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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
Dollar General to Open 11,000th Store in 2013

As part of its continuing expansion, Dollar General plans to add 635 stores and move 550 existing locations during 2013. Fourth quarter same stores sales increased 3% for the company, and total sales for its 13-week fourth quarter ended February 1, increased 0.5% to $4.21 billion. Currently with more than 10,000 stores in 40 states, the Tennessee-based company has more retail locations than any other retailer in America, and by the end of this year, the 11,000th store will have opened.

“Dollar General had yet another outstanding year in 2012 including exceptionally strong fourth quarter results,” said chairman and CEO Rick Drelling. “We grew our market share and invested strategically to continue to win with our customers. These results demonstrate the strength of our business strategy, and we believe we are very well-positioned for future growth.”

Net income for the fourth quarter was $317 million, and earning per share totaled 97 cents, compared to net income of $293 million, or earnings per share of 85 cents, which benefitted by six cents because of the extra week.

Posted on March 28, 2013

Featured Article
REBNY Now Accepting Submissions for Retail Deal of the Year

REBNY, The Real Estate Board of New York, just announced that they will be opening up to submissions for the ‘Retail Deal of the Year Awards’. This honor will be given to the most innovative, creative, and significant retail deals in New York City. Submissions are due by April 25th, and the winners will be announced on June 11 at the REBNY Retail Committee’s Deal of the Year cocktail party.

According to Peter Braus, retail committee chair at REBNY, “It’s Certainly the most prestigious award given in our business. As retail has gotten to be more of a factor in New York real estate, it has gotten to be quite the market prestige to win the award.”

The award will consist of 2 winners, including one for the most innovative and creative, and one for the largest or most significant retail deal. Both leasing and sales deals will be considered. Qualifications include a close date by December 31, 2012, and all five boroughs will be taken into consideration.

Posted on March 27, 2013

Featured Article
Ground Floor Apartments More Lucrative as Retail in Downtown Market

For a while now, Downtown neighborhoods like SoHo and the West Village have attracted some of the highest residential rents in Manhattan. That said, landlords have found that converting the ground floor of these rental apartments into retail space is much more lucrative. Stone Street, a landlord in Manhattan, reported plans to convert a first floor apartment at 101 MacDouglas Street, between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane to a store. SMA Equities, another landlord, did the same thing at 22 Spring Street.

Over the course of the last 2 years, this conversion of residential to retail has occurred in at least 12 buildings in Manhattan. Landlords have found that by using ground floor space as retail can often be an exponential increase in rent per square foot. While it is a difficult process to make this transformation, including acquiring city approvals, and tenant negotiations, it is a process that seems to pay out in the end.

For the deal with 101 MacDougal, Jeffrey Kaye purchased the building and found that the most lucrative use for the ground floor was retail. The property “is the only building on the block that does not have ground floor retail, and the amount of interest in retail on that block in the West Village is staggering,” said Kaye.

Posted on March 27, 2013

Featured Article
Walgreens Opens Flagship in Empire State Building

Walgreens added another location to its lineup of New York flagships when it opened a store in the Empire State Building earlier this month on March 23. The new spot is Walgreen Co.’s second “Well Experience” space in the city.

Walgreens’s presented its “Well Experience” store format in select cities in 2011, intending to expand its products and services beyond a typical drugstore. Products in the Upmarket Café include fresh food items like wraps, sandwiches and salads, and the store will serve a selection of customary beer and select local brews; a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine that dispenses 130 varieties of Coca Cola fountain drinks, fresh brewed coffee, and self-serve frozen yogurt.

The LOOK Boutique is the store’s beauty department, which features an Eyebrow Bar providing shaping and grooming services in addition to dozens of brands encompassing cosmetics, skin care, and hair care.

Posted on March 26, 2013

Featured Article
Catherine O’Toole
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Catherine O’Toole began her second career as a Real Estate Broker after working for 12 years for Federated Department Stores. Maintaining and utilizing the valued relationships she developed while at Bloomingdales, Catherine has single-handedly evolved as the most successful female Landlord Representative in Manhattan’s Garment Center. As a valued partner, Catherine does not fail to [...]

Posted on March 26, 2013

Featured Article
Samuel Mizrahi

Samuel Mizrahi is very active in the real estate community.  He is the past President & Chairman of the Flatbush Real Estate Board, Member of International Council of Shopping Centers, Member of Brooklyn Board of Realtors, and a Member of Brooklyn New York MLS. He was newly appointed on the Century 21 Commercial Advisory Board. [...]

Posted on March 25, 2013

Featured Article
YouTube as Marketing Channel for Retailers

Youtube is a great channel for retailers to use for marketing their products, but are retailers using it to its full potential? YouTube can bring a great deal of value to a company, including attracting more than one billion users monthly. Further, one out of every two users go online and visit the retailer’s website.

Several companies are really using YouTube, including ALL of Ad Age’s 100 Leading National Advertisers running campaigns on the site. Among these are Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Gap, Home Depot, J.C. Penny, Kohl’s, Kroger, Limited Brands, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Safeway, Sears Holdings, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart.

Retailers of note who have driven campaigns through YouTube are Home Depot and Kroger; they have their own YouTube channels that showcase several how-to videos and commercials, as well as service announcements. Just yesterday, Home Depot launched a video of Sarah Fishburne, director trend & design for The Home Depot. The video introduces viewers to the company’s Spring 2013 Style Guide, and includes subtopics like edible gardens, recipes from Martha Stewart, how to avoid landscape blunders, new patio sets, and garden pathways. The video also provides a calendar for spring-cleaning! This Home Depot channel helps to drive viewers to their website and their brick-and-mortar stores. They have about 50 topics each with several different attached videos to help customers with all of their customer service needs.

Posted on March 25, 2013

Featured Article
Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: Decline in Luxury Consumer Confidence can Have a Direct Effect on Retail Sales in 2013
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Retail Customer Experience, Top 100 for 2012-Constantly changing each and every year

Retailing is constantly changing with purchasing habits, smaller brick and mortar retailers and heavy reliance on e-commerce. In a study commission by Motorola for Retail Customer Experience recently released a study.

Identify the hundred of trends, technologies, brands, strategies and people that are having an impact on retail. They assigned them numerical votes based on their influence and impact on customer experience, and the results rankings.

This year, Top 100 highlights aver very different retail is toddy from just a few years ago. Look at the top of two on the list. Amazon has turned bricks and mortar retail on its ear to the same extend that Apple gutted the retail music industry. Social media remains a huge influence, even as it remains a moving rage that retailers are trying desperately to figure out.

Posted on March 25, 2013

Featured Article
Francesca’s to Reach 400 Store Milestone, Stocks Climb

Women’s accessories and clothing chain Francesca’s Holdings saw its shares climb as high as 10% after-hours earlier this week after its quarterly results exceeded Wall Street expectation. The company’s adjusted earnings per share were 33 cents in the three months, which ended on February 2, up 13 cents from the prior year. Additionally, revenue was up 40 percent.

The stock had slipped since August amid signs of slowing sales growth, but the fourth quarter outcome has helped ease concerns, with same-store sales rising a healthy 9.2%. Sales in the clothing and jewelry categories primarily drove the growth.

Management now expects full-year EPS of $1.27-$1.30 on revenue of $365 million to $370 million, versus the consensus of $1.27 and $370.7 million.

During the fiscal year 2013, Francesca’s will open 80 new locations, monumentally taking the company to more than 400 locations by the end of the first quarter.

Posted on March 21, 2013

Featured Article
Retailer Lululemon Encounters Problem

For fitness fanatics, Lululemon is the fastest growing brand. Signs of this can be seen all over: in the neon-striped hoodie or in the reusable red shopping bag with the company manifesto. Customers explain, “Once you go Lululemon, you never go back.”Another says, “It is the reason I started exercising again.” Even considering the economic crisis that impacted the U.S. so deeply, Lululemon barely skipped a beat.

This past week, Lululemon encountered a problem that they have not yet faced: a batch of one of their styles of their pants called the“Luon”appeared to be too sheer for customers. There have not been any changes in manufacturers or quality of ingredients, so the company is looking closely to see what happened when these pants were made. The stock dropped almost 5% when the news hit on Tuesday.

“Longer term we have to ask the question whether or not they’re diluting their relationship with their core customers,” said Christian Buss, an analyst who follows Lululemon for Credit-Suisse.

Posted on March 20, 2013

Featured Article
California Shopping Center Trades for $100M

Loja Real Estate LLC has sold the Downtown Pleasant Hill Shopping Center in Pleasant, California for $100 million. An account advised by UBS Global Asset Management purchased the 345,687-square-foot shopping center in the San Francisco Bay area for $20 million more than Loja paid for it in 2010.

“Loja’s real estate team is to be commended for adding value to an already strong property. It has been a real pleasure to own Downtown Pleasant Hill and it would be a great property to retain in our portfolio. We felt, however, that this was an opportune time to sell and advance other important initiatives at Loja,” said Katherine Burr, CEO of Loja Group LLC.

The center is known for its prominent archway that reads “Pleasant Hill” and provides a downtown feel to the East Bay city. Spread out over multiple buildings, notable tenants include Century Theaters, Lucky Supermarket, Bed Bad & Beyond, Michaels, Ross, Golfsmith, Paul Mitchell the School, Carter’s and Zachary’s Chicago Pizza.

Posted on March 19, 2013

Featured Article
The Growth and Development of Retailer H&M

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) sales in Q1 2013 rose 2% up to 33.1 billion Swedish kroner, or $5.1 billion, compared to last year. In February, H&M’s total sales increased by 5 percept year-on-year. That said, sales were negatively impacted from leap day on February 29, 2012, resulting in a 3 percentage point disadvantage. The store has also increased locations in number by 327, from 2,491 in 2012, to 2,818 in 2013.

In other H&M news, the company is pushing to open up more locations across America. After 13 years and 269 stores in the U.S., brand awareness has really spread in the states. “We’ve established a strong brand. Now we can see that we can grow and expand in many markets in the U.S. There’s huge potential at the moment,” said Daniel Kulle, U.S. president of H&M.

Just last year, they opened up 40 new stores, and are looking to surpass that number in 2013. “This is just the beginning,” said Kulle, as he announced the opening of 10 new stores, including Chicago, Georgetown Park, New Orleans, West Palm Beach, and Honolulu. When asked for a prediction on the total number of stores that could potentially populate the U.S., Kulle declined to give a number, but advised listeners to use other major apparel tenants as a benchmark, like Forever 21 with 500 stores, and Express with 600 stores.

Posted on March 18, 2013

Featured Article
Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: Decline in Luxury Consumer Confidence Can Have a Direct Effect on Retail Sales in 2013
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Sales of luxury products may fall in 2013 due to a decline in consumer confidence.

Luxury reported that Consumer confidence among the top 20 percent of U.S. households has decreased back to the level reported in the second quarter of 2012, which is the second-largest drop in confidence since the first quarter of 2008, according to a study by Unity Marketing.

The Luxury Consumption Index found that the top 20 percent who represent approximately 40 percent of consumer spending in the United States reported a confidence level that dropped 19.4 points in January since the last survey in October. This comes after a 24.3 point rise in confidence that was seen in the results of the October report.

“For luxury marketers, the advice from these results is caution, because the target luxury consumers are being cautious,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.

“Marketers will need to work hard to bring in the same dollars they did last year and even harder to generate growth,” she said.

Posted on March 18, 2013

Featured Article
The Loop: The Place to be for Retail in Downtown Chicago

Retailers are very inclined to open up stores in “The Loop” in downtown Chicago, bringing vacancy to a 10-year low last year. The vacancy rate dropped to 11.9 percent in 2012 from 13.6 percent in 2011. This low vacancy rate is even more noteworthy given that the retail space between Lake Michigan, Chicago River, Congress Parkway, and the river on the west rose to 44 percent, to 4.3 million square feet in 2012, up from 3 million in 2002.

Some of the significant new tenants in the area include N.J.-based Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp, taking the 60,000 square foot space where Filene’s Basement used to be at 1 N. State Street. Additionally, the Gap leased a space where Borders Group Inc. was at 150 N. State Street, for 31,282 square feet.

“It’s the continuation of retailers looking for high-traffic areas, “said John Vance, vice president at Stone and the author of the report. “They’re really focused on this: ‘We have to go where the people are.’ In Chicago, that’s the Loop.”

Residential development in the area also helps boost the retail market, with new rental buildings being developed. According to Vance, “With the increased residential population and supply of apartments, the evening and weekend traffic is already there. It’s just making what is already a strong market even stronger.” Rent in this area ranges from $95 to $125 per square foot on State Street, and between $100 and $120 per square foot on Michigan Avenue.

Posted on March 14, 2013

Featured Article
Retail Sales Jump in February

Retail sales in the U.S. grew at their fastest clip in five months during February, according the Commerce Department figures. This is the latest sign of the economy’s momentum in overcoming higher taxes and pricier gasoline. Purchases climbed 1.1 percent, the largest rise since September, and exceeding all projections in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

“Consumers have been less fazed by the increase in taxes than we expected,” said Gus Faucher, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh. “Because the labor market has been doing a bit better than we were expecting, people are feeling a bit confident and not cutting back their spending.”

Consumers spent more on building materials outlets, auto dealers, general merchandise stores, and non-store retailers including Internet merchants.

Costco Wholesale Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are benefiting as employment gains bolster confidence and enable Americans to withstand the payroll tax increase that took effect in January. Costco reported a 39 percent gain in Q2 profit, and has attempted to add more shoppers to its annual memberships by lowering prices.

Posted on March 14, 2013

Featured Article
Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: REITs Continue as an Excellent Investment

The combination of rising prices coupled with dividends help to attract investors to the REIT sector in February. The TREPP REIT Café reported that total returns in February were largely driven by dividends, rather than price appreciation. REITs continue to attract investors because their dividends are more appealing than other investment opportunities in the current low interest rate environment.

Free Standing Retail REITs, REITs that own single tenant retail facilities, gained a strong 5.37% in February. Health Care REITs had monthly returns of 5.35%. The 4.44% dividend yield helped to fuel the strong monthly returns.

Mortgage REIT’s 11.49% February dividend yield is the strongest in the REIT sector. Despite the strong dividend payout, the sector’s total return was 1.65%.

A number of REIT sectors had February dividend yields in the 3% to 4% range. Boosted by their dividend payouts, manufactured homes (4.32%), shopping centers (3.80%) and office (2.85%) REITs had solid monthly total returns.

Posted on March 13, 2013

Featured Article
ASB Adds 7 LA Sites to Retail Portfolio

ASB Real Estate Investments has purchased seven prime retail assets in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Venice for $39 million.

The properties total 23,150 square feet in single-story buildings located along Robertson Avenue in Beverly Hills, Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, and Santa Monica’s Main Street. They were purchased on behalf of ASB’s $2.1 billion Allegiance Fund in a joint venture with Blatteis & Schnur, its Los Angeles-based operating partner for the investments.

The space in Beverly Hills is 5,000 square feet, and is currently leased to two international store brands—Ted Backer and MAC Cosmetics. In Venice there are four buildings with 180 feet of street frontage situated along “America’s coolest block,” according to GQ Magazine. They were built in the 1920s, and feature high ceilings with exposed brick and ductwork suited to the Venice district’s tourist-frequented high fashion boutiques and upscale stores. The two properties in Santa Monica showcase 100 feet of storefronts in one of the LA area’s leading entertainment, restaurant, and shopping venues near the Pacific Ocean and the Silicon Beach technology district.

Posted on March 12, 2013

Featured Article
Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: Can We Expect to See Grocery Stores in the Metro Market Selling Apparel in the Near Future?

Grocery stores profitability margin are less than three percent. Grocery markets in the region have increased their offerings in an attempt to increase their profit margin. Late last year, Kroger, the country’s largest grocer, in the company’s 129 year history added a dedicated apparel section at its Marketplace store in Mansfield, Ohio.

Business leaders in that market believe that the test will be watched closely by hundreds of independent and national grocers, said Nate Filler, CEO, Ohio Grocers Association.

“There is only about a 1% profit margin in the grocery business, so the best thing you can do is increase traffic in the store,” he said. “Others grocers will be taking note to see if this trend they will eventually need to pick up on.”

Posted on March 11, 2013

Featured Article
TD Ameritrade Lease Signifies Lower Manhattan Revival

TD Ameritrade signed a 10-year lease for the 9,509 square-foot space at 100 Broadway. Located on the corner of Broadway and Pine Streets. According to Gene Spiegelman of Cushman & Wakefield, “It’s a great corner space in the heart of the Financial District and steps from Wall Street, which lends itself well to a prominent financial institution like TD Ameritrade.” Spiegelman represented Madison Capital with Michael O’Neill for the deal.

Borders Bookstore previously used the space before they went bankrupt. TD Ameritrade’s new lease, along with Duane Reade’s lease in 2011 of 25,000 square-feet completes the lease of the 35,000 square-foot space.

This new lease is indicative of the upswing of downtown retail. Borders’s bankruptcy really demonstrated the worst of times, financially. On the other hand, this new lease seems to represent downtown’s revival, as brokers can finally see their efforts materializing, spearheaded with 1 World Trade Center (with Conde Nast as the anchor) and the repositioned Brookfield Place, formerly known as World Financial Center.

Posted on March 8, 2013

Featured Article
Sycamore to Acquire Hot Topic for $600M

Partners at private equity firm Sycamore will purchase teen apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc. in a private $600 million deal. California-based Hot Topic will become an addition to Sycamore’s retail portfolio that includes Talbots Inc. Sycamore, founded by retail industry veteran Stefan Kaluzny in 2011, will pay $14 per share in cash. Shares in the retailer have risen 22% in the last 12 months.

“We are pleased that this transaction will allow us to deliver positive results for our shareholders,” Lisa M. Harper, the company’s chairwoman and chief executive, said in a statement. “In addition, we are very excited about the future growth for the company and know that Sycamore Partners will provide great resources and expertise to us as we operate as a private company.”

Posted on March 7, 2013

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