Friday, August 30, 2019

Burlington Stores store remodels gaining traction

Home Textiles Today
By the end of this year, Burlington Stores will have remodeled over 60% of its store fleet.

During the company’s second quarter conference call this morning, executives for the 691-unit off-price chain reiterated the long-term strategy of getting to 1,000 stores in the US.. . . more

Ulta lowers guidance on weak cosmetics market

Retail Dive
Ulta, usually a top performer, unexpectedly lowered its guidance for fiscal 2019 on Thursday, citing "headwinds" in the U.S. cosmetics market, according to a company press release. CEO Mary Dillon said on a conference call with analysts that the cosmetics category, which makes up about 50% of the retailer's business, failed to live up to the company's expectations for the period, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Nevertheless, net sales at the retailer rose 12% in the second quarter to $1.67 billion, compared to $1.49 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable sales also increased 6.2%, thanks to growth in the number and size of transactions, but down slightly from a 6.5% increase a year ago.. . . more

Store Closings Could Hit 12,000 By the End of the Year

The so-called “retail apocalypse” continues as massive U.S. retail chains, including Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree, Gap and Dressbarn have already announced 7,888 stores closures this year, according to global marketing research firm Coresight Research.

That number easily beats the 5,844 total store closures in all of 2018, which included all Toys ‘R’ Us stores, as well as hundreds of Sears and Kmart locations.

The record year for closures was 2017, with 8,139 shuttered locations. If the current frenzied pace continues, however, store closings could hit 12,000 by year-end, Coresight reports.. . . more

Consumer spending surges in July and low inflation paves way for Fed to cut rates

Americans boosted spending in July on recreational goods and vehicles as well as energy to run their air conditioners, but inflation remained low enough to give the Federal Reserve room to cut interest rates next month.

Consumer spending jumped 0.6% last month, the government said Friday, matching the MarketWatch forecast.

Incomes rose just 0.1%, however, marking the smallest gain in nearly a year. Americans had to dip into their savings to cover their expenses.. . . more

Check out Wayfair’s first permanent store

Chain Store Age
Wayfair continues its foray into brick-and-mortar with the opening of its first permanent, full-price store.

The online home furnishings giant opened a 3,400-sq.-ft. location at Natick Mall, in Natick., Mass. Wayfair previously operated a pop-up shop at the Natick Mall during the 2018 holiday season along with one at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. . . . more

Walmart to pilot new health services in Georgia

Chain Store Age
The new Walmart Health clinic will reportedly offer low-cost mental and dental health services.

According to CNBC, Walmart is testing a new health clinic concept in a building located next to a store in Dallas, Georgia, starting Sept. 13, 2019. The clinic, called Walmart Health, will provide comprehensive services including primary care, dental, counseling, labs, X-rays, and audiology. The clinic will be located in a separate building from the neighboring store to ensure patient privacy, with online scheduling of appointments.. . . more

Big Lots beats Street with Q2 earnings, misses on same-store sales

Chain Store Age
For the second quarter in a row, after-tax charges bit into profits at Big Lots Inc.

The closeout retailer reported net income of $6.2 million during the second quarter of fiscal 2019, including after-tax charges of $14.5 million related to its ongoing strategic business transformation. This represented a roughly 75% decrease from net income of $24.2 million the prior-year period. However, adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 53 cents per share beat Wall Street analyst expectations of 36 cents per share.

Net sales totaled $1.25 billion, up 2% from $1.22 billion a year earlier and in line with Wall Street predictions. Same-stores sales growth of 1.2% fell behind expectations of 1.9%.. . . more

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Tiffany Q2 earnings top Street but sales miss amid Hong Kong protests

Chain Store Age
Tiffany & Co. reported earnings that easily topped analysts’ expectations but its sales fell short amid protests in Hong Kong and a decline in tourist spending in the U.S.

Sales fell to $1.05 billion from $1.08 billion, missing Street estimates of $1.06 billion. Global same-store sales decreased 4%. Same-store U.S. sales fell 4%. Tiffany said it had “strong growth” in mainland China but “softness” in Hong Kong.. . . more

Five Below on track to open 150 stores in 2019

Chain Store Age
Five Below reported continued aggressive expansion in its second quarter along with earnings that just beat Street expectations as sales fell short.

Net sales rose 20.0% to $417.4 million, below analysts’ projections. Same-store sales increased 1.4%.

Five Below opened 44 stores in the quarter. It is on plan to open 150 stores in fiscal 2019. . . . more

Dollar General blows past Street estimates in Q2, raises guidance; names COO

Chain Store Age
Dollar General on Thursday reported a strong second-quarter performance, beating Wall Street’s earnings and sales expectations, and announced two key promotions.

Sales rose 8.4% to $7.0 billion, beating estimates of $6.9 billion. Same-store sales rose 4%, also more than expected.. . . more

Regis selling rest of company-owned salons

Regis Corp. plans to sell more than 3,100 salons in its transition to a full franchise business model.

In its last fiscal year, the Edina-based company has sold 767 salons to franchisees, making more than half its 7,145 salons franchises. It said Tuesday, as it released fourth quarter results, that it will sell almost all of the rest of the corporate-owned stores.. . . more

Gap to keep name after Old Navy spin-off

FOX Business
Gap Inc announced on Wednesday that it will keep its iconic name following the planned spin-off of its Old Navy brand Opens a New Window. .

The new public company, currently being called NewCo, will have the Gap Inc. name.

The new Gap Inc. will contain a portfolio of brands, including Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, Janie and Jack, and Hill City.. . . more

Greater Hartford, CT Report Preview

KeyPoint Partners
With the releases of the KeyPoint Reports on Eastern Massachusetts/Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire behind us, it’s time to move on to the report for Greater Hartford, Connecticut, based on our proprietary GRIID™ retail database. As with the other reports, our modus operandi is to share some of the regional highlights while the complete version is still “baking.” In Greater Hartford, the 2019 retail market was a relatively stable one.. . . more

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Forever 21 reportedly preparing potential bankruptcy filing

Apparel retailer Forever 21 is preparing to potentially file for bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported Wednesday afternoon, citing people familiar with its plans.

The retailer has been exploring restructuring options to shore up its liquidity as it struggles with its business, CNBC previously reported. Those efforts though, have stalled, and the company’s focus has instead shifted to raising a so-called debtor-in-possession loan to fund a potential bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported. The newswire cautioned it is still possible it will be able to restructure its debt without filing for bankruptcy.. . . more

Lord & Taylor sold

Chain Store Age
The nation’s oldest department store company is being acquired by an apparel rental service that was founded some seven years ago.

Hudson’s Bay Company said it will sell Lord & Taylor to Le Tote for $100 million. The Canadian department store giant will be paid C$99.5 million (US$75 million) in cash after the deal closes and a secured promissory note of C$33.2 million (US$25 million) payable in cash after two years. In addition, Hudson’s Bay will receive an equity stake in Le Tote, two seats on its board and certain rights as a minority shareholder.. . . more

Simon Property Group Wants to Be More Than Just a Mall Operator

The Motley Fool
The retail apocalypse is in full force. Last year, Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy and is liquidating stores. Earlier this year, Dressbarn (owned by Ascena Retail Group) made the decision to close all its stores. And these are just two examples of the dozens of struggling retailers that have been closing thousands of stores or are on the brink of insolvency.

A major loser in all of this (other than the individual retailers) are the real estate companies owed rent and facing higher vacancy rates in the malls they operate. Among them is Simon Property Group, a real estate investment trust (REIT) that operates 235 shopping centers around the world. While the company's business is holding up well, Simon is redeveloping much of its property to diversify its portfolio. . . . more

Hollister may be competing with Macy’s on Fifth Avenue soon

New York Post
Hollister is working on opening a store at 130 W. 34th St. opposite Macy’s.

The deal may or may not be complete, and it is unclear if the retailer leased the entire multistory building of 22,500 square feet that was being marketed as one unit, or just a floor or two.. . . more

Liberty Tax’s retail buying spree continues

Chain Store Age
Sears Hometown has sold its outlet business to a company with a rapidly expanding retail portfolio.

Liberty Tax announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Sears Hometown’s Outlet business and its group of 41 franchised Buddy’s Home Furnishings stores in an all cash transaction valued at up to approximately $132.9 million.

Liberty is the parent company of Liberty Tax Service and lease-to-own Buddy’s Home Furnishings and is in the process of acquiring The Vitamin Shoppe. The acquisitions are part of Liberty’s ongoing strategy to transform itself from a tax services business to an investment company specializing in franchised and related businesses. . . . more

Chico’s swings to Q2 loss; White House Black Market falls but Soma shines

Chain Store Age
Chico’s FAS’s continued to struggle in the second quarter amid plunging sales at White House | Black Market and a better-than-expected performance by its lingerie brand, Soma.

Revenue fell 6.7% to $508.4 million, below the $513.0 million analysts had estimated. The decrease was driven by a total same-store sales decline of 6.1%, more than the Street expected, as well as the impact of 53 net store closures since last year’s second quarter, the company said.

By brand, same-store sales fell 16.1% at White House Black Market and 5.6% at Chico’s. Same-store sales rose 10.9% at Soma. . . . more

Walmart's biggest-ever holiday toy list is dominated by kid influencers

Yahoo Finance
Walmart posted its biggest ever "hottest toy" list for the holidays yesterday.

The world's largest retailer dropped a list with 48 toys, rated by kids who tested and played with hundreds of products. The collection includes dolls, scooters, and games.

This season, Walmart will increase its exclusive toy offering in stores and online by 25% — and is adding over 40 new toys from kid-influencer brands.. . . more

Amazon appears to be cutting prices at Whole Foods again

Amazon appears to be cutting back prices at Whole Foods again, after rolling out a broader price hike earlier this year.

As of August, Whole Foods prices are down roughly 2.5% on average compared with last year, according to a note published by Morgan Stanley on Tuesday. The drop in price follows a 3% price increase in the first three months of this year, the note said.. . . more

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Boston Gaining On New York, San Francisco As Foreign Investors’ Market Of Choice

While the largest destinations for cross-border capital into the U.S. have lost momentum in recent years, Boston is gaining ground. . . more

Has the Last Remaining Tannery Store Finally Closed?

Boston Magazine
The store's owner had been battling bankruptcy, lawsuits, and discrimination charges. Now it looks like time to find a new place to score killer deals on heels.. . . more

Flywheel To Close 11 Studios

SGB Media
Flywheel Sports, the spin chain, is closing 11 of its 42 locations. The closings were reported in an e-mail to membership holders. . . . more

Target on track to remodel 1,000 stores by end of 2020

Target Corp. has passed two big store milestones.

The discounter recently cut the ribbon on its 100th small-format store, and also surpassed its 500th store remodel. And it’s not done yet: Target said it’s on track to remodel 1,000 stores by the end of 2020. . . . more

Krispy Kreme's Sweet Redesign Marks the Beginning of a New Era

Just outside of the main entrance of Krispy Kreme’s new store in Concord, North Carolina, sits a massive pink doughnut covered with sprinkles. This bright, Instagramable feature—which doubles as a patio bench—is just one of the new interactive features incorporated into the store’s innovative redesign. . . . more

BJ’s Wholesale Club expanding its retail footprint

BJ’s Wholesale Club continues to venture beyond its Northeast home base.

The warehouse club operator will open two new stores, including BJ’s Gas, in early 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. and Chesterfield, Mich. BJ’s is on track to to open its first two locations in Michigan this fall, in Taylor, and Madison Heights. The Pensacola location will be the company’s 33rd site in Florida. . . . more

Why more retailers who own their stores are doing sale-leasebacks

Is the chain you work for, like so many retail chains today, looking to lift net earnings in a challenging environment?

One thing to consider heavily if yours is a chain that owns a lot of its own properties is the sale-leaseback. A sale-leaseback is exactly what it sounds like: You sell your property, but you immediately lease it from the buyer so you can continue to operate your business. Why would you sell a property you still need to use? Generally speaking, you either want to get cash back out of your investment, possibly to put back into your business, or you want to end the headache that sometimes comes with owning the property where your business is located. . . . more

Monday, August 26, 2019

New Bedford set to get new 10,000-square-foot retail store

SouthCoast Today
The new Family Dollar on Orchard Street could be getting a new neighbor, but it’s unclear who exactly that would be. The city’s Planning Board has approved a site plan for the construction of a 10,000-square-foot retail store on the vacant lot directly adjacent to the dollar store, but no intended tenant is listed.

The site, which was previously part of a Goodyear Tire manufacturing facility, is set to be purchased by Lisciotti Development Corp., according to the site plan review application.. . . more

Costco hopes to succeed where other foreign retail giants failed by opening first Chinese store

South China Morning Post
The US retail giant Costco is diving into the thorny area of food retail in China with its first store opening this week, but analysts warn it faces a tough ride as it looks to succeed where a series of international retailers have failed.

China has proved a brutal battleground for overseas food retailers in recent years, with many failing to understand consumer habits and tastes and facing strong competition from local companies.. . . more

Forever 21 hires disposition company

Chain Store Age
The trendy mall teen fashion shop whose trendiness appears on the wane has hired RCS Real Estate Advisors to help it re-evaluate its 815-store portfolio.

Forever 21, a favorite of teen girls for most of the last decade, is suffering from a severe drop in traffic and is looking at closing under-performing locations and filing for bankruptcy.. . . more

Target teaming up with Disney for new in-store experience

Chain Store Age
Target Corp. is looking to bring the magic of Disney to its stores and e-commerce site via a pilot with the entertainment giant.

The discounter plans to open dedicated Disney Stores at 25 Target locations on October 4, with 40 more opening by October 2020. The in-store shops will feature more than 450 items, including toys, games, apparel and accessories —with more than 100 products that were previously only available at Disney retail locations. . . . more

Barneys exec explains why it's keeping the Madison Avenue flagship

Retail Dive
Just a few weeks after Barneys New York filed for bankruptcy, Chief Digital and Technology Officer and Executive Vice President Katherine Bahamonde Monasebian discussed some of the problems that forced the company into that position in the first place.

"Department stores used to be, in their heyday, the emporium. They were the center of the community. They were the place you went to find what you needed, perfectly curated. There was no retail without department stores," Monasebian said during a panel at the eTail East conference this week, noting that the model has had to evolve in a period of change. . . . more

Ross posts 6% sales increase, opens 27 stores in Q2

Retail Dive
Ross Stores second quarter sales grew nearly 6.5% year over year to nearly $4 billion as comparable-store sales rose 3%, against a tough comparison of 5% a year ago, the company said in a press release.

The off-price retailer opened a net of 27 stores between the end of Q1 and Q2. The company was on track to open 22 Ross and six dd's Discount stores in the quarter, with plans to add a total of about 100 this year, including 75 Ross locations, executives said Thursday.. . . more

Social media is making it even harder to work in stores and restaurants

Business Insider
You've probably seen the footage. A group descends on a local Walmart, Home Depot, or Target, intent on sowing chaos. The next thing you know, people are scaling the store's shelving, tossing themselves into displays, kicking around merchandise, incurring the ire of managers, and, occasionally, reducing employees to tears.

Of course, you're not watching the work of an out-of-control mob or an anti-retail vandal crew or some sort of destructive organized crime ring. These are social media creators at work. They're just looking for good content, and sometimes that means getting kicked out of a retailer or restaurant chain with a household name.. . . more

Friday, August 23, 2019

Foot Locker goes off track again in Q2

Chain Store Age
Foot Locker turned in a disappointing second-quarter performance with earnings and sales that missed expectations.

Sales fell 0.4% to $1.77 billion, below analysts’ estimates of $1.82 billion. Same-store sales edged up 0.8%, also below estimates. . . . more

Amazon spreads AmazonFresh north, south and west

Chain Store Age
Amazon is bringing ultrafast delivery of fresh products to major metro areas in Minnesota, Texas, and Arizona.

The e-tail giant is now offering its Amazon Fresh delivery service to Prime members in Minneapolis, Houston, and Phoenix. Online orders for tens of thousands of fresh products, including meat, seafood, produce, and everyday essentials, will be available for one- to two-hour delivery from AmazonFresh.. . . more

Tractor Supply Co. begins search for a new CEO

Chain Store Age
Tractor Supply Co.’s succession plan has gone a bit off track.

The nation’s largest rural lifestyle retailer announced that it extended the current employment contract of CEO Greg Sandfort for a period of up to one year while an executive search firm looks for a successor. The news came as Tractor Supply also said that president and COO Steve Barbarick, who has been with the company for 21 years, had resigned, effective immediately. It gave no reason for his departure. Barbarick, who added the title of COO last year, was widely viewed as next in line for the CEO spot. . . . more

Investors look at dollar stores as U.S. recession fears increase

More investors are watching the shares of discount retailers like Dollar General Corp and Dollar Tree Inc, which perform better during economic downturns, in the hopes of gauging changes in consumer behavior, though higher tariffs may erode the companies’ ability to act as economic bellwethers.

Fund managers and analysts say that they are looking for signs of a so-called “trade-down trade”, in which consumers forgo shopping at higher-end department stores or supermarkets in favor of the more limited selection but lower prices at deep discounters. Between December 2008 and December 2011, for instance, shares of Dollar Tree soared nearly 200% as consumers pinched pennies during the Great Recession, while the benchmark S&P 500 gained just 39% over the same time.. . . more

Gap same-store sales disappoint as Old Navy struggles

Yahoo Finance
Gap Inc posted quarterly same-store sales that fell short of analysts' estimates on Thursday, as Old Navy suffered its worst comparable sales figures in three years ahead of a planned spin-off of the brand.

Old Navy, which offers more affordable clothing and accessories, has been a bright spot for the company in the past. But quarterly same-store sales fell 5%, much worse than the 1.11% decline Wall Street expected, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. . . . more

Target has opened 100 mini stores and remodeled 500 bigger ones. And it’s paying off

Target is surpassing major milestones this week on its store investments, days after the retailer reported earnings that blew past analysts’ estimates and sent its shares surging to new highs.

Target announced Friday it has opened its 100th small-format location and finished remodeling its 500th location since it unveiled a $7 billion investment plan in 2017. . . . more

Dick's is still figuring out what to do with its gun business

CNN Business
Dick's Sporting Goods said it is still reviewing whether to continue to sell firearms as it weighs results from 135 stores which no longer carry guns.

The nation's largest sporting goods-only retailer reported strong results from its other businesses: athletic equipment, clothing and footwear. Its sales were not significantly hit in stores where it replaced its "hunt" business with other items.

Dick's pulled hunting products, including firearms, out of 10 stores last fall as an initial test. It expanded that test to 125 more stores earlier this year. It still has about 600 stores that sell hunting products, including firearms.. . . more

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Apparel is out of fashion

Retail Dive
Considering the number of apparel retailers on the ground and online, it would appear to be a winning category. But broad sales trends are not in the sector's favor.

Several apparel retailers are struggling. Ascena is regrouping as sales plummet, unloading its discount banners entirely. L Brands is propped up by its personal care brand Bath & Body Works as Victoria's Secret loses share. J. Crew is in disarray, hobbled by debt and putting its hopes into its much smaller Madewell brand.. . . more

BJ’s Wholesale’s Q2 earnings beat analysts’ estimates

Chain Store Age
BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. swung to a profit in its second quarter with earnings that came in ahead of the Street.

Total revenue rose 1.2% to $3.345 billion, below Street estimates, as retail sales grew 1.1% to $3.271 billion and membership fee income increased 6.0% to $74.697 million.

Same-store sales, excluding gasoline sales, rose 1.6%, in line with expectations. . . . more

Should Landlords Worry About Drugstore Closures?

Neighborhoods will see fewer corner drugstores as Walgreens has revealed recently it will shutter 200 U.S. stores, and less than a day later, CVS announced it’s pulling back on the number of new store openings annually.

Is the drugstore sector undergoing a major transformation like other retail sectors?. . . more

L Brands second-quarter profit drops sharply as Victoria’s Secret lags

The Columbus Dispatch
L Brands said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit tumbled from the same period in 2018, dragged down by a one-time charge and continued struggles at Victoria’s Secret.

Revenue fell to $2.9 billion during the quarter from $3 billion in the same period in 2018.

The company said comparable store sales, an indicator of a retailer’s strength, fell 6% at Victoria’s Secret but rose 8% at Bath & Body Works. Overall, comparable store sales fell 1%.. . . more

Nordstrom beats profit estimates as it clears inventory faster and sells more online

Yahoo Finance
Upscale U.S. retailer Nordstrom Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as it said it had cut costs and cleared more inventory, sending its shares up 10% in extended trading.

The Seattle-based company, which sells everything from apparel and footwear to home decor, said digital sales rose 4% for the second quarter ended Aug. 3, although weaker sales at both its full-price department stores and off-price Nordstrom Rack stores dragged total revenue down 5% to $3.87 billion. . . . more

Retail earnings show big box, off-price brands are winning while mall stores struggle

The Dallas Morning News
The divide between retail winners and losers is widening.

That became even more evident Wednesday with the latest batch of earnings reports: Big-box stores and off-price retailers have been responding faster to shoppers' increasing shift online with expanded deliveries and better merchandise. But many mall-based clothing chains and department stores continue to suffer weak sales as they struggle to lure shoppers.. . . more

Physical stores fight Amazon with tech makeover

Boston Business Journal
At the Credo “clean beauty” store in San Francisco’s upscale Pacific Heights neighbourhood, McKenzie Hunt is racking up sales. She is chatting with a regular client — one of dozens in her “black book” — who wants advice on which shade of foundation best suits their skin tone.

The feat is all the more impressive given that, on this quiet Tuesday morning, no customers are in sight. Ms Hunt is chatting to a client in Boston, and their conversation is taking place on an iPad.

Welcome to the future of personal shopping. Ms Hunt’s black book chat app is powered by London-based Hero, a start-up bringing digital engagement tools into physical stores. . . . more

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Resale clothing company thredUP gets $175 million in funding

Online resale store thredUP said on Wednesday it received $175 million in funding which it will use to expand its platform to offer resale clothing services to retailers.

Last week, the department store chains J.C. Penney Company Inc and Macy’s Inc. announced partnerships with San Francisco-based thredUP intended to lure younger, more environmentally conscious shoppers into stores and to provide retailers fresh inventory of secondhand clothing and accessories. . . . more

Urban Outfitters in mixed Q2; Free People continues to shine

Chain Store Age
Urban Outfitters’ second-quarter earnings topped analysts’ estimates but its revenue fell short amid comp declines at its namesake and Anthropologie divisions.

Total net sales decreased 3% to $962 million, short of Street expectations of $982 million. Same-store sales also dropped 3%. By brand, comparable sales increased 6% at Free People and decreased 3% at the Anthropologie Group and 5% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 8%.. . . more

Lowe's Posts Strong Second-Quarter Earnings, Sales Top Forecasts

Shares of home improvement retailer Lowe's took off on Wednesday after reporting second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts as the Home Depot competitor continued to focus on luring home-improvement and renovation-focused customers through its doors.

Sales were $21 billion vs. $20.8 billion a year ago and above analysts' forecasts of $20.97 billion. Comparable same-store sales, a key metric among brick-and-mortar retailers, was 2.3%. Comparable-store sales for its U.S. home improvement business increased 3.2%.. . . more

CVS wants to expand MinuteClinics. But will it bring them to Boston?

Boston Business Journal
Retail clinics at drugstores, a low-cost option for a range of ailments, have proliferated across Massachusetts. But not in Boston.

The city’s dearth of retail health care may soon change, however, with CVS Health’s plans to bring its new "HealthHUBs" into Boston.. . . more

Target thrives in intense retail environment

The News & Observer
Target topped expectations in just about any way measureable during the second quarter as it pushed faster delivery for customers and invested heavily in new private label brands.

Comparable store sales, which include online sales, rose 3.4 % as customer traffic jumped 2.4%. The measure includes sales at stores open at least a year and online sales. Sales at established stores rose 1.5 %. Online sales soared 34%.. . . more

See inside Wayfair's first full-service retail home store
Boston-based online furniture retailer Wayfair will open its first full-service retail store at the Natick Mall on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

The Natick store will feature hundreds of items in its inventory that will be available for in-store purchase. It will also allow shoppers to use digital interfaces to plan out the layout of rooms in their home and customize the upholstery of furniture to match their needs, according to a statement issued by the company.. . . more

Quincy Developer Proposes $300M Casino, Horse Track For Wareham
Casino competition is heating up in the last Massachusetts region awaiting a gambling development. 

 Marina Bay and Granite Links Golf Club developer Thomas O’Connell is leading a development partnership, Notos Group LLC, for Wareham Park. The more than $300M gambling proposal includes a horse track, restaurants, a slots parlor, a hotel, a ballpark for the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Wareham Gatemen and other entertainment venues. . . . more

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Target’s new grocery brand gives it advantage over many other grocers

Chain Store Age
Over the past few years, Target has been a master of own brand development. Its labels in everything from fashion to party goods have been well-conceived, nicely executed and, most importantly, have resonated with consumers. They have also helped to differentiate Target from other retailers and have played a role in protecting margins as price comparison is more difficult with exclusive labels.

The one area where Target has been lacking, to date, is grocery. Aside from the simple store refreshes, this is an area that has not been advanced. As a result, while they are perfectly functional, Target’s grocery aisles feel neither innovative nor special. Target is hoping that its new brand, Good & Gather, will change that perception.. . . more

TJX Cos. Q2 sales disappoint

Chain Store Age
TJX Cos. reported total revenue and comp sales that missed analysts estimates increased competition in the off-price sector.

Net sales increased 4.8% to $9.78 billion, missing estimates of $9.90 billion. Consolidated same-store sales increased 2%, also missing estimates. By division, same-store sales rose 2% at Marmaax U.S. (TJ Maxx and Marshall’s), 1% at TJX Canada and 6% at TJX International.. . . more

Home Depot stock rises on better-than-expected profits even as the company lowers outlook on tariff worries

Home Depot shares climbed more than 3% Tuesday morning after the retailer released a mixed earnings report that investors attributed to a weakening housing market.

Home Depot’s fiscal second-quarter sales missed analysts’ expectations, and the company lowered its sales outlook for the year amid fears that the trade war will slow consumer spending. But its earnings topped estimates, and analysts say that positions Home Depot well for the back half of 2019.. . . more

Kohl's Rises After Posting Better-Than-Expected Second-Quarter Earnings

Department store chain Kohl's on Tuesday reported second-quarter earnings lower than a year ago but still ahead of analysts' forecasts as the company continued to focus on cutting costs while changing its product lineup to entice customers to walk through its doors.

Sales rang in at $4.43 billion for the quarter, down from $4.57 billion a year ago though ahead of analysts' forecasts of $4.31 billion. Comparable same-store sales dropped 2.9% vs. a gain of 3.1% in the same period last year.. . . more

Department stores may be having a bad ‘Kodak moment,’ one trader warns

Big retailers are getting in the check-out line to release earnings this week.

Home Depot, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Target and some other big retail names will be reporting results this week. Those reports have a tinge of uncertainty following a rough earnings miss by Macy’s and a big beat by Walmart.. . . more

July’s 30+ Days CMBS Delinquency Rate Falls to New Post-Crisis Low

The all-property CMBS delinquency rate fell to a new post-financial crisis low in July, according to both Trepp LLC and ratings agency Fitch. Trepp calculated the 30+ day all-property delinquency rate at 2.62 percent, a 22-basis-point drop from where it was in June. The figure was also down 119 basis points compared to July of 2018.

The industrial sector saw a decline of 24 basis points, to 1.70 percent, and the retail sector posted a delinquency decline of 9 basis points, to 4.35 percent.. . . more

Monday, August 19, 2019

Kroger, Walgreens expand retail pilot

Supermarket News
The Kroger Co. and Walgreens Boots Alliance are broadening their retail partnership, including the launch of Walgreens health and beauty brands in Kroger stores.

Kroger and Walgreens said Monday that their expanded retail pilot, building on a test launched last October, will bring the Kroger Express curated grocery assortment and Kroger Pickup service to 35 Walgreens drugstores in the Knoxville, Tenn., market. In addition, Walgreens own-brand health and beauty products will be sold in a Walgreens-bannered section in 17 Kroger supermarkets in Knoxville. . . . more

Banana Republic hops on board the latest retail trend

Chain Store Age
Banana Republic has joined the growing ranks of retail companies that are letting consumers rent apparel.

Banana Republic on Friday said it will launch an online subscription rental service for women at the end of September, with the goal of adding men’s apparel at a later date. Called “Style Passport,” the service will allow customers to rent three items for the monthly fee of $85, with the option to purchase any piece. The plan includes free priority shipping, unlimited exchanges and returns, and complimentary laundering services.. . . more

Consumers grow wary as sentiment falls amid trade concerns

Chain Store Age
Consumer sentiment declined in early August to its lowest level since the start of the year.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment survey fell 6.4% to 92.1 in August — the lowest level since January. Economists had predicted it would come in at 97.2.. . . more

Tailored Brands sells a division; lifts guidance

Chain Store Age
Menswear giant Tailored Brands has exited the corporate dress business.

The company, whose brands include Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, said Monday it has closed on the sale of its corporate apparel business to a group led by the existing corporate apparel U.K. executive team for $62 million in cash. The company will use proceeds from the deal to reinvest in its core business and to pay down debt.

The company also updated its guidance for the second quarter. . . . more

Nordstrom Did So Much Right, but It’s Still in Trouble

The Wall Street Journal
Nordstrom Inc. invested heavily in e-commerce, didn’t open too many cavernous stores and has been quick to experiment with new types of shopping formats, including stores that don’t carry any clothes.

Yet, it’s suffering the same fate as department stores that innovated less, with year-over-year sales and profits expected to fall for the second consecutive quarter when it reports results on Wednesday. Its stock is the second-worst performing in the S&P 500 retail index behind shares of Macy’s Inc., falling 52% over the past 12 months through Friday’s close. During that period, the index was roughly flat. . . . more

In ‘disappointing’ decision, Weiner Ventures scraps air-rights tower at 1000 Boylston

Boston Business Journal
After years of planning and study, Boston-based real estate firm Weiner Ventures said it's cancelling plans to build an air-rights tower above the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Weiner Ventures originally planned to develop two towers at 1000 Boylston St. — a 33-story condominium tower and a 17-story apartment tower atop a 35,000-square-foot, six- to seven-story retail podium. At its highest point, the project was to rise 586 feet. The firm later scrapped plans to develop the apartment tower and reduced the overall project size by 36 percent.. . . more

Could Eminent Domain Be The Zombie Mall Slayer?
After 45 years in business, and recent years of struggle, the Swansea Mall in the town of Swansea, Massachusetts, closed its doors for good in April. 

A new owner is now trying to breathe life into the mall, but is blocked from being able to do much given a set of restrictive covenants Walmart imposed on the property in 2012 under previous ownership. Now, Swansea’s top elected officials are aiming to eliminate those restrictions by advocating the use of a power unique to governments, one that more and more municipalities around the country are looking to use: eminent domain. . . . more

Friday, August 16, 2019

Retail closures more than double openings

Retail Dive
Major retailers this year have announced 7,567 store closures as of July 31, according to the latest tracking information from Coresight Research. That is up from 5,524 closures in all of 2018, according to the report, which was emailed to Retail Dive.

Most affected are apparel specialty stores, which so far have announced 2,750 closures — 36% of the total, compared to 14% of 2018's closures. Footwear stores represent 28% of this year's announcements (8% last year) and general merchandise stores 14% (2% last year). Food retailers have announced just 23 closures.. . . more

Mall-based candy retailer files for bankruptcy; locked out of some stores

Chain Store Age
Things are not so sweet these days for Lolli & Pops.

Declining mall traffic and overexpansion have caught up with the San Francisco-based retailer, with parent company Mishti Holdings LLC filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on August 13. Prior to the filing, the company closed its 10 stores operating under the Candyopolis banner. (Lolli & Pops’s e-commerce site was shut down earlier this year.). . . more

Dillard’s Q2 loss widens; to close three stores

Chain Store Age
Department stores woes continued as Dillard’s posted a much wider second-quarter loss than expected.

The department store retailer reported a net loss of $40.7 million for the quarter ended Aug.3, compared with a loss of $2.9 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell to $1.427 billion from $1.468 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 2%.. . . more

Fast-food sales grow but with fewer customers

From McDonald’s Corp. to Wendy’s Co., America’s biggest restaurant chains are serving up exactly what Wall Street is hungry for this summer: Robust sales combined with little or no tariff exposure. But peer deeper, and the outlook isn’t so rosy.

That’s because the growth has been rooted in higher prices—not necessarily new customers. Traffic has been flat or falling across the industry as U.S. consumers cut back on eating out in favor of dining on the couch. Unless restaurants can reverse this trend, the recent gains could be fleeting.. . . more

Amazon HQ is getting a new store: Inside the tech giant’s new ‘4-star’ shop in its hometown

The windows outside the ground floor of Amazon’s new re:Invent tower in Seattle are carefully blocked, shielding the bustling activity inside from public view. Stepping through multiple layers of black curtains reveals a crew of roughly 30 people scrambling to put the finishing touches on the latest Amazon 4-star store.

This is the scene less than 48 hours before the tech giant will open its fourth Amazon 4-star store — the first in its hometown of Seattle — the company’s newest brick-and-mortar concept that carries a rotating inventory of highly rated items and local favorites. With the store set to open Thursday morning, GeekWire got an early tour and some insight into the concept.. . . more

Walmart Wins In Q2 With Digital Strength Carrying The Day

Walmart had a powerful one-two punch in Q2; the strength of its digital sales combined with quick delivery boosted sales and earnings in the second quarter of 2019. Domestic comparable sales increased by a very solid 2.8%, and e-commerce revenues grew by a whopping 37%. These astonishing results confirm the consumer’s trust in the company and validate that management’s drive to serve customers more efficiently are just what’s needed.

Total global revenues in the quarter were $130.4 Billion. This is an increase of $2.3 Billion. The strength of the company is its domestic Walmart operation, which reported sales of $85.2 Billion. That is 65.3% of total sales.. . . more

PREIT’s Joe Coradino Weighs in on the State of Regional Malls

It’s extremely clear that shoppers’ preferences are changing and those retailers and malls that can’t adapt are treading water or worse.

U.S. regional malls have struggled as anchor department stores like Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s have shuttered locations. However, some landlords—including Philadelphia-based PREIT—see these closures as an opportunity to recapture spaces and backfill them with higher-performing users. . . . more

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Retail sales surge in July in a reassuring sign for the U.S. economy

Sales at U.S. retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy posted the biggest increase in July in four months, a sign Americans are still confident in the economy even as headwinds pick up.

Retail sales increased 0.7% last month, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.3% increase. . . . more

Planet Fitness finds opportunity in big-box failures
The increasing failure of big box retailers is contributing to the success of Planet Fitness, which is opening gyms at a record clip, but investors are worried about the fitness franchise’s long-term stamina.

The Hampton-based fitness chain opened up 53 stores in a particularly strong quarter that ended June 30 when it comes to for both revenue and profits, the company announced last week in an earnings release.. . . more

Bonchon adds execs as it ramps up for expansion

Restaurant Business
Bonchon has aggressive growth plans, with a goal to add an additional 500 U.S. units in the next seven years. The chain, which first opened in the U.S. in 2006, currently has 93 domestic stores.

Flynn Dekker, formerly Wingstop’s CMO, was appointed to lead the chain last month.. . . more

Francesca’s completes review; to go it alone

Chain Store Age
Francesca’s has completed its review of strategic alternatives and there are no big changes in store — at least for now.

Early this year, the struggling young women’s apparel and accessories retailer announced a strategic review, whose options included a possible sale. But on Tuesday, the company announced that it had completed the review and believed the interest of its shareholders were best served “at this time” by focusing on the execution of its turnaround plan. . . . more

J.C. Penney shrinks Q2 loss despite 9% sales drop as CEO Jill Soltau says 'we are rebuilding a business'

The Dallas Morning News
J.C. Penney reported a narrower-than-expected loss on Thursday, but its sales drop of 9% was bigger than forecasts as CEO Jill Soltau said the Plano-based department store made progress.

For the first time since joining Penney in October, Soltau offered guidance for the rest of the year, saying Penney will end 2019 with positive cash flow and earnings before interest and other taxes in the range of $440 million to $475 million. The decline in same-store sales is expected to be in the range of -7% to -8%. . . . more

Amazon returns helped boost Kohl's traffic a staggering 24%, data shows

Foot traffic to Kohl's stores is soaring since it started accepting Amazon returns at its stores nationwide last month, according to the location data advertising firm inMarket.

Shopper visits to Kohl's stores rose nearly 24% in the three weeks after the program launched, compared to the previous three weeks, data from inMarket showed.. . . more

Walmart beats sales expectations, boosts guidance

Yahoo Finance
Walmart beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines for its second quarter. The world’s largest retailer also boosted its fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS and same-store sales forecast. 

Walmart now predicts that U.S. same-store sales growth will be at the high end of its previously guided range between 2.5%-3%. Adjusted EPS is now expected to either increase or decrease slightly this year. Walmart was previously anticipating a low single-digit decline including the impact of its Flipkart transaction.. . . more

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Avenue to close all its stores, sources say

Retail Dive
Women's apparel retailer Avenue plans to close all of its stores in the coming weeks, employees were told Friday in a conference call.

The company has not publicly announced its plans to close, but employees were told of the liquidation during the call and instructed not to accept customer returns or sell gift cards. . . . more

Trader Joe’s leads entire retail industry in customer satisfaction

Chain Store Age
Less-than-stellar service is contributing to a decline in overall customer satisfaction across retail, but some retailers are bucking the trend.

That’s according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report, in which customer satisfaction with retail declined for the second consecutive year, with the overall sector slipping 0.9% to 77.4 on ACSI’s 100-point scale. . . . more

The four types of food halls

Chain Store Age
So you’re a longtime tenant in a mall or lifestyle center and you’re pleased to find out that the landlord is planning to install a food hall. But what kind of food hall will it be?

A new report from JLL, “So You Want to Build a Food Hall,” states that these new-age culinary attractions come in four types: . . . more

Giant is opening a two-level flagship store in Center City Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Giant Food Stores will be opening a two-level urban flagship store in downtown Philadelphia as part of the company’s growth in the city, company president Nicholas Bertram said in an interview.

The 65,000-square-foot store will open in PMC Property Group’s “River Walk” development project on the Schuylkill River’s eastern bank. This store at 60 North 23rd Street will be in Riverwalk’s Tower 1, the first of the two towers under development.. . . more

Macy's sinks as poor spring season hits profit

Macy’s Inc. cut its full-year earnings forecast on Wednesday after missing estimates for quarterly profit for the first time in at least two years, as it discounted heavily to clear spring inventory, sending its shares down 17%.

The department store chain, whose flagship building in Manhattan is a major attraction for tourists, blamed a bigger-than-expected decline in tourist spending for the shortfall along with weak demand for its own-brand women’s sportswear.. . . more

The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant

New York Times
Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub are starting to reshape the $863 billion American restaurant industry. As more people order food to eat at home, and as delivery becomes faster and more convenient, the apps are changing the very essence of what it means to operate a restaurant.

No longer must restaurateurs rent space for a dining room. All they need is a kitchen — or even just part of one. Then they can hang a shingle inside a meal-delivery app and market their food to the app’s customers, without the hassle and expense of hiring waiters or paying for furniture and tablecloths. Diners who order from the apps may have no idea that the restaurant doesn’t physically exist.. . . more

The 2019 sales tax holiday is this weekend. Here's how much it cost the state in 2018

Boston Business Journal
Businesses and consumers in Massachusetts are gearing up for the annual sales tax holiday that arrives this weekend, when the state will forego millions of dollars in revenue in an effort to drive economic activity.

The two-day tax suspension, set for Aug. 17 and 18, will allow shoppers to avoid paying the 6.25 percent sales tax on most retail items — excluding food and drink at restaurants — less than $2,500.. . . more

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Rite Aid names new CEO

Retail Dive
Rite Aid Corp. on Monday announced that Heyward Donigan has been appointed chief executive officer and a member of the board, effective immediately. John Standley will step down from the CEO role, according to a company press release.

Donigan has 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, most recently as president and CEO of Sapphire Digital (formerly Vitals), which develops platforms to help consumers choose healthcare providers, the company said.

With this move, Rite Aid joins rivals CVS and Walgreens in emphasizing its healthcare offer over its retail.. . . more

Amazon is looking to open a brick-and-mortar liquor store in San Francisco

Business Insider
Amazon has applied for a license to open a liquor store in San Francisco selling beer, wine, and spirits.

The storefront would allow consumers to buy alcohol directly from the business, and also give the company a location from which they could deliver alcohol to Prime Now customers in San Francisco. Applications for the liquor license and for approval to open a brick-and-mortar business are still pending with the city and the state of California.. . . more

Analysts expect a less-than-merry holiday season for department stores

Christmas is more than four months away, but analysts at Credit Suisse already have a warning for investors in department stores: don’t be surprised if they start trimming their outlooks next week.

There’s “mounting evidence” that stores have “significantly lowered their inventory receipt plans ahead of holiday 2019,” analysts led by Michael Binetti wrote in an Aug. 8 note. “Expect a wave of lowered guidance” next week as companies including Macy’s Inc., Dillard’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. report results.. . . more

Empty Storefronts Jolt NYC Council into Action on Small Business

In New York City, big businesses like Amazon and Google are adding space. It’s the small ones local politicians are worried about, with vacant storefronts taking up as much as 20% of some retail areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn.The City Council passed a law last month requiring landlords to register the status of their retail space, with updates when businesses come and go. The council said it enacted the law after having seen “a slew of beloved local establishments across the city closed amid skyrocketing costs.”. . . more

Why do we Chinese love coming to America? Shhh! It's the shopping.

USA Today
Shopping may be the No 1. reason Chinese visitors like myself love America.

Sure, there's the culture, the sightseeing and, in my case, the work I'm doing. But deep down, we also relish the opportunity to get great deals on products that would be unavailable, too expensive or less reliable in China. Coming to the Washington, D.C., area – and to New York City for 10 days – from Tianjin has been like entering a shopper's paradise.. . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods now a clothing clearance outlet

The Journal Times
Walk into Dick’s Sporting Goods these days and you may notice something missing: sporting goods.

A former Dick’s near Racine, WI recently changed to Dick’s Sporting Goods Clearance Outlet, selling only clothing and footwear. A store associate said by phone that the changeover began in May, and this is one of three such clearance outlets in the company.. . . more

Can a British bookseller save Barnes & Noble?

Boston Business Journal
James Daunt, the man who will soon try to revive Barnes & Noble, once spent weeks in a noisy, arm-waving debate about the ideal angle of tilt for bookstore shelving. His opponent was an Italian showroom designer who argued, in a series of otherwise congenial meals in some of London’s best restaurants, that the shelf should be tilted 4 degrees.

Wrong, countered Daunt. The right answer is 3 degrees. Yes, the cover of a book catches a bit more light, and attention, if tilted at 4 degrees, especially on shelves below eye level. But the spine of a book starts to bend, ever so slightly.. . . more

Monday, August 12, 2019

KeyPoint Partners releases Southern New Hampshire report

Boston Real Estate Times
KeyPoint Partners, LLC has released The KeyPoint Report for Southern New Hampshire 2019, Bob Sheehan, Vice President of Research, announced. This comprehensive retail real estate Report examines supply, occupancy, absorption, and retailer expansion and contraction for virtually every retail property in the region.. . . more

Bloomingdale’s becomes first department store to….

A new player is jumping into the subscription apparel rental market.

Upscale department store retailer Bloomingdale’s, a division of Macy’s Inc., will enter the fray in mid-September with the launch of “My List at Bloomingdale’s,” reported Women’s Wear Daily. The service will kick-off in mid-September with an assortment that includes hundreds of women’s apparel items — from dresses and denim to sweaters and outerwear — from more than 60 brands, with more than 100 exclusive pieces.. . . more

Rite Aid names CEO

Rite Aid Corp. has appointed a healthcare veteran as its CEO. She is the second female CEO in the chain’s history.

Rite Aid named Heyward Donigan as CEO and a member of the board, effective immediately. As planned, John Standley will step down from his role as chief executive in connection with her appointment. (Mary Sammon served as CEO of Rite Aid from 2003-2010.). . . more

Foot Locker is opening more massive ‘Power’ stores across US—and it’s teaming with Nike to do it

Foot Locker is teaming with Nike as it rolls out bigger, more interactive stores.

These so-called Power stores are four times as big as a typical Foot Locker store in malls. The newest will open Saturday in New York — in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. The retailer plans to open upwards of 50 Power stores over the next three years. It has three in the U.S. today: one in Detroit and two in Philadelphia. . . . more

Nantucket opens its first pot shop
Nantucket’s first pot shop is up and running.

The Green Lady Dispensary opened Sunday on an appointment-only basis on the Massachusetts island after receiving approval to operate from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. . . . more

Friday, August 9, 2019

J.C. Penney at risk of delisting

J.C. Penney has received notice from The New York Stock Exchange.

The struggling department store retailer announced it received notice on August 6 that it is no longer in compliance with the NYSE’s listing criteria. The criteria requires listed companies to maintain an average closing share price of at least $1.00 over a consecutive 30 trading-day period. Penney, which last closed at $1.00 on June 6, has six months from receiving the notice to regain compliance with the requirement . . . more

Gap Inc. in big renewable energy deal

Gap Inc. has entered into one of the largest offsite renewable energy contracts by an apparel retailer to date — one that addresses the specific needs of its leased sites. . . . more

Under Armour Q2 mixed as sales continue to fall at home

Under Armour reported mixed second-quarter results amid a year-long sales decline in North America that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

The athletic apparel company had a net loss of $17.3 million, or 4 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared to a loss of $95.5 million, or 21 cents per share, last year. Analysts has expected a loss of 5 cents per share. . . . more

Barneys’ Last Stand: Foreign Students, ‘Value’ Rents Make Boston A Safe Bet For Luxury Retail

The luxury retailer plans to close 15 stores in some of the country's strongest markets, like Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle, as part of its restructuring. But Barneys in Boston's Copley Place mall is going the other route and beefing up its presence with the luxury chain’s high-end restaurant, Freds, also found in its stores in Beverly Hills, Manhattan and San Francisco. . . more

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Vitamin Shoppe to be acquired

The Vitamin Shoppe is being acquired by a company that is undergoing a strategic transformation. Liberty Tax will acquire The Vitamin Shoppe, which operates 750 stores, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $208 million. Under the terms of the deal, Vitamin Shoppe shareholders will receive $6.50 per share, which represents a premium of 43% to its closing share price of $4.54 on August 7, 2019. . . . more

The Village at Burlington Mall Announces Next Round of Personal Services, Retail and Restaurant Concepts

Boston Real Estate Times
Simon, a global leader in premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-used destinations, announced that The Village at Burlington Mall will welcome the next round of personal services, retail and restaurants in the coming months as part of Burlington Mall’s redevelopment of the property.. . . more


Restaurant Business
Noodles & Co., which has maintained a steady number of units for the past couple of years, is ready to explore “meaningful unit growth,” with plans to add a significant number of stores beginning in 2021, company executives said Tuesday. . . more

A'gaci files Ch. 11

Retail Dive
Women's fashion retailer A'Gaci on Wednesday filed under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division, with the intention to "close and wind down all of its brick and mortar store locations." As of Wednesday, the retailer operated 54 retail stores, according to court documents. . . . more

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Barneys files for bankruptcy; will close most stores

Barneys New York filed for bankruptcy protection with a plan to shrink its store footprint as it looks to find a buyer to breath new life into its struggling operations.

As part of the plan, the 96-year-old fashion-forward luxury retailer will shutter its stores in Chicago, Seattle and Las Vegas and Seattle, along with five smaller format stores and seven Barneys Warehouse locations. . . . more

Perkins & Marie Callender’s close 29 restaurants amid bankruptcy filing

Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection and closed 29 Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and Marie Callender’s restaurants, the company said in a statement released Monday.. . . more

Anytime Fitness Targets Growth In Rochester and Buffalo, NY

Anytime Fitness recently announced plans to introduce more than 25 new gyms in targeted areas throughout New York with a specific focus on the markets of Rochester and Buffalo.

The community-focused brand will ramp up growth through strategic franchise partnerships and aims to open the new locations within the next three years.

Currently, there are 34 Anytime Fitness locations open throughout the state. Three additional Anytime Fitness gyms are slated to open soon: Ossining (September 2019), Saratoga Springs (November/December 2019) and New Rochelle (date TBD). . . . more

Steak n Shake Closures: Burger Chain Closes 106 Restaurants

Indianapolis burger chain, Steak n Shake, has announced that it has closed 106 restaurant locations since the beginning of 2019 with 67 of these closures occurring in the second quarter. The announcement was made during Biglari Holdings Inc.’s (BH), the parent company of Steak n Shake, Q2 earnings call.

The decision to close the restaurant was made as Steak n Shake faces reducing customer traffic at its locations, which have fallen to 307 locations by the second quarter of the year, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. The company said that 103 of the closures are “temporary” as the restaurant chain has plans to reopen the locations under a new “franchise partnership” program, according to the news outlet. . . . more

Sprouts opening new locations, stores sales still stagnant

Meat + Poultry
Efforts by Sprouts Farmers Market to expand its footprint in new markets yielded positive results. The retailer opened six stores with the addition of two new states during the second quarter. New stores in both new and existing markets performed better than the company expected, said Lawrence P. Molloy, interim chief financial officer and director at Sprouts Farmers Market, during an Aug. 1 conference call with analysts.. . . more

Walgreens to close 200 U.S. stores

Walgreens Boots Alliance is reducing its footprint in the United States by about 3%.

In an SEC filing, the drug store operator said it plans to close about 200 U.S. stores, for which it expects to record related pre-tax charges of between $1.9 billion and $2.4 billion. Earlier this summer, the company announced it planned to close 200 Boots stores in the U.K. and that it was also reviewing its portfolio in the U.S., where it operates approximately 10,000 stores. . . . more

Shake Shack is coming to Boston's Downtown Crossing this fall

This is the third Boston location for the popular hamburger joint. . . . more


Restaurant Business
The iPic Entertainment movie theater-restaurant chain said it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid negotiations to reduce its debt burden through a sale or restructuring. . . . more

Target embraces smaller-format stores

Nearly all Target openings in 2019 are small-format. That’s according to Novak Construction, which as 2020 nears, is preparing to construct two additional small-format Target locations, in Champaign, Ill., and Mayfair (Chicago). Averaging 17,000 sq. ft. each, the stores are 15% the size of a traditional Target. . . . more

Bankruptcies pushing up job cuts — especially in retail

Job cuts announced due to bankruptcy have hit the highest level since 2009. That’s according to a new analysis of monthly job cut announcements from global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.. . . more

Patriot Place Is Getting an Indoor Skydiving Facility

Boston Magazine
Freedom Wind Tunnel Indoor Skydiving recently announced plans to open at Patriot Place in fall of 2020. Next fall, you’ll have more than one really good reason to visit Patriot Place in Foxborough. And it has virtually nothing to do with Tom Brady or the Patriots. Coming fall 2020 to the shopping, dining, and entertainment complex adjacent to Gillette Stadium is a brand new indoor skydiving facility, located between CBS Sporting Club and Showcase Live. . . . more

Thursday, August 1, 2019

EG Group Reaches Deal to Acquire Cumberland Farms

Convenience Store News
EG Group is establishing a strong presence in the U.S. Northeast. The U.K.-based retailer, parent company of EG America, entered into an agreement to acquire Cumberland Farms.

Westborough, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms operates approximately 600 convenience stores in seven Northeast states and Florida. The c-store chain began exploring a sale this spring, as Convenience Store News previously reported.. . . more

Capriotti’s Signed 48 Franchise Deals in First Six Months of Year

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, known for its award-winning, hand-crafted sandwiches, is continuing its nationwide expansion. Rounding out the first half of 2019 on a high note, the brand has signed 48 franchise development deals within the first six months of the year. This number is only expected to grow as the year continues, with the Capriotti’s team anticipating even more momentum in the second half of 2019.

This announcement comes on the heels of earlier signed agreements this year which expanded the brand into new states including Rhode Island. . . . more

Target launches 'archives' collection highlighting design partnerships

Retail Dive
Target is launching a throwback collection featuring products made in its two decades of design partnerships, according to a press release.

The archive collection includes nearly 300 items from 20 of its past partnerships, which started with architect Michael Graves in 1999. Also on the list are Proenza Schouler, Thakoon, Rodarte, Zac Posen, Jason Wu and Phillip Lim, among others. The limited collection is for sale Sept. 14 at stores and online, while supplies last, with prices ranging from $7 to $160.. . . more

Container Store debuts new Custom Closets concept in L.A., with Dallas store soon to follow

The Dallas Morning News
The Container Store has been giving us closet envy for years, and that's about to escalate.

The Coppell-based organization and storage retailer has opened its first Custom Closets store in Los Angeles. The retailer confirmed earlier this month that the second one will open in North Dallas when it relocates its Galleria North store. The new store, scheduled to open by early October, will be around the corner in the old Toys R Us space facing the Dallas North Tollway. . . . more

Once a retail shrine , flagship stores lose their shine

Associated Press
It used to be considered the retailer’s crown jewel — a large format store on a swank corridor that showed off the best of what a brand had to offer.

But now the so-called flagship store is disappearing from high-profile shopping thoroughfares like Manhattan’s Madison Avenue and Chicago’s Magnificent Mile because of skyrocketing rents and the shift to online shopping. . . . more

Nordstrom family may try again to gain control of troubled retailer

Seattle Times
Fifteen months after a failed bid to buy all of their namesake company, the Nordstrom family may try again to gain majority control of the retailer.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that members of the Nordstrom family, which now holds 31.3% of the Seattle-based company’s publicly traded shares, are “in the early stages of discussing a proposal” to increase that stake more than 50%.. . . more