Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kroger's potential deal for Walgreens, Rite Aid stores will make Publix, other retailers 'very nervous'

If Kroger Co. snaps up Walgreens and Rite Aid stores, it could give it a major competitive edge over Publix. If Kroger Co.'s reported plans to buy Walgreens and Rite Aid stores come to fruition, it could give the grocer a major competitive edge over Publix Super Markets Inc. and other retailers.

When Rite Aid and Walgreens complete their merger later this year, about 500 of their stores will likely be put up for sale — and Kroger is a potential buyer, according to Bloomberg. It's not yet known which stores, or where, might be part of the deal.. . . more

Is the Era of High Returns Coming to an End?

Is the window for oversized returns on commercial real estate behind us? Quite likely, according to Goldman Sachs, which recently issued a report implying real estate stocks may now be too risky for investors.

Real estate industry experts have mixed views, however, about whether the ship has already sailed for high returns on commercial real estate investments.. . . more

Walmart’s poorest customer service found in poorest locations

Walmart The worst Walmarts are located in low-income, minority communities.

That's according to a study published in May by Contexts, a quarterly publication of the American Sociological Association.

A Walmart store's location is closely related to how good or bad the store's customer service is, the study found.. . . more

Aeropostale stores get potential lifeline with late bid

Sweatshirts are displayed for sale in an Aeropostale Inc. store in September 2013.A surprising late bid in the auction for bankrupt AĆ©ropostale held out the promise that 229 stores of the teen retailer might be saved, the Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday.

The $243.3 million bid came from a consortium of parties that included Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties — two companies that are landlords to AĆ©ropostale stores — as well as Authentic Brands Group. Joining in were liquidators Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC, and Hilco Merchant Resources LLC, sources told the Journal.. . . more

Chico’s Q2 tops Street; cuts 200 jobs in corporate streamlining

Chico’s FAS reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings and announced new cost-saving measures. It also said the president of its namesake brand is stepping down.
Net sales fell 7.3% to $635.7 million from $685.8 million in the year-ago period. The decrease included $26.3 million related to Boston Proper. (Chico’s completed the sale of Boston Proper in January 2016.)
When excluding Boston Proper from fiscal 2015, net sales decreased 3.6%, primarily reflecting a decline in same-store sales of 3.1% and closed stores.. . . more

Sears reenters category it exited four years ago

Sears Holding Corp. is hoping to capitalize on the upswing in home improvement projects.
The retailer announced it is bringing back paint and related accessories to its stores under three different brands: Craftsman, Weatherbeater and Easy Living. It’s the first time the Craftsman brand will be extended to the paint category. 
Sears will test the new offerings in 23 stores nationwide before a chainwide rollout.. . . more

US companies add a solid 177,000 jobs in August

U.S. businesses added a solid 177,000 jobs in August, according to a private survey, suggesting that hiring remains healthy after two months of strong gains.

The steady hiring could help fuel stronger growth in the second half of this year. Growth slumped in the winter and spring, falling to an annual rate of just 1 percent.

Yet consumers are more confident and are spending at a healthy clip, likely encouraged by robust hiring and signs that wages are picking up. Consumer confidence reached an 11-month high in August, lifted by a brighter outlook on the job market.. . . more

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

5 things we learned from Ahold Delhaize’s first joint call

Image result for ahold delhaizeAlthough earnings for Ahold and Delhaize were still reported separately, last week’s second-quarter call marked the first time the combined company spoke jointly with analysts about its day-to-day business. Here are five things executives revealed:

1. U.S. suppliers should prepare for pricing negotiation
. . . more

Abercrombie & Fitch no longer expects results to improve this year

Image result for abercrombie & fitchTeen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch posted a bigger-than-expected loss for the second quarter as efforts to win back shoppers through store remodeling and other measures failed to boost sales and are not expected to do so for the rest of the year.

Abercrombie's sales dropped for the 14th straight quarter and comparable sales fell a slightly steeper-than-expected 4 percent, mainly due to lower traffic, including from tourists, at its flagship stores.. . . more

The 100 Macy's stores to close will be announced after Christmas

Image result for macy'sThe incredible shrinking Macy's empire plans to announce the locations of most of its 100 store closures by the end of January.

Elina Kazan, national spokeswoman for Macy's, said Monday that the majority of the targeted stores to shut will be announced by the end of January 2017, or in about five months.. . . more

Kroger could be looking to snap up Walgreens, Rite Aid stores

Kroger could be interested in buying Rite Aid or Walgreens locations, according to a new report.Kroger Co. could be a prime bidder for some Rite Aid or Walgreens drug stores that will need to be sold when those two companies finally complete their merger later this year.

Cincinnati-based Kroger, the nation’s largest operator of traditional supermarkets, is a potential buyer of some of the 500 stores that will likely be put up for sale, according to a Bloomberg report.. . . more

Aeropostale facing liquidation after losing Versa lifeline Aeropostale lost its best remaining chance at a lifeline when a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled Friday that private equity firm Sycamore Partners could use the $150 million it’s owed by the teen apparel retailer to bid at its bankruptcy auction, according to news reports.

Sycamore Partners and liquidators submitted their bids for Aeropostale last week, while investment firm Versa Capital Management — which was reportedly preparing a “stalking horse” bid that could have saved some 500 Aeropostale stores — did not, Reuters reported over the weekend. . . . more

Loss widens for specialty apparel retailer

Christopher & Banks Corp.’s loss widened in its second quarter amid soft sales its outlet channel and a temporary shutdown of its e-commerce site.
The company reported a net loss of $3.9 million compared to a net loss for the prior year period of $0.7 million. Same-store sales decreased 5.8%, compared to a 12.4% decrease in the same period last year.. . . more

J. Crew just made a desperate move to save itself

Image result for j crewJ. Crew is making an unprecedented move to try and boost sales.

Beginning on September 12, the company will be selling some of its apparel at Nordstrom, according to a release.

J. Crew apparel will be available on Nordstrom's website and at 16 Nordstrom stores.. . . more

Monday, August 29, 2016

J.C. Penney aims to be king of the mall as Macy's, Sears retreat

Image result for jcpenneyJ.C. Penney Co. is in a surprising position more than four years after it was almost run aground by a former chief executive officer: It could be the last department store standing at your local mall.

As rivals retrench, J.C. Penney is adding new merchandise, exclusive partnerships and services to draw shoppers to its more than 1,000 stores. Sears has closed stores amid $9 billion in losses in recent years and Macy's said this month it would shutter 100 in as-yet unidentified locations -- an act likely to leave J.C. Penney as the main anchor in some malls.. . . more