobs it lost during the recession, and the state should return to its long-term job growth trend by early 2013, according to Dennis Delay, economist with the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies.

Delay said New Hampshire reached its low point for jobs in July of last year. Since then, the state has recovered about 17,000 jobs, for a total of about 635,000 in-state jobs.. . . more

Filene’s site permits revoked

BRA says it’s in city’s best interest if Downtown Crossing development is sold

Boston officials yesterday formally revoked permits for a 39-story tower on the former Filene’s property, increasing pressure on its owners to sell the idled construction site in Downtown Crossing to a new developer.

Boston Redevelopment Authority director John Palmieri said the future of the Filene’s project should no longer be in the hands of its current owners, led by Vornado Realty Trust of New York.. . . more

Sears Holdings loss widens in 3rd quarter

Sears Holdings Corp.'s third-quarter loss widened more than expected, dragged down by continued weak revenue at its long-suffering Sears chain.

Business at its Kmart stores held up better, but they still saw a key revenue measure edge downward. The discount chain is expected to face even more pressure in the holiday quarter amid stiffer competition from rivals like Target and Wal-Mart, both of which are sharpening their merchandising in groceries.. . . more

Falling Retail Rents Mean More Store Openings

Kohl's, hhgregg, Dick's Among Major Retailers Planning To Take Advantage of More Favorable Pricing

Following the decline in retail rents since the recession, a number of retailers are reporting that they plan to step up store openings in the next couple of years to take advantage of the more favorable pricing.

According to CoStar Group analysis, retailers have no shortage of availabilities in their choice of centers as retail vacancy rates remain in the high teens. And tenants are wielding their upper hand by playing one landlord against another to obtain favorable terms.. . . more

GGP’s Emergence From Bankruptcy a Watershed Moment for Industry

General Growth Properties’emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week likely marked a turning point for the retail real estate industry.

“Our second largest owner of malls has gone through a difficult process and has survived and is going to continue operating,” says Chris Macke, senior real estate strategist with the CoStar Group, a Bethesda, Md.-based research firm. “So it’s very hopeful for the industry.”. . . more

More shoppers at malls on Black Friday weekend

As many as 138 million U.S. shoppers could be hunting for Black Friday bargains during the three days after Thanksgiving, according to a retail trade group survey released on Thursday.

Nearly 60 million Americans plan to hit the stores, while an additional 78 million might join the crowds of shoppers, the National Retail Federation said.

The total number of possible shoppers is 4 million more than forecast last year, when the NRF forecast 134 million Americans would be out shopping over the three-day weekend.. . . more

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retail Investment Sales Climate Firmed Up in Third Quarter

New data from Real Capital Analytics and CBRE Valuation & Advisory Services shows that the investment sales climate for retail properties began to firm up during the third quarter.

According to New York City-based Real Capital Analytics’ Retail Quarter in Review, the investment market for commercial real estate as a whole entered the fourth quarter in its strongest position since late 2007. Sales of significant assets(transactions greater than $5 million) surged to $5.5 billion in the third quarter of 2010, up 131 percent from the third quarter of 2009 and nearly double the figure in the second quarter. It was the second most active quarter since the downturn began, only outpaced by the fourth quarter of 2009. . . . more

Mass. economy will slow, report says

The Massachusetts economy, which grew strongly in the first half of this year, will slow considerably over the next several months before accelerating again near the middle of 2011, according to a new forecast.

The forecast, released today by the nonprofit New England Economic Partnership, expects the struggling national economy to weigh on the recovery here, leading to anemic job growth through the rest of this year and into the first few months of next year. But as the national economy picks up later in 2011, so will the state economy, creating jobs at a solid clip, according to the forecast.. . . more

Growth in a Sluggish Economy Challenges REITs

Riding high following the downturn, REITs nonetheless need to focus on growth as always, Simon Property Group’s David Simon said Tuesday at REITWorld 2010. The challenge, he said, is achieving that growth amid the current economy, which he characterized as “a slow, slow recovery.”

Added Simon, chairman and CEO of the mall REIT, “I feel great about our spot, but how are we as an industry going to do it?” His comments dovetailed with an observation from fellow panelist Richard Saltzman, who noted that while overbuilding hasn’t been as prevalent this cycle, there’s a shortage of consumer-driven demand for the real estate. “It’s unclear how the demand is going to grow from here,” said Saltzman, CEO of Colony Financial.. . . more

Target sees best same-store sales in three years

Target Corp. reported Wednesday a better-than-expected 23% increase in third-quarter profit, after the No. 2 U.S. discount retailer more than doubled its credit-card segment income and expanded fresh food assortments to boost sales.

The company , which in mid-October began to give a 5% discount on most purchases made with its Target credit and debit cards to lift demand, also forecast fourth-quarter comparable sales would be the best in the past three years. . . . more

Abercrombie income rises 29% in quarter

A strong third-quarter report from Abercrombie & Fitch has prompted some to wonder: Has the New Albany-based teen retailer finally turned the corner financially?

Touting its growing international sales, Abercrombie reported that its third-quarter income increased 29percent.. . . more

Economy splits for Wal-Mart, Saks clienteles

Third-quarter earnings reports from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Saks Fifth Avenue show the far different streets their customers are living on.

Wal-Mart’s third-quarter sales in the U.S. got squeezed as its financially strapped customers dealt with dire economic straits. Saks’ affluent clientele, encouraged by a rallying stock market, is starting to spend again, albeit cautiously, and is willing to shell out full price for designer labels more often.. . . more

Dollar Tree Completes Acquisition of Canadian Dollar Giant Stores

Dollar Tree, Inc.  today announced that it has completed its purchase of the assets of the Dollar Giant Store  Ltd. Under the terms of the agreement, Dollar Tree acquired 86 Dollar Giant stores including substantially all assets, inventory, leasehold rights and intellectual property for approximately $52 million  in cash, plus the assumption of certain liabilities. This is Dollar Tree’s first expansion of its retail operations outside of the United States.

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dollar Giant stores offer a wide assortment of quality general merchandise, contemporary seasonal goods and everyday consumables, all priced at $1.25 or less. The stores average 9,000 gross square feet and operate in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. . . . more

Christopher & Banks Corporation Updates Third Quarter Fiscal 2011 Outlook

Christopher & Banks Corporation (NYSE: CBK), a specialty women’s apparel retailer, today announced updated financial expectations for its third fiscal quarter ending November 27, 2010.

Same-store sales for the third fiscal quarter, as compared to last year’s third quarter, are now anticipated to decline 8% to 10%. Total gross margin is now expected to decrease by 500 to 650 basis points for the quarter, as compared to last year’s third quarter rate of 40.8%, due primarily to increased promotional activity and deleveraging of buying and occupancy expense, in addition to higher product costs.  . . . more

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Americans spend 42 hours each on holiday shopping and partying

Ever wonder how much time we devote to celebrating the winter holidays? According to the latest Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, the average American expects to spend about 42 hours buying, wrapping, and returning gifts, as well as partying and traveling to visit family and friends. 

Here’s a look at how Americans will be spending their time this holiday season:. . . more

Retailers rediscovering outlet and off-price shopping

Shoppers with upscale tastes but shallow pockets are finding more shopping choices with a recent resurgence in outlet and off-price stores being rolled out by major retailers.

Discount shopping isn't new. Bargain shoppers have trekked out to outlet malls for decades seeking discounts. Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, who buy leftover goods from department stores and other places and sell them at a markdown, have prospered during the weak economy.
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Loehmann's clothing chain files for bankruptcy

Designer discount retailer Loehmann's Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday as it tries to cut $115 million in debt. The New York-based company said it hopes to conduct a quick restructuring that will allow it to emerge from bankruptcy early next year.

The chain reported assets of $204.5 million and debt of $232.7 million in the bankruptcy filing. Loehmann's has 48 stores in 13 states and 1,900 employees, court documents show.. . . more

Bugaboo Creek, Charlie Brown's Steakhouse closing restaurants

The New Jersey company that operates Charlie Brown Steakhouse restaurants announced today the closure of 20 restaurants, including 13 in New Jersey.

The company is also closing two Charlie Brown's in New York and five in Pennsylvania. CB Holdings also announced the closure of 10 Bugaboo Creek Steak House locations in Atlanta and Massachusetts.. . . more

Sears to open 85 toy shops ahead of holidays

U.S. retailer Sears Holdings Corp plans to launch toy shops within 85 of its namesake stores in select U.S. markets next month as it looks for a bigger bite of the holiday sales pie, a senior executive said.

The move from the operator of Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain comes as competition heats up in the toy retail arena ahead of the biggest selling season of the year.. . . more

New state liquor store to be built near mall

The state liquor store at 27 Coliseum Ave. near the Nashua Mall will soon be demolished and replaced by a new, 20,000-square-foot facility that is expected to open in June.

There will be no interruption in customer service while the new $3.5 million outlet is built behind the current store, according to Craig Bulkley, director of administration for the state Liquor Commission. . . more

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wal-Mart expands Black Friday hours, unveils deals

Wal-Mart plans to open most of its stores at midnight the day after Thanksgiving, the company said Monday, becoming the latest in a series of retailers to expand hours to lure in shoppers who want to get a head-start on holiday bargain shopping.

The world’s largest retailer also is offering shoppers a sneak preview of the discounts it has planned, from laptops to jeans.. . . more

Red Lobster Debuts New Restaurant Design Inspired by the New England Coast

Red Lobster today announced a plan to remodel all of its nearly 700 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada in a style reminiscent of the seaside village of Bar Harbor, Maine. Along with a fresh, updated look, Red Lobster is introducing new lunch and dinner menu items, inspired by the flavors of America, that range in price from $8.99 to $18.50. The updated setting and new entrees offer guests the chance to experience fresh, delicious, affordable seafood in a warm, welcoming environment.. . . more

Starbucks to Open 500 New Stores

Starbucks said the global economic recovery is prompting it to open an average of more than one store each day before the end of its current fiscal year.

"Our ability to navigate through the financial crisis and come out much stronger gives us reason to start growing the company again," CEO Howard Schultz told Bloomberg in an interview in China's Yunnan province.

Shultz told the news outlet that Starbucks plans to open 500 stores this fiscal year, 400 of which will be outside the U.S. . . more

Retail Sales in U.S. Rose 1.2% in October, Most in Seven Months

Retail sales in the U.S. climbed in October by the most in seven months, a sign consumers may play a bigger role in the recovery.

Purchases rose 1.2 percent, exceeding the highest forecast among economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, after a 0.7 percent September increase that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. . . . more

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nike planning to open 250 to 300 new stores globally

ViewMediaNike Inc. has set in motion a plan to expand its global retail foothold by opening 250 to 300 new stores over the next five years.

That expansion includes a Nike Factory Store that opened at the Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The new store is Nike's 15th factory store in California. Nike currently has 155 factory stores open in the U.S.. . . more

JCPenney creates new division, plans three new businesses

JCPenney Co. plans to open three businesses next year with identities separate from its 108-year-old name and has created a "growth brands" division to run these and future start-ups.

The Plano-based chain of 1,100 department stores is under pressure to prove it can grow again as activist investors, who disclosed a 26 percent stake in the company last month, intend to have ongoing discussions with management. . . . more

Kohl's finds deals too good to pass up

 Kohl's Corp. says it will open 40 U.S. stores in 2011- more than originally planned - after the Menomonee Falls-based retailer found real estate deals it couldn't pass up.

And Kohl's continues to look across the border into Canada, according to Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mansell.. . . more

Gator Investments cashes in on bottom feeding in MA

Jim Goldsmith is proving there’s easy money to be made by trading for troubled properties in the Bay State.

Goldsmith’s Gator Investments, a property owner and manager based in Miami Beach, invested in a little strip mall in Norton last year and is sitting pretty with the addition of three new tenants in the past month.
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Day for tears at Tim Horton's

As many as 750 Tim Hortons employees and franchise owners lost their jobs Thursday when the Canada-based coffee-shop chain announced the closing of 36 stores in New England, including 10 locally.

The chain, named after a famous former Maple Leafs hockey player, said it is closing all of its 34 stores in Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as two shops in Portland, Maine, and 18 self-serve kiosks.. . . more

Joseph-Beth books files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The Joseph-Beth Group has filed for federal bankruptcy protection while the bookseller restructures with fewer stores.

Sea Dog Brew Pub plans Woburn opening

A Sea Dog Brew Pub is set to open in mid-December in Woburn, the pub's ownership group said, and the new pub's executive chef will be Jason Carron, formerly of Fleming’s Boston.

The ownership group is made up of Peter Lucido and Jeff Boisseau of the Greatest Bar; Aaron Sells of Altus Marketing & Management, a Boston marketing firm; and Michael Nedeau of Party By Design.. . . more

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bob's Discount Furniture to open 40th store next month

Bob's Discount Furniture will open its 40th store here Nov. 20, continuing its aggressive Northeastern expansion.

The 43,500-square-foot store is opening in the former Woodhaven Lanes bowling Alley on Woodhaven Boulevard and will bring 55 jobs to the community. The store follows Bob's openings earlier this year in Manhattan, Nesconset and Flushing, N.Y., and Secaucus, N.J., and will give the Top 100 company 40 stores throughout New England, New Jersey and New York.. . . more

Wal-Mart offering free shipping for online buys

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is going for the jugular in the holiday retailing war, announcing Thursday that it will offer free shipping on nearly 60,000 online items -- with no minimum purchase requirement.
The nation's biggest retailer, long known for its low prices, is raising the stakes just over two weeks before Black Friday, viewed as the official kickoff of holiday shopping.. . . more