Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sign of the Times: Landlords Sell Weak Malls Online

Image result for midway mall elyria ohWith more retailers shuttering stores across the U.S., some property owners and managers are trying to unload weak malls at a faster pace.

Sellers and their brokers increasingly are looking to sell online, said Robert Drury, senior vice president of Ten-X’s commercial division. The web’s reach “means that sellers are able to more easily find the right buyer for their property and ensure they receive maximum value,” Mr. Drury said.. . . more

Busa Liquors to close its doors in Burlington

Image result for bauer hockey burlington maThe town of Burlington is going to be without Busa Liquors for the first time since 1966 after the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a liquor license transfer from the longtime package store to another entity expected to move into the Bauer Hockey site in the Burlington Crossroads Retail Center at 34 Cambridge St.

With Bauer Hockey lasting roughly two years in the Crossroads Retail Center, Total Wine Spirits Beer & More is set to occupy the 25,000-square-foot space, expanding its Massachusetts operations from Natick, Everett, Danvers, and Shrewsbury.. . . more

Brick and Mortar Clawing Back

“A funny thing happened recently, which at least suggested – mildly – that, in the retail world, the worst may be over.”

That was the first sentence of our article in the Keypoints July issue, entitled Is Stability in the Air? In the article we cited that several major retailers reported modest comp store gains, or at least some flattening in the sales trend, for the first time in a long time. In recent years we’ve became accustomed to comp store sales declines as internet sales accelerated, so seeing some flattening in those trends was welcome sign.

For several reasons I am even more encouraged that we may be approaching a bottom. In just this past week, reports from GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Foot Locker all indicated comp store improvement. What may be even more promising is the fact that all are mall-based retailers.. . . more

Buoyed by Millennials and Omnichannel, Holiday Sales Off to Strong Start

Stephen Chernin/GettyImagesWithout any worrisome developments like a financial sector meltdown or a presidential election upset, and encouraged by a strong economy, American consumers turned out in strong numbers to brick and mortar and online shopping channels alike, giving retailers an encouraging start to the 2017 holiday shopping season.

From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans turned up to shop in person and online, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF). On average, consumers spent $335.47 per person and they spent a majority of those dollars, about 75 percent, on gifts for others.. . . more

McD’s U.S. president talks about ‘unprecedented’ change

Image result for mcdonaldsChris Kempczinski, McDonald’s U.S. president, is hitting the gas as the global fast-food chain works to modernize its U.S. restaurants and woo back customers who have drifted off.

Come January, McDonald’s will launch its new Value Menu with items priced at $1, $2 and $3, which will replace the current McPick 2 Menu. Earlier this year, the fast-food giant introduced its line of more upscale Signature Crafted sandwiches, while also expanding its McCafe espresso drink offerings.. . . more

Duluth Trading Co. continues to expand

The lifestyle brand of men’s and women’s casual clothing, workwear and accessories will open its 30th store, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Nov. 29. It will open its 31st location, in Wixom, Michigan, on Nov. 30.

“Waukesha and Wixom are our final two Duluth Trading stores opening in 2017, and we are very pleased to have them ready for our customers during the holiday season,” said Stephanie Pugliese, CEO of Duluth Trading.. . . more

Sears narrows loss but sales tumble

Sears Holdings Corp. reduced its third quarter loss by $190 million helped by lower operating costs from its reduced store portfolio, but it saw no improvement on the revenue side as same-store sales plunged 15.3%.

Revenue fell 27% to $3.66 billion, with store closures contributing to over half of the decline, the company said. Revenues were also negatively impacted by reductions in the number of pharmacies in open Kmart stores, and the reduction in consumer electronics assortments in both Kmart and Sears stores.. . . more

With Beer and Beard Wax as Bait, Target Lures Guys to Its Stores

target“Target has always had this fashion-forward reputation for women -- why not for men?” said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail in New York. “They’ve had men’s clothes before, but I don’t remember any of it being interesting. What have they been waiting for?”

Target is betting the wait is over. The retailer has unveiled Goodfellow & Co., a line of stylish everyday shirts, pants and shoes. With $23 slim-fit chinos and $50 herringbone blazers, the prices are well below J. Crew while the styles are on par with fast-fashion emporium H&M. More than 80 percent of the assortment is available in big and tall sizes.. . . more

Are pop-ups the future of retail?

AmazonGalleria 103114dm 2575While many traditional retailers are working hard to attract customers online this holiday season, some e-commerce companies want to connect with consumers face-to-face.

Pop-up stores allow online brands to interact with shoppers and reach new people without breaking the bank on a retail lease, TechCrunch reports. Simon Malls recently launched The Edit to give e-commerce startups a place to set up shop, and to attract shoppers looking for fresh retail options.. . . more

Block party in Seaport

Image result for the block seaport bostonThe biggest retail project since the South Bay Plaza opened decades ago was officially unveiled yesterday, but it’s just a small portion of what is to come in the Seaport District, aka the South Boston waterfront, developers and officials said.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Yanni Tsipis, an executive with WS Development, said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for One Seaport. “Even with today’s opening, not even 25 percent of the total retail and restaurant space in this neighborhood that will be opening in the coming years will be complete.”. . . more

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Future of malls could include residential development, execs say

Image result for malls with residentialMalls and shopping centers beleaguered by dwindling foot traffic could look “tremendously different” in 10 years, incorporating residential and other uses, a real estate executive said Tuesday.

Joshua Weinkranz, Northeast region president at New Hyde Park-based Kimco Realty Corp., which owns more than 500 shopping centers including 30 on Long Island, said some brick-and-mortar operations like Walmart are finding ways to incorporate online offerings into their physical store locations, allowing them “to stay relevant” amid competition from e-commerce companies like Amazon.. . . more

Rite Aid and Walgreens begin store transfer process

The transition has begun.

Rite Aid announced that it has completed the pilot closing and first subsequent closings as part of its asset purchase agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance. Rite Aid executed the transfer of 97 stores and related assets to Walgreens.

 Under the amended agreement, Walgreens will purchase a total of 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for an all-cash purchase price of $4.375 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis.. . . more

Consumer confidence at 17-year high

Consumers are entering the holiday season in very high spirits.

U.S. consumer confidence increased for a fifth consecutive month and remains at a 17-year high, according to The Conference Board. The Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in October, increased further in November. The Index now stands at 129.5, up from 126.2 in October. It is the highest mark since the index hit 132.6 in November 2000.. . . more

New York & Company acquires bankrupt plus-size retailer

Fashion to Figure will live to see another day.

In an acquisition that will give it entry into the $21 billion women’s plus-size apparel market, New York & Company has entered into an agreement to purchase certain assets of Fashion to Figure for $1.4 million in cash (plus no more than $1.0 million of fees and expenses). Fashion to Figure, which filed for Chapter 11 protection on November 13, 2017, is currently holding liquidation sales at its stores.. . . more

Chipotle seeks turnaround expert to replace Ells as CEO

Image result for chipotleChipotle Mexican Grill Inc co-founder Steve Ells said on Wednesday he would step down as chief executive, succumbing to pressure from investors after failing to turn around the burrito chain from a string of food safety lapses.

The company said it was searching for a “new leader with demonstrated turnaround expertise” to replace Ells, who will stay on as executive chairman. . . . more

Millennials led holiday weekend spending

Young woman in the cityYoung adults were the biggest spenders during Thanksgiving weekend, according to a report from the National Retail Federation.

Millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 spent an average of $419.52, about 25 percent more than the overall average of $335.47, per Chain Store Age.. . . more

Why Bank of America waited until now to open a Seaport branch

Image result for bank of americaWith the official opening of its Fan Pier branch on Tuesday, Bank of America now has a brick-and-mortar presence in Boston’s Seaport District. It’s obvious why the banking has entered the neighborhood: Business-wise, the area is booming, with a major new commercial tenant announcing its arrival seemingly every other week.

A more relevant question is, why now? Leader Bank ventured into the Seaport more than two years ago. Blue Hills Bank has been there for a year. The neighborhood’s high rents should have given BofA little pause, considering it generates billions of dollars in profits each quarter. So what took it so long?. . . more