REAL ESTATE

Brooks Brothers to open country club concept

BY CSA STAFF

Bellevue, Wash. Brooks Brothers has announced it will open a “Brooks Brothers Country Club” concept store on Sept. 12 at The Shops at The Bravern in Bellevue, Wash.

The country-club collection debuted in 2003 and the first stand-alone Country Club store opened in 2007. The Bravern location will open in 4,800 sq. ft. on Level 1.

“We think the Country Club Collection is ideally suited to the active lifestyle we see in the Northwest. It’s a region that values what our brand embodies,” said Kathy Self, chief real estate officer for Brooks Brothers.

Currently Brooks Brothers Country Club stores are located in some of America’s premier resort communities including Newport, R.I.; Sarasota, Fla.; and two locations in The Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y.

Brooks Brothers Country Club is the fifth retailer to announce it is coming to The Bravern since the beginning of the year. It joins a growing list of firsts for The Shops at The Bravern, including Neiman Marcus, Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Hermes, LTJ Arthur and Tory Burch. The Shops, developed by Schnitzer West, are currently under construction and scheduled to open in September as part of the 1.6 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use development at the gateway to downtown Bellevue.

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Barnes & Noble 1Q better than expected

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble reported that total sales for the first quarter were $1.1 billion, a 4% decrease compared to the prior year. Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 3.5% to $989 million, with comparable-store sales decreasing 5.7% for the quarter, slightly better than guidance for a decrease of 6% to 9%. Barnes & Noble.com sales were $93 million for the quarter, a 7% decrease compared to the prior year.

The first quarter net loss from continuing operations was $2.1 million or 4 cents per share, compared to guidance of a loss per share of 10 cents to 20 cents.

For the second quarter, the company expects comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 5% to 7%. Second quarter earnings per share is expected to be in a range of 5 cents to 15 cents, compared to 18 cents from continuing operations a year ago (excluding a physical inventory benefit).

Based on the company’s better than expected performance during the first quarter, the company is raising its full-year earnings per share guidance range to $1.10 to $1.40, from $0.95 to $1.25. For the full year, the company now expects comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 3% to 5%, better than previous guidance for a comparable store sales decline of 4% to 6%.

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Sears Holdings returns to profit

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings reported net income for the quarter of $26 million (21 cents per diluted share) as compared to a net loss of $56 million (43 cents loss per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2008.

For the quarter, total revenues decreased $1 billion to $10.1 billion for the 13 weeks ended May 2, as compared to total revenues of $11.1 billion for the 13 weeks ended May 3, 2008. The decrease includes a $208 million decline due to unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates and was primarily due to lower comparable-store sales.

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