Monday, April 30, 2018

The best shopping mall in every state

This Is Insider

From thrift shopping to high-end luxury brands, locals and tourists look for the mall that has it all. From the finest dining to movies to a variety of retail shops, they are looking for a one-stop shop.

Though malls are closing at a pretty high rate, there are still plenty of quality shopping experiences to be had in person.. . . more

Chico's becomes the latest retailer to sell on Amazon


Chico's FAS, the parent company of Chico's, White House Black Market and Soma, announced Monday it plans to sell Chico's merchandise on Amazon.

Chico's shares had jumped more than 4 percent in the premarket, but then retreated and were down 1 percent in the regular trading session.

The company said shoppers in mid-May will find a "select assortment" of clothing and accessories, including its athleisure line, no-iron shirts and jewelry, on Amazon. Chico's said it could begin selling items from White House Black Market and Soma via Amazon, "as the new business channel gains traction.". . . more

Friday, April 27, 2018

Two-story Wegmans with a tequila bar to open in Massachusetts

Buffalo News

Wegmans will finally unveil its two-story megastore at the Natick Mall in Natick, Mass., Sunday.

The store will have three "firsts" for the Rochester-based grocer:
  • It's the first Wegmans with shopping on two levels. Many of its stores have mezzanine-level seating, but not grocery departments on a second floor.. . . more

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sears’ Remaining Stores May Not Garner Much Demand, as Retailer Faces New Struggles

NREI Online

Major mall REITs such as GGP Inc., Macerich and Simon Property Group have arguably already captured the best of Sears Holdings’s fleet of stores, through a series of 50-50 joint venture and outright sale transactions since 2012.

Whatever is left of the Hoffman Estate, Ill.-based retailer’s stores numbers less than 200 – and the company continues to announce closings. Seritage Growth Properties, the New York City-based REIT entity created in 2015 to lease and monetize the Sears properties, holds those and market professionals are not convinced that the remaining properties hold much value for landlords. . . . more

GNC to shutter 200 stores

Retail Dive

GNC plans to close some 200 stores this year, depending on the outcome of lease renegotiations or relocation opportunities, which are ongoing, and expects few new stores to open this year, the company also said.

Same-store sales at GNC rose 0.5% in domestic company-owned stores in the first quarter of 2018, according to a company press release. In domestic franchise locations, same-store sales fell 1.9%.. . . more

How Abercrombie & Fitch plans to grow into a $5 billion company

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. hosted its annual investor meeting in New York on Wednesday and shared its aspiration to be a $5 billion business and some of the steps it will take to hit that goal.

Abercrombie's sales were $3.49 billion last year, up 4 percent from 2016, with notable improvement in both the Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch brands.. . . more

Charming Charlie emerges from bankruptcy with a smaller footprint, new owners

Chain Store Age

Charming Charlie is no longer bankrupt. But it has fewer stores.

The jewelry and accessories retailer said it successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11, with its court-confirmed reorganization plan taking effect today, April 24, 2018. Charming Charlie filed for bankruptcy protection in December, after announcing plans to shutter a number of underperforming stores and reduce corporate headcount. It has since closed roughly 100 locations.. . . more

The culture is changing. Can Victoria's Secret keep up?

Fewer young women are buying from lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret, and analysts point to shifting sentiments among consumers as a possible reason.

The number of women in the 18-to-49 age group buying from the brand is at its lowest since 2013, per Retail Dive, and comparable sales declined every month in 2017, per Fashionista. Sales were down between 10 percent and 14 percent toward the beginning of the year and by single-digit numbers toward the end of the year. . . . more

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Future Of America's Malls

In February, 2017, Macy’s contracted CBRE Inc. Real Estate to sell 32 locations in 20 states, many of which were in shopping malls. Toys R Us and JCPenney are among other brick and mortar retail chains struggling to survive, this all according to

In the past, malls relied on these so-called anchor stores. Now that they are closing their doors, the American shopping mall is in jeopardy.. . . more

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Gap ramping up Old Navy store expansion, remodels

Chain Store Age

Gap Inc. is putting its muscle behind Old Navy, counting on the value apparel brand to drive its growth.
The retailer will open 60 Old Navy stores across the nation this year, reported CNBC, giving it a total of more than 1,000. In addition, some 150 Old Navy stores will be remodeled during the next few months with such features as upgraded fitting rooms, restrooms and checkout areas and more modern fixtures, the report said. About 10% of the 150 stores will receive a full makeover, according to the report.. . . more

Monday, April 23, 2018

Eddie Lampert's firm offers to buy Kenmore from Sears

Boston Herald

Lampert's hedge fund, Sears' biggest shareholder, has asked the struggling retailer to sell the Kenmore brand and the chain's home improvement business.

The private equity firm ESL Investments said that it might buy the assets if the company is willing to sell, sending shares of Sears Holding Corp. jumping 8 percent at the opening bell.. . . more

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bon-Ton Stores begin going-out-of-business sales

Chain Store Age

The Bon-Ton Stores will be dark by fall.

The embattled department store retailer announced that going-out-of- business sales will begin Friday, April 20, in its 212 stores and e-commerce websites. The liquidation sales are expected to run for approximately 10 to 12 weeks.

Bon-Ton currently has 250 locations, 38 of which are already in liquidation from a previously announced store closure process.. . . more

The top apparel retailer for 2018 will be…

Chain Store Age

Amazon is on pace to make a big name for itself across the apparel industry this year.

According to Morgan Stanley, the online giant is poised to become the number one player in the U.S. apparel industry in 2018, reported CNBC. . . . more

Victoria’s Secret has a brand image problem

NY Post

Victoria’s Secret has a #MeToo problem.

The lingerie giant’s sales have been sinking for more than a year as its pricey push-up bras and other fashions fall out of favor — but the #MeToo movement is also taking a toll on its brand, according to a YouGov poll.

Among 18-to-49-year-old women, the brand’s buzz score — whether consumers are hearing positive or negative things about a brand — dropped more than 3 points over the past six months, to 23.
In 2016, the company’s buzz score was 31. By comparison, Amazon was the No. 1 brand in 2016, with a buzz score of 36.. . . more

As Bon-Ton’s Fortunes Shift, Investors Brace for Liquidation

NREI Online

About one week ago Bon-Ton Stores appeared to have escaped the spiral of bankruptcy and liquidation that haunts so many retailers these days, after it got an offer from a group of investors including REIT Washington Prime Group, fund manager DW Partners and Namdar Realty to buy the company.

By Monday evening, however, the Milwaukee-based department store operator’s fortune shifted dramatically after reports emerged that only a couple of bidders turned up at its liquidation auction, according to industry observers. Instead of a buyout, the discussion has now turned to liquidating Bon-Ton Stores for good.. . . more

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bon-Ton Stores headed for liquidation

Chain Store Age

The end is in sight for The Bon-Ton Stores.

The bankrupt, 160-year-old department store chain is headed to liquidation after it received a winning bid from a joint venture, including Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group, to acquire its inventory and certain other assets. The winning bid by the liquidators was estimated to be worth $775.5 million, according to Reuters. It is subject to approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Court.. . . more

The amount of retail space closing in 2018 is on pace to break a record


The amount of retail space going dark in 2018 is on pace to break a record, as companies with massive floorplans are either trimming back their store counts or liquidating entirely.

Since 2008, commercial real estate services firm CoStar Group has been tracking the amount of retail square footage slated to close annually. Already in April, more than 90 million square feet of space is expected to be vacated, including Bon-Ton's stores, in 2018. That's easily on track to surpass a record 105 million square feet of space shuttered last year, said Suzanne Mulvee, a senior real estate strategist at CoStar. All it will take is another handful of closures.. . . more

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Brookfield Is Said to Get Calpers, TIAA Financing for GGP Deal

NREI Online

Brookfield Property Partners LP has lined up a slate of heavyweight backers to help finance its planned takeover of GGP Inc.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a CBRE Group Inc. unit, Future Fund and TIAA affiliate TH Real Estate have agreed to invest in select GGP malls, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The properties weren’t identified.. . . more

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Private Equity Sees Profit Potential in U.S. Malls

To say that the American mall is dead is a gross exaggeration. While many shopping centers across the country are struggling, so-called Class A mall real estate, typically in densely populated major metropolitan areas with attractive demographics and innovative concepts, is doing well and piquing investor interest.

While the shopping center of the past was largely dependent on large, well-known retail anchor stores, today’s mall developers are retrofitting space to become lifestyle hubs, relying on a mix of fine dining, entertainment, hotels, offices, health care providers and retail, among other concepts, to help generate traffic.. . . more

The end of Bon-Ton? Only two bids for parent of Boston Store, Younkers come from liquidators

The only two bids at the start of a bankruptcy auction for department store chain Bon-Ton Stores Inc. were from liquidators, signaling the end for a company that at one time was part of the backbone of Wisconsin’s retail industry, according to reports Tuesday morning.
Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the matter, said Bon-Ton will go out of business without a bid from a going-concern bidder. The New York research firm Reorg Research, also citing sources, likewise reported that two liquidators were the bidders when the auction finally began late Monday night.. . . more

Monday, April 16, 2018

No more wedding parties at Banana Republic

Chain Store Age

Gap Inc. is throwing in the towel when it comes to bridal wear.

Gap’s Weddington Way brand, which operates an e-commerce site and in-store shops at Banana Republic, said the shops will close down within the next few months. In a note on its website, the brand said it “hopes” to continue to serve customers online indefinitely. But “at this point,” is only guaranteeing online orders through June 11.. . . more

Friday, April 13, 2018

Backstage shops star inside Macy’s

Retail Wire

Doubters have questioned the strategic branding value of Macy’s placing its Backstage off-price shops in its full-price department stores. Even so, the chain is pushing on with the concept, planning to add 100 more Backstage shops inside of Macy’s to the 55 it already has in operation.

Backstage, which initially began as a standalone concept, was intended as Macy’s off-price response to a wide variety of discounters, including Marshall’s, Nordstrom Rack, Ross Stores and T.J. Maxx.

While some see a branding conflict between Backstage and Macy’s full-line stores, the retailer is adding the shops for a simple reason — they drive sales.. . . more

L Brands posts 7 percent increase in March sales

The Columbus Dispatch

L Brands said on Thursday that an early Easter helped boost sales for the five-week period that ended April 7.

Sales rose 7 percent to $1 billion compared with the same period in 2017.

Comparable-store sales, the best indicator of a retailer’s performance, rose by 4 percent during the period.. . . more

2012-Vintage CMBS Mall Loans Holding Up with Few Defaults

NREI Online

Amid the steady stream of bad news about the retail real estate sector, CMBS analysts have found a glimmer of hope: mall loans originated in 2012 and underpinning $4.05 billion of CMBS deals are performing better than previous vintages and have better prospects for refinancing.

Low interest rates, healthy debt service coverage ratios and a robust economy have enabled more than 75 percent of these mortgages to post stable or improving cash flows since they were underwritten, according to an assessment from Morningstar Credit Ratings.. . .

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Gap CEO: Big data gives us competitive advantages

Chain Store Age

Gap Inc. is not underestimating the value of its big data.

The company’s same-store sales are on rise, which the company partially credits to the customer data it collects to create personalized marketing campaigns, according to CNBC.. . . more

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Retail defaults hit an all-time high in early 2018

Retail Dive

Bleeding in mall retail did not stop with the new year and robust holiday sales season.

In a November survey, nearly all retail executives said they expect as many or more bankruptcies in 2018 as occurred last year, according to a March study from accounting and consulting firm BDO. Specifically, 40% of executives said they expect more bankruptcies and another 54% said they expect the level of bankruptcy filings to stay consistent with last year, which surpassed 2008 in retail bankruptcies.. . . more

Bon-Ton may be headed for liquidation after losing key bid condition

Retail Dive

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath may have cleared the way for the bondholders who want to liquidate Bon-Ton's assets to do just that.

The judge said on Wednesday that the $500,000 fee attached to the going-concern bid fell outside the bidding procedures she had established last month.. . . more

Simon unveils plans to fill five vacated Sears stores

Chain Store Age

Food halls, fitness centers, and new shops are destined for emptied Sears spaces at five Simon malls, according to company COO Michael McCarty.

The vacated Sears at Simon’s Brea Mall in Brea, Calif., will be the site of a mini-mixed-use project with residences, restaurants, new retail brands and a three-story, 120,000-sq.-ft. Life Time Athletic center.. . . more

Mall owners team up to buy bankrupt Bon-Ton

Chain Store Age

An investor group made up of two mall owners — Washington Prime Group and Namdar Realty Group — and alternative asset manager DW Partners have signed a letter of intent to acquire The Bon-Ton Stores as a going concern in a Bankrupt Court-supervised sale process.

In teaming up to save Bon-Ton, the two mall owners would be following in the footsteps of Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties. In fall 2016, the two companies teamed up to buy bankrupt teen apparel retailer Aeropostale.  The deal is credited with keeping 229 Aeropostale stores open.. . . more

Some Sears Stores Are Being Auctioned Online

Wall Street Journal

Troubled department-store chain Sears Holdings Corp. is looking to cash in on real estate, and some of its stores could be sold online.

Real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield is partnering with Real Insight Marketplace, an online auction platform, to help Sears sell 16 profitable store locations. The stores, 15 of which are attached to malls, are being marketed as sale and lease-back deals, and some properties with agreements that allow modifications could be turned into self-storage, hotel or residential space.. . . more

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

One attraction still drawing shoppers to malls: Food


You might've noticed more and more mall food courts are changing, ditching fast food chains for local eateries. And that's not an accident.

Mall owners say they've been steadily increasing the percentage of retail square footage at any given property dedicated to food and beverage, creating new food halls. The push to make these changes is compelling, industry experts have told CNBC. The goal is to drive traffic to the property and keep shoppers lingering longer.. . . more

Nordstrom bets big on the Big Apple

Chain Store Age

Nordstrom is set to open its first-ever full-line, full-price store in New York City.

The department store retailer will open a 47,000-sq.-ft. dedicated men’s store on April 12, at 57th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. (The site is across the street from a seven-story women’s store the retailer will open in fall 2019.)

Nordstrom’s men’s emporium will seek to combine cutting-edge technology with old-school in-store service, complete with 16 on-staff tailors, reported the New York Times.. . . more

Bankrupt chain Bon-Ton postpones auction as investor group makes play to continue business

Bankrupt chain The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. said in a court filing Monday it has received several bids for the company’s assets — but only one of those offers an opportunity for the business to continue.

The two sides, however, need a little longer to iron out a deal, so an auction originally rescheduled for Tuesday has been pushed to 10 a.m. April 16.. . . more

Monday, April 9, 2018

4 Models Of The Shopping Mall Of The Future


Despite the strong growth in retail sales in 2017, the retail real-estate market continues to be roiled by trends that look to pick up steam in the future. US mall vacancy rates through the first quarter of 2018 are at the highest level since the end of 2012. Overall retail real-estate vacancies stood at 10% in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Reis.

Filling those retail vacancies will only get harder, suggests a report from Green Street Advisors. The report focuses on trends for in-line tenants, rather than anchors. Since in-line tenants have the greatest impact on mall net operating income, the report states “their performance offers a preferred indicator of mall health.”. . . more

Challenges Facing Retail in 2018 - How Nordstrom and Macy's Tackle These Issues


A quarter of the year 2018 has already past. It is evident that major retailers are facing great challenges to win in the marketplace. Challenges include: (1) winning on the internet, (2) being quick and responsive in distribution of merchandise, and (3) especially gaining customer traffic in physical stores. Success of efforts in any of these areas will play out over time; progress for any major retailer can only be measured as the year passes and we track their ability to gain share of market and sustain profitable growth.

What’s involved here? There’s a need to think about retail business in new, broader terms and then make investments from the perspective of how they can improve customer satisfaction.. . . more

Nine West files for bankruptcy; to sell namesake brand

Chain Store Age

Massive debt has finally taken its toll on Nine West.

Nine West Holdings Inc. said Friday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with a plan to sell its namesake and Bandolino footwear and handbag businesses as part of its reorganization to Authentic Brands Group. The company said it plans to revamp its capital structure around its profitable businesses, including Anne Klein, Kasper Group, The Jewelry Group and One Jeanswear Group.. . . more

Burlington Mall planning 'multimillion-dollar' renovation

Boston Business Journal

The Burlington Mall will soon undergo a "multimillion-dollar" renovation, mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. announced on Monday.

The 1.3 million-square-foot mall, anchored by such stores as Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and Primark, will begun work on the project this summer.

The redeveloped mall, which will include new shops and restaurants, will reopen in spring 2019, Simon said.. . . more

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Two mall owners may bid jointly on bankrupt Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

Two companies that own shopping malls are talking with Bon-Ton Stores Inc. about buying the bankrupt retailer, a report says.

Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Namdar Realty Group, of Great Neck, N.Y., and Washington Prime Group, of Columbus, Ohio, could bid to acquire Bon-Ton out of bankruptcy.

Wednesday was the deadline for bids on Bon-Ton in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.. . . more

Department store giant in search for new CFO

Chain Store Age

Macy’s announced that Karen Hoguet, CFO since 1997, has decided to retire in February 2019, at the completion of the company’s fiscal year. An external search is underway for her replacement.

“Karen Hoguet is one of retail’s most respected executives and is an outstanding CFO,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chairman and CEO. “For the past three decades, Karen has had a voice in almost every major decision at Macy’s and its predecessor Federated Department Stores. She knows our business inside and out and, through good times and bad, Karen has been a steady and strategic hand in the CFO’s seat.”. . . more

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Beauty Proves to Be a Bright Spot for US Department Stores

Fung Global Retail Tech

Beauty is a bright spot for department stores, and major names such as Macy’s and JCPenney are investing to attract a greater share of spending flowing to categories such as skin care, color cosmetics and fragrances.

Indeed, among the different categories that department stores compete for, beauty is a higher-growth category overall. Based on data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, US consumers increased their spending on apparel and footwear by 1.7% in 2017, while they grew their spending on beauty and fragrance products by more than double that rate, at 3.9%.. . . more

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Bon-Ton finds a potential buyer

Retail Dive

Bon-Ton Stores is discussing a possible going-concern bid with an interested party ahead of a bankruptcy auction later this month for the retailer and its assets, the company said in a press release.

Because of the talks, the retailer extended, with court approval, the deadline for bids on the company and its assets, according to the release. . . . more

Monday, April 2, 2018

Regional Mall Vacancies Hit Six-Year High In First Quarter

Vacancies in regional shopping malls around the country hit a six-year high during the first three months of 2018, which should stress an already struggling retail sector.

The Wall Street Journal, citing data from Reis, the real estate data company, reported that the vacancy rate at large malls around America hit 8.4 percent in the first quarter, which is up from 8.3% in the fourth quarter of 2017. It is the highest level of vacancies since the fourth quarter of 2012, noted The Wall Street Journal. Neighborhood and community shopping centers in 41 of the 77 metropolitan areas that Reis tracks had an increase in the number of vacancies during the past 12 months as of the end of March.. . . more

Wall Street’s bears think they have found the next credit crisis: the mall

Herald Tribune

It’s no secret many mall complexes have been struggling for years as Americans do more of their shopping online. Now they’re catching the eye of hedge-fund types who think some may soon buckle under their debts, much as many homeowners did nearly a decade ago.

Like the run-up to the housing debacle, a small but growing group of firms is positioning itself to profit from a collapse that could spur a wave of defaults. Their target: securities backed not by subprime mortgages, but by loans taken out by beleaguered mall and shopping center operators.. . . more