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BY CSA STAFF

ALas Vegas Miracle

A new name and a makeover have transformed The Shops in Desert Passage at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas into the sleek, urbanized Miracle Mile Shops. Owned by Las Vegas-based Boulevard Invest, Miracle Mile Shops’ makeover is designed to create synergy with the massive renovation and re-branding of the Aladdin Resort & Casino into the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. A lineup of new retailers, along with image revampment, creates a more trendsetting, user-friendly destination that features people movers, a backlit sidewalk water feature and state-of-the-art LED video offering continuous streaming imagery.

Exterior renovations on the 475,000-sq.-ft. center are expected to be completed this month, and the interior transformation will be completed in phases throughout 2007 and 2008.

Surprise Debut

A mixed-use lifestyle and entertainment center in Surprise, Ariz., will feature the state’s debut arrival of UltraStar Cinemas, as the Vista, Calif.-based company unveils a state-of-the-art, 2,800-seat movie theater with 14 screens at the Shoppes at Surprise Pointe.

Developed by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Glimcher Ventures Southwest (GVSW), Shoppes at Surprise Pointe will combine more than 250,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurants and entertainment on 37 acres at Waddell and Litchfield Roads. The UltraStar debut is part one of a strategic venture between the cinema owner and GVSW, in which an Arizona rollout plan calls for an additional six movie theaters over the next three years. “This is going to be the most significant development ever to take place in the city of Surprise,” said David Glimcher, president of GVSW. “UltraStar Cinemas…offers an extraordinarily unique environment and takes a different approach to movie theaters than what we’ve seen in the Valley.”

The two-phase development of Shoppes at Surprise Pointe broke ground in May, with completion of the first phase expected in March 2008.

Relax on the Veranda

St. Lucie County, Fla., is the setting for one of the state’s most relaxing shopping environments—The Shoppes at Veranda Falls, developed by Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Stiles Corp. Anchored by Publix, the property has been designed with the ambience of a Southern plantation village, set off by tree-lined boulevards, wide verandas, water features, pedestrian bridges and outdoor trellis-covered seating. The 94,000-sq.-ft. retail-restaurant complex opened in May in the City of Port St. Lucie.

The Growing of an Urban Village

An existing center is taking on distinctly “urban-village” properties as new retail, and new uses, are added to the mix. The Village at Shirlington, developed by Rockville, Md.-based Federal Realty Investment Trust and located off Interstate 395 in Arlington, Va., is adding 48,000 sq. ft. of new retail, about 400 residential units, a Hilton Garden Inn and a Harris Teeter grocery store.

Johnny Rockets has recently committed to join the tenant lineup, creating a buzz in the community. “The new mix of stores and restaurants combined with the already successful project ensures the community shopping and dining needs are met,” said Ralph Ours, leasing manager for Federal Realty. Caribou Coffee, Bear Rock Cafe and Signature Theater are already open for business.

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Sears comps hurt by energy costs

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings today reported net income of $216 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 5, compared with net income of $180 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended April 29, 2006.

“In part, our domestic operating results reflect the impact of some of the same challenges being faced by our customers, such as rising energy costs and a slower housing market,” said Aylwin Lewis, Sears Holdings’ ceo and president. “However, as an organization, we need to overcome these factors by better controlling costs and developing innovative solutions that better meet our customers’ needs and allow us to generate a more reasonable level of profitability even in the face of such challenges.”

Domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.9% during the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Sears domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.4% for the quarter, while Kmart comparable-store sales declined 4.4%. We believe these declines reflect both increased competition and the impact of external factors such as rising energy costs, a slower housing market and poor weather conditions during the latter part of the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Kmart experienced lower transaction volumes across most merchandise categories, most notably within home goods, health and beauty products, and food and consumables. Similarly, Sears domestic recorded comparable-store sales declines across most merchandise categories and formats, with a notable decline in home appliance sales, which we believe reflects both a slower U.S. housing market and the impact of increased competition.

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Big Lots 1Q net sales up 3.4%

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Big Lots today reported first quarter fiscal 2007 income from continuing operations of $29 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $14.5 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2006. Including the impact of discontinued operations, first quarter fiscal 2007 net income totaled $28.8 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, compared to $13.7 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, in the prior year.

Net sales for the first quarter ended May 5, increased 3.4% to $1.13 billion, compared to $1.1 billion for the same period in fiscal 2006. Comparable-store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 4.9% for the quarter.

For the second quarter 2007, the company expects income from continuing operations of 7 cents to 10 cents per share versus income from continuing operations of 4 cents per share last year. Comparable-store sales are expected to increase 2% to 4%, compared to a 5.2% comparable-store sales increase recorded last year.

For fiscal 2007, the company expects income from continuing operations of $1.25 to $1.30 per share versus income from continuing operations of $1.01 per share last year.

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