Friday, June 30, 2017

Staples acquirer reportedly plans to split the retailer up

Sycamore Partners, the private equity group that announced Wednesday it had agreed to acquire Staples for $6.9 billion, plans to split the office supply retailer into three separate businesses, according to a report Thursday in The Wall Street Journal that cited unnamed sources. A spokesperson for Sycamore Partners declined to comment on the story.

The plan, according to the Journal, would break up Staples’ U.S. retail, Canadian retail and corporate-supply units into three separately financed entities under the same “corporate umbrella.” As the Journal reports, “The move is designed to make the leveraged buyout of Staples ... an easier sell to bond and loan investors whose appetite for retail names has soured as the industry’s prospects have waned.”. . . more

Outlet malls are the latest victim of the retail apocalypse

Image result for retail outlet centersAfter years of being seemingly insulated from the ills affecting department stores, the country’s 200-plus outlet malls are starting to show signs of strain.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, which owns 43 centers in 22 states and is the largest publicly traded pure-play outlet operator in the US, is throwing off some warning signs, experts tell The Post.

The Greensboro, NC, company, seen as a bellwether for the sector, is not planning any outlet openings for 2018, one industry watcher said — noting it was the first time in recent memory that no new opening has occurred.. . . more

Straggling Target needs to make a bold move behind Wal-Mart and Amazon

Image result for Target
Target and Wal-Mart face many of the same headwinds in retail today, including the so-called Amazon effect, less foot traffic in stores and heated competition along the grocery aisles.

And while Wal-Mart has shown it's not afraid to spend and acquire smaller players, Target has instead focused its efforts internally, choosing to lay low and reinvest in itself.. . . more

First it was Faneuil, now a New York firm is buying another iconic Boston spot

Image result for south station bostonAshkenazy Acquisition Corp., the New York-based real estate development firm that owns the ground lease to Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace, is set to acquire another iconic city property: South Station.

Ashkenazy has struck an agreement to purchase the asset for a price approaching $125 million, real estate industry sources tell the Business Journal. An Ashkenazy representative declined to comment.. . . more

DOR scraps online tax plans

Image result for internet sales taxThe state Department of Revenue has quashed an order that would have required certain online retailers to start collecting state sales taxes from Bay State customers beginning tomorrow.

The about-face on Wednesday came amid a Suffolk Superior Court lawsuit against DOR commissioner Michael Heffernan by two trade groups representing online businesses and catalog marketers that sought to block the directive.. . . more

Fenway Center developers get extension to finalize lease

State officials are giving developers behind the long-stalled Fenway Center project a three-month extension to finalize their state lease, a move the project planners say puts construction — and a $21 million payment to the state — on track for the fall.

The two sides were staring down a deadline today to finalize negotiations on a crucial MassDOT lease, but they agreed to extend it to September, according to developer John Rosenthal. He said he intends to begin construction that month on the two-phase project, which includes five buildings built above and alongside the Mass Pike and a total $590 million price tag.. . . more

Thursday, June 29, 2017

U.S. first quarter economic growth revised up on jump in consumer spending

FILE PHOTO: A customer exits after shopping at a Macy's store in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File PhotoThe U.S. economy slowed less than feared in the first quarter due largely to a jump in consumer spending, providing a slightly more encouraging outlook for growth this year.

Gross domestic product increased at a 1.4 percent annual rate instead of the 1.2 percent reported last month, the Commerce Department said in its final assessment for the period on Thursday.. . . more

Consumer electronics giant partners with Amazon, Google

Best Buy is looking to grab share in one of the hottest categories of the "smart" home market: voice-activated devices.
The retailer is adding Amazon Alexa and Google Home "experiences" to about 700 Best Buy stores nationwide. The new interactive displays will start arriving in stores in July, with the rollout complete by the end of the year.  In addition, there will be an enhanced online presence for the devices on Best Buy's e-commerce site.. . . more

US retail mall vacancies edge up in second quarter

A Macy's store at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida.U.S. retail mall vacancies increased in the second quarter and rents were slightly higher, real estate research firm Reis said in a report.

The national retail vacancy rate rose to 10 percent in the second quarter from 9.9 percent in the first quarter, partly due to new construction that was only partially absorbed by new leasing, Reis said.

The mall vacancy rate inched up 0.2 percent to 8.1 percent in the quarter from the earlier quarter due to confirmed closings of Macy's stores, the research firm added.. . . more

The new forces shaping the retail industry are…

Affluence is out. So are the days of the mass market. 
A new report projects 10 years out and reveals three fundamental principles that are shaping tomorrow's consumer packaged goods and retail industries: trust, influence and personalization. In a preview of its 2017 Global Future Consumer study, A.T. Kearney predicts the death of the scale economy that focuses on catering to affluence in favor of one driven by the influence of industry stakeholders, particularly by the hyper-connectivity of the younger generations.. . . more

Five Signs That Stores (Not E-Commerce) Are The Future Of Retail

To say that digital commerce is killing off physical stores is lazy thinking and a half-truth.

On the contrary, pure-play online shopping is the imperiled model, evidenced by the lack of e-commerce-only retailers — save for Amazon and eBay — that have gained any meaningful heft and influence.

Of course, e-commerce is informing how we shop, having an outsized impact on traditional retail: from the rise of buy online, pick up in-store perks to the fact that Amazon is now the second biggest seller of consumer electronics after Best Buy.. . . more

Meal-kit maker Blue Apron goes public, demand underwhelms as Amazon looms

Blue Apron Holdings Inc, the biggest U.S. meal kit provider, raised $300 million as it went public on Wednesday, a third less than it had hoped, as's industry-changing deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc weighed on the sector.

New York-based Blue Apron said late on Wednesday its initial public offering of 30 million shares of class A common stock was priced at $10 per share, at the low end of the $10 to $11 per share range issued earlier in the day.. . . more

Walgreens ends its attempt to buy Rite Aid

Image result for walgreensWalgreens has ended its takeover pursuit of rival Rite Aid following resistance from U.S. regulators and will instead now buy stores, distribution centers and inventory in a new deal.

Under the new agreement, Walgreens will buy 2,186 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for approximately $5.18 billion in cash. Walgreens will also assume the related real estate leases and certain limited store-related liabilities. . . . more