OPERATIONS

Boingo Wireless secures Wi-Fi rights to Westfield, Cafaro shopping centers

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — Boingo Wireless has announced agreements with mall owners Westfield and Cafaro to manage and operate retail Wi-Fi networks in several of each developer’s shopping centers.

With this agreement, Boingo now manages Wi-Fi networks in 33 malls across the country.

For Cafaro, at three of its busiest malls, guests will be able to access Boingo Wi-Fi on any Wi-Fi-enabled device – including their smartphones, tablets and laptops – from anywhere in the mall. Boingo’s roaming partners, such as Skype and Verizon, will also be able to access the networks easily.

“Everyone in the mall today seems to have a device in-hand, whether they’re actively shopping, doing business with tenants or just watching the world walk by,” said Anthony Cafaro, Jr., co-president of the Cafaro Co., based in Youngstown, Ohio. “Boingo’s valuable experience in managing Wi-Fi in large venues will help us deliver more value to the shopping experience at our properties.”

For Cafaro, Boingo will install Wi-Fi networks in the Spotsylvania Towne Centre (Fredericksburg, Va.), the Eastwood Mall (Niles, Ohio) and the South Hill Mall (Puyallup, Wash.).

For Westfield LLC, the U.S. unit of the Westfield Group, Boingo will manage and sponsor Wi-Fi services at up to 17 Westfield shopping centers. Westfield guests will be able to access Boingo Wi-Fi on their smartphones, tablets and laptops as a complimentary service while shopping, dining or being entertained. The networks will also be easily accessible to customers of more than a dozen of Boingo’s roaming partners, including Skype and Verizon.

“The ability to leverage Boingo’s location-based platform in the future to deliver targeted consumer offers and messaging provides us with a growth strategy for the Wi-Fi amenity,” said Alan Cohen, Westfield’s U.S. executive VP marketing.

The first phase of implementation where Boingo will manage Wi-Fi services includes seven premium Westfield shopping centers: Westfield Garden State Plaza (Paramus, N.J.), Westfield San Francisco Centre (San Francisco), Westfield Old Orchard (Skokie, Ill.), Westfield Valley Fair (Santa Clara, Calif.), Westfield Montgomery (Bethesda, Md.), Westfield Southcenter (Seattle), and Westfield Galleria at Roseville (Roseville, Calif.). Following deployment of the first phase, Westfield and Boingo have agreed to the potential addition of up to 10 shopping centers for the second phase.

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Saks goes casual with style

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Even the most fashionable women like to dress down on occasion, and Saks Fifth Avenue has answered the call by expanding its proprietary offerings into casual wear. The retailer has announced the launch of 9|15, which the company says incorporates runway-centric style to the adventurous and ambitious woman. The line’s debut follows the 2011 launch of the Saks Fifth Avenue Collection, and will be featured in the "Wear Now" area of Saks stores around the country.

The 9|15 name derives from Saks Fifth Avenue’s Sept. 15 birthdate some 88 years ago and is inspired by the traditional timing of New York’s fashion week, the company said.

The initial line will include asymmetrical knits and vests, skinny cargos and stone-washed henleys in natural, warm colors. Fabrics used include jersey and featherweight cashmere, adding to the lines casual appeal.

9|15 is currently available in 29 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and on Saks.com.

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Rite Aid issues $481 million in senior notes to refinance debt

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is offering $481 million in eight-year senior notes to refinance debt that is scheduled to come due in three years, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

Rite Aid said it would use money from the offering to pay interest and other expenses related to a tender offer announced Tuesday for all outstanding 8.625% senior notes due 2015. The price includes the $459 million principal plus a 2.625% premium.

Guggenheim Partners analyst John Heinbockel noted that this was the first time Rite Aid had been able to tap the unsecured debt market in five years, calling it a "positive" that would reduce refinancing risk.

Shares of Rite Aid were up 9 cents and trading at $1.55 on the New York Stock Exchange following the news Tuesday morning.

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