Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza to get makeover
Atlanta — Simon Property Group said it will undertake a series of improvements to Phipps Plaza, which is located in Atlanta’s Buckhead district.
The plans include extensive interior makeover, providing a fresh new look and feel to the interior space of the mall, with upgraded LED lighting, new paint, new warm wood accents, an updated railing system, luxury soft seating and lounging areas with Wi-Fi connectivity and chargers. In addition, restrooms will be upgraded and a hotel-like concierge service center will be installed.
Major improvements to the parking decks will also be undertaken. All entrances from the parking decks to the mall will be improved with new flooring, lighting and automatic doors to welcome customers. Lighting in the parking decks will be converted to energy-efficient LED, which will also improve lighting throughout the parking decks.
Banana Republic has a new creative director and EVP of design
Gap’s Banana Republic brand has named Marissa Webb as creative director and EVP of design, effective April 28. She will report to global president of Banana Republic, Jack Calhoun.
Webb will be responsible for guiding the brand’s overall creative direction, as well as leading global product design for Banana Republic Women’s, Men’s and Accessories.
“I am so excited for Marissa to bring her own special touch to the brand,” said Calhoun. “What she delivers today is so fresh and relevant, I know her design sensibility will move Banana Republic forward in our effort to deliver modern American style. I can’t wait to have her on board.”
Webb is most recently known for her eponymous upper contemporary label. Prior to branching out on her own during 2011, she spent time at Polo and Club Monaco and more than a decade at J. Crew Group, where she served in various design roles, including head of womenswear and accessories design. Webb will retain her role as president and creative director at Marissa Webb, in addition to her newly appointed role at Banana Republic. Webb’s first collection for Banana Republic is expected in the summer of 2015.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the extremely passionate, talented design and creative teams at Banana Republic,” said Webb. “The brand has such a beautiful history which I truly admire. This is an amazing opportunity for me to combine my unique vision with a brand that has such a strong legacy. I’m excited to be joining Banana Republic and being able to make an impact for our modern customer.”
Gap also said that it intends to join Webb’s company’s minority investors by investing in the Marissa Webb label. Initially launched exclusively at Barneys New York, the Marissa Webb Collection is now available in more than 30 stores globally, inclusive of select locations within Gap’s Intermix division, as well as online. Calhoun will work with Webb as a strategic partner in the growth and development of her business.
DSW to grow Canadian footprint with Town Shoes acquisition
DSW and Town Shoes Limited have entered into a definitive agreement whereby DSW will purchase for cash approximately 44% interest in Town Shoes, the largest footwear and accessories retailer in Canada, for CAD $68 million — or approximately $62 million based on current exchange rates.
The transaction has been approved by each company’s board of directors and is expected to close in May, subject to customary closing conditions.
Town Shoes is the market leader in branded footwear in Canada, with sales of CAD $291 million in its fiscal year ending Jan. Town operates 182 locations across Canada primarily under The Shoe Company, Shoe Warehouse and Town Shoes banners. The company is predominantly owned by Alberta Investment Management Corporation on behalf of certain of its clients, and Callisto Capital, a Canadian private equity firm.
DSW is purchasing its initial 44% stake from AIMCo and may acquire additional shares from certain other minority shareholders as part of its initial investment. Additionally, DSW will have the right to purchase the balance of Town Shoes from the remaining shareholders, including Callisto Capital, after four years at a pre-determined EBITDA multiple. Callisto, on behalf of itself and the remaining shareholders, has the right to put the balance of the company to DSW Inc. after three years at a pre-determined EBITDA multiple. DSW’s initial stake provides 50% voting control and board representation, both of which are equal to that of Callisto.
The transaction, which the company anticipates to record under the equity method, is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings in 2014, excluding one-time transaction expenses.
"We’re excited about our new relationship with Town Shoes,” said Mike MacDonald, president and CEO, DSW. “We have looked at Canadian entry options for some time and decided to acquire an existing operation with a long track record of success and to use this operation as a base from which we can establish the DSW brand in Canada."
"Our partnership provides us a unique opportunity to bring DSW into Canada through Town Shoes’ platform. We hope to share best practices in sourcing, operations, inventory management, and omnichannel integration to our mutual advantage," MacDonald added.
"Our combined retail banners provide different avenues for serving unique customer lifestyles in Canada, ranging from Town’s full priced, specialty retail model to The Shoe Company’s and Shoe Warehouse’s off price concepts,” said Bruce Dinan, president and CEO, Town Shoes. “We are excited to partner with a company that shares our mission to offer our shoe loving customers compelling national brands at incredible value."
Peter J. Solomon Company is serving as financial adviser to DSW in connection with the transaction.