REAL ESTATE

Aeropostale in Times Square debut with 19,000-sq.-ft. flagship

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Aeropostale on Friday opened the doors to its largest store to date: a two-level, 19,000-sq.-ft. global flagship in the heart of New York City’s Times Square. The store is intended to raise the teen retailer’s profile and serve as a platform for its international expansion. By the end of this year, it expects to have 50 stores in Canada and 10 in Dubai.

“This is the perfect platform for our international growth and we look forward to introducing and sharing our brand with the millions of visitors and New Yorkers who pass through this great city each year,” said Tom Johnson, co-chief executive of Aeropostale, New York City, which operates 903 namesake stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico, 54 Aeropostale stores in Canada and 43 P.S. from Aeropostale kids stores in 13 states.

The exterior of the store features a 120-ft-long, custom three-panel LED billboard that weaves in and out of the building. The sign will showcase Aeropostale seasonal campaign images, promotional messaging and exclusive video content. In a second floor “viewing room,” shoppers can dance with virtual Aeropostale models and then watch as their images are displayed some 20 minutes later on the billboard outside.

The store design celebrates the New York City locale, with such accents as a Brooklyn Bridge-etched mirror; a fiberglass lion statue similar to the ones outside the New York Public Library, and subway tile and subway style mosaics. The gift cards are branded with Times Square symbols.

The Big Apple theme is also reflected in the merchandise. About 15% to 20% of the selection is limited edition, exclusive to the store.

In keeping with its surroundings neighborhood, the new Aeropostale will keep late hours. An area on the first floor near the front door will be separated from the rest of the store and remain open two hours after closing time.

Aeropostale is located in a building that formerly housed Bank of America and MTV Studios space. The new store was designed by Gha design studios, Montreal. Structure Tone served as contractor.

For more information on the store, click here.

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FINANCE

RadioShack profit surges 23%, beats Street

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack Corp. reported Monday that profit for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 23% to $46 million, compared with a profit of $37.4 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues increased 6.5% to $1.05 billion, compared with sales of $990 million a year earlier. Wall Street expected revenue of $1.03 billion.

Same-store sales rose 6.2%.

“We plan to maintain our focus on enhancing the quality of our operations and service, strengthening our product offerings, and revitalizing and contemporizing our brand, while at the same time looking for further opportunities to broaden the base of customers we serve," said chairman and CEO Julian C. Day.

RadioShack operates approximately 4,680 company-operated stores in the United States and Mexico, more than 940 wireless phone kiosks in the United States, and approximately 1,240 dealer outlets worldwide.

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FINANCE

Office Depot chief resigns after SEC settlement

BY CSA STAFF

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot announced Monday that its chairman and CEO Steve Odland has resigned from the company. The departure comes just days after Office Depot, Odland and the former CFO were levied with civil penalties related to an SEC probe.

Odland’s departure, effective Nov. 1, is by mutual agreement with the Office Depot board of directors, said the company.

Office Depot recently reported that it agreed to pay $1 million to settle federal charges that it overstated earnings and revealed information to a group of investors and analysts that it failed to include in public filings. Odland and former CFO Patricia McKay each will pay civil penalties of $50,000.

Odland will be replaced in the interim by lead director and former NFL president Neil Austrian, who will step in as interim chairman and CEO. Odland will remain on board as a consultant until the end of the year. Office Depot has tapped Heidrick & Struggles to find a permanent replacement.

Austrian said in a statement that "this is an appropriate time to seek new leadership to make the most of the platform we have in place, return to sales growth, improve financial performance and reinvigorate our franchise."

In 2008, a dissident shareholder group rallied to replace Odland and former chairman David Fuente from the board but withdrew its nominees in the face of resistance from major proxy advisory firms.

Office Depot operates 1,600 stores worldwide.

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