FINANCE

Conn’s swings to Q3 profit

BY Staff Writer

The Woodlands, Texas — Conn’s returned to a profit in its third quarter as the chain booked fewer charges and sales of furniture and mattresses improved. The company raised its fiscal 2013 forecast.

Conn’s, which also sells home appliances, consumer electronics and other items, posted a better-than-expected net income of $11.8 million for the three months ended Oct. 31, compared with a net loss of $12.7 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue increased 11% to $206.4 million from $186.6 million. Same-store sales rose 12.6%.

The recent quarter included about $1.4 million in charges related to extending and expanding its borrowing capabilities and moving its headquarters to The Woodlands, Texas. The prior-year period included about $19.2 million in charges.

Separately, the retailer said that it is selling about 1.4 million, and certain shareholders are selling about 3.6 million shares in a public offering that started Monday.

Conn’s said that it will give the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to about 750,000 shares to cover any excess demand.

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REAL ESTATE

Chestnut Hill Shopping Center renamed ‘The Street’

BY Staff Writer

Chestnut Hill, Mass. – To better reflect its transformation into a walkable retail destination that seeks to be the new downtown in the heart of Chestnut Hill, Mass., the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center has been renamed "The Street," owner/manager WS Development announced today.

With nearly ½ mile of frontage along Route 9, The Street was one of New England’s first shopping centers when it opened in 1950. The Street’s redevelopment continues to place it at the forefront of retail destinations both locally and beyond.

“Chestnut Hill Shopping Center was part of a then-revolutionary wave of retail projects opening around the country just after World War II,” said Jeremy Sclar, president, WS Development. “Today, however, the project has a new, powerful, cutting-edge, configuration and mix of specialty shops and restaurants. Rebranding it as “The Street’ more accurately reflects the sophisticated offerings and urban experience our customers will experience.”

The Street features a mix of national, regional and local retailers that offer fashion, casual and fine dining options, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and the best boutique cinema in Greater Boston. Coming soon are Showcase Super Lux featuring Davio’s Cucina, The Sports Club/LA, Polarn O. Pyret, Pottery Barn, lululemon athletica, Shake Shack, Pinkberry, Del Frisco’s, Bernard’s, Treat Cupcake Bar, Styled, and many others soon to be announced. New tenants will join an already robust lineup including The Container Store, Legal Sea Foods, Aquitaine, The Cottage, Star Market, City Sports, Portobello Road, Urban Grape, EyeSpot, Comella’s, Angora Ice, and others.

The phased redevelopment, designed by Cambridge, Mass.-based Prellwitz/Chilinski Associates, is expanding and transforming the project into a town center complete with tree-shaded pedestrian walkways, outdoor dining, and new buildings with glass facades overlooking Hammond Pond. For the first time, storefronts will line both the south side facing Route 9 as well as the north side facing the Pond.

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OPERATIONS

NRF renews call for Obama to intervene in port strike

BY Staff Writer

Washington — The National Retail Federation on Monday issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay regarding the strike that has shut down most terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. NRF last week sent President Obama a letter asking that he intervene in the strike.

“As we enter Day 6 of the strike, NRF is renewing its call for President Obama to intervene and end this work stoppage. The shutdown is already having a significant negative economic impact on retailers trying to bring in merchandise for their final push for holiday sales and will soon have an impact on consumers. The work stoppage not only impacts retailers, but is also affecting their product vendors – many of which are small businesses – and other industries like manufacturers and agricultural exporters that rely on the ports. As the debate in Washington continues to focus on the state of the American economy and relief for middle-class consumers, a protracted strike will ultimately result in higher prices at the very time we can least afford it. This strike is now at the national emergency stage impacting industries far and wide. ‘Urging’ both sides toward a solution is not the answer. The Obama Administration needs to show leadership and resolve to get the ports operational again and prevent any further economic damage.”

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