Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Torrington’s Party Store to hold closing auction May 4

The Party Store at 132 Water St. is closing its doors after 30 years in business in the same location.
In September 2013 the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a site plan for the Northwest Hills Community Church to relocate from it’s 1701 East Main Street location to 132 Water St. The city approved extensive renovations to the existing building as well as landscaping and parking spaces.. . . more

Consumers to spend less on Mother’s Day

Consumers this year will celebrate Mother’s Day keeping practicality in mind. According to NRF’s 2014 Mother’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, Americans will spend an average of $162.94 on Mother’s Day in 2014, down 3.5% from a survey high of $168.94 in 2013. Total spending is expected to reach $19.9 billion.

Most consumers will purchase a greeting card (81.3%), and two-thirds (66.6%) of those celebrating will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.3 billion, and 33.5% will spend a total of $1.7 billion on apparel and accessory items. Other popular items include books and CDs ($480 million), housewares or gardening tools ($812 million), personal experience gifts like a day at the spa ($1.5 billion), jewelry ($3.6 billion), and special outings like brunch or dinner ($3.8 billion).. . . more

Wal-Mart Brings One-Stop Shopping to Car Insurance

Wal-Mart is bringing one-stop shopping to another area: auto insurance.

The world's largest retailer has teamed up with AutoInsurance.com to let shoppers quickly find and buy insurance policies online in real time to cut down costs.

The service is available immediately in eight states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. It will be available nationwide in the next few months.. . . more

Tile Shop swings to profit in Q1; on track for 20 new stores

The Tile ShopTile Shop Holdings Inc. reported net income of $3.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, a substantial improvement from a net loss of $44.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier. The retailer plans to open 20 new stores during fiscal 2014.

For the full fiscal year, Tile Shop expects net sales of $280 million to $290 million and same-store sales growth of 4%-6%.. . . more

Lumber Liquidators net income falls as sales climb; plans 35-40 new stores

Net income at Lumber Liquidators decreased 13.2% to $13.7 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to $15.8 million in the same period the prior year. During fiscal 2014, the retailer intends to open 35 to 40 new store locations in the expanded showroom format and remodel 25 to 30 existing stores in the expanded showroom format.

During the quarter, net sales increased 6.9% to $246.3 million, from $230.4 million. Same-store sales dropped 0.6%.. . . more

How 2 New Technologies Could Affect the Retail Industry

With the surplus of goods and services showering the market, gaudy and shiny products don't grab attention for long anymore. Consumers today are seeking out unique and authentic experiences. As a result, the future of retail lies in reinventing and preserving the in-store experience.

Control Group put together a white paper examining several emerging trends in retail technology that, if embraced, could enable brick-and-mortar retailers to take the shopping experience to the next level.. . . more

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lidl postpones plan to open U.S. stores to 2018

Klaus Gehrig, chief executive of the Schwarz Group which owns Lidl, told German local newspaper Heilbronner Stimme that preparations to enter the United States were proceeding apace but the first stores were only planned for 2018.
Lidl, which has expanded rapidly in Europe to some 9,000 stores in 26 countries, had been expected to open 100 stores in the United States as early as next year, mainly in East Coast markets like its German arch-rival Aldi.. . . more

Starbucks' growth strategy? Open more Starbucks

You might think there couldn't possibly be any room left in America for another Starbucks, but the company would beg to differ.

In fact, CEO Howard Schultz said last week the company is "significantly under-stored" in North America, which is why he wants to add many more locations. The company is planning 1,500 more stores globally this year, including 600 in North America. Many of those locations will be drive-throughs.. . . more

Net Lease Investors Veer Off the Conventional Path

Fitness centers, education facilities and specialty medical buildings that emerged as alternative net lease assets a few years ago are showing up in more property portfolios as investors hunt for yield in an increasingly crowded conventional net lease market.

Investors may not consider the properties part of the net lease mainstream yet, but the growing momentum suggests that perceptions could soon change: Non-traditional assets are starting to trade with more frequency and, subsequently, capitalization rates have started to compress, say net lease experts.. . . more

Target names new chief information officer

Target hired a new chief information officer to help overhaul its data security systems in the wake of a massive pre-Christmas data breach.

The Minneapolis-based discounter said Tuesday that it named outsider Bob DeRodes, who has 40 years of experience in information technology and replaces Beth Jacob, who abruptly left in early March. DeRodes has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice.. . . more

GameStop to close 120-130 stores; open 300-400 tech stores under new banners

GameStop Corp. will close 120-130 of its 6,457 stores worldwide in 2014 and add 300 to 400 new tech stores under three different banners: Spring Mobile, Cricket and Simply Mac. The closures and openings are part of the company’s new “GameStop3.0” repositioning. The new strategy emphasizes mobile-gaming.

In the current fiscal year, GameStop expects to open between 200 and 250 Spring Mobile stores. Simply Mac will see another 20-25 stores added in markets underserved by Apple's own retail chain. GameStop is expecting to add another 100 to 150 Cricket locations to the 31 it was running at the end of its last fiscal year. . . . more

Walsh administration provides $3M for Upham’s Corner improvements

0428 Uphams CornerMayor Martin J. Walsh and the city’s Department of Public Works are boosting the investment in Dorchester's Upham’s Corner with $3.1 million to improve streets, sidewalks and public spaces.

 Public investments include:
  • A $1.5 million sound and lighting system for the Strand Theatre to attract additional high quality performances and drive more foot traffic into the commercial district.
  • Restoration of 10 Upham’s Corner Main Street storefronts through the Boston Main Streets ReStore Program.. . . more

Monday, April 28, 2014

Omni Supermarket to close in Weston

The general manager of Omni Supermarket in Weston has confirmed what customers have been wondering for weeks – the store is closing after 25 years in the town center.
Although he declined to give a specific date, Suren Avedisian said the business would move out "shortly," citing "economics" as the cause.
 Avedisian declined to comment on rumors around town that Roche Bros. plans to take over the location.. . . more