Thursday, March 31, 2016

10 New Truths Of Retail

Image result for Retail industryRetail isn’t what it used to be. Sure merchants are still about selling products to consumers, but how it’s done is so different that retail is fundamentally a much different industry and profession.

Forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but building a store today is very different than just a decade ago. There are fundamentals that remain the same, but here are 10 New Truths of Retail that merchants should take to heart.. . . more

What Sports Authority And Dick's Sporting Goods Indicate About The State Of The Retail Industry

A week after Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy, Dick's Sporting Goods announced plans to open 36 new stores. The two starkly contrasting news items send a message about the state of the retail industry today — and it doesn’t look good, at least on the surface.

Sports Authority, which announced it would also be closing 140 of its 463 stores, had been saddled with debt ever since went private in a leveraged buyout nine years ago. The chain, many have said, has been losing out to Amazon and other online retailers, as well as niche players including Lululemon and Athleta.. . . more

Supplier survey bodes well for retail sales

If the major suppliers of soft goods such as clothing and accessories to retail stores are a bellwether of the economy, then the coming months are looking to provide a jolt as 75% of these suppliers expect retail sales to significantly outpace the gross domestic product for the spring and summer shopping season.

According to the Global Retail Manufacturers and Importers Survey, the vast majority of those surveyed believe that 2016 will either be better (45.5%) than or the same (38.6%) as 2015. How much better? Seventy-five percent believe that retail sales will grow by 4% or more, outpacing core GDP growth.  . . . more

Sales at Claire's fall in Q4

Claire's Stores blamed currency exchange rates and store closures for its decrease in revenue in the fourth quarter.

The specialty retailer said that for the period ended Jan. 30, net sales were $402.6 million, a decrease of $9.8 million, or 2.4% compared to the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter. The company said the decrease was attributable to an unfavorable foreign currency translation effect of non-U.S. net sales, the effect of store closures, decreased shipments to franchisees and a 0.2% decrease in same-store sales.. . . more

Restoration Hardware slips in Q4; sees new brand as $1 billion business

Production and shipping delays related to its new collection of modern furniture, which it also has launched as a standalone business, are taking a toll on Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. as the high-end retailer issued a weak outlook for the current quarter.

Restoration Hardware reported its fourth-quarter earnings slid to $33.3 million from $42.5 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 11% to $647.2 million, less than expected. Comparable store sales increased 9%.. . . more

Chipotle might start new chain under "Better Burger" name

A typical hamburger.Chipotle Mexican Grill might be getting into the burger business.

The company filed a trademark application this month for "Better Burger," according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.

Chipotle, which already has invested in two smaller chains, is considering opening another restaurant concept focused on hamburgers, said Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Denver-based company.. . . more

Costco's Generous New Credit Card Will Be a Boon for the Retailer

The Citi card will offer Costco members 4% cash back on up to $7,000 spent on gas, compared to 3% back up to $4,000 with Amex. Cardholders will also get 3% back on restaurants and travel, a point higher than with the Amex cards. There is no annual fee but shoppers will need to pay for a $55 annual Costco membership.

As Costco looks to fend off Sam’s Club’s efforts to win new business, the new Visa card may offer the discount retailer a helping hand. As Sean McQuay, credit card expert for Nerdwallet, told the Chicago Tribune this week, the Visa card could entice people who aren’t currently Costco shoppers.. . . more

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What’s Driving Increased Interest in Macerich Shares?

Judging by recent events, turning down rival Simon Property Group’s buyout offer last year was the right move for Macerich Co.

Last spring, Macerich walked away from a $16.8 billion buyout bid from Simon, saying that the offer undervalued the company and its growth prospects. Instead, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based REIT sharpened its focus on its core business.

Then in the fourth quarter of 2015, at least six institutional investors bought higher stakes in the company, according to a report in MicroCap Magazine.. . . more

Trader Joe's widening price gap with Whole Foods

Image result for whole foods vs trader joe'sTrader Joe's appears to be widening its price advantage with rival Whole Foods Market, with indications that the Monrovia, Calif.-based retailer may have have ambushed Whole Foods with a fresh round of across-the-board price investments, an analyst said Tuesday.

Citing recent price checks in the New York market, Karen Short of Deutsche Bank Securities in a report said Trader Joe's had a total price advantage of 26% over a neighboring Whole Foods Market across a basket of 77 like items — with Trader Joe's prices cheaper on 60 of the 77 items checked. Prior price checks, Short said, had not indicated such disparity.. . . more

Foot Locker treads new territory on Wall Street

Following a record performance in 2015, Foot Locker has become the newest member of the S&P 500 index, which bodes well for the performance of the company’s share price.

The move follows what was a record year for the operator of nearly 3,400 athletic footwear and apparel stores. The company opened 111 stores and closed 151 stores and produced a 7.9% same-store sales increase during the fourth quarter and a full year comp increase of 8.5%. That enabled the company to grow full year sales by 3.6% to a record $7.4 billion.. . . more

Neiman Marcus losing another key executive, as CMO Wanda Gierhart departs

Neiman Marcus chief marketing officer Wanda Gierhart has decided to leave the Dallas-based luxury retailer. She is the third longtime, key executive to leave the company in the last few months.

Neiman Marcus has reported two consecutive quarters of sales declines. Last year, the company cut its staff by 500 employees, including 157 in Dallas, where it is based and employs about 4,800 people. Last year, it delayed plans for an initial public offering.. . . more

Chipotle's best-case scenario is recovery by 2018, says analyst

Patrons of Chipotle restaurant at 1600 California in Denver line up for lunch January 6, 2015. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s sales won't rebound from the chain's wide-ranging food-safety crisis until 2018 at the earliest, and the company still will suffer from lower profitability even then, said Wedbush Securities analyst Nick Setyan in a research note.

Chipotle averaged sales of more than $2.5 million per restaurant before the crisis, and returning to that level by 2018 is "the best-case scenario, not the base-case scenario," Setyan said.. . . more

Boston Properties plans massive air-rights project above Back Bay Station

Boston Properties is again planning a massive air-rights development at a major transportation hub, this time with a 1.26 million-square-foot mixed-use project above Back Bay Station.Boston Properties is again planning a massive air-rights development at a major transportation hub, this time with a 1.26 million-square-foot mixed-use project above Back Bay Station.

Boston Properties on Tuesday filed a project notification form with the Boston Redevelopment Authority that outlines its plans for three separate commercial and residential towers and a renovated and expanded Back Bay Station. The total project, if approved, would include 575,000 square feet of commercial office space, up to 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 600 residential units.. . . more

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

'Next-generation' Apple Store opens in Memphis with custom 37-foot display

Apple this past weekend opened the doors to one of the first "next-generation" Apple Stores to land stateside, and AppleInsider has exclusive photos of the logo-less facade, custom wooden wall installations and massive 37-foot TV display — rumored to cost $1.5 million — that ties everything together. . . . more

Kohl's goes for bargain hunters with new Off/Aisle stores

Image result for kohl's off aisle storeKohl's Corp.'s new Off/Aisle store has a polished concrete floor, sleek lighting fixtures and a way of pricing merchandise that is very different from the Menomonee Falls retailer's traditional department stores.

No coupons or special discounts here. At Off/Aisle, everything has a "spot" price. Items with an orange circle on the tag are $4; items with a blue circle, $6. Prices range from $4 to $70, most on the lower end of that scale.. . . more

Destination Maternity gives turnaround update, loses CFO

Destination Maternity says its turnaround efforts are working to drive long-term growth despite a decrease in same store sales during the fourth quarter.

The company said that for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, same store sales decreased 3.5%. The retailer's net loss improved to $3.1 million compared to a net loss of $17 million in the prior year quarter. Net sales were $118.3 million compared with $121.2 million for the comparable three month in 2015.. . . more

J.C. Penney Company, Inc.: Sales Per Square Foot on the Rise

Retail Department Stores Jc Penney JcpJ.C. Penney's recent sales gains lifted sales per net selling square foot to $165 in fiscal 2015, up from $147 two years earlier. That's the best result since fiscal 2011. However, it's still 22% below the $212 in sales per net selling square foot that J.C. Penney generated in fiscal 2011.

The gap between J.C. Penney's current sales per square foot and its 2011 performance indicates that it has plenty of room for improvement. That's also clear from comparing its results to those of fellow mid-price department store Kohl's. . . . more

L.L. Bean store at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach will be first in the region

Retailer L.L. Bean will open its first store in the region on May 20, and it’s looking to hire more than 100 employees. The 16,700-square-foot store at Lynnhaven Mall will feature outdoor gear and apparel.

L.L. Bean has stores in Richmond and Tysons Corner, just outside of Washington. It’s entering the South Hampton Roads market around the same time as REI, which also features outdoor gear.. . . more

Staples closing in on Office Depot deal

Image result for staples and office depot mergerStaples could be on the brink of winning its case against the Federal Trade Commission — possibly clearing the way for it to acquire Office Depot, sources told The Post.

The judge overseeing the FTC suit against the office supply chain said he will entertain a motion from Staples’ legal team to dismiss the case once the regulator concludes its arguments this week.

When a judge agrees to hear such a move — a judgment as a matter of law — he or she believes the plaintiff or prosecutor has failed to make its case, a lawyer not involved in the case told The Post on Monday.. . . more

Mass. ranks No. 3 nationwide in construction jobs added in February

Construction workers pour concrete on the final floor of Millennium Tower.Massachusetts was third in the nation for most construction jobs added in February, according to a report released Friday by the Associated General Contractors of America.

The Bay State employed 147,700 construction workers in February, up 11 percent from a year prior, the report said. New England compatriots Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont ranked No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in most construction jobs added year-over-year.. . . more

Ross Stores on track for 90 new stores in 2016

Ross Stores has ambitious store expansion plans for 2016—and sees plenty of potential beyond that.

The off-price retailer opened a total of 22 Ross Dress for Less and six dd’s Discounts stores across 15 different states in February and March.. . . more

Work on Massachusetts MGM casino kicking into full gear

This time last year, MGM officials and state and city leaders were reveling in a confetti-filled groundbreaking at the future site of a resort casino in the western Massachusetts city of Springfield.

But what had been projected to be the state's first Las Vegas-style gambling destination has faced a series of setbacks. Now MGM Springfield is gearing up for its first full season of construction, one year later than hoped.. . . more

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sears Holdings hires turnaround specialist as chief administrative officer

Sears Holdings announced Monday that James Andrew has joined the company in the new role of chief administrative officer. In this position he will be responsible for the company's corporate support functions, including financial planning and analysis, business finance, procurement, legal and human resources.
"Jim is a proven executive with deep expertise leading business performance improvement, corporate strategy and delivering on key objectives," said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings' chairman and CEO. "His range and depth of experiences managing corporate transformations and capability development makes him a strong fit for Sears Holdings as we pursue our member-focused transformation.". . . more

Cinnabon looking for franchisees in Boston

Cinnabon Celebrates Successful Year for Franchise Sales in 2015Cinnabon, one of the world’s most beloved and irresistible brands, finished 2015 with $143 million in U.S. system-wide sales. While multi-channel growth and international expansion remain key drivers for the brand globally, the company’s domestic success is also being fueled in part by new partnerships with multi-unit franchise owners from other high-profile restaurant brands and by existing franchisees.

This year, Cinnabon will continue to look to develop national presence with qualified franchisees in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, and Tampa.
. . . more

Growth Is A Big Challenge For J.C.Penney

Image result for jcpenney apparel departmentJ.C.Penney has a serious challenge to produce better apparel sales in the current slow sales environment with apathetic consumer sentiment toward spending on the category.  Like all fashion retailers, J.C.Penney is dependent on newness and fresh looks in order to achieve better sales momentum. I do not see it.  Market observers also confirm in recent reports that retailers like J.C.Penney are facing a sluggish environment right now.

John Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation continues to see the consumer as cautious and in a saving mode. He does not see them as ready to come out and spend. . . . more

The Increasing Influence of Millennials on Retail Operations

Millennials have become a bigger part of the retail customer demographic with the group expected to have more spending power than any other generation by 2017. Millennials are incredibly connected to technology with their smartphones and tablets. They are accustomed to rapidly changing technology and increasingly expect their retail brands to do the same.

Retailers will need to adapt their business models to fit the digital shopping preferences of this new generation or risk losing them altogether. And the risk is great. In fact, according to Accenture, millennial spending in the United States will grow to $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30% of total retail sales by 2020, putting the onus on retailers to provide the experience they expect.. . . more

Nordstrom Rack to add two more locations

The off-price division of Nordstrom plans to open a new store in the nation’s capital, and another in Texas.

Nordstrom Rack will open at District Center in the heart of Washington, D.C. The approximately 37,000 sq.-ft., two-level store, is scheduled to open in fall 2016, will be the retailer's thirteenth Nordstrom Rack in Washington, D.C./Baltimore area having first opened in the area at Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Virginia in 1990.. . . more

Grocers battle to find small format success

Image result for whole foods 365 store
As consumers seek convenience and healthier food, competition is rising among food retailers to meet demand. Long dominated by Whole Foods’ higher-end stores and Trader Joe’s smaller shops and limited assortment, retailers such as Sprouts and Natural Grocer are quickly expanding with messages of affordability. Amid recent failures, such as Tesco’s Fresh and Easy and Delhaize’s Bottom Dollar, retailers are trying smaller, affordable and convenient concepts. The latter group includes Kroger, Ahold and Whole Foods.. . . more