Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Even More Stores To Close - Sears Bankruptcy Update

Seeking Alpha
More Sears and Kmart store closings could be announced by November 1 as part of the “Secondary Store Rationalization”, which could also mean additional store leases will be rejected by Sears Holdings. More vendors, including a filing by Whirlpool, for the reclamation of their goods.

According to the DIP loan agreement (docket 7 page 33 of 307), Sears has developed a “Go Forward Plan” that includes plans to close stores under the “Initial Store Rationalization” and close additional stores under a second round.. . . more

Victoria’s Secret and Gap among the retail brands that have reached peak revenue

MarketWatch
Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Gap and American Eagle Outfitters have reached their North American revenue peaks, according to an Instinet analysis.

Instinet found that direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies tend to “cap out” at $3 billion in North America, while wholesalers reach a threshold of about $5 billion. But those figures are declining.. . . more

Whirlpool to Sears: We want our appliances back

Chicago Tribune
Whirlpool has demanded that Sears send back products the appliance-maker shipped in the weeks before the retailer filed for bankruptcy protection.

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool, which stopped selling its branded products at Sears last year but makes appliances under Sears’ Kenmore brand, asked the department store chain to return all merchandise it received in the 45 days before its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Oct. 15. . . . more

Monday, October 29, 2018

Sears' 'tragic' bankruptcy turns to opportunity

CNBC
U.S. mall owners see Sears' bankruptcy as "tragic," dumping millions of square feet of empty real estate on a market already marked by store closures and staggering vacancy rates.

Still, the "ultimate, unfortunate demise" of Sears came as no surprise to Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in North America, according to CEO David Simon. It's been planning for it for some time — talking to up-and-coming retailers and hotel companies as possible replacements, as well as disposing under-performing assets, Simon told analysts on a conference call Thursday. The real estate investment trust, which operates more than 100 malls globally, is putting Sears "in the rear-view mirror," he said. . . . more

Friday, October 26, 2018

Sears directors tap Evercore to examine former CEO Lampert's deals

Reuters
Two Sears Holdings Corp board directors have hired investment bank Evercore Inc to scrutinize deals that were led by former Sears Chief Executive Eddie Lampert with the U.S. retailer before it filed for bankruptcy protection, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The deals, including separations of Sears’ businesses and real estate, may come under examination in bankruptcy proceedings, with creditors claiming the transactions stripped the retailer of valuable assets. Billionaire Lampert is the largest shareholder and creditor of Sears through his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc. . . . more

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sears' future in doubt as Chairman Eddie Lampert looks for more protections

CNBC
Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert seemingly swooped in once again to save Sears, with a plan to pay to support it through its bankruptcy operations. Now, though, there is a new catch. He will only put in more money if his investment is further protected.

If that catch isn't resolved, it could cast Sears' future in serious doubt and lead to the end of the famed retailer.. . . more

Macy’s begins store upgrade program

Chain Store Age
As previously announced, Macy’s plans to upgrade 50 of its best locations. Among the first sites to get the makeover were two Macy’s stores in Texas, at NorthPark Center in Dallas, and Stonebriar Center, in Frisco, reported Dallas News.

New cosmetics brands have been added to both stores, along with such high-tech tools as a virtual mirror where customers can “try on” makeup, according to the report. The stores also have new LED lighting, flooring and remodeled fitting rooms and restrooms. . . . more

The Downfall Of Sears Both Helps And Hurts JC Penney

Forbes
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

And time is running out for JC Penney to get its Tale together.

The ongoing meltdown of Sears – whether it’s just the closing of another hundred or so stores or the complete liquidation of the entire caboodle – could cause some good things for JC Penney but also has the potential to make life even more miserable for the Plano-ites.. . . more

Neiman Marcus Starts Talks to Restructure Debt and Avert Bankruptcy

The Wall Street Journal
Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. started talks in recent weeks with a group of creditors that could lead to a debt restructuring that will push out looming debt maturities and avert a bankruptcy filing, people familiar with the matter said.

Almost all of $4.7 billion in debt comes due in 2020 and 2021. The company’s goal in the talks is to extend the debt maturities and possibly reduce the overall amount of debt without a bankruptcy filing, the people said.. . . more

As High Street Retail Deals with an Uptick in Vacancies and Rent Declines, Investors Zero in on Class-A Assets with Long-Term Leases

NREI
Even though a lot of retail is flailing, much of U.S. high street retail is still drawing both shoppers and investors, boasting extremely high rents and catching the attention of new retailers and brands.

New York City’s famous Fifth Avenue, Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue and Beverly Hills’ posh Rodeo Drive are some of the toniest and highest-trafficked retail streets in the country. They feature retailers like Versace, Armani and Tiffany & Co., as well as popular urban brands like Zara and the Apple Store.. . . more

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Mall Kiosks Find New Life As ‘Studio Shops’

PYMNTS.com
The beloved mall kiosk, or the more formally named retail merchandising unit (RMU), had its humble beginnings in Boston. When the (former) Rouse Company was developing its Quincy Market-Faneuil Hall property in the 1970s, the firm turned to the center’s roots as an open-air market, bringing carts into the iconic marketplace to offer flowers and crafts.

That development started a trend of shopping centers bringing in small carts or kiosks into their properties. In the 1990s, the International Council of Shopping Centers reported that 75 percent of the shopping centers in the U.S. had them. The carts, which also ended up at places like the Prudential Center and Grand Central Terminal, offered shoppers the chance to peruse items ranging from specialty goods to foods and jewelry.. . . more

Sears's Losses Could Become Retailer's Most Valuable Assets

NREI
The losses that drove Sears Holdings Corp. into bankruptcy could end up being a valuable multi-billion dollar asset because of tax breaks -- especially for its most notable creditor and Chairman, Eddie Lampert.

As of the retailer’s bankruptcy on Oct. 15, Sears estimated it had net operating losses it could use to offset $5 billion of future taxable income, and separate tax credits of around $900 million. These are the most valuable assets Sears has, and under U.S. tax law, they could disappear in bankruptcy if another company or investor takes the company over.. . . more

Amazon branded women's sales languish, report finds

Chain Store Age
Amazon's scatter-shot attempt to shake up women's fashion by launching a barrage of private label brands isn't going so well, according to a report by Jungle Scout, a data-research firm for merchants on the e-commerce website.

Apparel makes up 88 percent of all Amazon private label brands, but only 1 percent of all private label sales, according to the report. Women's fashion, which makes up most of the company's clothing brands, is struggling the most, with more than 4 of 5 Amazon women's clothing brands selling fewer than 100 items per month, according to the report.. . . more

Dental concept expanding its retail format

Chain Store Age
Invisalign is setting up shop — sorta — in the nation’s retail centers.

Align Technology, famous for its Invisalign clear aligner orthodontics, is expanding its “brand experience” initiative with plans to open eight locations at malls or outdoor lifestyle centers in major U.S. cities in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Align centers are designed to provide an interactive environment where consumers can learn about the Invisalign treatment and connect with Invisalign doctors in their communities. The locations do not directly sell the treatment.. . . more

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Warby Parker Is Coming to a Suburban Mall Near You

Chain Store Age
Stores are so 20th century.

At least that’s what many online brands believed. Companies like Warby Parker, Bonobos and Casper didn’t need physical locations to win over millennials and steal market share; a well-designed website was more than enough. And who could fault their logic? Given the brick-and-mortar carnage across America, the evidence seemed overwhelming.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the retail apocalypse. Stiffening competition, surging online advertising costs and cheap mall space have prompted these so-called digital natives to embrace what they call “offline” in a big way. In their push to become retail’s next household names they’re venturing beyond the coasts and major cities into suburban America. . . . more

Sears chairman Eddie Lampert is seeking a partner for a $300 million bankruptcy loan for the bankrupt retailer

Business Insider
Sears Holdings Corp Chairman Eddie Lampert is in discussions with at least one potential partner to contribute to a $300 million bankruptcy loan the U.S. retailer is seeking, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, has held discussions with Cyrus Capital Partners LP, an investment firm that holds some of Sears' existing debt, about sharing the burden of funding portions of the $300 million loan, which would be separate from another $300 million bankruptcy loan that Sears' banks have offered to provide, the sources said.. . . more

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sears stops the presses on iconic holiday catalog

Chain Store Age
A struggling department store retailer is once again offering its holiday Wish Book catalog in a digital format — but that’s it.

Sears Holdings Corp. will not publish a printed version of its iconic catalog this holiday season, one year after bringing it back into circulation for some members of its loyalty program, according to The Chicago Tribune.. . . more

Untuckit invests in physical store network

Chain Store Age
After establishing its brand online, Untuckit is now working to enhance the store experience at its growing brick-and-mortar portfolio.

The fast-growing brand, whose signature shirts are made to be worn untucked, is adding a platform that will help its stores adopt more scalable omnichannel capabilities. Using NewStore’s omnichannel-as-a-service architecture, Untuckit can support clienteling, endless aisle, mobile checkout, and omnichannel fulfillment. . . . more

Analysis: Scaled-down Sears could live on

Chain Store Age
Sears declared bankruptcy this week, bringing the company to a new low after several years of steady decline. In order to avoid going out of business altogether, Sears will close at least 142 Sears and Kmart department stores by the end of 2018, which – along with 46 closures already planned for November – will bring the company’s total number of stores in operation to fewer than 500.

Many of the remaining locations have so far been profitable, so a scaled-down Sears could conceivably go on indefinitely. . . . more

Friday, October 19, 2018

The most expensive item in Neiman Marcus’ 2018 Christmas catalog is…

Chain Store Age
Neiman Marcus’ annual Christmas Book catalog — now in its 92nd year — is famous for offering a selection of over-the-top, outrageously priced offerings and this year is no exception.

The most expensive item in the 2018 book is a one-of-kind, 74-ft. yacht described as “the largest solar-powered yacht in the world.” With a chic interior inspired by Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing, the cruiser sleeps up to 12 and boasts a fully functional kitchen, a state-of-the-art music and entertainment system, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and ample closet space ( the gift includes a Neiman Marcus shopping spree). Price tag: A cool $7.1 million. . . . more

Famous Footwear parent in $360 million brand acquisition

Chain Store Age
Footwear giant Caleres is expanding its portfolio with a brand that counts Oprah Winfrey among its biggest fans.

The parent company of Famous Footwear, and such brands as Sam Edelman, Naturalizer, LifeStride and Dr. Scholls and others, has acquired Vionic Group for $360 million. The comfort footwear label, which has posted a compound annual growth rate of 20% for the past six years, has appeared on Winrey’s popular “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list for two consecutive years. Approximately 25% of its revenue during the past year came from online. . . . more

J.C. Penney Needs to Prove It's Not Next

NREI
This holiday season, a bankrupt Sears Holdings Corp. will be fighting a likely futile battle to keep its Sears and Kmart chains from having to liquidate in 2019. But it's not the only retail giant with a lot to prove during the industry's most crucial months: J.C. Penney Co., a chain with mounting struggles and a new CEO at the helm, also faces a crucial test.

Investor doubts about the troubled department-store giant are already piling up. Its short interest is about where it was during the worst of the Ron Johnson era, when that former Apple Inc. executive became CEO and made unpopular changes that devastated sales. It was even higher earlier this summer:. . . more

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Sears Will End Up in Liquidation, Say Experts, Proving a Mixed Blessing for Mall Landlords

NREI
Sears Holdings’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Monday has some mall landlords excited about the opportunity to finally re-tenant Sears and Kmart stores that were paying below-market rents with healthy tenants, which could drive more revenue and shoppers.

The storied retail chain plans to reorganize around a smaller store base. It will continue to operate the financially healthier stores while it reorganizes and negotiates with its creditors. . . . more

Sears: How a pioneering brand found itself left on the shelf

Boston Business Journal
As sometimes happens, Donald Trump said it best. “[For] somebody that is of my generation, Sears Roebuck was a big deal,” he told reporters on Monday, discussing the “sad” news that the retailer had filed for bankruptcy protection.

The US president is 72, and that is the biggest problem facing Eddie Lampert, the hedge fund manager who has run Sears since merging it with Kmart 13 years ago: most subsequent generations of Americans don’t remember a time when it was a big deal.. . . more

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Target achieves Vermont. Finally.

StarTribune
It took a while, but this week Target will achieve a long-elusive milestone: Vermont.

After nearly a decade of scouting missions and courtship, the retailer on Wednesday will open a store in South Burlington, finally establishing footing in the state known for covered bridges, rolling hills and a distaste for large, cookie-cutter, big-box retail.

The small-format store in Vermont’s largest metro area means Target now has a location in all 50 states, bragging rights that rival Walmart claimed after a bitter battle with environmentalists in Vermont in 1995.. . . more

Sears Liquidation Would Cost Seritage Half Its Rent Income

NREI
A Sears liquidation would cost its real estate spinoff 47 percent of its annual rent income, or about $84 million in cash flow, according to regulatory filings.

Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust, was created in 2015 by Sears Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert to be the property owner and landlord for select locations of Sears and its sister chain, Kmart. . . . more

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert pleas to employees: We need 'material progress' to avoid liquidation

CNBC
Former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert gave 1,000 employees a rallying cry at a town hall meeting Tuesday as the company gears up for a do-or-die holiday season.

"We need to show material progress over the next few months to establish to our senior lenders that a reorganization of the company is realistic and to avoid a shutdown and liquidation," Lampert said at the retailer's headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, according to exclusive audio obtained by CNBC.. . . more

Downfall of Sears may boost a major development project at CambridgeSide

The Boston Globe
The Sears in East Cambridge will soon close. But while its demise marks the end of an era, the closing also means something new may rise in its place.

The fading retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday and marked another 142 Sears and Kmart stores for closing by early next year, including the Sears at the Natick Mall.. . . more

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sears bankruptcy may hurt mall owners for years

Finance & Commerce
As Sears Holdings Corp. goes through bankruptcy, retail landlords wondering how they could be impacted might want to look at a 2015 deal.

Mall owner Macerich Co. struck an agreement that year with the struggling department-store operator to redevelop a 300,000 square-foot store at Kings Plaza Shopping Center, a high-traffic mall in Brooklyn, New York. Three years and $100 million later, Macerich finished work on the space, which has been subdivided and leased to Burlington, J.C. Penney, Primark and Zara.. . . more

As Sears goes bankrupt, JC Penney, Walmart and others set to benefit

CNBC
With Sears Holdings filing for bankruptcy protection and planning to shutter another 142 stores before year-end, that leaves some market share up for grabs among the retailers' rivals, especially those in the business of selling appliances and tools.

Though the department store chain has been teetering on the brink of collapse for years already, its Sears and Kmart divisions still recently had about $14 billion in sales annually. Despite shelves that have been increasingly barren, customers still ventured to stores for well-known brands like DieHard and Kenmore. . . . more

How The Rest of Retail Will Fare With Sears’ Bankruptcy

GlobeSt.com
According to the bare bones plans the retailer laid out, it will close 142 stores, leaving it with approximately 580, according to a CBRE Marketflash report, which cited locational data provider AggData.

CBRE writes that mall owners have anticipated Sears’ potential closure for several years and have made contingency plans that could mitigate the increased supply of available space.

Still, though, the journey ahead will not be easy for many landlords. “For mall or strip center owners facing the imminent shuttering of a Sears or Kmart, recovery will be a protracted process,” according to CBRE.. . . more

Monday, October 15, 2018

30 minutes with Casper's head of marketing

Retail Dive
In just four years, Casper has become a major force in the mattress space, going from an e-commerce only retailer to one that has partnered with Target, experimented with pop-ups and now plans a store fleet of 200 by 2021. But as anyone at Casper would tell you, it's not a mattress company — it's a sleep company.

That designation has informed a lot of the choices Casper has made, from how the retailer designs its stores to why it opened a pilot store in New York that sells naps ($25 for a 45-minute snooze). If you ask Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Brooks, who's finishing up his first year at the company, that different approach to mattress selling is why the company has been so successful. . . . more

Sears filed for Chapter 11 with plans to close 142 stores — now what?

Retail Dive
As previously expected, Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 in the early hours on Monday as a $134 million debt payment came due at a time of stark liquidity restraints.

The event marks a turning point for the 125-year-old department store retailer after having shrunk its physical footprint by 75% over the past decade, sold critical assets and laid off thousands from its corporate and store workforces. . . more

Five Takeaways from WD Partners’ Research on the Future of Malls

NREI
It’s no secret that malls are in need of vast transformations. WD Partners, a branding and design firm, recently released “Apocalypse to Relevance,” a white paper that discusses what tomorrow’s malls might look like to consumers. More specifically, WD’s research seeks to answer the question: which concepts would work best to fill large, vacant anchor spaces? Here are some key points from the piece.

Food is king. Farmers’ markets, food halls and grocery stores were popular answers to the researchers’ question of which concept would most influence a shopper’s decision to visit a mall. Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents said a farmer’s market would sway their decision to go to a mall, compared to 71 percent who chose food halls. Third on the list, following green spaces, were grocery stores.. . . more

Sears Files for Bankruptcy That’s Been Years in the Making; Lampert Steps Down as CEO

NREI
It’s official: Sears Holdings Corp. has declared bankruptcy and plans to close 142 unprofitable stores, in addition to the store closings announced earlier this year.

CEO Eddie Lampert has also stepped down from his post.

Sears filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York.. . . more

Friday, October 12, 2018

KeyPoint Partners Releases Hartford, CT Retail Real Estate Report

KeyPoint Partners
KeyPoint Partners, LLC has released The KeyPoint Report for Greater Hartford, CT 2018, Bob Sheehan, Vice President of Research, announced today. This comprehensive retail real estate Report examines supply, occupancy, absorption, and retailer expansion and contraction for virtually every retail property in the region.

According to the Report, the inventory of retail space in Greater Hartford totals 37.6 million square feet, with a vacancy rate of 10.6%, a significant drop from last year’s rate of 11.1%. . . . more

Allbirds rakes in $50M to fuel store expansion

Retail Dive
Trendy, digitally native footwear brand Allbirds on Thursday announced it has raised $50 million of Series C venture capital funding in a deal led by T. Rowe Price.

With the fresh funding, Allbirds plans to debut new stores in the U.S., U.K. and Asia, according to multiple media reports.. . . more

Sears CEO eyeing key assets in bankruptcy scenario

Retail Dive
Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert is mulling a bid for some Sears assets and business units in bankruptcy, according to a Reuters report that cited unnamed sources.

Among those assets are the Kenmore appliance brand, Sears' home improvement unit and certain real estate, according to the report. Lampert previously made an offer to Sears for the Kenmore and home services businesses, and urged the divestment of some owned real estate in a recent proposal to restructure and reduce the company's debt load.. . . more

Macy's will kick off its Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day

Business Insider
Macy's is opening its stores during Thanksgiving.

The department store will be open between the hours of 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Thursday, November 22.

This is the third year in a row that Macy's has opened during the holiday. The 5 p.m. opening time in 2016 marked the retailer's earliest Black Friday kickoff in history.. . . more

Sears Exit Would Leave Big Holes in Malls. Some Landlords Welcome That.

The Wall Street Journal
The prospect of Sears Holding Corp.’s imminent bankruptcy threatens to widen the gap between the more successful shopping centers and the struggling ones.

Mall owners with trendy retailers, lively restaurants and other forms of popular entertainment have continued to prosper. Many of these landlords would welcome Sears’ departure, mall owners and analysts said. The department store’s exit would allow them to take over a big-box space and lease it to a more profitable tenant.. . . more

Thursday, October 11, 2018

L Brands pursuing “all” options for La Senza

Chain Store Age
L Brands’ La Senza intimate apparel brand is on the block.

The company said it is pursuing “all alternatives” for its La Senza brand as it looks to focus on its larger core businesses. La Senza, which was founded in Canada and purchased by L Brands in 2006, operates 126 company-owned stores in North America, and 188 non-company-owned international stores. L Brands estimates that La Senza’s 2018 revenues and operating loss will be approximately $250 million and $40 million, respectively. . . . more

Big Lenders Make Push to Liquidate Sears

The Wall Street Journal
Sears Holdings Corp. met with its lenders Wednesday night to discuss emergency financing for the embattled retailer, according to people familiar with the matter. The meeting ended without an agreement that would keep Sears operating as a going concern, according to one of the people.

A group of lenders, including Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc.,are pushing for the company to liquidate its assets under a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, as opposed to reorganizing the business under chapter 11, this person said.. . . more

Can Toys ‘R’ Us and Bon-Ton Come Back from the Dead?

NREI
Few details have emerged regarding how the retailer’s revival would work, including how many stores would open and in what locations. However, the company will be starting from scratch, because Toys ‘R’ Us has sold most of its real estate including stores and distribution centers.

Toys ‘R’ Us owners also could decide to license the name and brand to another group and let them tackle the huge job of revitalizing a brand.. . . more

What This Analyst Expects To Happen With A Sears Bankruptcy

GlobeSt.com
Eddie Lampert is reportedly fed up. Or possibly he no longer sees the point. Either way Lampert, the hedge fund manager who controls Sears, is reportedly not going to lend the company money to repay $134 million in debt, which is due next week, according to multiple news accounts that have cited people familiar with the matter. He has bailed the retailer out multiple times already and most recently, proposed a major restructuring of the company’s debt and retail operations.

Assuming these accounts are true, what will happen to the retail landscape under a Sears bankruptcy?. . . more

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Sears, once the world's biggest retailer, now faces bankruptcy

CNBC
Sears, which was once the largest retailer in the world, is now reportedly facing bankruptcy.

The company, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2010 and is $134 million in debt, recently approached several banks to prepare for bankruptcy filing, CNBC reported Wednesday.. . . more

Digitally native brands set to open 850 stores in 5 years

Retail Dive
Digitally native brands are making their mark on the brick-and-mortar landscape, set to open 850 stores in the next five years, according to a report on over 100 top online retailers from commercial real estate firm JLL that was emailed to Retail Dive.

JLL cites plans from mattress retailer Casper to open 200 stores in North America within three years, lingerie startup Adore Me for up to 300 in five years, and athleisure footwear company Allbirds for stores in four cities in the next year. . . . more

Orangetheory on fast-track with 260 new sites in 2018

Chain Store Age
Orangetheory is on a roll. The fast-growing fitness company with a devoted following is opening locations throughout the globe — including U.S. malls.

As to the secret of the company’s success, it may have to do with the fact that Orangetheory is not your typical fitness studio. It offers a science-based, full-body workout that uses technology to measure performance so members can track their performance.. . . more

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Canada’s Indigo Books and Music makes U.S debut

Chain Store Age
The largest bookstore chain in Canada has opened its first-ever U.S. store.

Indigo Books and Music has made its long-awaited U.S. debut with a 30,000-sq.-ft. store at The Mall at Short Hills, Short Hills, N.J. The space is designed around Indigo’s “cultural department store” for booklovers concept which combines typical book store categories such as books, magazines and stationery with such non-traditional ones as toys, home décor, wellness and other lifestyle products. It will also offer in-store events for kids and adults. (An in-store café is due is still under construction.). . . more

Sears’ adds restructuring expert to its board

Chain Store Age
Sears Holdings Corp. has named a board member whose experience may come in handy in the near future.

The struggling retailer announced that Alan J. Carr, managing member and CEO of restructuring advisory firm Drivetrain, has joined its board. Carr has significant experience as a principal, investor and advisor leading complex financial restructurings, as well as serving as a director of reorganized businesses in the U.S. and Europe.. . . more

What Wayfair’s pop-up stores can teach it about its customers

DigiDay
Wayfair, the online furniture retailer, is hopping aboard the pop-up wagon.

The company announced last week that it would open two temporary stores in empty shopping mall spaces, one in Massachusetts and one in New Jersey, over the holiday season. But rather than laying the groundwork for permanent physical stores down the line, Wayfair is using the pop-ups to reinforce what it already knows about its online customers, and fill in white spaces.. . . more

Friday, October 5, 2018

Barnes & Noble in strategic review as it explores sale

Chain Store Age
Barnes & Noble on Wednesday afternoon disclosed that it has entered into a formal review process to evaluate strategic alternatives. The bookseller said the decision follows expressions of interest from multiple parties to acquire the company — including one from its founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio.

The board has appointed a special committee of independent directors to lead the strategic review process. It will be advised by independent legal and financial advisors. . . . more

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mall and Lifestyle Center Absorption Turns Negative for the First Time Since 2010

NREI
Following more than a year of major store closing announcements, it appears the vacancies are starting to have an impact on the retail sector’s property fundamentals.

For the first time in nearly a decade, space absorption is negative for mall and lifestyle centers, according to research firm CoStar and other real estate firms that track this figure.. . . more

Wayfair coming to Natick Mall

Chain Store Age
Wayfair is trying out brick-and-mortar for the holiday season.

The online home furnishings retailer will open two holiday pop-up shops on Nov. 1, at Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts, and Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. The temporary locations will be Wayfair’s first foray into physical retail. (The company is planning to open an outlet store by early 2019 in Florence, Kentucky, near its distribution center in Erlanger, Kentucky. It will sell returns and close-outs in good condition.). . . more

J.C. Penney names retail veteran Jill Soltau to be its new CEO

The Dallas Morning News
J.C. Penney's search for new chief executive officer led it to select the first woman to head the 116-year-old department store chain.

The Plano-based retailer on Tuesday named Jill Soltau, 51, as chief executive officer. She joins Penney from JoAnn Stores, a fabric and crafts company of 850 locations in 49 states, where she was president and CEO. . . . more

Is It the 900 lb. Gorilla?

KeyPoint Partners
When a major retailer goes belly up, we hear a wealth of opinions about which other retailers are in the best position to capture market share left behind in the aftermath. We heard it most recently with Toys R Us: Target, Walmart, Costco and others will likely absorb a piece of the action in the toy category. We heard it when Sports Authority liquidated: Dick’s Sporting Goods was the obvious choice to pick up the slack in that category. And over the years, it was Best Buy reaping the “rewards” left behind by Circuit City, Bed Bath & Beyond doing the same when Linens ‘N Things went out, and don’t forget the bump Barnes & Noble experienced when Borders closed its doors. . . . more

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Costco, Home Depot among retailers to close Thanksgiving Day

CBS MoneyWatch
Americans may still be debating costumes for Halloween, but Thanksgiving is already on the calendar as a day off from work for employees at brick-and-mortar stores of at least 60 retailers, according to a list compiled by BestBlackFriday.com.

Many retailers have opted to stay closed on Thanksgiving as foot traffic slowly declined and online sales took off. Costco, Home Depot, Ikea and Sam's Club are among the big-name retailers that plan to take off Nov. 22, according to the third annual compilation by BestBlackFriday.com.`. . . more

Bon Ton’s new owner sees potential for 100-plus stores in next few years

Chain Store Age
The new owner of Bon-Ton has big plans for the company’s future.

CSC Generation Holdings purchased Bon-Ton’s intellectual property and trademarks after the bankrupt retailer shuttered its stores in August. In a report by the StarTribune, CSC CEO Justin Yoshimura outlined his plans for the department store company going forward, which include the opening of 100-plus stores in the next few years — depending on how the first few perform.. . . more

Monday, October 1, 2018

Retailers, both real-world and online, embracing diminutive storefronts

The Columbus Dispatch
Brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going away. They’re just getting smaller.

While traditional retailers such as Target, Abercrombie & Fitch and The Gap downsize their stores, online merchants including Homage and Bonobos are opening storefronts.

The future of retail may lie where the two meet in a sort of brick-and-online hybrid.. . . more

The 6 Best North American Movie Theater Chains

Bisnow.com
Retail landlords are increasingly turning to experiential retail tenants like movie theaters to drive traffic, but not all movie theaters are created equal.

The movie theaters of 2018 have amenities like reclining chairs, on-demand meals and cocktail bars, but how much of that really matters to customers? Market Force Information polled nearly 13,000 North American consumers about their moviegoing habits. From competitive ticket prices and comfortable seating to gourmet food options, patron responses determined the rankings.. . . more

The faultlines in retail real estate

Retail Dive
As Armageddons go, the retail apocalypse is turning out to be short-lived. After a few years of headlines blaring about devastation and the scourge of e-commerce for physical stores, retailers in recent quarters are posting healthy comps and increases in foot traffic.

"The term 'retail apocalypse' has been misused for years," said Michael Brown, partner in the retail practice of global strategy and management consultancy A.T. Kearney and author of the report The Future of Shopping Centers. . . . more