OPERATIONS

Aaron’s names COO

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Aaron’s said that David L. Buck has been named COO. Ken Butler, age 60, will be retiring as COO after a 39-year career at Aaron’s effective May 1. He will also resign from the Aaron’s board of directors.

Buck, age 63, was promoted to senior VP, operations earlier this year. He has risen steadily through the Aaron’s management development program during his 24 years with the company.

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At Home on Hilton Head Island

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Residents of tony Hilton Head Island, S.C., are getting the one thing they don’t currently have: a Kroger Marketplace, situated in the sprawling 42-acre mixed-use project under development by Kroger Real Estate and Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial.

(Click here to see photos)

The joint-venture partners broke ground on the $74-million, three-phase project in April; upon completion, phase one will include the redevelopment of an existing shopping mall into an upscale walking village with 290,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurant space and, of course, the first Kroger Marketplace on Hilton Head Island.

The second phase will incorporate a five-acre park that connects with an existing 12-mile trail system. Phase three will add 210 waterfront apartments.

Co-anchoring the development is Belk department store, which has remained open during the redevelopment, along with co-tenants GNC, Regis Salons, and Jos. A. Bank. The partnership is in talks with retailers, restaurants and service tenants to join the current lineup of offerings.

The new Kroger is generating a flurry of press – at 87,588 sq. ft., it will be the largest grocery store on Hilton Head Island, and one of the biggest in the state. Some of its amenities and services include a Starbucks coffee kiosk, full-service Murray’s cheese shop, bistro with indoor and outdoor seating, an outdoor seasonal selling area and bike repair stations on the sidewalk.

“Kroger is particularly excited about coming to Hilton Head Island,” said Mike Schlotman, CFO, Kroger Co. “Primarily because we see so much opportunity.”

Schlotman cited the millions of dollars being spent on renovations and improvements on Hilton Head Island, including Westin hotel’s $30 million renovation, Omni’s $20 million redo and Sonesta’s upcoming $30 million injection in its property. “This represents a significant investment in this thriving community,” Schlotman said.

“We see opportunity to anchor a project that will set the pace for high-quality development for the future of this beautiful island.”

The partnership between Kroger and co-developer Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial has proved powerful. According to Matt Mills, senior VP, Blanchard & Calhoun, teaming with Kroger will allow Shelter Cove Towne Centre to “impact the Island at a level it has never experienced before. As we began working with the community, the town leaders and the development team that will bring this center to life, we saw the chance to create something very special for Hilton Head Island,” said Mills.

Described as a true lifestyle center, Shelter Cove Towne Center will feature an “Island vibe” with daily services, upscale boutiques, notable restaurants and high-quality merchants.

A waterfront public park will serve as a gathering place for townspeople and tourists, offering walking trails, event space and expansive views of Broad Creek.

“The Shelter Cove Towne Centre will be a center for this community,” said Mills. “It will represent and complement our Island well.”

For leasing information, contact: Chris Senn at 706-284-6347, or [email protected].


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New acquisitions propel Stanley Q1 results

BY CSA STAFF

New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Black & Decker saw revenues grow, largely as the result of acquisitions.

The company reported first-quarter revenues of $2.49 billion, an increase of 3% over the prior-year period. Volume and currency each declined approximately 1%, while acquisitions added 4% to that total.

Net earnings declined to $81.1 million for the quarter, compared with $121.8 million in the same quarter last year.

“Despite a far from robust external environment, we remain confident in our ability to achieve our full year 2013 EPS, sales and free cash flow targets while continuing to invest in organic revenue growth," said CEO John Lundgren. "Profitability in our [construction and DIY] business continues to improve, and we expect to realize increased sales in this segment going forward as a result of new product introductions and customer listings, as well as our increasing presence in emerging markets."

In the company’s construction and DIY segment, net sales increased 2% due to a 3% increase from acquisitions and a 1% decline from currency. Both volume and price were relatively flat. The flat organic growth can be attributed to a later start to the North America outdoor season due to a much colder-than-average March in many parts of the region, as well as softer markets in Latin America, which offset growth in many of the other emerging markets, such as China, Southeast Asia, Russia and Turkey.

The company expects the headwinds encountered in the first quarter will lessen in the second. "The segment remains solidly on track for mid-single digit organic growth for the full year," according to the earnings release.

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