REAL ESTATE

Dick’s Sporting Goods to open at another CBL property

BY Al Urbanski

CBL is getting ready to open its 28th Dick’s Sporting Goods store, this one at Richland Mall in Waco, Texas.

“This new store will drive significant traffic to the center and illustrates our ongoing commitment to enhancing the tenant mix at the property,” said CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz.

Other new arrivals at Richland include H&M, PINK, and White Barn. Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret recently completed remodels. Dick’s is set to open in spring 2018.

More than 100 specialty stores populate Richland Mall along with Dillard’s, J.C. Penney, Bealls, and Sears.


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News

Starbucks’ Schultz in emotional address on Charlottesville

BY Marianne Wilson

Howard Schultz, the politically progressive — and famously outspoken — founder of Starbucks Coffee Corp., weighed in on the rally and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its aftermath in an emotional speech to company employees.

Speaking at a standing-room only employee forum, Schultz did not specifically blame or criticize the President, saying he would let his (the President’s) actions speak for themselves. But the legendary retailer left little doubt of how he felt.

"What we witnessed this past weekend … is against every sense of what is right," Schultz said. "My fear is not only that this behavior is being given permission and license, but its conduct is being normalized to the point where people are no longer hiding their face. We’ve all seen pictures of the KKK in the South … they were hiding because they were afraid to be outed. People are no longer afraid."

The forum, titled "Hate Has No Home Here" and held at the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle, was designed as a space where employees could share their thoughts on the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia. More than 500 associates attended, with an additional 1,000 people in overflow areas.

In his remarks, Schultz invoked the Holocaust, and passed around a rock that he brought back from his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland some 17 years ago.

"I come to you as an American, as a Jew, as a parent, as a grandparent, as an almost 40-year partner of this company," Schultz said in opening remarks at the event. "I come to you with profound, profound concern about the lack of character, morality, humanity and what this might mean for young children and young generations."

Schultz went on to say that "the moral fiber, the values, and what we as a country have stood for is literally hanging in the abyss. We are at a critical juncture in American history."

Schultz told employees that it was hard to maintain an optimistic view about the future in light of the current storm, but he still is.

"I raise my hand, and I say I am optimistic about our country and the true promise of America," he said.

Employee forums are a tradition at Starbucks. Schultz and Kevin Johnson, Starbucks' new CEO, hold them quarterly at the company’s headquarters and regularly in regions around the world.

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FINANCE

Value-apparel retailer posts Q2 loss; pulls back on expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

The Cato Corp. swung to a loss in the second quarter amid continuing negative sales trends.

The apparel retailer reported a net loss of $0.9 million, or a loss of $0.03 per diluted share, for the quarter ended July 29, compared to net income of $15.9 million, or $.57 per diluted share, for the year ago period.

Sales for the second quarter fell 13% to $205.0 million, down from $236.7 million last year. Same-store sales plunged 14%.

"Negative sales trends continue to put severe pressure on merchandise margins and profitability as we continue to work through our merchandise missteps," stated John Cato, chairman, president, and CEO Officer. "It is taking longer to work through these issues than expected and we expect full year earnings to be significantly below last year."

Cato said it expects to open six new stores during 2017, down from its previous estimate of 13 stores. The company explained the reduction saying "the economics of opening stores is not as feasible with current sales trends."

As of July 29, 2017, the company operated 1,374 stores in 33 states, compared to 1,373 stores in the year-ago period.

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