Thursday, May 31, 2018

J. Crew Group cuts loss as Madewell surges

Chain Store Age
J. Crew Group took a big bite out of its loss in the first quarter thanks to the strong performance of its Madewell brand. But its namesake banner continues to struggle.

The retailer reported a net loss of $33.9 million for the quarter ended May 5, compared to a loss of $121.0 million in the year-ago period.

Total revenues increased 3% to $540.5 million. Madewell sales increased 39% to $115.8 million. J.Crew sales decreased 7% to $391.9 million.. . . more

Sears to close another 72 stores as sales plunge

Boston Herald
Sears will close another 72 stores as sales plunge and losses grow.
The beleaguered retailer said that it has identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning a profit, and the majority of those locations will be shuttered soon. . . . more

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Nordstrom reportedly expanding its merchandise-free retail concept

Chain Store Age
Nordstrom plans to open two more Nordstrom Local locations in the Los Angeles market, and is also considering expanding the concept to other cities, including Manhattan, if it continues to be successful, reported the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Nordstrom debuted Nordstrom Local in October. The 3,000-sq.-ft. store is designed as a neighborhood hub where customers can access an array of services, including on-site tailoring, personal stylists, buy-online-pickup-in-store, manicures and a beverage bar— but has no dedicated inventory. . . . more

Chico’s Q1 sales, profits fall

Chain Store Age
On the heels of a disappointing first quarter, Chico’s FAS is betting on its partnerships with Amazon and QVC to help drive traffic and sales going forward.

Sales totaled $561.8 million, down from $583.7 million last year, but better than expected. Same-store sales fell 5.9%, a bigger decline than expected. By brand, same-store sales were down 5.5% at Chico’s, 6.6% at White House Black Market and 5.8% at Soma. . . . more

Upbeat mood prevails at 2018 RECon Show

Chain Store Age
“The Mall is Dead, Long Live the Mall!” read the cover line on issues of Chain Store Age distributed at last week’s big retail real estate trade show in Las Vegas, and it was an apt description of retailer sentiment at RECon 2018.

Developers across the show floor shared varying assessments of traffic levels at the show, but gave high marks to traffic quality. Meetings were more positive than at last year’s show, they reported, with retailers eager to work with developers to expand their brick-and-mortar networks. . . . more

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Adios, Sears And JC Penney. Mall Owners Are Putting Apartments, Hotels In Your Place

bisnow.com
As department stores dwindle, mall owners are looking to fill those yawning gaps. How to do that is one of the biggest open questions in the retail real estate business, Green Street Advisors Managing Director Dirk Aulabaugh told CNBC at the annual ICSC RECon event this week.

The hard fact of the matter, according to Aulabaugh, is that filling the spaces will take time, even years, and the process will be on a case-by-case basis. . . . more

Eddie Bauer And Pacific Sunwear Consider Merging, Slashing Stores

bisnow.com
Eddie Bauer and Pacific Sunwear of California are mulling a merger and the combined reduction of their store count, Reuters reports, citing anonymous sources.

No number of closures have been specified, but the two currently operate about 700 stores combined.

The process would be facilitated by the fact that both retailers are controlled by the same investor, private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. The investor hasn't decided whether to go forward with the consolidation yet.. . . more

Friday, May 25, 2018

Five Ways the Retail Fitness Industry Might Look Different in the Future

National Real Estate InvestorThere are more than 36,000 health clubs, gyms and fitness centers in the U.S., and major markets have seen growth at a rate of 2.8 percent since 2013. But what does the future of the retail fitness industry look like? Many believe, as an internet-resistant sector, the future looks bright for fitness centers and gyms. And while that may prove true, growth in the next five to 10 years may look a bit different than what we’ve witnessed in the last decade. . . . more

Subway executive: ‘Pent-up demand’ drives global growth

Nation's Restaurant News
In July 2017, Walker became the company’s vice president of development, a new position that reports directly to chief development officer Don Fertman. Walker, who held executive-level positions at Baja Fresh, Cinnabon and Johnny Rockets, delivered a speech titled “Location, Location, Location”during the annual conference. . . more

Eastern Massachusetts Retail Report Preview

KeyPoint Partners
The 2018 KeyPoint Report for Eastern Massachusetts/Greater Boston, based on our proprietary GRIID™ retail database, is in production and should be available by the end of June. While you’re waiting, here’s a preview - but consider these results preliminary and subject to change:

Vacancy Rate: Eastern Massachusetts experienced a substantial rise in the vacancy rate to 9.4% this year from a level of 8.6% in 2017, reflecting a 10.4% increase in unoccupied space. At the same time total inventory ended the year at 196.4 million square feet, a gain of 1.0%, nearly the same square footage as the increase in vacant space. This resulted in a nominal positive absorption rate of only 104,000 square feet. A considerable number of large format store closings and chain liquidations were responsible for the disappointing outcome, which could have been even worse without a significant number of retail conversions to non-retail space cushioning the impact . . . more

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Coffee, iPhones, Wi-Fi? If you thought this was Starbucks or Apple, surprise! It’s Comcast

USA Today
Curl up with a cup of coffee and enjoy the free Wi-Fi. Use a tablet computer to try out a mix of apps. Check out the latest big-screen TV.

Those experiences have become familiar at the local Starbucks or some electronics stores such as Best Buy or Apple. But there's a company offering those perks and more, one not generally thought of as a retailer.

It's Comcast...more

Nékter Juice Bar Accelerates National Expansion with Entry into Four New States by Early Summer 2018

Restaurant News
The journey from proof-of-concept in 2010 to more than 100 high-performing restaurants across the country today has made Nékter Juice Bar the clear leader in the modern juice bar category. Nékter’s brisk expansion continues this summer as new franchise partners prepare to bring the healthy lifestyle concept to several new markets, including: Jacksonville Beach, Coconut Creek, Tampa and Valrico in Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee; Eugene, Oregon; and, Woodbury, Minnesota. At the same time, Nékter has 150 more restaurants in development in multiple markets, including Illinois, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania, and is seeking franchise partners who want to bring a thriving and growing brand to more communities across the United States...more

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Three Major Changes Predicted To Reshape The U.S. Mall In The Next Five Years

Forbes
U.S. retail is definitely not dying, but it is certainly evolving at an accelerated rate. Week by week, the brick-and-mortar retail landscape is changing rapidly—and, in some cases, belatedly—in response to shifts in how and where consumers shop. As Deborah Weinswig noted earlier in May, forward-thinking mall owners are already adapting their shopping centers to cater to changes in consumer behavior, and she predicts that three major factors will pressure them to further adjust their offerings in the next five years.

Prediction 1: One in Five Department Stores Will Close. . . more

Will J.C. Penney's turnaround ever end?

SOURCE
This year has been rough for J.C. Penney. Already in 2018, the department store retailer cut hundreds of jobs, disappointed investors in consecutive earnings reports and struggled to significantly improve apparel sales after taking dramatic steps to do so last year.

While some analysts still see the retailer as one of the stronger remaining players in the department store world, others are losing their patience with the company's turnaround efforts, which have yet to yield permanent positive profits or comparable sales growth. And that turnaround plan was just complicated by the sudden resignation of Penney's chief executive. . . . more

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sears is closing 40 stores in 24 states

Business Insider
Sears is quietly closing at least 40 stores in 24 states, in addition to the 166 stores that the company previously said it would close this year.

Most of the stores on the new list will close in July and August.

Sears has not publicly announced many of the store closings slated for this summer. Business Insider confirmed the list of closing stores based on information from multiple Sears employees and local news reports.. . . more

J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison resigns to become CEO of Lowe's

USA Today
Home improvement retailer Lowe's on Tuesday named the CEO of department-store chain J.C. Penney as its new boss.

Marvin R. Ellison has resigned as CEO of J.C. Penney to become the new CEO of Lowe's. . . . more

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sears gets financial boost to upgrade its credit card

Chain Store Age
Sears Holdings is upping the rewards for its credit card holders.

Citi and Sears Holdings on Monday announced a long-term extension of their 15-year co-brand and private label credit card relationship along with enhancements to the Shop Your Way Mastercard rewards program. In conjunction with the agreement, Citi will pay Sears $425 million ($400 million of which has been received).

Sears said its cardholders will now enjoy benefits every day that previously were only available on a promotional basis. . . more

Coffee, iPhones, Wifi? If you thought this was Starbucks or Apple, surprise! It’s Comcast

USA Today
Consumers may love to hate their cable companies, but Comcast is betting its new retail stores with giant video screens and comfy couches will help strengthen its connection to customers. There will be zones where they can try out products ranging from Comcast's X1 video player to smart locks controlled with the tap of an iPad.

Comcast plans to set up shop in malls and shopping centers, sometimes moving into spaces that more traditional chains have left empty after struggling with slipping sales.. . . more

Simon Partners With Marriott To Add 5 New Hotels To Shopping Centers

Bisnow.com
Marriott International and Simon Property Group are planning to develop at least five more hotels under various Marriott brands at Simon shopping centers over the next few years. Two will be in Florida, and one each in New York, Texas and Tennessee.

The thinking is that a more experiential property, with shopping but also dining and entertainment, needs a hospitality component to promote the shopping center as a destination.  . . . more

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dillard’s picks up steam in Q1

Chain Store Age
One day after Macy’s posted a strong first quarter, Dillard’s reported net income of $80.5 million, or $2.89 per share, for the period ended May 5, up from $66.3 million, or $2.12 per share, for the year-ago period.

Net sales were $1.456 billion, up from and $1.418 billion last year. Net sales includes the operations of the company’s construction business, CDI Contractors. Total merchandise sales (which excludes CDI) increased 2% to $1.409 billion. Same-store sales also increased 2%. . . . more

Nordstrom shares fall despite higher than expected quarterly profit

The Seattle Times
Nordstrom, putting its namesake family’s unsuccessful take-private effort in the rear-view mirror, reported a first-quarter profit that surpassed the expectations of Wall Street analysts. But other details in the Seattle retailer’s report prompted a 7 percent dip in its stock price after the earnings news.

The Seattle-based retailer remains under scrutiny as it invests in an ongoing digital transformation and expansions in New York City and Canada, all while trying to expand profit margins after five consecutive years of shrinkage.. . . more

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Macy's may have the winning retail formula

CNBC
Macy's may have the winning formula in today's retail world. The department store giant beat earnings expectations Wednesday with a combination of reduced inventories, targeted market strategies and new merchandise.

"Macy's is investing for the future," Matthew Boss, retail analyst at J.P. Morgan, told CNBC on "Squawk Alley" Wednesday. . . . more

J.C. Penney's results fall short of expectations after sales tanked in a cold April

Dallas Morning News
J.C. Penney reported weaker-than-expected results blaming April's cold temperatures and rare snow in the Midwest and Northeast and the closing of 141 stores last summer and fall.

April apparel sales declined drastically following sales increases in February and March, said chief executive officer Marvin Ellison during a conference call with analysts Thursday morning. Sales declined 12 percent in the first week of April and declined 24  percent in the second week, he said. But recovered with the weather in the second half of the month, rising 9.5 percent in the third week and 10 percent in the last week. . . . more

Target is ‘most popular’ in survey

Chain Store Age
A retailer’s popularity varies depending on whether a shopper values low prices or has expensive tastes.

That’s according to a survey by Internet-based market research and data analytics firm YouGov that ranks the most popular department stores in the United States. . . . more

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ripple effect from big box blight

Real Estate Weekly
Across the country, big-box retailers are shuttering at a record pace but for landlords, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

When a Macy’s or Nordstrom goes dark as part of a nationwide cull it continues to pay rent so landlords don’t see an immediate loss of revenue.

However, these departures create ripple effects through co-tenancy agreements, lease clauses that can allow other tenants to pay reduced rent or close completely. . . . more

Macy's sees second straight quarter of boosted sales

The Cincinnati Inquirer
Macy's Inc. has broken free of its 11-quarter sales slump, posting its second straight quarter of increased earnings at its stores.

Macy's reported comparable sales were up 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2018 at stores it owned, and up 4.2 percent when licensed stores were included. That's the second straight quarter of growing sales for the department store chain, which had seen nearly three years of declining sales. . . . more

Another first for Lord & Taylor: An online pairing with Walmart

Boston Business Journal
Lord & Taylor is teaming up with Walmart to create an online store on Walmart.com that will offer about 125 fashion brands, including Tommy Bahama, La La Anthony, H Halston and Effy.

Billed by both companies as a “premium” shopping destination, the new online store reflects Lord & Taylor’s desire to reach a wider audience and Walmart’s hope to attract a different type of customer. . . . more

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mall for One and One for Mall

Chain Store Age
It’s a turbulent time for many American malls, and several owners and operators have had success reversing the fortunes of underperforming malls by transforming them into mixed-use destinations. This can radically change a mall’s fortunes – particularly those with great locations and favorable demographics – but it is not a magic bullet. Mixed-use redevelopments take time. They come with design and development challenges, new value calculations, and complex economic, demographic, and leasing considerations.

For retailers, the process can be extremely beneficial, but also incredibly disruptive. They need to be attuned to the signs that a redevelopment is needed and cognizant of what they can do to navigate the process once it begins. . . . more

Walmart, Home Depot, Macy’s Earnings to Give New Pulse on Retail

NREI
Several of the largest consumer-facing companies report results for the first quarter -- the three months immediately following the critical holiday season that sets the stage for the rest of the year. Walmart Inc., Home Depot Inc. and Macy’s Inc. are three of the major chains scheduled to update shareholders on the state of their operations.

Their performance will give fresh perspectives into the health of brick-and-mortar retail and the strength of buyer sentiment in the U.S. So far this year, the consumer climate has been pretty strong. Although Americans aren’t running out to the mall in droves with their tax-refund dollars, they say they’re in the mood to ramp up spending. . . . more

The Time May Be Right for More M&A in the REIT Sector, Analysts Say

NREI
There are several large proposed REIT mergers in the books already in 2018, but analysts in the space say the activity may not be done yet.
 
Following a long slowdown of consolidation activity, the recent M&A announcements have spanned REIT sectors. First, General Growth Properties Inc., a mall REIT, in March agreed to a buyout  offer from Brookfield Property Partners. . . . more

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sears moves to sell Kenmore

money.cnn.com
The struggling retailer announced Monday that it had formed a "special committee" to explore the sale of its in-house appliance brand.

The move comes less than a month after Sears CEO Eddie Lampert wrote a letter to the board urging it to sell the brand. He offered to buy it himself if necessary, along with other assets.

There is a good chance that Lampert will be the one buying Kenmore.. . . more

How a Startup is Helping Retail Landlords, Tenants Arrange Short-Term Leases

NREI
Men’s sportswear retailer Rhone recently participated in a growing retail trend. It booked a one-year, 368-sq.-ft. space in Brookfield Place, the retail concourse in New York City (still locally referred to as the World Financial Center), after renting space in three other shopping centers for even shorter terms.

In previous eras of retail leasing, a young company in a competitive segment such as apparel might not have hoped to attain such a deal. Yet these are extraordinary times in retailing. Bankruptcies and store closures are on the rise for anchors and specialty tenants, including the apparel sector, putting pressure on retail landlords to keep their common areas bustling with shoppers. . . . more

GameStop is on the hunt for a new CEO

Chain Store Age
After only three months on the job, GameStop’s CEO is stepping down.

Michael Mauler is resigning from his role as CEO, effective immediately. He is leaving for personal reasons, according to the company.

Board member and GameStop co-founder Daniel DeMatteo will serve as interim CEO during the search for a new chief executive. DeMatteo previously served as CEO from August 2008 to June 2010. . . . more

Big Changes Proposed for Former Sears Location at Burlington Mall

BCAT
There could be some big changes coming to the Burlington Mall.

Recently representatives of Simon Property Group, the company that owns the mall, were at the Planning Board meeting to discuss a proposed project for the former Sears and Sears Automotive sites. Those properties, once owned independently by Sears, were acquired by Simon Properties and they are now looking into ways to redevelop them to better fit the modern mall market. . . . more

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sears CEO: The company is still ‘fighting like hell’

Chain Store Age
Sears Holding Corp.’s turnaround may be taking longer than expected, but chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert is committed to moving forward.

At the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, Lampert said that Sears has “tried to incubate our own capabilities” instead of making major acquisitions — a strategy used by competitors, such as Target and Walmart, according to CNBC.

In the report, he added said that Sears “is on the right path, but we haven’t gotten over the hump. We need to convert our vision into reality, [which has been] made much more difficult because the operating performance isn’t where it needs to be.” . . . more

The Children's Place poised to win after Toys R Us liquidation

Retail Dive
Children's Place has been in the right place at the right time more than once in the past year. When rival Gymboree went bankrupt last year and closed hundreds of stores, Children's Place was only too happy to step in and fill the gap.

The retailer had stores open in more than half of the shopping centers where Gymboree has closed 326 of its stores, CEO Jane Elfers told analysts in March, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the call. . . . more

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The largest mall in America is getting closer to approval in Northwest Miami-Dade

Miami Herald
The largest mall in America moved closer to winning a key approval in Miami-Dade on Monday, as a county planning board gave a thumbs up to a $4 billion retail theme park that expects 30 million visitors a year.

American Dream Miami promotes itself as a local alternative to Disney World, and a shopping and entertainment destination spanning more than 6 million square feet and large enough to employ 14,000 people once it opens.. . . more

Selling products on Amazon drives traffic to Chico's boutiques

CNBC
Selling its products on Amazon is driving traffic to Chico's boutiques, CEO and President Shelley Broader told CNBC on Tuesday.

In April, Chico's FAS — the parent company to three brands, including the namesake, White House Black Market and Soma — announced the company's plans to offer Chico's brand apparel and accessories on Amazon. The move came at a time when many retail companies are concerned about the dominance of the e-commerce giant. . . . more

Hudson's Bay seeks to revive Lord & Taylor's fortunes

Reuters
Hudson’s Bay Co is working with investment bankers and consultants to identify deals and new measures to turn around its Lord & Taylor department store chain, once the cornerstone of its retail empire, people familiar with the matter said. 

The move shows how the chain’s fortunes have diverged from Hudson’s Bay’s luxury Saks Fifth Avenue banner, which has managed to better weather the rise of online shopping sites including Amazon.com Inc and the resulting decline of brick-and-mortar stores. . . . more

H&M tries new strategies to reverse sales slump

bizjournals.com
H&M has been losing ground to rivals such as Zara or online stores such as ASOS, per BI, which have cut down supply chain times to as little as a week and can roll out new styles quickly. As customers look to other retailers for the latest designs, discounted clearance sections have become a common feature of H&M stores.

H&M reported a 61 percent decrease in profits in the first quarter of 2018, per CNBC, and shares were down 6.4 percent to a 13-year low. The drop in same-store sales has lasted 10 straight quarters.  . . . more

From Toys R Us to Pilates studios: Malls fill empty stores with latest fitness fads

USA Today
In the world of retail, it's increasingly out with the old — traditional department stores or aging fast-food chains — and in with new wellness-oriented gyms and eateries that are in vogue among consumers.

A growing number of Pilates studios, juice shops and other fitness- and health-focused businesses are filling the void as companies such as Sears, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us and Subway shutter locations. . . . more

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

More than 230 Bon-Ton properties up for sale

Chain Store Age
The Bon-Ton Stores is in the final stage of winding down operations.

A&G Realty Partners has been retained to dispose all of the real estate assets of The Bon-Ton Stores on behalf of a joint venture between Great American Group (a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial), Tiger Capital Group, LLC and Bon-Ton’s Second Lien Noteholders.

Bon-Ton’s retail real estate assets include stores and leases in 23 states stretching across the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains, from Idaho to New Hampshire. They include 22 fee-owned properties, seven ground leases and 194 leased locations with a significant amount of remaining term. . . . more

Barnes & Noble teeters in a post-text world

techcrunch.com
Barnes & Noble, that once proud anchor to many a suburban mall, is waning. It is not failing all at once, dropping like the savaged corpse of Toys “R” Us, but it also clear that its cultural moment has passed and only drastic measures can save it from joining Waldenbooks and Borders in the great, paper-smelling ark of our book-buying memory. I’m thinking about this because David Leonhardt at The New York Times calls for B&N to be saved. I doubt it can be.

First, there is the sheer weight of real estate and the inexorable slide away from print. B&N is no longer a place to buy books. It is a toy store with a bathroom and a cafe (and now a restaurant?), a spot where you’re more likely to find Han Solo bobbleheads than a Star Wars novel. . . . more

Monday, May 7, 2018

Why It’s Not Crazy to Buy a Mall Giant in the Age of Amazon

Wall Street Journal
The company betting billions to create a trans-Atlantic shopping-mall giant is playing a riskier game than its investors are used to. In a riskier retail world, though, that may be no bad thing.

The mall deal hasn’t gotten much attention, but its dramatic size and breadth, and its timing, during a period of pessimism about traditional retailing, make it worth watching. Franco-Dutch mall giant Unibail-Rodamco, which owns $52 billion of retail real estate in Europe, is set to buy Australian developer Westfield, owner of a $22 billion mall portfolio in the U.S. and U.K. . . . more

Friday, May 4, 2018

What Will Happen To All That Failed Retail Real Estate?

CheatSheet
Have you heard? Shopping malls are on the way out. Reports calculate that more than 90 million square feet of retail space is set to close in 2018, and closures may eventually surpass the 105 million square feet that shuttered in 2017. The slow death of America’s retail space is nothing new, unless you’ve been living under a rock. Shoppers just don’t shop like they used to. Empty retail malls liter the streets leaving many of us to ponder what can be done with all that prime — at one time — real estate up for grabs.

Developers are getting creative, retrofitting these empty stores in brilliant ways. Some have been successfully repurposed as new schools or additional campus space for local community colleges. Others are going for a much more productive approach. What can you expect in your community moving forward? . . . more

Indochino ramps up store expansion

Chain Store Age
Indochino, the digitally native made-to-measure menswear brand, is expanding its brick-and-mortar footprint by almost a third.

The Vancouver-based company, among the recipients of Chain Store Age’s 2018 Breakout Retailers Awards, will open eight new locations during the next four months, ranging from Newport Beach, California, to Short Hills, New Jersey (see list end of story). Bialow Real Estate represented Indochino on all of the deals. . . . more

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Retail Stocks Are Coming Out of Amazon’s Shadow

Wall Street Journal
Investors are warming to shares of department stores, fast-food chains and apparel retailers that have long sat in Amazon.com Inc.’s shadow in the S&P 500’s consumer-discretionary sector.

Struggling retailers like Macy’s Inc. and Target Corp. have invested heavily in e-commerce and revamped their stores and inventory to improve their brick-and-mortar operations. McDonald’s Corp. has overhauled its low-price value menu to entice customers back to its restaurants, and Nike Inc. has focused on selling its products directly to consumers and has revamped key brands like its Jordan line of sneakers. . . . more

PREIT adds Forever 21 at three malls

Chain Store Age
Image resultCEO Joe Coradino’s mission to raise the average sales per square foot at PREIT malls to $500 got a boost with the signing of Forever 21 locations at three more of its malls.

The company stated its re-merchandising initiative had advanced with the fast-fashion chain’s decision to open new locations at Magnolia Mall in Florence, S.C., Mall at Prince George’s in Hyattsville, Md. and Plymouth Meeting Mall in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. . . . more

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Most REITs Have Dodged the Retail Storm So Far, Report Says

The Wall Street Journal
The balance sheets of many of the largest U.S. mall owners have managed to dodge much of the carnage in the retail world caused by failing retailers, according to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service.

Struggling retailers like Sears Holdings Corp. and Toys R Us Inc. account for only 3.9% of the total leasable space in the 22 retail real-estate investment trusts that Moody’s tracks. Only two REITs tracked by Moody’s— CBL & Associates and Washington Prime—face an exposure of over 10%, a level the ratings company deems to be “significant.” . . . more

Macy's acquires NYC retailer Story, makes its founder brand experience officer

MarketWatch
Image result for macy'sMacy's Inc. said Wednesday that it has acquired Story, a New York City retailer that changes the store design and merchandise every four-to-eight weeks. Located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, Story is currently also operating as a work space, according to the store's website. Story's founder Rachel Shechtman has been named Macy's brand experience officer, focusing on in-store experience. Story will continue as usual with rotating themes. Its chief operating officer, Jenny Shechtman, will be vice president of operations under Macy's ownership. Macy's did not discuss the financial details of the acquisition in the press release.  . . . more

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Macy's adds 20 Backstage stores, to double off-price footprint

Retail Dive

Macy's Backstage build-out this year is a significant expansion into the off-price business. It would nearly double the locations Macy's had going into the fiscal year, and the investment represents a sizable chunk of more than $1 billion planned capital expenditures, the company said in its latest 10-K.

To Macy's, Backstage represents not just an entry into a hot off-price sector — one that has been stealing significant market share from department stores and appears poised to do more of the same. It's also a chance for the retailer to make its stores more productive. . . . more

Mall Owners and Retailers Clash Over Avalanche of Online Returns

Bloomberg.com
Mall owners, already squeezed by e-commerce and spending billions on property makeovers to draw shoppers, have a new headache: retailers deducting returns for items bought online from their sales figures.

David Simon, chief executive officer of Simon Property Group Inc., says a “significant number” of tenants are underreporting sales and that the company, the largest U.S. mall owner, is negotiating with them to find a solution.. . . more

Roots continues U.S. store expansion


Chain Store Age

One of Canada’s most iconic retail brands is expanding its U.S. footprint.

Roots will open two stores in the Greater Washington, D.C., area in August 2018.

“We believe the U.S. represents a minimum 100-store market opportunity for us, which is an important long-term growth driver.” said Jim Gabel, president and CEO of Roots. . . . more