Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Department stores fight for relevance ahead of Black Friday

Boston Business Journal
As department stores head into the busiest shopping period of the year, the outlook for them is bleak. IHS Markit forecasts US department store sales will drop 6 per cent in November and December, worse than the 2.8 per cent decline in the 2018 season. This bucks the wider trend in US retail, where IHS expects sales to rise 4.6 per cent year-on-year during the two months, to reach more than $730bn.

“In the old days [department stores] acted as a curator of other people’s products under one roof,” said Peter Williams, former chief executive of Selfridges in the UK and now chairman of Superdry. “The internet has blown a hole in that process.” He added: “All the products are available elsewhere and they don’t have a strong enough identity as destinations in themselves.”. . . more

Chasing Amazon, retailers are in a never-ending arms race

Boston Business Journal
Retailers are trying everything they can to keep up with Amazon. Macy’s offers same-day delivery and in-store returns for online purchases. Black Friday deals are already starting at Kohl’s. And craft cocktails are served in the women’s shoe department at Nordstrom.

By one measure, these strategies are working. After years when it seemed as if Amazon was swallowing the industry, many large old-school chains like Kohl’s and Macy’s have largely stabilized their lagging sales.. . . more

Monday, November 25, 2019

If you offer good value in retail, you’re winning. Everyone else is in trouble

CNBC
A wave of good and bad retail earnings reports in recent days highlights one key theme for the industry: Value is winning.

Target, Walmart, T.J. Maxx owner TJX and Nordstrom’s off-price Rack business were bright spots in a tumultuous landscape that’s been beaten down with bankruptcies, store closures and management upheaval.

The results from Macy’s, Kohl’s and J.C Penney were much less merry.. . . more

Louis Vuitton buys jeweller Tiffany for $16bn

BBC
The world's biggest luxury goods company is buying US-based jeweller Tiffany & Co for more than $16bn (£12.5bn).

The largest luxury goods deal to date gives LVMH's billionaire owner Bernard Arnault a bigger slice of one of the fastest growing upmarket sectors.. . . more

Friday, November 22, 2019

Nordstrom escapes department store blues as Q3 earnings beat Street

Chain Store Age
Nordstrom reported earnings that exceeded expectations as sales trends improved across both its full-price and off-price businesses.

The company also raised the lower-end of its full-year profit guidance in contrast to profit forecast cuts by other department store retailers, including Macy’s Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. . . . more

Malls are dying. The thriving ones are spending millions to reinvent themselves.

The Washington Post
Malls that are thriving are spending millions reinventing themselves as integrated lifestyle hubs — adding yoga studios, medical clinics and microbreweries — populated with more upscale shops. But such targeted investments are often coming at the expense of mall operators’ lower-tier properties — and analysts say the divide between rich malls and poor malls is widening.

“There is an accelerating polarization between the ‘best’ and the ‘rest,' ” said Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm GlobalData Retail. “Newer, nicer malls have become magnets for consumers, pulling them away from struggling properties.". . . . more

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Replacements: Avoid the Big Gorilla

KeyPoint Partners
This past decade has been a revolving door of retail tenants closing stores, followed by the ensuing scramble to fill the empty spaces left behind. We all recall the days of large format retailers such as Linens ‘N Things, Circuit City, Borders, Filene’s Basement, Office Max and, more recently, Sports Authority and Toys R Us. There are many more we could add to this list.

And then we have Sears, JCPenney, and Macy’s: the major department store companies that were blind-sided by the impact of ecommerce and the attitude reversal of shoppers that had grown up on regional malls. More closings resulted. Exacerbating the problem was that these were all large format vacancies that needed to be filled. A certain degree of panic set in among landlords who had to find viable replacements in a retail world that was in a state of disarray. Who would they find?. . . more

Macy’s Is Retail’s Most Unloved Stock And That Might Not Change Anytime Soon

Forbes
Macy’s has become the poster child for everything that is wrong with mall-based retail, and today’s third quarter earnings release did little to change that.

Even before Macy’s reported weak third quarter results, analysts had been piling on the criticism, questioning the ongoing relevance of the company that not too long ago was the country’s best performing retailer.. . . more

Shares of Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands jump on fourth-quarter forecast, in-line profits

CNBC
L Brands posted mixed third-quarter results Wednesday as declining sales at its Victoria’s Secret brand continued to weigh on its performance.

The company’s earnings matched expectations, though revenue fell short. It also said its fiscal-year earnings would fall within a previously projected range. . . . more

Macy's cuts outlook for the year with holidays around corner

Daily News
Macy's cut its profit and sales expectations for the year after posting its first comparable store sales decline in almost two years.

The company is citing the late arrival of colder weather, meager tourist business, weak traffic at some malls and problems on its website.. . . more

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Urban Outfitters’ Q3 profit falls amid ongoing problems at namesake brand

Chain Store Age
Urban Outfitters’ reported a steep decline in the third quarter even as its total sales rose.

Sales rose 1.4% to $987 million, less than the $1 billion analysts were expecting. The increase was helped by the company’s latest initiative, rental subscription service, Nuuly, which launched last summer.

Same-store sales increased 3%, driven by growth in the digital channel, partially offset by negative retail store sales. By brand, comp net sales increased 9% at Free People, 4% at the Anthropologie Group and were flat at Urban Outfitters. . . . more

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

What department stores gave up when they gave up on the holidays

Retail Dive
Macy's Herald Square in New York City arguably launches the holidays, not just for the department store or even retail, but for a lot of people around the world.

Its Thanksgiving Day parade does the launching, that is — an event that has been televised since 1948, a year after the movie "Miracle on 34th Street" also helped seal its connection to the season, which remains strong decades on.​. . . more

Monday, November 18, 2019

Brookfield opens brand new mall in Connecticut

Chain Store Age
“This is pretty shocking,” announced the anchor on the local Eyewitness News broadcast in Connecticut recently. “Stores actually opened at a new mall in Norwalk.”

The SoNo Collection, so named because it actually resides in the upscale suburb of South Norwalk, is a brand new “contemporary shopping experience,” from Brookfield Properties that brings Nordstrom and Bloomingdales to Southern Connecticut.. . . more

Friday, November 15, 2019

Wait. Is that ... hope for JCPenney?

CNN Business
JCPenney has a long way to go before it's a turnaround story. But the company had some rare good news Friday: It was able to trim its losses in the third quarter, and it raised its profit forecast, even as its sales continue to fall.

The company reported an operating net loss of $97 million in the quarter. That's 41% smaller than the loss it recorded in the same quarter a year earlier. In 2019, JCPenney has lost $300 million.. . . more

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Brookfield Snaps Up JPMorgan’s U.S. Mall Stakes in Multi-Billion Deal

NREI
Brookfield Property Partners LP has boosted its bet on malls, adding exposure to a corner of the real estate market that some of the firm’s investment rivals are avoiding.

Brookfield recently bought JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s holdings in four U.S. shopping centers in which the firms were co-invested, said people familiar with the matter. New York State Teachers’ Retirement System also had a stake in two of the malls, one of the people said. In a simultaneous deal, JPMorgan and NYSTRS bought Brookfield’s stake in a fifth mall, the Bridgewater Commons in New Jersey.. . . more

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Papyrus considers store closures as it negotiates with landlords

Retail Dive
Stationary retailer Papyrus is working to win rent concessions from landlords and could close some stores, according to an emailed Debtwire report. The retailer's owner, Schurman Retail Group, did not immediately respond to Retail Dive's request for comment.

The retailer, which last said on its website it had more than 260 stores, has hired A&G Realty as it looks to negotiate with its landlords, according to Debtwire.​. . . more

Food halls drive mall traffic, not clothing sales

RetailWire
Food courts and halls are attracting traffic to malls around the country, according to a new survey by UBS. They are not, however, proving successful in helping retail stores in those same shopping centers sell more clothing.

UBS’s research, CNBC reports, finds that consumers are increasingly going online to buy clothing rather than visiting malls. Today, 25 percent of all apparel is bought online, according to the investment bank, which forecasts that 31 percent of clothing sales will be purchased through digital channels by 2023.. . . more

Friday, November 1, 2019

Forever 21 Plans to Close About 60 Fewer Stores After Rent Cuts

NREI
Forever 21 Inc. will keep open more than 60 U.S. stores previously set to shutter as part of the company’s bankruptcy restructuring after the retailer secured rent concessions from its biggest landlords, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

It’s an early win for the fast-fashion company after it filed for Chapter 11 protection in September as talks with mall operators about a possible rescue broke down. The company had no plan for reorganization when it filed, and said it would close at least 178 U.S. stores and dozens more internationally as it worked toward a turnaround.. . . more

J.C. Penney creates the store of its wishes in Hurst, settles on using it as a lab

The Dallas Morning News
J.C. Penney chief executive officer Jill Soltau has a ways to go to get the Plano-based retailer out of the trouble it’s been in for a long time.

But she has ideas as big as her own closet, which she describes as overflowing with new clothes that she’s been buying at Penney’s.

Soltau ended her first year leading the company by officially unveiling a department store experience that she said came straight from Penney customer research.. . . more

Hudson's Bay going private deal faces Catalyst hurdle

Reuters
Hudson’s Bay Co shareholder Catalyst Capital Group Inc has opposed an agreed deal by the struggling Canadian department store operator with a group led by executive chairman Richard Baker to be taken private.

Catalyst and other investors holding about 28.24% of shares of Hudson’s Bay intend to vote against the agreement, the private equity firm said on Thursday.. . . more