Blackhawk partners with Coinstar on eGifts
Pleasanton, Calif. — Prepaid payment network Blackhawk Network unveiled a partnership arrangement with Coinstar, offering customers of Coinstar’s 20,300 coin exchange kiosks a selection of Blackhawk eGifts for no fee when they cash in coins via the kiosks.
The eGift codes are redeemable at issuing retailers – either in-store, online or via mobile devices. Merchants include Gap, iTunes, Lowe’s, Southwest Airlines, Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us and others.
"This partnership with Blackhawk Network allows us to offer our customers new ways to conveniently transform loose change into real shopping potential at some of their favorite retailers," said Mike Skinner, president of Coinstar.
Loehmann’s files for third bankruptcy, to liquidate
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New York — Discount apparel retailer Loehmann’s has filed for bankruptcy protection for a third time in its 92-year history, and said it will sell off its assets to a group of liquidators.
According to a report by Reuters, Loehmann’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Sunday, after attempts to sell itself last month failed.
The filing revealed that the chain will seek to sell its assets at auction on Dec. 30.
A&G Realty Partners, SB Capital Group and Tiger Capital Group agreed to make an initial bid that includes $19 million in cash and other sums, according to a court filing.
Loehmann’s chairman Michael Appel said in a statement that "increased competition in the off-price retail channel, coupled with limited access to capital, has severely impacted the company’s financial position." He also said that CEO Steven Newman has left the company.
Carrefour to purchase 127 European shopping malls
Paris — French retailing giant Carrefour has joined an investment group aiming to acquire more than a 100 shopping malls in France, Spain, and Italy.
According to a New York Times report, the $2.7 billion deal will add 127 malls to Carrefour’s current 45-mall portfolio. The plan is to create a new, separate property company in which Carrefour would hold a 42% stake. Institutional investors would hold the rest.
The combined entity would operate about 8.6 million sq. ft. of space generating an anticipated $250 million of gross rental income per year, according to the report.
The acquisition is the first big strategic move under Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat, who replaced Lars Olofsson in 2012.
The transaction, which is still subject to approval from French regulators and labor unions, is expected to be completed by mid-2014.