Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Best Buy will stop selling CDs this summer

Boston Herald

Boston Herald

The CD, which revolutionized the music industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s, could be on the way out.

Best Buy bby will stop selling compact discs on July 1 nationwide, according to Billboard, and Target tgt is reportedly setting new terms with music companies that could severely impact CD sales at the retailer.. . . more

Monday, February 5, 2018

Kroger in $2.1 billion mega-deal

Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age

The Kroger Co. has sold its convenience store business.

The supermarket giant has entered into an agreement to sell its 762 convenience stores to EG Group, a privately-held convenience store retailer based in the United Kingdom for $2.15 billion. The deal is expected to close transaction during the first quarter of Kroger’s fiscal year.. . . more

Nordstrom to move locations in Kansas City

Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age

Nordstrom is trading locations in Kansas City, announcing plans to move to the town’s largest open-air urban shopping center in 2021.

The upscale department store opened at CBL’s Oak Park Mall in 1998 and will continue operating there until the new store opens at Country Club Plaza, located near the Kansas City campus of the University of Missouri.

Nordstrom’s new location will be within a 15-block urban center owned jointly by Taubman Centers and Macerich. The 1.3-million-sq.-ft. Country Club Plaza is home to the kind of high-end retailers Nordstrom likes to mix with. Among them: Apple, Burberry, The Coach Store, Sur La Table, lululemon, and Michael Kors.. . . more

Retail jobs up by 11,000 in January

Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age

Apparel and accessories stores led the industry in hiring in January.

That’s according to the National Retail Federation, which reported a net increase of 11,100 jobs in January over December. The number excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.. . . more

Our personal shoppers will deliver to 'your kitchen table'

CNBC

CNBC

Target acquired Shipt, a same-day grocery delivery service and rival to Instacart, for approximately $550 million in December. On Thursday, the discount retailer started rolling out the service to customers in parts of Florida. The plan is to continue to expand it throughout the year.

In 2017, Target revamped more than 110 of its stores. Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said he plans to remodel 300 in 2018 and open new stores while expanding the Target digital presence, making Shipt available across the country.. . . more

Bon-Ton Stores Seeks Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal

Bon-Ton Stores Inc., one of the largest regional department-store chains in the U.S., sought bankruptcy protection on Sunday as discussions with its debtholders have yet to come to a conclusion.

The Pennsylvania-based retailer filed for chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., in a bid to deal with a crushing debt load and declining sales.. . . more

Tatte Bakery coming to Boston's Seaport

Biz Journals

bizjournals.com

Tatte Bakery & Cafe will open its ninth area location at the base of a 13-story office building going up now at Pier 4 in Boston’s Seaport District. 

The 3,629-square-foot Tatte Bakery will open later this year and offer its popular pastries, breads, cookies, cakes and tarts at breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch service.. . . more

5 Real Estate Sectors That Have Economists Feeling Optimistic

Bisnow

Biznow.com

Retail

Despite numerous announcements about retailers shuttering their doors, a large percentage are expanding, leaving vacancy rates relatively flat toward the end of Q4, the Herald-Tribune reports. The end of 2017 also brought good news in the form of better-than-expected sales and employment numbers from major retailers. Analysts expect the trend to persist in the coming months as consumer confidence remains high, and retailers begin to shift their strategies to incorporate more digital and omnichannel offerings to suit a new type of consumer. Retail bankruptcies are also anticipated to decrease in the coming months with Moody's analysts predicting that the sector's sales will increase by 4.5% overall.. . . more

Friday, February 2, 2018

What to do with Bangor Mall

Bangor daily News

Bangor Daily News

With Sears closing its store, Aerie closing soon, and rumors that JCPenney will be shuttering its doors as well, it’s not hard to imagine Bangor mall becoming a quiet building with only a handful of open shops. Malls across the country are experiencing the same lack of interest in the traditional methods of shopping. It’s probable that online shopping has slowly killed these brick and mortar shops similar to the demise of brick and mortar bookstores in 2011. Regardless of the cause, it’s clear that malls and traditional shopping are becoming a thing of the past.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the demise of Bangor Mall. True, it will have to make some changes to bring back customers, but it would be much better than dying a slow death as first the cornerstone shops close followed by the smaller shops until nothing is left.. . . more

Off-price retailer to explore alternatives

Chain Store Age

Stein Mart is looking at its options in the wake of declining sales.

The retailer announced it has put together a special committee, appointed by the board, that, along with management, will explore all opportunities to improve operating performance and strategic alternatives. Stein Mart did not set a timetable for completion of this process.. . . more

Retailers in for a near-record Valentine’s Day

Chain Store Age

U.S. consumers are going all in for February 14.

Consumers are expected to spend an average $143.56 on Valentine’s Day, an increase from last year’s $136.57, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Total spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year.. . . more

Sears turns to CEO to borrow money - again

USA Today

Sears, struggling with poor sales and dwindling revenue is once again borrowing money from its CEO in a bid to stay afloat.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it has borrowed $210 million, much of it from lenders controlled by ESL Investments, which is owned by Sears Holdings CEO, Edward Lampert. . . . more

As retailers herald tax savings, they're still closing stores and laying off workers

CNBC

Several retailers have touted bonuses, employee raises and improved benefits as evidence that the new tax legislation is creating opportunities for the industry's workers. But even as these proclamations are being made, retailers are still closing stores and laying off staff.

At its most basic level, the new tax law does put more cash in the pockets of most retailers, but the math requires more nuance to understand whether that money will flow to retail employees.

First, the new tax law actually means that corporations could pocket more savings by laying off workers in 2018 than they could in 2017. It also makes it cheaper to buy labor replacing machinery than in 2017. Investing in technology is particularly important as the biggest retailers hope to fend off Amazon.. . . more

Amazon still nowhere near its potential

Chain Store Age

With 38.2% sales growth in the final quarter, Amazon was one of the clear winners over the holiday season. Admittedly this number is flattered by the inclusion of Whole Foods Market revenue, but even when this is stripped out, Amazon still increased sales by an impressive 27.9%. Given this is above the trajectory of recent growth, it is safe to say that Amazon shows no signs of slowing down.

Excluding the impact of Whole Foods, product sales grew by 20.2% overall. While this is impressive and indicates Amazon is gaining market share across many categories, it also underlines the fact that Amazon’s primary growth opportunities now lie in services.. . . more

Malls embrace gyms to drive foot traffic

bizjournals.com

The number of gyms leased in malls doubled over the past five years, CNBC reported. In the first half of 2017, fitness studios occupied 17 percent of the retail space leased by the most active retail tenants, according to commercial real estate information and marketing firm CoStar.

In the past, a mall gym was seen as undesirable. Mall owners thought a fitness center would take up too many parking spaces, or that sweaty patrons in workout clothes would ruin the ambience for other customers.

But as shoppers turn more to online purchasing, mall owners are seeking different ways to engage consumers. Faced with the prospect of filling empty stores when large retail tenants move out, malls that once shunned gyms are turning to fitness centers to drive foot traffic.. . . more

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Target launches same-day delivery as retail wars heat up

NBC News

In the latest skirmish in the retail wars between online and offline shopping, Target is introducing same-day delivery.

The first stores to get the new service will be stores in Birmingham, Alabama and South Florida on February 1st. The next week the service will roll out to more locations in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. And by the end of 2018, the rest of the country.. . . more

Can Power Center Landlords Handle Toys ‘R’ Us’ Retreat?

NREI Online

Few retail real estate insiders were surprised to hear that Toys ‘R’ Us will close 180 stores in the U.S., especially after the retailer weathered a disappointing holiday shopping season, following a bankruptcy filing in September 2017.

As power center landlords grapple with how they will fill the closing Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us locations, some experts say the number of targeted stores is an encouraging sign, being much smaller than expected. And while store closures remain an industry-wide issue, some experts feel that power center landlords still have options to backfill soon-to-be-vacant locations.. . . more

Kroger bringing its no-cashier ‘Scan, Bag, Go’ system to some central Ohio stores in March

The Columbus Dispatch

Waiting in checkout lines at the grocery store is so 2017.

Kroger is bringing its Scan, Bag, Go system, which eliminates waiting in checkout lines, to some of its central Ohio stores in March.

Scan, Bag, Go allows customers to shop as they normally would, but scan and bag items as they go around the store with either a wireless, hand-held scanner or with their mobile phone. Customers still have to stop at a self-checkout lane to pay, but Kroger plans to soon be able to take payment via its mobile app.. . . more

Toys R Us' poor holiday sales cast doubts on its future

CNBC

Holiday sales this past year ballooned, but those riches didn't extend to Toys R Us. The bankrupt toy store missed significantly on every number that mattered, sources say, likely forcing the retailer to renegotiate key lending terms.

Sales were down more than hoped as was traffic and the amount of toys in stock it got out the door. Meanwhile, its profits were squeezed as Amazon and big-box retailers Target and Walmart slashed prices to reel in customers. For these retailers, toys could act as bait, with the hope that once shoppers came for the toys they would also purchase other items with higher profit margins. Toys R Us doesn't have any such buffer.. . . more

Job cuts at Sears

CNBC

Sears Holdings on Wednesday laid off 220 employees primarily at the company's corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, effective immediately.

The job cuts impacted various business units and roles across the retail organization, a spokesman told CNBC. The moves are part of the department store chain's ongoing restructuring plan, announced earlier this month, to streamline operations and get back to profitability.. . . more