REAL ESTATE

Circle K breaks ground on flagship

BY Staff Writer

San Jacinto, Calif. — Circle K Stores, Inc. has broken ground on its newest flagship prototype in Southern California, a 4,500-sq.-ft. convenience store offering fresh food, a gas station with eight fuel pumps, and a self-serve state-of-the-art carwash. The combo concept, located in the city of Jacinto, is expected to be open for business in late 2014.

The new Circle K facility represents phase one of Esplanade Commons a 90,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use shopping center development planned by Southland Development Company, Inc. of San Juan Capistrano, California, and RoBott Land Company of Beverly Hills, California.

"We are happy that Circle K has selected San Jacinto and our project for this exciting new format," said John Guell, president and founder of Southland Development Company, San Juan Capistrano, California. "In working with Circle K through the design and site development process, it was very evident that our choice to work with Circle K was the right one. They bring a very high degree focus on the needs and convenience of their customers. We are currently in discussions with other retailers to join Circle K at Esplanade Commons."

"We still have a strong demand for more retail and services," added Sharon Paisley, development director at the City of San Jacinto. "There is a wealth of available land for development, reasonable property costs, and prime redevelopment opportunities.”

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News

HSN unveils “The Fashion Edit” for fall 2014

BY CSA STAFF

HSN has re-energized its seasonal offerings with "The Fashion Edit," the company's annual fall fashion series, now through September 24.

"'The Fashion Edit' is HSN's ultimate shopping event. This year we have curated an exciting collection of brands and merged seasonal trends with essential classics to help our customer revive her fall wardrobe," says Anne Martin-Vachon, chief merchandising officer for HSN. "We are excited to share the collections of all our eminent brands and thrilled to be the exclusive launch partner for Stories…by Kelly Osbourne!"

"The Fashion Edit" is HSN's fall fashion series during which the multichannel retailer features trending merchandise for the season with a balanced mix of brands across all categories. The focus is on offering shoppers a personalized style.

The Stories…by Kelly Osbourne assortment includes trend-driven designs for woman of all ages, shapes and sizes: tops, bottoms, jackets and dresses, all offered in sizes 0 to 24.

Celebrity stylist and designer June Ambrose is returning to the network with the launch of an exclusive new lifestyle collection titled June by June Ambrose which includes footwear, handbags and fashion pieces. The fashion pieces are designed to be worn either on their own or together, as if you were "styled by June." Highlights include a maxi leather skirt, a tartan riding pant and a printed moto jacket. The collection ranges in price from $79.90 to $199.90.

Contemporary American handbag brand, Emma Fox, is also making its debut appearance on the network during The Fashion Edit. The assortment ranges from $24 to $299.

The HSN Fall Fashion series will feature new styles from HSN's Fall Fashion Edit designers such as Diane Gilman, Giuliana Rancic, Hal Rubenstein, Iman, Liz Lange, Marla Wynne, Rhonda Shear, Serena Williams, Slinky, and Snob Essentials, as well as brands from the Beauty Series including Korres, Smashbox, Serious Skincare and Trish McEvoy.

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FINANCE

Dollar General remains committed to buying Family Dollar

BY Marianne Wilson

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General Corp. on Thursday reported earnings of $251.3 million for the second quarter, in line with expectations, even as its sales decelerated. The company also said it still wants to buy Family Dollar Stores, even though the rival discounter rejected Dollar General’s bid of its $8.95 billion offer last week.

"We remain firmly committed to the acquisition," Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling said in a statement on Thursday. “The financial benefits of our offer to Family Dollar shareholders are indisputable, and the proposed combination would unlock tremendous value for Dollar General shareholders.”

Family Dollar accepted a slightly smaller one from rival Dollar Tree Inc. for about $8.5 billion, saying the bid by Dollar General would face roadblocks from antitrust regulators. Dreiling has dismissed those concerns, and the chain has said it could secure regulatory approval with the divesture of as many as 700 stores.

“We continue to believe the potential antitrust issues are manageable and that our transaction as proposed is both superior and achievable," Dreiling said.

A deal between Dollar General and Family Dollar would create a combined company with a nationwide footprint of some 20,000 locations.

Dollar General’s revenue in the quarter, ended Aug. 1, rose 7.5% to $4.72 billion in the second quarter, missing Street forecasts of $4.76 billion. The retailer cited a competitive environment and consumers who remain cautious in their spending.

Same-store sales increased 2.1%, with increases in both customer traffic and average transaction value.

“Dollar General’s second quarter sales trends improved over the first quarter as we grew both customer traffic and average ticket for the 26th consecutive quarter,” said Dreiling.

Sales of consumables continued to outpace sales of non-consumables with the most significant growth in categories such as tobacco, perishables, candy and snacks. The company said it also saw solid same-store sales growth was also reported in the home and apparel categories.

The competitive environment cited by Dreiling prompted Dollar General to increase promotional activities which caused gross margins to decline 53 basis points to 30.8%. The other source of ongoing margin pressure is the fact that Dollar General continues to derive a larger percentage of its sales from lower margin consumable categories such as tobacco and perishables.

“As we enter the third quarter, we are seeing our sales momentum pick back up and expect that momentum to build as our initiatives gain traction with our customers,” Dreiling said. “For the second half of the year, we are well positioned to serve our customers and provide them with the everyday low pricing they count on from us.”

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