Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Retail Is ‘Positive And Growing’

Image result for everlane pop up storeIt was not only the energy on the show floor and in panel discussions at last week’s ICSC New York Deal Making conference that had CBRE’s Brandon Famous upbeat. “I hear a lot about how ‘retail’s in trouble and has all these issues,’ ” the senior managing director of CBRE’s retail advisory & transaction services | occupier practice in the Americas told GlobeSt.com as the three-day conference wound down. “To the contrary: retail’s actually very positive right now, and growing.”

He acknowledged that, for example, there are vacancies in some key Manhattan retail corridors and that some department stores are in distress, but said that in both instances, “there’s a direct cause for that. The direct cause isn’t necessarily a function of retail. They either overpriced themselves or they over-stored themselves, and they’re just trying to become leaner and meaner and more efficient. The reality is that there will be more retail transactions next year than there have ever been.. . . more

Beauty brand to debut virtual reality experience in stores

NYX Professional Makeup has a new tool in its beauty case: virtual reality.

NYX and Samsung Electronics America announced the launch of a virtual reality makeup tutorial that merges the world of beauty and technology through Samsung Gear VR. The experience will be available in select NYX stores on December 18, followed by a nationwide rollout across the brand’s 42 stores throughout 2018.. . . more

Brookfield Expects GGP to Accept Takeover Offer after More Talks

acquisitionWhile the process may take months, Brookfield Property Partners LP is likely to be ultimately successful in its bid to take over the portion of mall owner GGP Inc. it doesn’t already own, said the chief executive officer of Brookfield’s parent company.

The buyout talks remain active, said Bruce Flatt, CEO of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., declining to discuss the negotiations in detail. GGP has rejected Brookfield’s original $14.8 billion bid for the 66 percent of the company it doesn’t hold, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.. . . more

Charming Charlie files for bankruptcy

One week after announcing that it planned to close underperforming stores, the other shoe has dropped at Charming Charlie.

The jewelry and accessories retailer on Tuesday announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move was not unexpected.. . . more

As the Fed Deliberates, Amazon Is Making Its Job More Difficult

Pradnya Haldipur checks prices on Amazon while her daughter Mirza-Cate, 5 years old, paints at the family home in Silver Spring, Md. Holiday shoppers with smartphones can retrieve instant price comparisons that make bargain hunting easier—and the Federal Reserve’s job tougher.

Web-driven comparison shopping complicates Fed decisions on how much and how fast to raise interest rates. Consumer knowledge is keeping a lid on prices that retailers can charge on a wealth of goods, a small but growing factor holding down inflation in the U.S., Japan and other advanced economies. . . . more

French company buys Westfield; creates world’s biggest mall operation

On Friday, Frank Lowy, received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. Today, a company from across the Channel ended his 60-year career as an international mall developer with a multi-billion-dollar sendoff.

France’s Unibail-Rodamco will pay $24.7 billion to take over Lowy’s Australia-based Westfield, creating a global property leader with a gross market value of $72 billion and a presence in 27 of the world’s “most attractive” cities and retail markets, according to a Westfield press release.. . . more

Monday, December 11, 2017

Welcome to Green Monday. Today is a big shopping day

The second Monday in December goes by many names.

Some call it Green Monday, others refer to it as Cyber Monday 2 and then there's Manic Monday.

Regardless of what it's called, today, Dec. 11, is expected to be one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.. . . more

Amazon’s Seattle hiring frenzy slows sharply; what’s going on?

Image result for amazon spheres in seattleAmazon’s hiring boom is cooling off.

The company, Seattle’s largest employer, appears to be seeking the smallest number of new employees in the city in years after a feverish, four-year growth spurt that more than doubled its head count.

Open job postings at Amazon’s headquarters, which stood at more than 9,000 as recently as June, have declined sharply and steadily in the last few months.. . . more

Retail landlords flex muscle as stores close, and Starbucks, Whole Foods emerge as losers

Image result for 365 by whole foods marketStarbucks and Amazon-owned Whole Foods are the latest victims of retail landlords pushing back against companies shuttering stores and trying to bypass contractual agreements.

Recently, the largest U.S. mall owner, Simon Property Group, claimed a high-profile victory in court over Starbucks, which was planning to close 77 of its Teavana stores across Simon's properties. Starbucks previously announced this summer it was planning to shutter all Teavana locations by the spring of 2018, as they were dragging down Starbucks' overall financial performance.. . . more

U.S. mall owner GGP rejects Brookfield Property's $14.8 billion offer

Image result for natick mallGGP Inc, one of the largest owners and operators of U.S. shopping centers, has rejected a $14.8 billion buyout offer from its biggest shareholder, Brookfield Property Partners LP, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Brookfield Property made a $23-per-share cash and stock offer last month for the 66 percent of GGP it does not already own. A combination of Chicago-based GGP and Brookfield Property would create one of the world’s largest publicly traded property companies.. . . more

J.C. Penney enters subscription business for big and tall men with Bombfell.com

Image result for jcpenneyJ.C. Penney, long a leader in the men's big and tall business, expects to reach more of those customers with a new partnership it's formed with Bombfell.com, a men's clothing subscription box service similar to Stitch Fix and Trunk Club.

The partnership gets Penney into the clothing subscription business, in which a stylist personalizes pieces and outfits based on a customer's preferences, occasion and lifestyle. Penney brings Bombfell customers the big and tall sizes they've needed at prices well below the average subscription box business. . . . more

US job openings slip in October, but hiring increased

In this Thursday, July 27, 2017, photo, Cheryl Bast of Omaha, left, is accompanied by her daughter Liz Pierson as she works on an application for a position with Omaha Public Schools during a job fair held in Omaha, Neb. On Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, the  Labor Department reports on job openings and labor turnover for October. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
            U.S. employers posted slightly fewer job openings in October than the previous month, but the number of people being hired improved.

The Labor Department said Monday that nearly 6 million jobs were available at the end of October, down from 6.18 million in September. Manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and the information sector advertised fewer jobs — an indicator of their possible intentions in the coming months.. . . more

New competitor giving Walmart a run for the money on price

Despite only launching in the United States this year, German discount grocer Lidl is already taking Walmart on in price.

In a price comparison test conducted by Kantar Retail, Lidl posted lower prices than Walmart on eight of 25 (32%) items. The analysis compared pricing between Lidl and Walmart on 25 branded SKUS and 15 private label SKUs across edible, non-edible and health and beauty categories. Overall, the difference between baskets was a mere 37 cents.. . . more

Friday, December 8, 2017

$600M Fenway Center, long a Sisyphean effort, set to begin construction

Image result for fenway center projectAfter nearly two decades of planning, and several setbacks along the way, Fenway Center is set to finally begin construction.

Fenway Center’s first phase includes an eight-story, 100-unit residential building, a 14-story, 212-unit apartment building, 200 parking spaces and 37,000 square feet of retail space. Both buildings will be built on terra firma — that is, the ground — and will not require air-rights over the Pike. . . . more

Sears Gains as Investor Asks Chain to Consider Going Private

Image result for searsSears Holdings Corp. shares rose after investor Memento SA recommended the retailer consider going private, saying that “excessive” short selling has hammered the stock.

The firm, which serves as investment manager for Switzerland’s Spadone family, also called for an investigation into recent surges in short selling. Memento said in an open letter to Sears’s board that it owns nearly 2 million shares and believes in the long-term value of its stores, brands and employees.
. . . more