Friday, July 31, 2015

Uniqlo planning to open its first permanent Boston store

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo said it is planning to open a store in Boston's Faneuil Hall this fall.Uniqlo, the Japanese discount clothing retailer, said this week that it will open a new, permanent store at Boston’ s Faneuil Hall Marketplace this October.

The retailer has been operating a pop-up store at Faneuil Hall since last year.

The 12,000-square-feet store will span two levels in the Quincy Market building and will house the brand’ s assortment of men’ s and women’ s lines, according to a release from the company.. . . more

Can Restoration Hardware Furnish Growth Going Modern?

Image result for rh modernI n an ongoing makeover that's helped lift sales and profits, Restoration Hardware is moving ahead with a new design concept as it attempts to enhance its brand appeal and complement its push toward megastores.

The luxury home furnishings retailer introduced a collection called RH Modern on June 11, the same day it reported impressive first-quarter results that topped views.

The RH Modern collection is what the company calls a "minimalist aesthetic of modernism" that combines the comfort and quality of Restoration Hardware's existing collections of updated classics and reproductions.. . . more

H&M expanding higher-end store banner in the U.S.

Fast-fashion giant H&M doesn’t let any grass grow under its feet.

H&M is expanding its higher-end, minimalist-styled brand, COS (short for Collection of Style). The retailer plans to open four stores in the United States in 2015, starting this fall, with two new markets on tap. COS is also expanding into Canada, with stores set to open in both Montreal and Toronto later this year.

COS entered the U.S. last year with the launch of an e-commerce platform and two locations (in Los Angeles and New York City). It plans to enter a store in the Big Apple, on Fifth Avenue.. . . more

10 Things Millennials Buy Far More Often Than Everyone Else

Customers line up for their free Slurpees in a 7-Eleven store in New YorkA freshly released Pew Research Center study indicates that a larger-than-expected percentage of young people are still living with their parents rather than moving out and perhaps buying a place of their own.

Yes, millennials are stingy when it comes to spending in certain categories. Yet even as they aren’t following in the footsteps of their consumer forebears in terms of embracing big-ticket items like houses and cars, millennials spend far more freely on certain other items compared to older generations. Here are 10 things they buy more often—sometimes a lot more often—than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers, including a few big surprises.. . . more

Sears Home Services Pushes Do-It-For-Me Over Do-It-Yourself

Sears is kicking off a campaign for its Home Appliances and Services sector that takes jabs at the do-it-yourself trend and aims to spotlight more of the retailer's home improvement services.

The brand, which is one of the nation's top appliance sellers and repair providers, wants to call attention to its full suite of home-improvement offerings, which includes roofing, HVAC, window installations, kitchen remodeling and home-protection services, among others.. . . more

Thursday, July 30, 2015

West Marine rides Q2 profit wave

West Marine's renewed focus on omnichannel growth seems to be paying off as the specialty retailer reported a big spike in same-store sales in the second quarter.

The California-based retailer reported net income of $20.9 million, up 14% from $18.3 million the same period a year earlier.

Net revenues were $253.2 million in the second quarter ended July 4, an increase of 7.1% compared to last year. Same-store sales increased by 7%.. . . more

Saks to put best foot forward with new concept

Saks Fifth Avenue is going to open a freestanding store dedicated to a hot category.

The department store retailer plans to open a shoe store in Greenwich, Connecticut, in fall 2016, Women’s Wear Daily reported.

The store, whose name has not yet been revealed, will be located close to an existing Saks Fifth Avenue store, which will no longer sell shoes.. . . more

Coffee Chain Expansions Still Brewing

Americans just can’t get enough coffee, and that’s good news for coffee chains. Both domestic and international brands are opening new stores across the country, providing a plethora of choices for even the pickiest of coffee drinkers.

The two major players in the coffee segment, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, dominate the space with more than 60 percent of the U.S. retail coffee market collectively, according to Jerry Hoffman, president of Hoffman Strategy Group, a Lincoln, Neb.-based urban retail and land use consultancy. Other widespread chains such as Peet’s and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf have a good share of the rest.. . . more

GNC disappoints in Q2

GNC Holdings Inc. missed Wall Street expectations for profit and revenue in a generally disappointing second quarter of fiscal 2015. GNC reported net income of $67.4 million, a decrease of 4% from $69.9 million for second quarter 2014.

Cost of sales increases were a key factor in reduced net income. GNC reported consolidated revenue of $678.5 million, an increase of 0.5% as compared with $675.2 million. Revenue growth was limited by a 2.8% same-store sales drop in company-owned stores, including . . more

Rite Aid sales heat up

The temperature wasn’t the only thing rising at Rite Aid stores during July 2015.

Same-store sales rose 2.4%, with front-end same store sales increasing 0.1%. Pharmacy same-store sales, which included an approximate 2.21% negative impact from new generic introductions, increased 3.4%.. . . more

Six COOL Stores for a HOT Summer

The spring and summer have brought a flurry of new store concepts, from established players, international newcomers and online stars. Check out the six below.

1. Blue Nile, Garden City, New York

Online diamond and fine jewelry retailer Blue Nile’s first brick-and-mortar outing is cool and inviting. Dubbed a “Webroom” by the company, the 325-sq.-ft. store features only several cases of product. But associates are equipped with tablets on which they can show customers Blue Nile's full selection of goods and help them in making a purchase.  . . . more

Whole Foods aiming for 1,200-plus stores; first 365 unit to open in Los Angeles

Whole Foods Market on Wednesday posted disappointing third quarter earnings and revenue, but it also gave out some more details about its new, value-driven store concept.

The company revealed that it will debut the format, 365 by Whole Foods Market, in the second half of next year, with the first store opening in the Silver Lake section of Los Angles. It plans to open up to five 365 stores (all in the second half of next year), with the expectation of doubling the number of openings in 2017. Stores will average about 30,000 sq. ft.. . . more

State tax holiday sails through house

Image result for MA sales tax holidayThe Aug. 15-16 sales tax holiday easily passed the House yesterday though opponents called it a “gimmick” and “boondoggle” that drains tax revenue needed for other programs.

Despite a 136-20 House vote, the grumbling by some legislators that this year could be the last shows the need for the Retailers Association of Massachusetts to do a better job educating them, RAM president Jon Hurst said. The tax holiday has been held each year since 2004 except 2009.. . . more

Consumer spending bolsters U.S. second-quarter growth

A customer shops at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Bentonville, Arkansas June 4, 2015.  Wal-Mart will hold its annual meeting June 5, 2015.  REUTERS/Rick WilkingU.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter as solid consumer spending offset the drag from weak business spending on equipment, suggesting a steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. First-quarter GDP, previously reported to have shrunk at a 0.2 percent pace, was revised up to show it rising at a 0.6 percent rate.. . . more

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Putting CRE Sales Volume in First Half of 2015 in Historical Perspective

Commercial real estate industry saw some impressive activity in the first half of the year, with investment sales volume now outpacing the figure recorded at the peak of the previous cycle in 2006, according to recently released figures from research firm Real Capital Analytics (RCA). Here we break down the numbers.

Total investment sales volume recorded on sales of multifamily, office, retail, industrial and office properties in the first half of 2015: $255.1 billion. The figure is ahead of the sales volume reported for the five core commercial property types in the first half of 2006, which volume totaled approximately $201.2 billion.. . . more

Cash is still king with U.S. shoppers

A new survey details what methods Americans are using to pay for good and services — and which ones are gaining steam.

The study, “How America Pays in 2015: Traditional, Digital and Mobile Convergence in Payments,” by Blackhawk Network, finds that cash, checks, cards are still the most used payment methods, but select digital offerings are picking up steam.. . . more

Bluemercury readies Washington expansion

Image result for bluemercuryFresh off its recent acquisition by Macy's Inc. for $210 million, D.C. beauty retail chain Bluemercury Inc. is getting ready to open three new Washington-area stores this fall. The openings are part of a planned expansion.

The new Bluemercury locations coming to Northwest D.C. will include P Street NW across from Whole Foods, the Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg and Reston Town Center.. . . more

Lower costs boost Rent-A-Center profit

Reductions in labor hours and store expenses, as well as a sourcing and distribution initiative, helped boost profit at Rent-A-Center Inc. in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Net income rose 31% to $23.15 million, from $17.68 million the same quarter a year earlier.

Consolidated revenue also performed well, growing 6% to $815.34 million from $768.43 million. Consolidated same-store sales increased 7.5%.. . . more

City Sports names retail veteran as CEO

A veteran retailer with experience in running big national chains has joined City Sports as its new chief executive.

The Boston-based company tapped Marty Hanaka, who has served on the board of directors of City Sports since 2008, as its new chief executive. Hanaka was the interim CEO of Guitar Center from January 2013 to April 2013. Previously, he served as CEO of Golfsmith Holdings (from June 2008 to November 2012) and of The Sports Authority (from September 1998 to August 2003.) Prior to that, he was the president and COO of Staples.. . . more

TJX purchases retail chain in land Down Under

TJX is purchasing Trade Secret, an off-price retailer that operates 35 stores in Australia, from Gazal Corp. Ltd. for $58.45 million. The acquisition of Trade Secret provides TJX an opportunistic entry into Australia, where it currently operates one of its 13 buying offices.

Trade Secret offers branded apparel for women, men and children, as well as footwear, accessories and home fashions at discount prices. Virtually all of the Trade Secret stores are located in the eastern part of Australia. Trade Secret opened its first store in 1992 and since then, has grown to $120.2 million in revenue for its fiscal year ended June 2015.. . . more

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

REITS Are A Very Bad Idea For Department Stores

Image result for department store reitMost department stores units cannot successfully be packaged into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Many store locations have limited lifespans.  Plus the retail business is cyclical and subject to any number of outside forces beyond management’s control.   These are not the ingredients that make an attractive REIT.

The retail scene is constantly changing. Right now retailers are struggling to maintain sales momentum in their brick and mortar stores. They have done everything they can come up with to generate traffic. . . . more

The most popular back-to-school retailer is…

A survey released Monday is in line with other reports that consumers do not plan to spend more this year on back-to-school supplies than they did last year. The survey also lists the 10 most popular retail brands for back-to-school purchases.

Target ranks as the most popular retail brand for back-to-school purchases, just ahead of Walmart, in the 21st annual Back-to-School survey by Brand Keys, the New York-based brand loyalty and emotional engagement research consultancy. Macy’s, CVS and Best Buy round out the top five.. . . more

Macy’s Will Compete With Amazon In Online Same-Day Delivery Wars

Macy's Same-Day DeliveryMacy's is aggressively expanding its same-day delivery service in more major markets. The retailer plans to compete with Amazon's similar offering and has partnered with online service Deliv to deliver the packages.

There once was a time when retail shopping was synonymous with one word: Macy's. The iconic brick and mortar retailer was the top department store brand for many decades before the birth of the Internet brought us the likes of Amazon and eBay. The death of the department store was soon predicted, but it turns out many people still like buying their goods in retail stores where they can hold, view, and try on the merchandise, and enjoy a full shopping experience.. . . more

Millennials May Shop Walmart, But They Don't Love Walmart

wmt0715aWhile Walmart is a top shopping destination for the youngest generation, their affinity for the big discounter is lacking. In other words, they don’t necessarily shop Walmart because they want to; this cash-strapped, financially conservative group does so because they have to.

For a better understanding of how Millennials feel about their Walmart shopping experiences, the Net Promoter® Score metric of customer loyalty and satisfaction was examined.. . . more

Insurers of Wayne-based Toys ‘R’ Us said to cut policies after losses mount

Image result for toys r usInsurance companies are cutting back on their coverage of Toys "R" Us Inc. suppliers, bringing another headache to a retailer that has suffered more than two years of losses, people familiar with the matter said.

Coface SA and Euler Hermes Group, which sell credit insurance to vendors, are removing Toys "R" Us from some policies and declining to renew coverage in other cases, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn't public.. . . more