Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Take a look inside the most valuable mall in America

Business Insider

The retail apocalypse has claimed many malls across America, but some of the best in the country have continued to thrive. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Ala Moana Shopping Center was recently named the most valuable mall in America.

With over 350 stores and restaurants ranging from budget-friendly chains to high-end boutiques and department stores, the Ala Moana Center is worth roughly $5.74 billion, with about $1,500 in sales per square foot, according to a recent study by the research firm Boenning & Scattergood, which was reported on by CNBC. . . . more

Payless in retail realignment

Chain Store Age

Payless ShoeSource is realigning its North American retail organizational structure, with an end goal of better serving the customer.

The footwear retailer announced that is increasing the number of North America associates who work closer to the store level while reducing layers between its corporate headquarters and retail stores. It did not specify if the realignment will result in the elimination of jobs.. . . morePeople line up at 6:30 am Dec. 20 to participate in a holiday gift card giveaway outside the Bon-Ton department store at the Westgate Mall in Bethlehem.

In public filing, Bon-Ton describes turnaround plan that involves closing, opening stores


Ailing department store chain The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. appears to be headed for a restructuring — sooner rather than later.

In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bon-Ton said it is engaged in discussions with debtholders regarding potential restructuring alternatives.. . . more

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nine West Said to Plan a Bankruptcy Filing with Asset Sales

NREI Online

Nine West Holdings Inc. and its creditors are closing in on a deal to restructure almost $1.5 billion of debt that would include filing for bankruptcy and selling off parts of the shoe and clothing retailer, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations.

The plan hinges on asset sales to pay off creditors, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Nine West would seek Chapter 11 court protection with a restructuring plan agreed upon in advance by its creditors, said the people. The goal is to file before a March 15 interest payment, they said.. . . more

Ontario Teachers' Is Said to Test Investors on Macerich Bid

NREI Online

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has held talks with other investors about a potential deal to take U.S. mall owner Macerich Co. private, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Canadian pension fund, which owns about 16.5 percent of real estate investment trust Macerich, has held discussions with firms including sovereign wealth funds about backing the potential bid, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Talks are at an early stage and may not lead to a deal, the people said.. . . more

Sears downgraded by Fitch Ratings

Chain Store Age

Fitch Ratings downgraded Sears Holdings Corp.’s ratings to C from CC, after the retailer announced a distressed debt exchange.

Sears said it has commenced an exchange various tranches of debt held by Sears and its Kmart business, Marketwatch reported. The exchange involves pay-in-kind notes that allow the company to make interest payments with more debt.. . . more

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

H&M Investor Heads for Exit as Selloff Tests Crisis Point

NREI Online

H&M’s largest shareholders has lost its patience.

Skandia’s actively managed funds have spent the past months selling off most of its stake in Hennes & Mauritz AB after watching the fashion retailer struggle with weakening sales in its physical stores and intensifying online competition. The Swedish savings and insurance giant says there’s a raft of issues H&M would need to address before it will consider investing again.. . . more

QIC closes on third mall in 10-mall deal

Chain Store Age

The investment company QIC closed on an ownership stake in Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale, California, its third closing in a 10-mall deal it signed with Forest City Realty Trust.

Forest City’s shares in the properties were valued at approximately $1.55 billion in the transaction. Full value of all the regional malls is close to $3.2 billion.. . . more

Monday, January 22, 2018

Which REIT Sectors Will Outperform in 2018?

NREI Online

Retail REITs have been punished in spite of the fact that they tend to own higher-quality assets, while it’s lower-quality malls and shopping centers that tend to be hit hardest by challenges like e-commerce, Brad Case, senior vice president of research and industry information with NAREIT says.

“I think regional malls and shopping centers are due for a good year this year,” says Matt Werner, managing director and portfolio manager at Houston-based investment advisory firm Chilton Capital Management LLC, citing the potential for stepped-up mergers and acquisitions activity. By and large, REIT stocks are undervalued, Case says, and stock prices are lower than they should be based on the strength of the industry.. . . more

Here's what could happen to America's hundreds of dead malls

Business Insider

Traditional malls need to transform themselves to stay alive, and many are making changes to attract more business.

Malls of the future have an opportunity to fulfill other community needs besides commerce, June Williamson, an architecture professor at the City College of New York and an author of "Retrofitting Suburbia," told Business Insider.

Here is what may become of the many failing malls of today:. . . more

Friday, January 19, 2018

With A Flawed Strategy, J.C. Penney's Future Is Uncertain


The recent Christmas 2017 sales report for J.C. Penney implies that improved sales should be a balm for optimists.  Hard times are looming for the company.

Very high debt. The company has about $7.5 billion in total debt if you take total liabilities minus cash minus receivables. J.C.Penney calculates outstanding long-term debt to be about $4.06 Billions.
. . . more

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Simon Settles Suit With Starbucks Over Teavana Closures

Wall Street Journal

Simon Property Group and Starbucks Corp. have reached a settlement over a lawsuit by the mall owner that had sought to prevent Starbucks from closing Teavana stores in its shopping centers.

In November, an Indiana judge ordered the coffee giant to halt from closing Teavana stores in 77 retail locations owned by Simon. Starbucks filed an appeal against the preliminary injunction.. . . more

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

West Oaks Mall's new owners bet on outlet shopping

Houston Chronicle

The new owners of West Oaks Mall plan to redevelop a shuttered Macy's into an outlet store as part of an effort to "bring life back to this area."

But experts say the struggling center on the west side still faces an uncertain future in an era of changing consumer habits and declining interest in traditional malls. . . .more

Wegmans announces opening date for Natick Mall location

Metro West Daily News

Wegmans Food Markets officials said the company plans to open its new store at Natick Mall on April 29.

Wegmans is moving into the former JCPenney space. The company is creating a two-floor, 146,500-square-foot supermarket that includes more than 100 seats for in-store café dining and two restaurants. The store will feature escalators for shoppers and carts as well as elevators to help customers move between the floors.. . . more

Beauty retailer Kiko USA files for bankruptcy

Retail Dive

Kiko USA, the U.S. subsidiary of an Italian makeup retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week with plans to close all but five of its domestic retail locations.

The retailer wants to close 24 of its 29 domestic locations in bankruptcy. This, together with a 25th closure, could reduce annual operating losses by $7.1 million a year, and leave $3.9 million in real estate costs going forward, according to Kiko USA CEO Frank Furlan. He added that the retailer hopes to be completely moved out of those locations by Feb. 28.. . . more

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bon-Ton bankruptcy could be 'imminent'

Retail Dive

This year's holiday season was critical for Bon-Ton as it struggled to shore up its finances and missed a multimillion dollar interest payment. But the retailer came up woefully short.

Bon-Ton this week said its comparable store sales fell by 2.9% during the holiday period. Total sales also dropped, to $752.1 million, down more than 4% from the year-ago period. At the same time, other department store retailers — including Kohl's, J.C. Penney and Macy's — reported much-needed sales increases for November and December. . . .more

Would you live at the Asheville Mall? Redevelopment plan raises questions, intrigue

Citizen Times

In an era when shopping malls are fading into oblivion, the Asheville Mall has no intention of following suit. Part of its strategy? Living there.

A preliminary permit plan submitted last month by Seritage SRC Finance LLC to the city's development services department details a $45 million redevelopment project in and near the mall's Sears store.

Plans show the addition of restaurants, retail stores, a 10-screen multiplex movie theater and a six-story structure with 204 multifamily housing units. It likely would be among the largest single investments at the facility since it was built in the early 1970s. . . .more

Dave & Busters has its eye on Corpus Christi's La Palmera mall


Get your game tokens ready, Corpus Christi. La Palmera mall appears to be making room for a new tenant — a big one.

Several online job sites show Dave & Busters was recently looking to hire a general manager for a yet-to-be-announced arcade and sports bar in Corpus Christi. . . .more

The saddest mall in N.J. shutters after years of uncertainty


After years of uncertainty, New Jersey's saddest mall has finally closed its doors.

The Burlington Center Mall, deemed the worst in the state by an NJ Advance Media ranking last year, closed this week, with only the lone anchor store Sears remaining in business. . . .more

Friday, January 12, 2018

Women's fashion retailer A'gaci files for bankruptcy

Retail Dive

Women's apparel retailer A'gaci filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week after a rapid brick-and-mortar expansion in recent years "spread the organization too thin to effectively respond to the rapidly changing trends in the retail market," the company's chief financial officer said in a court filing.

After building out 21 new stores over the past two years, A'gaci is now looking to close 49 stores — almost 65% of its footprint — in bankruptcy, A'gaci CFO Mark Butterbach said in the filing. Along with the overexpansion, Butterbach said the consumer shift toward online shopping, trouble implementing a new business software system, and major hurricanes last year — which "ravaged" some of the retailer's most profitable stores — forced the company into bankruptcy.. . . more

In age of retail closings, Boscov's to open another store


There’s been a lot of talk of a coming retail apocalypse. In fact, many department store chains are drastically retracting their brick-and-mortar presence as online shopping takes a larger and larger slice of the overall retail pie.

But then there’s Boscov’s.

The Berks County department store chain this week announced it will open its second New England location later this year at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, Conn. . . . more

Riley Rose opens eighth store at Bridgewater Commons (NJ)

Chain Store Age

Forever 21 has come out of the gate fast with its new beauty/lifestyle format, Riley Rose, which made its debut in September. The fast-fashion giant has opened the concept in eight locations to date, including one in December at Bridgewater Commons Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Riley Rose is targeted at young millennials. Awash in pink hues and feminine accents, the 5,000-sq.-ft. Bridgewater store combines an extensive and diverse mix of edgy beauty and skin care brands (including many formerly online only and a large selection of Korean offerings) with fun, offbeat home and lifestyle goods, ranging from stationery to tech accessories to candy (with sweet treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar).. . . more

Thursday, January 11, 2018

$302M In CMBS Debt At Risk Due To Sears Closures


Sears will close 103 of its remaining 1,100 stores, putting an estimated $302.5M worth of commercial mortgage-backed securities at risk.

The stores slated to close in the spring include 64 Kmart and 39 Sears locations, 16 of which are located at retail centers backed by CMBS loans worth a total $671.1M, according to a Morningstar Credit Ratings report.. . . more

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Children's Place CEO: We have the 'dream customer'—millennial moms


The Children's Place has undergone transformations in various key areas including inventory, distribution and digital channels under President and CEO Jane Elfers.

As she steers the company towards international success, Elfers told CNBC on Tuesday that the company's digital efforts are being driven by a crucial customer demographic: millennials.. . . more

Nordstrom Ends Rocky Year With Modest Holiday Sales Growth


Nordstrom Inc., after a year of sluggish sales and a failed plan to take the company private, eked out modest growth during the holiday season.

Same-store sales — a key measure — climbed 1.2 percent in November and December combined, the company said on Tuesday. Though that marked a rebound from the 0.9 percent decline in the previous quarter, investors are still waiting for a more dramatic comeback. . . . more

Sears raises $100M in new financing, eyes $200M in cost cuts

Boston Herald

Sears has secured more financing, and is eying more cost cutting, as the beleaguered retailer reported a sales drop during the critical holiday season.

The company, which operates Sears and Kmart stores, said Wednesday that it secured $100 million in new financing, will seek twice that from other sources, and will attempt $200 million in additional cost cuts this year unrelated to store closings. It also said that if the company's efforts to complete these transactions are not fully successful, then the board will consider all other options to maximize the value of its assets.. . . more

Retail Apocalypse Delayed

Wall Street Journal

“When companies are priced for death, slight increases seem heroic,” observes Simeon Siegel of Nomura Securities. Indeed, holiday sales, reported over the last week by a cluster of such doomed retailers, suggest an extraordinary revival.

It isn’t surprising that Kohl’s and Target were among the best performers. Both have made big investments in e-commerce and innovation. Kohl’s attributed its growth to digital demand and stronger in-store traffic. Its new partnership with Amazon, which allows it to sell Amazon’s popular smart-home products in stores, likely helped. . . . more

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

J.C. Penney will put Sears out of business, retail expert says

Fox Business

While some brick-and-mortars fight to survive he increasingly competitive retail market, one expert tells FOX Business, J.C. Penney could survive the downturn while putting Sears out of business.

“[J.C. Penney will be the] best Rocky Balboa come back in retail and it’s by pushing Sears closer to the cliff and going to the edge of Niagara Falls to break in the rocks in the barrel below,” Strategic Resource Group managing director Burt Flickinger told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.”. . . more

Monday, January 8, 2018

Why Some Shopping Malls May Be in Deeper Trouble Than You Think

NREI Online

The damage inflicted on America’s malls by the rise of e-commerce may be worse than it appears.

As embattled retailers announce store closures at a record pace, some tenants are shrinking their footprints more quietly by choosing not to renew expiring leases, according to a report from property-research firm Green Street Advisors LLC. Of 2,468 in-line stores that closed in 2017 -- a category that excludes department stores -- 979 weren’t announced, the report produced by the firm’s advisory and consulting group shows.. . . more

Friday, January 5, 2018

L Brands’ December comparable-store sales, profit margins disappoint Wall Street

The Columbus Dispatch

L Brands shares plummeted 15 percent in Thursday morning trading on December sales news.
Comparable-store sales, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, were up 1 percent, slightly below Wall Street predictions of a 1.4 percent rise. But profit margins were unexpectedly low.

“The merchandise margin rate was below our expectations,” said Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer. The drop was “driven in part by a stronger-than-anticipated response to Victoria’s Secret Holiday Reward Card.” ...more

Sears closing Burlington store, 100 others around the country

Boston Business Journal

Sears Holdings announced Thursday it was closing another 103 stores– including dozens of Kmart locations, the latest in a series of struggles for the Illinois-based retailer.

Sears said its store located at the Burlington Mall would go dark in early April. No other Kmarts or Sears stores in Massachusetts are on the list of those slated for closure.. . . more

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Home, beauty and fine jewelry led J.C. Penney to a 3.4 percent holiday sales increase

Dallas News

J.C. Penney posted a 3.4 percent sales increase during the holiday season and credited women's apparel, which has been a drag on results, for some of the improvement.

Home, beauty and fine jewelry led the store, said chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison, but women's and kids apparel also posted better results.. . . more

Macy's announces 5,000 job cuts, 7 new store closures

USA Today

Macy's is planning 5,000 job cuts, including closure of seven previously unidentified stores and other cuts at remaining locations, as it seeks stability in a tumultuous climate for physical retail.

The retailer's cost reductions come after its holiday sales in stores open at least a year rose 1.1%.

Although the company described its holiday sales as "solid," the performance trailed fellow department-store chain J.C. Penney, which posted a 3.4% increase Thursday.. . . more

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Coming to a mall near you in 2018: Craft brewers, children's theaters, gyms and other unorthodox uses


Malls are getting makeovers — so much so they might not be called malls anymore, or you might do a double take next time you stroll through one.

U.S. retail landlords including Simon Property Group, General Growth Properties, Macerich and Taubman, which own some of the most profitable malls in America, are focused on redeveloping their properties and ditching antiquated occupants in the coming months.. . . more