Friday, March 30, 2018

Sales at Class-A Malls Increase Despite Broader Retail Woes

Image result for class a mallsSomeone needs to tell class-A mall owners that the consensus among market pundits is that the mall is dying. The owners probably didn't receive the memo, given the stellar recent performance of their properties.

Inline store sales for Macerich Co., Simon Property Group, Taubman Centers Inc., and GGP Inc. all increased year over year, a strong barometer of just how successful their properties have been. (In some cases, the increases were more handsome than others.) However, owners of class-B/C malls didn't fare as well.. . . more

Analysts: GGP Deal Lowers the Bar for Mall REIT Values

Image result for ala moana mallEarlier this week, mall REIT GGP Inc. finally agreed to a $9 billion cash buyout offer from Brookfield Property Partners, ending years of negotiations for the takeover of one of America’s largest mall REIT companies. The terms disappointed industry observers, who believe the deal closes out the era of big appetites for mall portfolios, and the willingness to pay premium prices for such assets.

Some industry observers quickly noted that the price carries negative implications for the mall sector. GGP’s portfolio contains plenty of class-A assets and the company owns such premiere properties as the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, Hawaii and One Union Square in San Francisco.. . . more

Why Amazon May Be Picking Up More Retail Locations

amazon-packageTime to delivery is now the yardstick for e-commerce success, so” last mile” distribution space is of utmost importance to online retailers. With last-mile warehouse space in short supply and most of it in old, obsolete industrial buildings, it was only a matter of time before big-box stores began doubling as distribution space.

Online giant Amazon has already partnered with department store chain Kohl’s to handle its returns. Kohl’s is now selling Amazon devices in its stores and offers free returns for Amazon products at a number of locations.. . . more

Albertsons clears anti-trust hurdle in Rite Aid deal

Albertsons is one step closer to acquiring Rite Aid.

Rite Aid Thursday morning announced that the HSR waiting period (under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976) in connection with its previously announced merger with Albertsons, expired this midnight past.

The expiration of the waiting period under the HSR Act satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the merger, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions, including the approval of Rite Aid’s stockholders.. . . more

Former Walmart CEO calls out Amazon as being ‘predatory’

AmazonIt seems Walmart’s former CEO shares President Donald Trump’s feelings about the power and impact of Amazon on the retail industry.

Bill Simon, who served as Walmart’s CEO between 2010 and 2014, said Congress should consider splitting up Amazon, reported CNBC. Simon called out the company for operating its retail segment at a loss for decades, and subsidizing the retail portion of its business with profits from other areas, such as Web services.. . . more

Walmart in Early-Stage Acquisition Talks With Humana

Should there be a deal with Humana, it would transform Walmart overnight into one of the nation’s largest health insurers.Walmart Inc. is in preliminary talks to buy insurer Humana Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that would mark a dramatic shift for the retail behemoth and the latest in a recent flurry of big deals in health-care services.

It isn’t clear what terms the companies may be discussing, and there is no guarantee they will strike a deal. If they do, the deal would be big: Humana currently has a market value of about $37 billion.. . . more

Whole Foods just hinted at giving Prime members a 10% discount

More discounts may soon be coming to Amazon Prime members at Whole Foods Market.

At a Whole Foods in Austin, Texas, the grocer has tested marketing material that promotes 10 percent discounts for Prime members, according pictures of that signage obtained by CNBC.

The discounts are not official, and the marketing material is still in its trial stage. The banners were hung late Wednesday in the store and had been removed by Thursday morning.. . . more

Experts Say Brookfield’s Lowball Offer For GGP Could Spark A Bidding War

Experts Say Brookfield’s Lowball Offer For GGP Could Spark A Bidding WarSome experts foresee a bidding war breaking out on the heels of the Brookfield Property Partners deal to acquire the remaining 66% of GGP for $9.25B in cash.

The deal has sparked controversy and caused many to question whether or not it will lead to the undervaluing of Class-A malls. GGP rejected an earlier offer from Brookfield because it was deemed too low, but according to Brookfield, the new offer increases the cash consideration from $7.4B to $9.25B.

Bullish real estate investor and Seeking Alpha contributor Julian Lin said this controversy could lead GGP rival Simon Property Group to put in a bid. . . . more

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hudson’s Bay Co. swings to profit in Q4, but ‘not pleased’ with performance

Image result for saks off fifthDespite capitalizing on the value of its real estate portfolio and swinging to its first profit in eight quarters, Hudson’s Bay Co. missed earnings expectations for the fourth quarter. Disappointing performances by the retail giant’s European chain, discount banners, and Lord & Taylor, and problems with its cost-cutting plan, all took a toll on the retail giant, whose overall same-store sales fell.

Retail sales increased 2.1% to C$4.7 billion, helped by an additional week of sales. Overall comparable sales across all banners during the quarter decreased 2.4%. Same-store sales fell 2.6% at the department store group, consisting of Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters, amid lower traffic. The company’s discount banners, including Gilt and Sake Off-Fifth, also did not perform well. A bright spot was Saks Fifth Avenue, whose same-store sales rose 2.1%, the third consecutive quarter of growth.. . . more

Amazon Prime Now gives Whole Foods a price edge

primenowbird.jpgOrdering grocery delivery from Whole Foods using Amazon Prime Now may be cheaper than buying from Kroger using Instacart, despite higher in-store prices at Whole Foods, according to new research from Barclays Capital.

In a recent price check in Cincinnati, Kroger’s headquarters market, the Barclays research found that ordering two-hour delivery from Whole Foods using Amazon Prime Now yielded discounts of between 2% and 7% for baskets of $35-$50, not counting the $99 annual membership fee for Amazon Prime.. . . more

Toys R Us stores set to be bid on by Target, Big Lots and Aldi, among others

Customers enter a Toys R Us store on March 15, 2018 in Emeryville, California.Several Toys R Us stores are scheduled to be auctioned off later this week, according to court documents filed Tuesday. that were reviewed

Out of the 58 "qualified bids" being considered, Target and Aldi both are looking at one location in Kendall, Florida, which is near a handful of college campuses. Big Lots is bidding on five stores — in Fresno, California; Exton, Pennsylvania; Durham, North Carolina; Woodbridge, Virginia, and Indianapolis. Furniture chain Raymour and Flanigan is looking to bid on three stores — two in New Jersey and one in New York. Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, which owns PGA Tour Superstore, will bid on the same Indianapolis store as Big Lots, along with a store in Vernon Hills, Illinois. . . . more

US consumer spending up modestly in February as incomes rose

FILE- In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, a man pushes a cart while shopping at a Walmart store in North Bergen, N.J. On Thursday, March 29, 2018, the Commerce Department issues its February report on consumer spending. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
            Americans increased their spending just 0.2 percent in February, while their incomes were boosted by increased wages and business owners' income.

The Commerce Department says the modest spending increase followed an equal gain in January and a rise of 0.4 percent in December. Incomes increased a healthy 0.4 percent.. . . more

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

L.L. Bean's first urban store in Boston heralds a new chapter for the storied Maine retailer

Image result for ll bean seaportAt 8,600 square feet, L.L. Bean’s first urban store is among the larger retail footprints in Boston’s Seaport District. But the store is by far the smallest in L.L. Bean’s portfolio — and it heralds a new chapter for the storied Maine retailer.

Going forward, L.L. Bean’s goal will be to open smaller-footprint spaces with a merchandise selection that’s selected to fit the needs of the store’s surrounding community, said Susie Gresco, L.L. Bean’s Seaport store manager, on a tour Wednesday morning. And it starts with the Seaport location.. . . more

KeyPoint Partners To Lease New Development Merrimack Park Place in Merrimack, NH

BURLINGTON, MA- KeyPoint Partners, LLC (KPP) has been retained to handle retail leasing for Merrimack Park Place, a new development in Merrimack, New Hampshire at the entrance to the Merrimack Premium Outlets. The Monahan Companies of Nashua, New Hampshire, is developing the property. KPP Vice President of Leasing Michael Branton is handling the leasing assignment.. . . more

J.Crew to grow Madewell brand

Image result for madewellJ.Crew Group is looking to its Madewell division to make up for continuing slumping sales as its namesake division.

Total revenues increased 2% to $710.6 million, which includes $28.6 million generated in the 14th week. Same-store sales fell 3%.

By brand, J.Crew comp sales decreased 7%.Madewell comparable sales increased 17%.. . . more

Restoration Hardware Q4 profit tops Street; develops smaller format

Image result for restoration hardwareThe luxury home furnishings retailer reported net income of $261,000, or 1 cent a share, for the quarter, compared with $9.4 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales rose 14% to $670.3 million. Analysts had expected sales of $672 million. Same-store sales increased 2%.

RH plans to open four new locations (“Galleries”) in 2018, Portland, Ore.; Nashville; Yountville, Calif.; and New York City. The latter three will feature cafés, wine vaults and coffee bars.. . . more

Rite Aid completes its store transfers to Walgreens

Rite Aid on Tuesday finalized the transfer of 1,932 stores and related assets to Walgreens Boots Alliance in return for $4.2 billion. The transfer of the three distribution centers and related inventory is expected to begin after Sept. 1, 2018.

The majority of the closing conditions have been satisfied, and the transfers of Rite Aid distribution centers and related assets remain subject to minimal customary closing conditions applicable only to the distribution centers being transferred at such distribution center closing.. . . more

Lululemon Surges the Most in 10 Months After Online Sales Boom

Image result for lululemonLululemon Athletica Inc.’s sales accelerated faster than expected last quarter, helped by booming e-commerce orders, sending the shares on their biggest rally in almost 10 months.

The yogawear maker posted comparable-sales growth of 11 percent when accounting for currency effects and direct-to-consumer channels. Quarterly revenue and profit beat estimates, easing concerns that a CEO shuffle will disrupt its performance.. . . more