I hope you enjoy this week’s articles.
I Need Some Help! What Is The Real Size Of Our “Community?”
Why Can’t We Write An Exclusive Use Clause That Says What It Means and Means What It Says? – Yet Another Example
How Can a Good Commercial Real Estate Agent Take the Stress out of Your Investment?
Why Strategy Must Come First When Building a Business
Technomic outlines restaurant visit drivers
Starbucks Plans Massive U.S. Expansion. Can Its Growth Plan Succeed
Retail chains eye big expansion drives
Kroger reaches out to Midtown Memphis to help plan store
The value of smart streetscape investment
From the Desk of Al Taf
TOP RETAIL NEWS
ShopperTrak: Foot traffic up 3.7% year-over-year for post-Thanksgiving week
December 5, 2012 Chicago — A report on Wednesday from ShopperTrak showed that retail foot traffic increased 3.7% and sales increased 2.3% year-over-year for the week beginning Nov. 25, ending Dec. 1.
This represented a 28.8% decline in traffic and 22.4% decline in sales from the 2012 Black Friday shopping week.
Return Fraud to Cost Retailers $2.9B This Holiday Season: NRF
December 4, 2012,The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2012 Return Fraud Survey, completed by loss prevention executives at 60 retail companies in October, has found that retailers are poised to lose an estimated $8.9 billion to return fraud this year — $2.9 billion just during the holiday season. Retailers estimate that 4.6 percent of total holiday returns are fraudulent.
“Return fraud comes in a variety of forms and continues to present challenges for retailers trying to grapple with the sophisticated methods criminals are using to rip off retailers,” said Rich Mellor, VP of loss prevention at Washington, D.C.-based NRF. “Even more troubling is the fact that innocent consumers often suffer because companies have to look for ways to prevent and detect all types of crime and fraud in their stores, oftentimes resorting to shorter return windows and limitations on the types of products that can be returned.”
Gymboree profit, comps dip in Q3
December 5, 2012 San Francisco — The Gymboree Corp. reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Oct. 27 fell 22.6% to $46.9 million from $60.6 million in the year-ago period.
Sales edged up 2.8% to $311.5 million, but same-store sales dipped 4% in the quarter.
JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Announces the Opening of Its 600th Store; Company Plans to Grow to 800 Stores
HAMPSTEAD, Md., December 3, 2012, JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. (Nasdaq:JOSB), announces the opening of its 600th store. The 600th store opened Friday, November 30, 2012, in the Shops at Midtown Miami on North Miami Avenue in Miami, Florida.
JoS. A. Bank has opened more than 190 stores in the past five years. It expects to open another 200 stores in the future as part of its long-term plan to grow the chain to approximately 800 stores, including 700 full-line stores and 100 factory stores in the United States, depending on, among other factors, the performance of the Company and the availability of suitable real estate over the next several years. So far in fiscal year 2012, JoS. A. Bank has opened 45 stores (35 full-line and 10 factory) and expects to open up to 47 stores for the entire year.
Christopher & Banks posts Q3 profit; new CEO takes reins
November 30, 2012 Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks said its net income totaled $3.6 million for the quarter ended Oct.27, compared with a loss $13.7 million in the year-age period.
Revenue rose 2%, to $117.3 million from $114.6 million. The chain has closed more than 100 stores during the last year, but strong sales at its existing locations boosted revenue. Same-store sales rose 13.7%.
Fast Retailing to buy 80% stake in J Brand
November 30, 2012, TOKYO–Japanese casual clothing retailer Fast Retailing Co. said Friday that it will acquire an 80.1% stake in U.S. apparel maker J Brand Holdings LLC for around $300 million as it seeks to expand its foothold in the U.S. market.
Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing will buy the stake from U.S. private equity firm Star Avenue Capital LLC and J Brand’s management members including co-founder and current chief executive Jeff Rudes. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of December through the use of cash on hand and bank loans.
Auto Parts Related
AutoZone acquires AutoAnything to help grow e-commerce
December 4, 2012, Auto parts chain retailer AutoZone Inc. has acquired the assets and some debt of online auto parts retailer AutoAnything. Terms of the transaction, which was announced today, were not disclosed.
Few other details were released, but Memphis, TN-based AutoZone says it views the purchase of San Diego-based AutoAnything an opportunity to extend its web presence. “The company’s culture and leadership is an outstanding fit with our company as we look forward to growing our e-commerce initiatives for many years to come,” says Bill Rhodes, chairman, president and CEO of AutoZone.
Big Lots swings to loss in Q3
December 4, 2012 Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots Inc. reported Tuesday a loss of $6 million for the third quarter, compared with net income of $4.2 million in the year-ago period. Results, however, topped analysts’ earnings expectations.
Revenue slipped 0.4% to $1.13 billion, missing Wall Street’s forecast of $1.3 billion.
Walgreens sales dip in November
December 5, 2012 Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreen Co. reported Wednesday that sales for November dipped 3.9% to $5.85 billion, compared with $6.09 billion for the same month in fiscal 2012.
Total front-end sales decreased 0.3% and same-store front-end sales decreased 1.7%. Walgreens opened 39 stores during November, including 10 relocations and closed one.
Walgreens Opens 8,000th Store
November 4, 2012 DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens opened its 8,000th store and its first West Coast flagship location on Saturday, Dec. 1. The new store, located at the iconic corner of Sunset and Ven in Los Angeles, features an extensive collections of innovative offerings, products and services unexpected from a drugstore, the company stated.
Home Improvement & Office Products
Pier I Q3 sales up 10.9%; holiday shopping starts strong
November 30, 2012 Fort Worth, Texas — Pier I said its total sales increased 10.9% to $425 for the third quarter, ended Nov.15, with comparable-store sales rising 7.9% from the year-ago period.
Starbucks outlines aggressive growth, 1,500 new U.S. units
December 5, 2012 Starbucks plans to open 1,500 new coffeehouse locations in the U.S. and renovate thousands more over the next five years, company officials said at an investor conference in New York Wednesday.
After reporting strong fourth-quarter and year-end results last month, Schultz said growth would accelerate, with 1,300 new coffeehouse locations planned in 2013, including about 600 in the Americas, mostly in the U.S., and another 600 in the China and Asia Pacific region. This year, the 18,066-unit chain netted 1,063 new stores around the world. Schultz said the company was well on its way to reaching 20,000 units by 2014.
Salsarita’s Announces Mississippi Development Agreement
December 4, 2012,Charlotte, NC, Salsarita’s, the national 80-unit Fresh Mexican Cantina chain, announced a new development agreement for Mississippi. Under the terms of the new plan, Salsarita’s will open 10 restaurants throughout Mississippi over the next five years. Area developer J.C. Clark, who was a leading franchisee for McAlister’s Deli when current Salsarita’s CEO Phil Friedman owned the company, will lead the expansion.
Dollar Stores, Warehouse Club & Other Retailers
Sherwin-Williams opens 3,500th retail store
December 5, 2012 Cleveland — Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores Group announced Wednesday it has opened its 3,500th retail location in total and its 70th in 2012.
The newest store is 4,000 sq. ft. and located in Rancho Santa Margarita (Orange County), Calif.
Francesca’s profit surges in Q3 with 76 added stores
December 5, 2012 Houston — Francesca’s Holdings Corp. reported Wednesday net income of $11 million, compared with $6.1 million in the year-ago period. Sales surged 44% to $72 million, driven by a 16.7% increase in same-store sales as well as 76 new boutique openings since the end of the third quarter last year.
Report: C-store traffic declines in Q3
December 4, 2012 Houston — A Tuesday report by NPD Group found that total consumer traffic through convenience stores was down 2.1% in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year.
NPD’s convenience store market research reports that the traffic decline this quarter was largely driven by lower purchase frequency (5.9 visits per 30 days), but was also influenced by a slight decline in the overall reach of the channel (only 50.2% of consumers aged 16+).
Ulta Beauty Q3 net income up 42.5%; to open 125 stores in 2013
November 30, 2012 Bolingbrook, Ill. — Ulta Beauty reported a double-digit gain in third-quarter sales and net income. The company said it is planning to open approximately 125 stores in 2013.
For the quarter ended Oct. 27, net income rose 42.5% to $38.2 million. Net sales rose 22.4% to $505.6 million, from $413.1 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales were up 8.4%.
Convenience Store Competition Heats up in Pennsylvania
November 30, 2012, PITTSBURGH — A month after 7-Eleven Inc. said it was stepping up its presence in the Pittsburgh gas station and convenience store market, Midwest chain Speedway LLC is eyeing an expansion into Western Pennsylvania, as well.
Enon, Ohio-based Speedway is looking at sites in seven communities where it may put gas stations, including Delmont, Unity and Hempfield, Daniel Hewitt, a Latrobe attorney and Delmont solicitor, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Genesco Q3 profit jumps 56%; raises 2013 outlook
November 30, 2012 Nashville, Tenn. — Genesco Inc. said Friday its third-quarter profit increased to $41 million, from $26.2 million in the year-ago period, better than Wall Street expected. The company also raised its fiscal 2013 outlook, even as it warned that November was off to a slow start.
Sales in the quarter rose 7.8% to $664.5 million from $616.5 million. Same-store sales rose 4% for the company, with an 8% increase in the Journeys Group, a 5% decrease in the Lids Sports Group, a 9% increase in the Schuh Group, and a 6% increase in Johnston & Murphy Group.
From the ICSC
New York Conference attendees upbeat on 2013
The coming year will be a good one for those who know how to make the best out of challenging times, according to opinions aired this week at the New York Deal Making Conference.
The Blackstone Group is one that stands to benefit, having bought some $16 billion worth of shopping centers around the world, amounting to 120 million square feet, since the start of the recession. “This crisis allowed us to buy hard assets around the world” at competitive prices, noted Jonathan D. Gray, Blackstone’s global head of real estate.
Unsettled economic developments, whether fiscal meltdowns or jobless rates, are daunting to the business community, he said. “When you listen to that as a businessman, it makes you want to go out and hide under the covers,” Gray said. Blackstone did anything but hide, however, investing in properties and companies, including a 5 percent stake in General Growth Properties that has paid off royally. Blackstone and others that invested at the bottom of the market can now watch those investments grow. With few new centers being built, at least in the U.S., the market can expect to see competition heat up for the existing space, which will drive rents up by some 30 percent, Gray predicted.
As for retail real estate in general, the year will probably see the strong grow stronger and the weak either coast along or go out of business entirely, according to a report Jones Lang LaSalle released at the show. “2013 will be a year to separate the wheat from the chaff,” said Greg Maloney, Jones Lang LaSalle’s retail president and CEO of the Americas. Consumers will be spending more in the coming year as they pay off housing debt and enjoy a continuing low inflation rate. “Household balance sheets are in a much better state than before the financial crisis, and wealth appreciation in the stock market has helped to boost confidence and support some retail purchasing, especially as goods need to be replaced by necessity,” Maloney said. But there will be challenges too, the report noted, especially if another natural disaster strikes, energy prices spike or any other event destabilizes the world economy.
Still, store openings are at a four-year high. Some 52 million square feet of new retail space will be added in the coming year, compared with just 20 million square feet in the current year. “Strong, grocery-anchored centers will continue to be the starts in 2013, but the specific grocery tenant is critical,” said Margaret Caldwell, Jones Lang LaSalle’s managing director of retail capital markets. “They must be the number one or number two grocer in terms of market share for the area, and generally, more upscale chains will draw the most shopper attention.”
Macy’s staying open longer than ever this holiday season
Macy’s has decided to keep almost all of its 800 stores open 24 hours a day during the weekend before Christmas. “For the first time ever, Macy’s will keep most stores open around the clock for the last weekend of holiday shopping, an expansion of our successful marathon that began at select stores in 2006,” said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief stores officer, in a press release. “We hope to make it easy for our customers across the country to finish their shopping at any time of day or night.”
The marathon begins at 7 a.m. on Dec. 21 and runs through midnight, Dec. 23, at the vast majority of stores, which will reopen at 7 a.m. on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. However, 34 stores will stay open until 2 a.m. on Dec. 24 and then reopen at 7 a.m. Further, 23 stores will stay open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, at which point the entire fleet of stores will shut for the holiday. These 24-hour locations include Glendale (Calif.) Galleria; Oakbrook (Ill.) Center; Roosevelt Field, in Garden City, N.Y.; South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Calif.; South Shore Plaza, Braintree, Mass.; Twelve Oaks, Novi, Mich.; and Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Va.
Macy’s began this tradition at Queens Center, in Rego Park, N.Y., in 2006. The company added on stores through subsequent years and last year offered customers the opportunity to shop at 14 locations open 24 hours or at 27 sites offering extended hours.
Macy’s CEO Terry J. Lundgren said on Black Friday that he was expecting sales to slow down during the first weeks of December and then to surge during the final 10 days before Christmas.
Tesco to sell or shutter U.S. chain
U.K. supermarket giant Tesco says it will sell or shut down its 200-store Fresh & Easy chain, marking an end to the world’s fourth-largest retailer’s attempt to crack the competitive U.S. market. Tesco also announced that Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason has left the company.
The first Fresh & Easy stores opened in Phoenix in 2007. The chain was touted as a smaller, more convenient alternative to the traditional U.S. supermarkets, offering fresh food and ready-to-eat meals at low prices and in no-frills stores measuring 10,000 to 15,000 square feet. Since then, Tesco has invested about $1.6 billion to expand the chain, despite competition from the likes of Walmart and Whole Foods. Sales faltered as Fresh & Easy failed to establish itself and draw away customers, observers say. The chain has yet to turn a profit, though sales had been improving, albeit erratically. In the second quarter same-store sales rose 6.9 percent. In the third quarter they grew only 1.8 percent.
In October Tesco froze any expansion of the chain and refocused on cutting costs at existing stores. Now it has retained outside counsel to assist in brokering a sale or in setting up a partnership with another operator to help defray expenses. “It is now clear that Fresh & Easy will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns on an appropriate timeframe in its current form,” said Tesco CEO Philip Clarke in a press release. “In recent months, we have had a number of approaches from parties interested in acquiring either all or part of Fresh & Easy, or in partnering with us to develop the Fresh & Easy business.”
If a partnership fails to materialize, Fresh & Easy’s real estate portfolio is likely to be sold off piecemeal to expansion-minded dollar stores and smaller grocery chains such as Aldi, observers say. In the meantime Tesco is devoting resources to its U.K. stores, which have seen sales slide amid Europe’s economic malaise. Sales are down at the chain’s stores in Eastern Europe too, and also in South Korea, its biggest foreign market. Tesco exited Japan this year.
• Retailers will lose an estimated $8.9 billion to return fraud this year, $2.9 billion of that during the holiday season alone, according to the National Retail Federation. Return fraud occurs in the form of criminals who return stolen merchandise, use counterfeit receipts, or even return items already worn and/or used but which are not defective. Retailers estimate that nearly 5 percent of holiday returns are fraudulent, according to an NRF survey of loss-prevention managers at 60 retail companies.
• Applebee’s says it will open New York City’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold–certified restaurant on Monday. The restaurant, at 117th Street in the Harlem section of Manhattan, is franchisee Apple-Metro’s 35th Applebee’s unit. The restaurant is equipped with about 40 ecological-upgrade features, including rooftop rainwater harvesting, waterless urinals and a “living wall” made up of plants. The plants are watered automatically by means of an automated panel, which also controls fertilizing. The interior uses bamboo throughout, including in the bar and for the store’s countertops and chandeliers. (Bamboo is valued as a sustainable material because of its short regrowth time and the high amount of carbon dioxide it converts to oxygen.) A touch screen at the restaurant’s entrance will furnish information about the store’s green features and the general benefits of green buildings.
THE COMMON AREA
• U.S. commercial-mortgage delinquency rates dropped in the third quarter, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association. Delinquencies for commercial mortgages held in life insurance company portfolios eased 0.03 of a percentage point off the previous quarter, to 0.12 percent. Meanwhile, delinquencies for loans held by FDIC-insured banks and thrifts decreased 0.18 of a percentage point, to 2.93 percent. Loan delinquencies on the commercial-mortgage-backed-securities side eased off 0.11 of a percentage point, to 8.86 percent. “The delinquency rate on bank-held loans is at its lowest level since the beginning of 2009 and the delinquency rate for loans held in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) — while still elevated — continues to stabilize,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research, in a press release. If one removes the CMBS loans that are in foreclosure or are owned by the lender as a result of foreclosure or forfeiture, that delinquency rate is at its lowest since late 2009, he said.
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From the Desk of Garrick Brown
|Terranomics Retail Newsline
Week Ending December 9, 2012
Though it is not the gold standard of consumer confidence metrics (The Conference Board’s Index is), the recent decline in the Thomsen Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Survey could be problematic. This index fell from 82.7 in November to 74.5 this month. This is likely a reflection of the impact of Super Storm Sandy on consumers in the northeastern United States, but also may be the first major indication that the growing fiscal cliff debate is taking its toll on consumers. This is hugely problematic in timing, considering we are about as in the middle of the holiday shopping season as one could be and it is unclear as to where the numbers are actually falling so far.
Entering the season, we forecast a robust gain in holiday season sales of 4.3%. This compared to a National Retail Federation prediction of 4.1%, a Deloitte forecast of 3.5% to 4.0% and International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC) and ShopperTrak predictions of 3.0%. Our rationale was simple. This holiday shopping season has an extra weekend of selling time; more retailers were moving up their Black Friday openings to Thanksgiving dates; planned sale promotions and extreme markdowns were expected to increase and, most importantly, consumer confidence was rising for months heading into this holiday shopping season (at a 4.5 year high in October, after being on the upswing since August 2012)… compared to the last two years in which it only improved by November, helping to provide unexpectedly positive results for retailers. Of course, our projections were before Super Storm Sandy—which will undoubtedly impact retail markets along the eastern seaboard. It was also before the fiscal cliff debate became first and foremost as the latest public policy stalemates to harm economic confidence.
However, this is not enough to assume that holiday season 2012 is about to go sideways. Black Friday weekend sales records are still being fully assessed, but appear to be extremely strong—despite the fact that monthly November same-store sales figures were not quite as robust. However, it could be that online retailers saw the greatest gains. A recent report from IBM reports that Thanksgiving online sales grew by 17.4%, while Black Friday online sales grew by 20.7% this year. Cyber-Monday—like Black Friday—is increasingly a victim of the Christmas Creep as retailers from both the bricks and clicks sector continue to push their start dates forward. Meanwhile, iPads accounted for nearly 10% of all online shopping, followed by iPhones at 8.7% and Android phones at 5.5%.
This doesn’t mean that consumers are abandoning the malls. Foot traffic actually increased 3.5% over Black Friday Weekend, according to a recent report from ShopperTrak. But they also claim that retail sales fell by 1.8% during this period. But these numbers absolutely do not gel with those from the ICSC/Goldman-Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index which indicate a 3.3% Y-o-Y increase in sales for the week immediately following Thanksgiving. Keep in mind that the methodologies of the two are radically different; ICSC looks at the performance of a select set of retailers while ShopperTrak is driven mostly by charge card activity. We find both to be lacking at a certain level, but put more faith in the ICSC methodology behind their same-store sales approach. All this being said, the fact that there is even a debate as to whether there were gains or losses on Black Friday Weekend is potentially problematic for our earlier aggressive seasonal forecast.
One thing that we do see as being consistent, however, is the fact that retailer profit margins this holiday shopping season are simply going to be tighter due to the increased focus on markdowns, door busters and extreme loss leaders to bring consumers into stores earlier and to compete with e-commerce. Of course, this trend has major potential long-term impact written all over it. Consumer electronics retailers, in particular, need to beware of the possibility of training their consumers to only purchase their goods once annually during the holiday sales season when markdowns are extreme. Still, on the whole, we are confident that final holiday sales for 2012 will not only remain in positive territory, but that they will be quite strong. Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly like our initial forecast of 4.3% may prove a little high, but I will stick with the sinking ship for now. One of the justifications behind this number was an extra weekend in the sales season and I am still not entirely convinced that the fiscal cliff issue is having much of an impact on overall confidence to begin with. If this is mostly about Super Storm Sandy, then we should see a boost by next month. The question, of course, is how quickly any of these confidence numbers translate into consumer behavior. In the meantime, it’s all probably a moot point—whether sales increase 3.5% or 4.3% this year, we simply are not going to see the same surge in post-holiday season retailer expansion plans that we have seen over the past couple of years. To understand why, check out the ChainLinks 2013 Retail Forecast Report that I will be releasing later this week. If you are on this mailing list, you will get an e-mail with a link to a copy of it later this week. If not, drop me a line and I will be happy to add you to my list. Have a great week!
Oh, by the way… Looks like Tesco’s Fresh and Easy small format grocery concept is almost certainly dead as of next year. Check out a copy of our forecast report to read more about it and how we think it will impact the grocery marketplace in the next year.
– Garrick H. Brown
Research Director, Terranomics
Terranomics Top FiveConsumer confidence falls
Chain Store Age 12.07
ShopperTrak: Foot traffic up 3.7% year-over-year for post-Thanksgiving week
Fresh and Easy May be Sold off by Tesco
Conference: Retail well positioned for coming year
Triple Net REITs Cast A Wide Dollar Store Net
The Big PictureMacy’s to keep stores open 48 hours straight Dec. 21 through Dec. 23
Dollar stores continue growth, according to Boulder Group report
Fast-food Eateries Cooking Up Fresh Looks
IDC releases preview of Top 10 Predictions for Retail Industry
Retail Report: Mixed Bag for 2013
Retailer RoundupLululemon Poised for Even Bigger 2013 with 200 new stores
Grocery Grab Bag
Kroger reaches out to Midtown for input on new store
Natural Grocers Cites Sales Gains, Plans 12 New Stores in 2013
The Restaurant ReviewOne to Watch: Juice It Up!
Starbucks’ cup will runneth over opening 3,000 new stores in America in the next 5 years
Marlow’s Tavern to take over former McDonald’s in Winter Park in Orlando
Regional News and Development NotesLAX Terminal to Launch 60 Retail Shops
Salsarita’s Announces Mississippi Development Agreement
Bankruptcy/Closure WatchFresh and Easy Raises White Flag
Tesco Sours on Fresh & Easy
Mason out as Tesco aborts Fresh & Easy
AutoZone to purchase online parts store AutoAnything; Q1 EPS up 16%
Pfizer closes deal, sells nutrition business to Nestlé for $11.9 billion
REIT/Investment OutlookCalSTRS, Primestor JV to Pursue Urban Retail Opportunities
CRE Radio Show
Shawn Massey, CCIM, SCLS is a partner with The Shopping Center Group a 3rd party retail real estate advisory firm in their Memphis office, an adjunct professor in the graduate real estate program at The University of Memphis and a co-founder and Chairman of the Board for the Memphis Business Academy charter schools (K-12th grade) in the Frayser area of Memphis.
For all your retail real estate needs (tenant representation, landlord representation and property, investment & land sales) I hope that you will choose The Shopping Center Group and me to represent you and your business. We understand that representation is a privilege and that you have a choice!
The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. They should not be considered the opinion of The Shopping Center Group, LLC in which I am associated.