Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fashion Retailer Dry Goods to Open 12 New Locations in 2018

PR Newswire
Fashion destination Dry Goods announced today the opening of 12 additional national locations in 2018. The openings are part of the boutique retailer's nationwide growth plans to showcase the latest fashion trends to young shoppers across the country.

Dry Goods USA, a subsidiary of Von Maur Department Store, opened its first location in 2010 in Aurora, Ill. The Company currently operates twenty-seven stores in eight states in addition to an online business at . . . more

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

America's most successful malls are worth billions and defying the retail meltdown

Business Insider
Despite the retail apocalypse claiming stores across the country, some of the most successful malls in the US are bringing in more than $1,000 per square foot in sales.

According to research by the boutique firm Boenning & Scattergood, which was reported by CNBC, the 20 most valuable malls in America bring in around $21 billion in retail sales each year. These malls, owned by the likes of Simon Property Group and Westfield, have few vacancies. In addition to traditional stores, many of the most valuable malls include food halls with local eateries, pop-up shops, and grocers, plus experiences like movie screenings or concerts.. . . more

Macy's shares surge on comparable sales growth, 2018 outlook

Macy’s Inc on Tuesday reported greater-than-expected growth in same-store sales for the fourth quarter and forecast a return to annual comparable sales growth in 2018.

The biggest U.S. department store chain, which has become emblematic of the decline of brick-and-mortar retail in the face of Inc, has not seen comparable sales grow on an annual basis for three years.

Benefiting from a broadly strong U.S. holiday shopping season, Macy’s also reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on revenue that was in-line with estimates.. . . more

Monday, February 26, 2018

Turning malls into mixed-use centers requires a new value calculation

Chain Store Age
We have all read the articles and seen the headlines: Malls Are Dying, Mall-pocalypse and other similar coverage forecasting the looming extinction the American mall. While these dire predictions might veer a little too often into hyperbole, they do describe a very real phenomenon. Malls are struggling. Online retailers have been steadily nibbling away at brick-and-mortar market share, and large department store dinosaurs have struggled to adapt to an evolving consumer marketplace.

Some malls are failing. Many more are underperforming. But malls as a category are not dying–far from it. Category A malls will continue to flourish, and many/most B malls still have great real estate fundamentals going for them: they typically occupy valuable and desirable real estate, with coveted locations frequently positioned near major transportation hubs. There is a very real opportunity to turn around an underperforming mall by redeveloping it into a new mixed-use destination.. . . more

Nordstrom family restarting effort to take retailer private

Seattle Times
The Nordstrom family is reviving an effort to take their namesake retailer private, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters on Friday.

The family had suspended its effort in October but said it intended to resume exploration of a take-private offer after the holidays.. . . more

Friday, February 23, 2018

What Is a Class A Mall?
As shopping malls around the country are putting up more vacancy signs, mall operators are quick to point out that not everyone is going down with the ship. "Class A" malls are purported to be the industry's sole bright spot, malls where foot traffic is relatively steady, justifying higher-than-average rents thanks to lower vacancies and higher-end tenants.

But as with any label, definitions vary. Mall owners eager to differentiate themselves from a sea of dead or dying malls are throwing around the Class A label as if it were a cut-and-dried adjective, not a subjective measure of a mall's position in the marketplace.. . . more

To Survive a Challenging Future, Shopping Malls Look to the Past
For years, many analysts in the retail and commercial real estate sector have predicted the death of U.S. shopping malls. But a closer look at recent industry data shows that despite sweeping closures and thinning foot traffic, malls are far from dead.

While recent reports paint a gloomy outlook — an April report from Cowen and Co. predicted that as many as 20 percent of stores at some mass and middle-market mall retailers will close in the next five years, and a Credit Suisse report from May forecast that 25 percent of all U.S. malls could shutter by 2022 — those projections don’t portend the imminent death of malls, according to other industry experts who say it’s more that the industry is correcting itself in a country that built too many retail centers over the past few decades.. . . more

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Restaurants May Be The New Shopping Mall ‘Anchor Tenants’
At one point, restaurants were not considered desirable tenants in shopping centers. Times have changed, however, as landlords seek to replace anchor stores in U.S. malls that are closing — particularly as shopping increasingly moves online, CNBC reported.

Restaurants and other food tenants used to take up just 10 or 15 percent of a shopping center a decade ago. They occupy anywhere from 20 to 40 percent today, according to research from real estate services firm the CBRE Group. As a result, malls and shopping centers are offering more upmarket dining options.. . . more

Department store retailer begins store closing sales

Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age
The Bon-Ton Stores has taken another step with plans to reduce its store footprint.

The retailer said that store closing sales are underway at 42 select locations. The move is part of the company’s previously announced “store rationalization” program and recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

The in-store sales will take place at Bon-Ton branded stores as well as other the retail nameplates owned by the retailer, including Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers. The company said more stores are expected to be added to the store closing process.. . . more

Friday, February 16, 2018

Warby Parker to have nearly 100 stores open by year-end

Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age
Warby Parker’s brick-and-mortar expansion is inching toward a big milestone in 2018.

The digitally native eyewear retailer plans to have nearly 100 stores open across the United States by the end of this year, according to CNBC, up from its current count of 64 locations.. . . more

Amazon's Top Apparel Victims: Target, Macy's, J.C. Penney


U.S. shoppers may be ordering more clothing than socks and underwear on Amazon after all. Inc. is spiriting away share of apparel sales from Target Corp., Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co., according to a report Thursday by Coresight Research. Amazon Fashion is tied with Target as the second-most-shopped apparel retailer in the U.S., behind Walmart Inc., as measured by number of shoppers, the survey found. More than 20 percent of respondents said they have switched more of their apparel spending to Amazon and away from Macy’s and J.C. Penney. . . . more

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How Washington Prime Is Repositioning Grand Central, Other Malls

Globe St

Globe St

It is not easy being a retail REIT these days, or a retailer for that matter. Yet Washington Prime Group has been finding success with its strategy of repositioning anchors at its malls across the US, including its holding in Vienna, West Virginia, Grand Central Mall. The REIT recently announced it has secured a 20,000-square foot H&M for the mall, replacing a former Elder Beerman department store. It will be H&M’s first location in West Virginia when the store opens in the fall of this year.

All told the REIT has repositioned, or is in the process of repositioning 15 anchors since 2015, according to CEO Lou Conforti. “Anchor repositioning is a testament to our hybrid model of combining enclosed and open air formats within a single convenient location,” he said in a prepared statement. Recently-announced tenants include ALDI, Party City, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less, Round 1 and The Room Place.. . . more

How Much Pain Will the Bon-Ton Bankruptcy Cause for the Mall Sector?

NREI Online

NREI Online

Department store chain Bon-Ton Stores is currently working through a plan to close about 42 of its stores, totaling $435.8 million in CMBS exposure. While those are already sobering numbers in this environment, industry analysts say that the picture could be much worse.

Companywide, Bon-Ton store properties are behind about $2 billion in CMBS debt, says Steve Jellinek, a vice president of CMBS research at Morningstar Credit Ratings. The company estimates that about $170.6 million in CMBS debt is tied to properties that will see a significant drop in occupancy and net cash flow as a result of the store closures. That number, however, might rise.. . . more

Chinese firm buys big stake in GNC

Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age

GNC, which has been working to turnaround its business, has entered into a strategic partnership and joint venture with a leading pharmaceutical company in China.

Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co. (“Hayao”) will invest approximately $300 million in GNC, becoming the single largest shareholder in the U.S. vitamins and supplements retailer. Hayao will own approximately 40% of the company’s stock.. . . more

Nation’s favorite fashion retailer is…

Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age

For the sixth consecutive year, a customer service legend took top honors as the country’s favorite fashion retailer.

Nordstrom ranked No. 1 in Market Force’s annual study, polled more than 10,000 consumers. The study ranks premium fashion retail brands, identifies what sets each apart and uncovers retail technology trends.. . . more

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Genesco is putting Lids up for sale

Retail Dive

Genesco's short-term plan is simple: sell Lids and focus on shoes. But "the pool of buyers appears relatively limited." If the retailer can find a buyer for Lids, which has more than 1,000 locations worldwide, it could bring in around $250 million.

Not helping in the pursuit of a buyer: Lids had a horrendous holiday season. Comparable sales at the hat seller fell 14% during the holiday period, dragging down Genesco's overall comps metric, according to a Jan. 8 press release announcing quarter-to-date sales. While Lids sales plummeted, comps at Journeys rose 10%, Schuh comps were up 1 % and Johnston & Murphy comps were up 5%. Comps at the company as a whole rose 1%. CEO Robert Dennis noted in a release that "Lids' challenges expanded.". . . more

Can the Nordstrom Family Outrun Retail’s Woes?

Wall Street Journal

Many retailers, pummeled by online competition and shifting consumer tastes, are slashing costs and closing hundreds of stores. Nordstrom Inc.  is doing the opposite.

The family-run company has been investing heavily as it tries to outrun the forces battering the industry. It is revamping some of its 122 department stores and spending more than $500 million to gain a toehold in Manhattan. It has snapped up e-commerce companies including flash sale website HauteLook and subscription service Trunk Club. And it has launched new concepts, including a store in Los Angeles called Nordstrom Local that doesn’t stock any clothes.. . . more

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sears CEO under pressure from Sears Canada creditors as retirees seek pension funds


Sears Canada creditors are calling out Eddie Lampert, the erstwhile controlling shareholder of the bankrupt retailer and current chief executive of Sears Holdings, for receiving dividend payments as the Canadian business crumbled in 2017.

Late last week, a group of pensioners served court papers in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice, requesting the appointment of a trustee in Sears Canada's bankruptcy proceeding who would look for more funds for those creditors.

Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, were "major beneficiaries" of roughly $3 billion in dividend payments since 2005, the papers said.. . . more

Land of Nod closes nearly all its stores

Chicago Tribune

Crate & Barrel’s kid-centered offshoot Land of Nod has closed nearly all of its retail stores, including all of its locations in Illinois.

Morton Grove-based Land of Nod, which sells children's furniture and home decor, told state regulators late last year that it would lay off 25 employees by January because of a consolidation. Its stores in Chicago, Oak Brook and an outlet in Naperville have now all closed, along with a single store in Natick, Mass., and another store in Seattle, according to the company’s website.. . . more

Monday, February 12, 2018

Urban Outfitters’ Q4 sales up 5.7%

Chain Store Age

The direct-to-consumer channel helped fuel Urban Outfitter in its fourth quarter.

Total company sales rose 5.7% to $1.09 billion in the quarter ended January 31, from $1.03 billion. Same-store sales in the retail segment increased 4%, driven by double-digit growth in the direct-to-consumer channel and stronger apparel sales in January.

By brand, same-store sales rose 8% at Free People. 5% at Anthropologie and 2% Urban Outfitters grew 2%.. . . more

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sport leisure footwear dominates as athleisure rules the runway

Chain Store Age

The U.S. athletic footwear industry grew by 2% in 2017, generating $19.6 billion in sales, according to global information company The NPD Group. Unit sales also grew by 2%. The average selling price remained flat, at $58.16. The women’s market grew the fastest, with sales up 5% over 2016. Men’s footwear, the largest segment of the market, grew its sales by 1%, as did the kid’s market.

“This was one of the most promotional years in decades for the athletic footwear industry,” said Matt Powell, senior industry advisor, sports, The NPD Group. “While promotions helped drive sales in 2017 and the product mix kept the average selling price flat, it was a double-edged sword for the industry, as its performance was not as healthy as in more recent years.”. . . more

Sears, once an appliance powerhouse, sees sales shrink despite growing demand

Chicago Tribune

Sears— aided by its trusted Kenmore brand — long dominated sales of appliances like refrigerators, ranges, washers and dryers. But at a time when major appliances are seeing rapid sales growth and reliably drawing shoppers into bricks-and-mortar stores, the struggling Hoffman Estates-based retailer’s hold on the category has slipped.

Big-box specialty chains like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy have been winning over consumers, and even J.C. Penney is bringing major appliances back to stores in a bid to win sales from its department store rival and frequent mall neighbor.. . . more

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Coach handbags drive Tapestry earnings

Tapestry Inc.’s quarterly results surpassed expectations thanks to strong demand for its Coach handbags, Reuters reports.

Overall revenue for Tapestry, the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, rose to $1.79 billion in the second quarter ending Dec. 30, beating the average analyst prediction of $1.77 billion, according to Reuters.

The results show the success of Tapestry’s move to transform itself into a multi-brand company and remove inventory from stores to cut back on flash sales, per Reuters. Coach same-store sales rose 3 percent in the latest quarter, surpassing analysts’ estimate of 1.83 percent.. . . more

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

In a cutthroat retail environment, malls are stealing tenants from each other


As most retailers have halted growing their footprints, mall and shopping center landlords are forced to compete for the best in the business. A deal for Nordstrom marks just the latest example of this trend.

The high-end department store chain revealed late last week it will be leaving Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kansas, for Country Club Plaza, roughly 12 miles down the road in Kansas City.

"The good malls will pick off the good tenants," Boenning & Scattergood analyst Floris van Dijkum told CNBC. "It's indicative of the heightened competition. ... Nordstrom is making a rational decision to go from a $460 sales-per-square-foot mall to a $625 sales-per-square-foot property.". . . more

Study: Malls will become ‘consumer experience spaces’

Chain Store Age

The mall of the future will have more in common with Disneyland than Roosevelt Field, according to a study prescribing that retail real estate must be in the business of helping people accumulate experiences, not merchandise.

Whether or not A.T. Kearney’s clunky rubric for the new mall — “consumer experience space,” or CES — takes root, the consulting firm’s premise is on solid ground: The Millennials and Generation Z-ers who will comprise the bulk of shoppers in the near future will have less disposable income, more proclivity to share possessions, and greater desire for experiences than mall shoppers of the past.. . . more

Macy's launches pop-up marketplaces in its stores


Macy's is opening its doors to pop-ups in a new marketplace concept called "The Market @ Macy's."

The program gives pods of space to a handful of brands and companies on Macy's ground floor to promote or sell their products. It is aimed at giving Macy's customers more variety to their shopping and the Cincinnati-based retailer insight into what they like. For their branded partners, it bestows an opportunity to have brick-and-mortar presence they may lack.. . . more

​Lululemon chief quits abruptly over conduct breach; $5M payout owed

Boston Business Journal

Lululemon’s chief executive has abruptly resigned over what the yoga-wear maker described as a breach of its standards of conduct, raising concerns about its management stability.

Laurent Potdevin, who has led Lululemon since 2014, was leaving immediately, the company said, without providing details about the nature of the conduct involved in his departure.. . . more

Monday, February 5, 2018

Nordstrom to move locations in Kansas City

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

Friday, February 2, 2018

What to do with Bangor Mall

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

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

Malls embrace gyms to drive foot traffic

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

Job cuts at Sears


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