Amazon opening more bookstores
New Yorkers will have a new way to browse Amazon’s best-selling book titles — in a physical store.
Later this year, the retail giant will open a bookstore at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. Also on the slate for 2017 is a location in Chicago, and the Boston suburb of Dedham, Mass. Stores are also planned for Lynnfield, Mass., and Paramus, N.J.
Amazon’s first physical bookstore opened in Seattle in 2015, followed by two additional locations, in Portland, Ore., and San Diego. The format looks like a traditional bookstore, but uses online data to determine which titles to stock.
A less-than-merry holiday for department store retailers — including Penney
Poor holiday sales results from Macy’s, Sears, and Kohl’s do not bode well for the already embattled department store sector. And now J.C. Penney has reported its own disappointing results.
The retailer said its same-store sales, which include e-commerce and physical sales, fell 0.8% in November and December, weighed down by weakness in apparel. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison stressed that the company’s turnaround in profitability remains on track, and that it expects to deliver its fourth consecutive quarter of positive operating profit (on Feb. 24).
Ellison cited a slow start to the holiday season, and called the first three weeks of November “challenging in the stores, consistent with the trends in the broader retail industry.” But he said the business improved and overall comp sales for the six-week period from Thanksgiving week through the end of December were positive.
“During the holiday season we saw strength in appliances, outerwear, boots, toys, Sephora and fine jewelry,” Ellison said. “However, weakness in women's apparel continued to impact our performance. We are also encouraged by a very strong performance in our e-commerce business, evidenced by double-digit growth.”
New owner for Flagstaff Mall in Arizona
The 388,000-sq.-ft. Flagstaff Mall has been acquired by Dallas-based Cypress Equities for an undisclosed sum. The single-level center opened with two anchors in 1979 and added a third anchor when it was expanded in 1987.
Cypress plans to add three outparcel pads amounting to 18,000 sq. ft. to the former Woodmont property, and is exploring the conversion of select inline retail space to new uses. “It is our goal to establish Flagstaff Mall as the dominant retail destination in northern Arizona,” said Cypress CEO Chris Maguire.
Cypress was attracted to Flagstaff for its population of 28,000 students at two colleges and its proximity to attractions such as Grand Canyon National Park, the Meteor Crater, and Oak Creek Canyon.
The company noted that Flagstaff Mall draws shoppers from a 60-mile radius and that its nearest mall competition is 90 miles distant.
Flagstaff Mall is anchored by J.C. Penney, Dillard’s and Sears. Other current tenants include Bath & Body Works, The Children’s Place, Foot Locker, Kay Jewelers, Payless ShoeSource, Rack Room Shoes, and Victoria’s Secret.