C-SUITE

Architecture firm names new VP

BY CSA STAFF

Tracy Borchardt has been promoted from senior project manager to associate VP of architecture firm CMA.

Borchardt joined CMA in 2003 as a project coordinator. In 2006, he was promoted to senior project manager. As of June 2016, he is now the associate VP of CMA.

“Tracy has been a true pleasure to work with over the years,” said Philip Foster, VP of CMA Minneapolis. “His innate ability for marketing and business development skills only add to his role as a leader at CMA. He is always putting CMA first and will go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure clients deadlines and expectations are not only met, but exceeded.”

Some of the clients in Borchardt’s portfolio include; Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Love Sick, Lucky Brand, Skechers, True Religion, NIXON, Hot Topic, Torrid, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and I Love Juice Bar.

Established in 1977. CMA provides architecture, planning and interior design services for retail/restaurant, education, religious, multi-family residential, government and mixed-use projects, located throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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DEALS

Bankruptcy bid date set for Hancock Fabric

BY CSA STAFF

New York City-based RCS Real Estate Advisors has announced a bid deadline of June 16, 2016 for the remaining available leases of retailer Hancock Fabrics.

RCS began the process of selling the retailer's leases following Hancock Fabrics' February bankruptcy announcement. Hancock Fabrics operated 250 retail stores in 37 states when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 2, 2016. Spence Mehl, senior VP of RCS, made the announcement.

RCS is currently accepting bids on 185 leases in 33 states with availabilities between 8,000 and 30,000-sq.-ft. The auction date has been set for June 21, 2016. Those wishing to place a bid may contact Mehl at 212-300-5375 or email him at [email protected]

RCS Real Estate Advisors specializes in analyzing retail real estate portfolios, reducing occupancy costs and expanding footprints. Key transactional services include portfolio assessments, renewals, lease restructuring, terminations, dispositions and site selection. RCS also operates as an outsourced real estate department for some of their clients.

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FINANCE

Study: Improving economy helps some retail verticals

BY CSA STAFF

Consumers are being choosy about where they are spending extra money that is becoming available with the end of the recession.

According to a new study from Mintel, more than two in five (44%) Americans describe their financial situations as "healthy" in 2016, compared to 37% in 2015 and 33% in 2013, indicating that improvements in the economy are being felt at a household level. However, different retail categories are receiving the benefit more than others.

For example, the household care products market has experienced only minimal growth in recent years, rising just 3% during 2010-15 to an estimated $47 billion. Household care consumers balance their continued focus on economizing with strong interest in products that offer greater convenience, cleaning performance, and safety, as 47% of household care consumers say easy to dispense is a top purchase driver, along with safe (43%) and easy (31%) to use.

In contrast, the home and garden market experienced steady growth, increasing 20% between 2010 and 2015 to reach an estimated $451.1 billion. Study results show the bathroom linens segment saw the strongest 2015 gains. With half (49%) of consumers reporting a willingness to splurge, bathroom linens is a key area for increased spending as consumer confidence grows.

In addition, Mintel predicts that increases in “experiential” spending (such as vacations and leisure/entertainment) could have a negative impact on growth in the clothing, footwear and accessories market. This category has seen decelerating growth since 2011 reaching $431.9 billion in 2015.

One exception may be the accessories subset of this category. Accessories saw a particularly good year in 2015. Three in five (60%) consumers purchased jewelry or watches 2014-2015, and smartwatches in particular are poised to bolster the entire category. While only 6% of adults bought a smartwatch in the year ending June 2015, 21% are highly interested in them, with early adopters and younger men pinpointed as key targets. Almost four in 10 (37%) of men 18-34 express interest in smartwatches. Nearly one third of the same group wears watches to make a fashion statement.

"A relatively strong jobs market, low gas prices and an overall strengthening economy have made many Americans feel more confident in their financial situation,” said Dana Macke, senior lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel. “However, it appears that some may be waiting for the other shoe to drop, demonstrated by cautious spending and steady rates of saving. In 2016, deal-seeking behaviors prevail, and brands must continue to provide the utmost value to their consumers. In an environment where consumers have a little more discretionary income on their hands, we find that value isn't measured by the price per pound but by the strength of the brand name and the quality of the product.”

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