REAL ESTATE

Bayer Properties names VP of business development

BY Michael Fickes

Birmingham, Ala. — Bayer Properties has appointed Brad Bailey VP of business development. With more than 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate and retail industry, Bailey comes to Bayer from The Weitzman Group, where he held the position of senior VP and director of investment sales. His responsibilities there included consulting on acquisitions, dispositions, operations, leasing and financing.

As VP of business development, Bailey will help further Bayer’s efforts to source and secure new business opportunities, while developing new and existing client relations for third-party management assignments, joint-venture partnerships, real estate development projects and consulting engagements.

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REAL ESTATE

Academy pilots high school business ed program

BY Michael Fickes

Yonkers, N.Y. — Forest City Ratner Cos. has joined Yonkers Partners in Education to create Ridge Hill Academy, a pilot program in which local businesses teach local students about the “behind the scenes” operations of retail management.

Twenty-five students selected from local high schools have just begun the pilot’s third of five 10-week sessions, which take place at Westchester’s Ridge Hill shopping, dining and entertainment center.

Students, of course, have their own experiences of going shopping, eating in a restaurant, or going to the movies, but few know what it takes to bring those experiences to the surface. Ridge Hill Academy provides an up-close, personal look at all of the components of running a business.

Forest City and Yonkers Partners in Education have designed the program as a model that could work in any city across the country through a similar partnership between a developer and a group such as Yonkers Partners, which is a private, not-for-profit organization working with the Yonkers Public Schools to increase the number of students completing post secondary programs.

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News

Express enlists Kate Upton as brand ambassador

BY CSA STAFF

Express has enlisted swimsuit model Kate Upton as its brand ambassador, making her the first celebrity spokesperson to be a part of the brand’s ad campaigns in the last decade.

To kick off the partnership, Upton will host the Express Spring-Summer 2014 Runway Show at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla., Thursday, March 13. The retailer will then debut Upton in advertising campaigns beginning fall 2014.

"I’m personally thrilled that Kate wanted to join the Express family. The new partnership highlights the mutual admiration between Express and Kate and is the culmination of two iconic American establishments coming together," said chairman and CEO Michael Weiss.

"I’m very excited to join Express as brand ambassador," said Upton." I grew up with Express and always appreciated their commitment to offering great fashion with great value that every young woman and man can relate to. It is truly an iconic American brand that exemplifies sexy, modern cool."

News of Upton’s ambassadorship came in conjunction with the retailer’s fourth-quarter results. Net income fell 25% during the quarter, dropping from $63.9 million to $47.9 million. Net sales declined 2% from $731.7 million, to $715.9 million.

Same-store sales rose 1%. The company cited heavy promotions as impacting its quarterly results, which fell short of Wall Street expectations. Express intends to start opening outlet stores beginning in May 2014.

“Our fourth quarter results were within the range of our revised guidance but disappointing nonetheless given the strength of our collection across both genders,” said chairman and CEO Michael Weiss. “We delivered positive comps for the quarter, but the heavier than planned pace of promotions impacted both top-line and margins. On the plus side, we ended the quarter with lean inventories heading into spring. We also made advances in terms of three of our growth pillars. Specifically, we continued to grow our e-commerce business; opened new North American stores, including our San Francisco flagship; and continued our international expansion."

Looking ahead, Express expects net income of $10 million to $15 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 and same-store sales in the negative low to negative high digits. For the full fiscal year 2014, Express projects net income of $88 million to $105 million and same-store sales in the low negative single digits to flat range.

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