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Events
Wednesday April 30th
Bisnow: NYC Retail Real Estate Summit
New York, NY

With the unforgiving polar vortex behind us, and consistent upticks in consumer demand dispelling market anxieties stemming from the Fed’s tapering policies, there is only one direction retail is heading. Up! The consumer is back, and retail is king. Come hear about it from the industry leaders themselves at Bisnow’s 4th Annual NY Retail Summit.

Get 20% off by using this discount code at checkout: retailmls2014

Click here to register!

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May 18-20, 2014
ICSC RECon Las Vegas
Las Vegas Convention Center

RECon is the global convention for the shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for retail real estate professionals from around the world. With over 34,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors it is the largest industry convention, making it an unparalleled opportunity to do a year’s worth of business in just three days! If you are looking to meet retailers to discuss new or existing leases in your centers, view the latest industry products and services that are critical to your business, attend educational sessions or find the next deal, then you need to attend RECon.

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Wednesday June 11th
ICSC: New York Program and Networking Breakfast
New York, NY

Join us and gain valuable insight into the dynamic retail environment in the outer boroughs of New York City.

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Thursday July 17th, 3-9pm
Social Retail Summit #7
Dumbo Spot, New York

Social retail is the new approach to customer relations developed by next generation omnichannel retail brands, from online community to offline sales.

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Featured Article
Tommy Bahama: A New ‘Relaxing’ Store Location on Fifth Avenue
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About two weeks ago, Tommy Bahama opened up a 13,000 SF, three-level store and restaurant on 45th Street and Fifth Avenue. Everything about this location is very New York City-specific. The design, music, mannequins and all else related to the store reflect this Manhattan location and looks to attract a certain demographic to the island-inspired brand. Rob Goldberg, senior VP of marketing for the Tommy Bahama Group explained, “We want the customer to feel like this is an urban resort. We want this to feel like a little oasis. We want people to forget the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and come in here and chill out. It feels somewhat insulated and every detail we selected we put through the lens of ‘Is it relaxing?’”

There are several different unique design features that enhance this Tommy Bahama store. The store includes wooden shutters that were constructed from the Coney Island boardwalk. Everything in the store is custom made, “nothing off the shelf”. There are three ways to enter the store- two on Fifth Avenue, and one on 45th Street.

Posted on November 30, 2012

Featured Article
Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay Replaces Fifth Avenue as World’s Top Retail Address
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After 11 years of topping the list of locations commanding the highest retail rents worldwide, the strip of Fifth Avenue from 49th to 59th streets in New York City has been moved to number two. Its successor? According to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, it’s Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. The report states that although rents along Fifth Avenue rose 11% this year, they were outdone by a 35% jump in rents on Causeway Bay. Storefronts on Causeway Bay now lease for $2,630 per square foot, while their Fifth Avenue counterparts lease for $2,500 per square foot.

Despite Fifth Avenue’s bump to second place, New Yorkers shouldn’t fret: four of the most expensive retail locations on the planet are still in NYC, while five land in Asia and one is in Paris. Additionally, Fifth Avenue still reigns supreme as the top retail strip in the Americas. Times Square, where retail rents run $2,100 per square foot, came in at number three on the worldwide list, while East 57th Street is seventh and Madison Avenue is number eight, both with rents at $1,100 per square foot. Locations in Hong Kong claimed spots four and five, Avenue de Champs-Elysees in Paris took the sixth position, and two stretches in Tokyo landed the last two spots. In tenth place, Omotesando in Tokyo demands the lowest retail rent price on the list at $972 per square foot.

Posted on November 29, 2012

Featured Article
This Holiday Season’s “Win-Win” Gift: Gift Cards
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Gift card spending is expected to hit $28.79 billion this holiday season! The National Retail Federation (NRF) conducted a survey and found that 81.1% of shoppers will buy at least one gift card, and each person will spend an average of $156.86 on gift cards. Men are expected to spend an average of $172.98 on gift cards, about $30 more than women. Additionally, shoppers are predicted to spend an average of $43.75 on each card that they buy. According to one of NRF’s holiday surveys, 59.8% of people said that they would like to receive gift cards this year, which is up from 57.7% from last year.

Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO, said “Retailers are pulling out all the stops this year to make their gift cards personal, convenient, and desirable. Savvy shoppers know they can purchase a much appreciated gift card with ease either in store, online, or through their mobile device, and give their loved ones the option to buy something they really want or need”. 21.1% of consumers explain that they will buy gift cards because they are much easier and faster to buy than traditional gifts. More than that, consumers believe that those receiving their gifts would prefer to pick out their own merchandise. This came out as the most likely reason shoppers plan on buying gift cards this holiday season. Consumers are also much more willing to buy gift cards because the cards have become increasingly more personalized. Retailers have been making a significant effort to make their gift cards into a special gift.

Posted on November 28, 2012

Featured Article
Emerald Creek Capital: Top of the Bridge Lending Market
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Given current economic conditions and trends, the need for non-traditional lenders is clearly high. Because most lenders have tightened their parameters, the borrowing process is even more difficult now. Faced with ballooning mortgages and time-sensitive opportunities – form discounted payoffs to acquisitions – borrowers are increasingly turning to bridge loans. Yet, it’s difficult to find a bridge lender who will provide a loan both quickly and at a reasonable rate. A good way to measure the quality of a bridge lender is to see how transparent it is about its lending parameters and how recent are its deals.

One of the most noticeable bridge-lenders to make life easier for borrowers is Emerald Creek Capital (ECC) — a commercial real estate direct bridge lender based in Manhattan, NY. Offering short-term loans secured by commercial real estate, ECC prides itself on being efficient and flexible. Emerald Creek attains this efficiency by being up front and transparent about its lending parameters: A term of 1-3 years, loan amounts of $1Million – $20 Million, interest rates of 9%-13%, loan-to-value of up to 65%, and closing time of 1-2 weeks. Thus, while most bridge lenders closely guard their rates, ECC displays its rate right on the website (http://www.emeraldcreekcapital.com/). Emerald Creek’s recency of deals is also on the website for everyone to see: month-by-month, the deals are published as they close. The Bridgehampton, NY deal – closed just before Thanksgiving – is already on the website.

Posted on November 27, 2012

Featured Article
Starbucks Buys Teavana for $620M
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Starbucks continues to develop its empire by buying Teavana, a specialty tea retailer, for $620 million.

Launched in Atlanta in 1997, Teavana specializes in high-end loose leaf teas and has a market capitalization of around $380 million. The chain went public in July 2011 and reported a second quarter loss of $1.2 million related to its $26.9 million purchase of the Canadian chain Teaopia.

Starbucks is looking to expand Teavana’s 300 mall-based stores and add a neighborhood-center concept that will accelerate the growth of Teavana’s domestic and global footprint. Buying Teavana also positions Starbucks for stronger sales in parts of the world where tea is more popular than coffee; Teavana opened its first store in the Middle East in partnership with Starbucks’ joint venture partner Alshaya, and plans to move into more tea-drinking markets around the world in upcoming years.

Posted on November 27, 2012

Featured Article
Adelaide Polsinelli
Adelaide Polsinelli

In her 26 years of extensive experience as one of New York City’s most active real estate brokers, Adelaide Polsinelli has an impeccable track record of consistently selling real estate. An innovative problem-solver and a tenacious, yet diplomatic negotiator, Ms. Polsinelli has proven her talents as a commercial brokerage All-Star. She has sold over 880 [...]

Posted on November 27, 2012

Featured Article
DDR’s Operating FFO Slightly Ahead of Projections
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DDR Corp. owns and manages 459 value-oriented shopping centers in 39 states, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, which amounts to 116 million square feet. The company had an active third quarter that yielded growth and positive results.

Significantly, DDR’s Operating Funds from Operations applicable to common shareholders (Operating FFO) increased to $82.9 million ($0.27 per diluted share) from $67.4 million ($0.24 per diluted share) for the comparable period in 2011. The increase is primarily due to organic growth, shopping center acquisitions, and lease termination fees partially offset by asset dispositions.

The company’s Funds from Operations applicable to common shareholders (FFO) also increased during the three-month period ended September 30; it grew to $112.7 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, from $34.7 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, for the prior-year comparable period. That increase is tied to the gain on change in control of interests related to DDR’s acquisition of assets from unconsolidated joint ventures, partially offset by the write-of of the original issuance costs from the redemption of their 7.50% Class I cumulative redeemable preferred shares (Class I Preferred Shares), as well as the same factors impacting Operating FFO.

Posted on November 26, 2012

Featured Article
Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: REITs actively buying and selling properties in the second half of the year
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A number of locally based real estate investment trusts (REITs) have been very active in buying and selling real estate during the second half of the year.

Vornado Realty Trust one of the largest owners and managers of commercial real estate in the U.S. with a Manhattan portfolio of approximately 28 million square feet in over 50 properties, including Class A office buildings, street retail, showroom and residential assets and the Hotel Pennsylvania has traded over $ 1 billion in assets.

In August, the company announced that it had entered into a lease with Host Hotels & Resorts, the owners of the Marriott Marquis, one of the largest hotels in Manhattan with 1,900. Under the lease, Vornado will redevelop the retail and signage components of the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square Hotel. The hotel is located in the heart of the bow-tie of Time Square and spans the entire block front from 45th Street to 46th Street on Broadway. The site is directly across form Vornado’s 1540 Broadway iconic retail property leased to Forever 21 and Disney flagship stores.

Posted on November 26, 2012

Featured Article
NAREIT Elects New Executive Board
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The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) is representative of all REITs and publicly traded real estate companies. Members of NAREIT include REITs and other businesses that are associated with income-producing real estate. On November 1st, at the NAREIT Annual Convention, NAREIT elected their 2013 Officers and Executive Board: W. Edward Walter (Chair), Ronald L. Havner, Jr. & Michael D. Fascitelli (Vice Chairs), and David J. Neithercut (Treasurer).

The rest of the 2013 Executive Board consists of the elected members Jon E. Bortz of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Richard Campo of Camden Property Trust, Andrew Jacobs of Capstead Mortgage Corporation, Edward Fritsch of Highwoods Properties Inc., David Henry of Kimco Realty Corp., Rick Holley of Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc., Dennis Oklak of Duke Realty Corp., Steven Tanger of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers., Robert Taubman of Taubman Centers, Inc., and Thomas Toomey of UDR, Inc. Additionally, Donald Wood of Federal Realty Investment Trust will be serving as Past Chair.

Posted on November 21, 2012

Featured Article
H&M Opens in Mexico, Plans Latin American Expansion
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Earlier this month Swedish fashion retailer H&M opened its first flagship in Mexico. The 44,6000-square-foot space is in Mexico City’s luxury Santa Fe Mall, and is the second largest H&M after the 58,400-square-foot location on the Las Vegas strip. The new location also includes the first in-store quality lab, where customers can watch technicians test products. Over 1,500 customers lined up outside the three-story store for more than six hours before the store’s grand opening at noon.

Daniel Kulle, the company’s North American president, was present for the ribbon cutting and said, “We have had an amazing response from our customers here in Mexico City today and we look forward to bringing H&M’s concept of fashion and quality at the best price to Mexico. We are also excited to finally be expanding our business concept here within Latin America and hope to grow our following in this region.”

Posted on November 20, 2012

Featured Article
CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists to Appear in Nordstrom Pop-Ups
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The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 10 finalists’ designs will soon be offered in Nordstrom pop-up shops across the country. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was created in order to support and promote growth for the next generation of American fashion designers. The fund offers significant financial backing to different designers and provides them with business expertise and mentoring. The winners receive, “(1) Business mentoring from an established team of fashion industry professionals, in areas such as business planning, marketing, sourcing, production, exporting, etc., and (2) to encourage and enable the recipients to pursue his/her own independent design plan (one winner at $300,000 and two runners-up at $100,000 each).”

The finalists this year are Andrea Liberman of A.L.C., Greg Armas of Assembly New York, Sofia Sizzi of Giulietta, Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman, and Alina Silberman of Illesteva, Jennifer Fisher of Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Jennifer Meyer Maguire of Jennifer Meyer, Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty of Suno, Greg Chair of The Elder Statesman, Tabitha Simmons, and Wes Gordon. Each of these finalists had the opportunity to show off her designs in Hollywood, CA to a group of stars, including January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Marisa Tomei, Emma Roberts, and Mandy Moore.

Posted on November 20, 2012

Featured Article
Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: Men’s suit stores prospering in New York City
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Last month, HMX Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. HMX Group’s brands include Hickey Freeman as well as Hart Schaffner Marx. While this domestic manufacturer of men’s clothing with factories in Rochester, NY, Des Plaines, Ill. And Hamilton, Ontario is under severe financial pressure, a number of new retailers are building market presence in New York City and around the world.

Last year, Suitsupply, a Dutch brand opened in Manhattan. The company established in 2000 has 38 stores in 5 countries with a strong e-commerce component. The company recently opened it third store in the Four Seasons building in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. (the second store opened this summer in Chicago).

The New York City outpost is located on the 453 Broome Street in Soho. Earlier this year, New York Magazine profiled the location for “Best Suits”. It stated “this second floor suiting showroom strikes an impeccable balance between too much and not enough choice. And for the money, you won’t find a better make. Most of the dozen-or-so off the rack options are priced at a practical $469 (made to measure starts at $900), and though the brand is based in Amsterdam, the suits are constructed from quality Italian fabrics, with optional trimmings such as horn bottoms, extra pocket stitching, and horsehair-enforced interiors.”

Posted on November 19, 2012

Featured Listing
Featured Article
Retail’s BIG Show 2013
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Retail’s BIG Show has been going on in New York City for the past 102 years! Retailers from all over gather in the middle of January to get ready for a new year of retail, business, and partnerships.

There are several new things happening at this years event, including more EXPO, networking receptions, keynotes, and specialty programming. There are going to be over 450 solution providers showing off new technology and bringing retailers new solutions and networking opportunities. As part of the EXPO portion (all FREE), there are going to be stage sessions, networking receptions, and BIG !deas sessions. Nine keynote sessions will be going on, and a keynote luncheon on Sunday, January 13th. Some of the keynote speakers are Bill Simon (President and CEO of Walmart), Alison Lewis (SVP, Marketing for N. America of Coca-Cola), Thomas Belk Jr. (Chairman and CEO of Belk, Inc.), Susan Jurevics (SVP, Global Retail CRM, and Brand Marketing of Sony Corporation of America), Jeannette Ferran Astorage (VP, Corporate Social Responsibility of Ann, Inc.), and Fred Wacker (COO of The Home Depot Foundation).

Posted on November 16, 2012

Featured Article
Obama’s Next Term and Retail
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The 2012 presidential election recently came to a close after $6 billion in campaign spending and ad campaigns that involved many issues related to retail. The campaign occurred while NRF carried out a “Retail Means Votes” initiative encouraging retailers to take active roles in election campaigns and candidates to tackle industry issues. With President Obama in office for four more years, there are some key, retail-related issues that we should be ready for the administration to address.

Health Care Reform

Craig Shearman, VP, Government Affairs PR at NRF, wrote, “Obama’s reelection will be seen by his party as validation for the Affordable Care Act, and implementation of the ACA will speed up. The controversial health care reform law is highly unlikely to be repealed. Bipartisan consensus may develop around key implementation issues such as eligibility and workforce composition in 2013 and 2014, perhaps even with Obama Administration encouragement.”

Posted on November 15, 2012

Featured Article
Amazon.com Lockers: Alternative to Home Deliveries
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Staples is becoming Amazon.com’s locker room! All of the Staples locations across the United States, as well as select 7-Eleven stores, have agreed to place lockers in their stores for Amazon.com. These lockers, which will hold Amazon packages weighing less than 10 pounds, will allow people who do not have space (or don’t feel comfortable allowing a package to be left at their door unattended) to take advantage of Amazon’s vast selection and low prices.

This is advantageous for retailers like Staples, as not only does Amazon pay them a fee for housing these lockers, but Staples also expects that the increased foot traffic from this new service will help their own sales. Just having these people through the door could potentially help their business.

Upon ordering, customers will receive an email with a pickup code, and will have 3 days from the delivery date to pick up their package. When they get to their designated locker at Staples, or 7-Eleven, they can type their code into a touchscreen on the locker to receive their package.

Posted on November 14, 2012

Featured Article
Charlotte Goldblatt & Leslie Goldblatt
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Charlotte has been in the commercial investment real estate industry since 1983. She was the first woman in Connecticut to earn the CCIM Designation in 1987 and continues to be active with the Institute and the Connecticut CCIM Chapter. She is currently serving as President for the Chapter and is also a member of the [...]

Posted on November 13, 2012

Featured Article
Macy’s Thriving This Holiday Season
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As December approaches, Macy’s Inc. is one retailer with high expectations for the holiday season. The company, which had anticipated a decrease in earnings during Q3, began the season by reporting sales and earnings growth, making this the 11th consecutive quarter of increases. Sales for the quarter rose 3.8% to $6.1 billion from $5.853 billion in last year’s third quarter, and operating income for the quarter totaled $325 million (5.4% of sales), which is up from $291 million (5% of sales) from 2011. The department store’s total third-quarter gross margins rose from 39.4% in 2011 to 39.6%.

Equally impressive is the increase in the department store’s online sales, which was 40.4% over the same period last year. Like many retailers, Macy’s has been putting a lot of energy into creating an appealing presence on the Web and merging the in-store and online experience for customers. Chief financial officer Karen Hoguet explained that it is difficult for stores “to define Internet versus store sales given all the ways customers are now researching products, as well as shopping and purchasing.” Hoguet noted growth in customers using tablets, and will continue to focus on integrating the devices into the store’s online experience along with smartphones and computers.

Posted on November 13, 2012

Featured Article
Liquor Laws From State to State
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State owned liquor stores compared to those owned privately tend to charge more for their products. In states where the government has a monopoly on sales, liquor can cost up to $2 more than privately owned stores. The results revealed from a study completed by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health, Boston Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins University show that the prices in the two different types of stores show discrepancies.

The researchers analyzed prices of 74 different alcohol brands in 13 different states in cases where the government has a monopoly on liquor store sales, and at 50 privately owned liquor stores. Results showed that the average price for liquor in privately owned stores was $27.79, and $29.82 in the states where the government controlled sales.

Posted on November 13, 2012

Featured Article
Effects of Obama Re-Election on Retail
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) expressed hopes of a more retailer-friendly government as President Obama was re-elected this past Tuesday. According to Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF, “Issues affecting the retail industry are the same critical issues facing policymakers in Washington. On behalf of retailers, their employees, and their customers, we want to see health care reform that actually reduces costs instead of imposing mandates, tax reform that makes US businesses more competitive, sales tax fairness that puts Main Street and online retailers on a level playing field, neutral labor policy that doesn’t favor either employers or unions over the other, credit and debit card swipe fees based on transparency and competition rather than monopolies, and removal of trade barriers that drive up consumer prices.”

Retail accounts for about 25% of U.S. jobs. That said, retailers have high hopes of working with Obama and the new Congress towards bringing the economy back and making it stronger. They want to have the ability to provide more jobs and put more people back to work.

On the other end of the industry, experts believe that Obama’s re-election may give American’s the confidence to bounce back into consumer spending. This could have a potential spiral effect where, given the president’s plans for extracting more tax revenues from high-income Americans, the country’s deficit could be reduced and stock market gains could be increased, encouraging Americans to purchase more goods and lifting retail sales.

Posted on November 9, 2012

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