FINANCE

Costco, Westfield launch multiple-center agreement

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles Shopping center owner The Westfield Group and Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco Wholesale Corp. said late Tuesday that the landlord and tenant have forged a multiple-site agreement for the addition of Costco stores at Westfield centers in three U.S. markets: Los Angeles; Sarasota, Fla.; and Wheaton, Md.

“We are pleased to partner with Westfield and look forward to providing great value and convenience to current and future Costco members in three vibrant markets,” said Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco.

“The introduction of Costco illustrates Westfield’s aim to introduce new goods and services into the malls,” said Peter Lowy, Westfield Group managing director.

In Los Angeles, an approximately 146,000-sq.-ft. Costco is to anchor the proposed Village at Westfield Topanga, sited between Westfield’s existing Topanga and Promenade centers. The Village will encompass nearly one million sq. ft. of new retail, dining, hotel and office area along with community and cultural uses, courtyards and gathering spaces. The inclusion of Costco will allow for a particularly seamless integration with Westfield Topanga, whose own recent $350 million redevelopment and expansion featured the addition of Target and Neiman Marcus along with 300,000 sq. ft. of new shops, restaurants and upscale dining terrace.

In Sarasota, a former department store site will be redeveloped to house an approximately 145,000-sq.-ft. Costco at Westfield Sarasota Square. Currently, the nearest Costco warehouse clubs to Sarasota are located over 40 miles away. Westfield Sarasota Square is a 900,000+-sq.-ft. regional shopping center currently anchored by J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Sears.

In Wheaton, a suburban community just outside of Washington, D.C., an approximately 148,000-sq.-ft. Costco will occupy the second level of a former department store site, with Westfield planning for the addition of mini anchors and new retail shops on the ground level below Costco. Westfield Wheaton is a 1.6 million-sq.-ft. regional mall anchored by J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Target.

The new Costco stores are slated to open in late 2011/early 2012 at Sarasota and Wheaton, and late 2012 at The Village at Westfield Topanga.

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B&N enhances NOOK software

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble announced that it is now offering updated versions of its NOOK e-reading software for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and PC.

According to the company, the next-generation NOOK for iPhone application delivers the most personalized and easy-to-use e-reading experience for iPhone and iPod touch owners. NOOK for iPad adds customer-requested, in-app content rating and other improvements to the company’s iPad app, and NOOK for PC brings new branding to the company’s desktop software, the company reported.

“We are committed to offering an easy-to-use, comfortable, and fun NOOK e-reading experience across multiple platforms. NOOK for iPhone users can shop Barnes & Noble’s vast catalog of e-books, while enjoying new, customization features and sharing their favorite e-books with friends for free,” said Douglas Gottlieb, VP digital products for Barnes & Noble.com. “NOOK for iPhone puts thousands of eBooks in your pocket, and the reading experience is fantastic. It’s another way that Barnes & Noble’s NOOK offering makes it truly easy to read what you love, anywhere you like.”

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Pandora names VP business development

BY CSA STAFF

OAKLAND, Calif. Pandora, an Internet radio service, has announced the promotion of Ian Geller to VP business development. In his new role, Ian will manage the company’s relationships with mobile operators and OEMs as well as the major CE device brands, carriers, operators and chipset manufacturers.

Geller joined Pandora in 2006 as the director of business development. Prior to joining Pandora, he was the director of product Management at Virgin Mobile USA where he was responsible for defining Virgin’s mobile music strategy and development.

Jessica Steel, SVP business development for Pandora, said, “Over the past four years, Ian has been integral to our growth by solidifying strategic partnerships that have expanded our presence in mobile and CE devices – more than 100 of which now have Pandora as a feature. We’re confident that in his new role as vice president, Ian will be an outstanding advocate for our business partners, helping them fulfill consumer demand to have Pandora present in all of their connected devices.”

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