Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lifestyle Centers Back in Favor with Investors, Provided Fundamentals Are Strong Enough

It may be hard to believe after the bad rap lifestyle centers had gotten during the downturn, but investors are once again interested in this product type, even if they’ve become much pickier about which properties they are willing to put money in.

Statistics put together by Real Capital Analytics, a New York City-based research firm, show that year-to-date investment sales volume in the lifestyle center sector, including closed deals and transactions under contract, totals $1.7 billion. That would put 2013 on track to match or break the record set in 2007, when lifestyle center sales totaled $1.75 billion. . . more

Northwest Retailer Coldwater Creek Hopes Makeover Will Pay Off

File photo of a Coldwater Creek retail store.This holiday shopping season, women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek is trying to make it back into the black.

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company known for its distinctively Northwest style has had years of declining sales. The company’s new strategy comes straight from the pages of the catalogs that made it famous.. . . more

For U.S. stores it is ugly out there: in more ways than one

A discounted price is seen at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles in this November 26, 2013, file photo. REUTERS-Kevork Djansezian-FilesThe 2013 holiday shopping season may end up being remembered for its ugly sweaters and, for many retailers, even uglier discounts.

With growing online competition, weak consumer confidence and no fashion must-haves, most U.S. retailers will have to offer both big discounts and stellar service to get consumers to spend freely, according to analysts who joined Reuters reporters on visits to stores in New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois ahead of the holiday season.. . . more

Online holiday spending off to solid start

For the holiday season-to-date (Nov. 1 - 24), $18.9 billion has been spent online using desktop computers, up 14% versus the corresponding days last year, according to comScore. Tuesday, November 19 was the heaviest online spending day of the season to date at $963 million. Two other shopping days – Thursday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 24 – have also seen at least $900 million in online retail spending. . . .more

Fitch Ratings expects modest improvements in retail sales growth in 2014

Fitch Ratings expects total U.S. retail sales growth in the 4% range in 2014, a modest increase over expected 2013 figures that reflects slight improvement in both the employment rate and real wages.

Fitch expects 2013 holiday sales to grow in the 3%-4% range, in line with The National Retail Federation forecasts that November and December sales will increase 3.9% year over year to $602 billion.
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Simon bucks outdoor mall trend, throws off cash in Chestnut Hill

Simon Property Group is proving that the traditional indoor mall is still viable. That is, at least in Chestnut Hill.

Recent financial filings indicate the 40-year-old Mall at Chestnut Hill is throwing off loads of cash and is near full occupancy with three new restaurant leases that promise to deliver hundreds-of-thousands in annual rent.
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