FINANCE

Aeropostale to close 125 mall-based P.S. stores; cut 100 jobs

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Aeropostale Inc. will close approximately 125 of its mall-based P.S. from Aeropostale kids’ stores by the end of its fiscal year and cut about 100 corporate jobs as part of a larger turnaround effort.

Aeropostale plans to restructure the children’s brand to focus on faster growing sales channels, including off-mall locations such as outlets, e-commerce, and international licensing. It is also exploring other potential third party distribution channels. The company said it expects the move to eliminate pre-tax losses of approximately $15 million that were generated in the mall-based business in fiscal 2013, excluding any impairment charges.

The retailer also unveiled a cost-cutting plan targeting direct and indirect spending across the company, including plans to reduce corporate headcount by about 100 positions.

“The steps we are announcing today build on our turnaround efforts from the past year," said Thomas P. Johnson, CEO of Aeropostale. "Through the restructuring of our P.S. from Aeropostale brand, and expansion of our expense savings program, we will be better positioned financially and have laid the groundwork for the future."

Aeropostale estimates that the moves will result in one-time charges of approximately $40 million to $65 million during fiscal 2014, with as much as $40 million in the form of cash expenses.

The retailer estimates the changes will generate approximately $30 million to $35 million in annualized pre-tax savings, of which approximately $5 million to $10 million is expected to be achieved in fiscal 2014.

In line with prior guidance, Aeropostale continues to expect first quarter 2014 operating losses in the range of $64 million to $68 million, which translates to a net loss in the range of $0.70 to $0.75 per diluted share.

Aeropostale reported its fifth consecutive quarterly loss in March.

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REAL ESTATE

Vestar appoints Clint Marchuk VP of acquisitions

BY Michael Fickes

Phoenix — Vestar has appointed Clint Marchuk VP of acquisitions. His responsibilities include identifying, evaluating and carrying out shopping center acquisitions in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

Prior to joining Vestar, Marchuk spent seven years acquiring shopping centers for both publicly traded and non-traded REITs sponsored by Cole Real Estate Investments/American Realty Capital Properties. @While at Cole/ARCP, he was actively involved in the acquisition of more than $2 billion in commercial real estate located throughout the Southwestern and Southeastern United States.

Vestar is a privately held real estate company in the Western United States. The company specializes in acquiring, managing and developing commercial real estate, including entertainment-retail complexes, power and lifestyle centers and neighborhood centers that serve as community shopping destinations with a unique sense of place.

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REAL ESTATE

Casto to lease retail space at The View on Fifth

BY Michael Fickes

Columbus, Ohio — State Street Capital Realty, an independent brokerage of Casto, has announced its recent listing for the retail portion of The View on Fifth in the Grandview area of Columbus, Ohio.

Under development by JSDI Celmark, Ltd., The View on Fifth is a mixed-use six-story project that will include 25,000 sq. ft. of retail shops and restaurants, a freestanding six-story parking garage and 285 luxury apartment residences — with one-to-four bedrooms.

Residential amenities designed for empty nesters and Millennials will include community spaces, a 24/7 fitness facility, meeting rooms and gathering areas and an all-weather outdoor deck with a swimming pool and hot tub, fire pits, grills, seating and dining areas.

Construction has commenced for The View on Fifth. The retail shops will come available for occupancy in time to open to the public in July 2015.

JSDI Celmark is a joint venture between the development companies of two Central Ohio developers, Jerry Solove and Mike Balakrishnan.

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