FINANCE

Discounter has better-than-expected holiday sales

BY Marianne Wilson

Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings raised its full-year outlook after shoppers flocked to its stores in search of its signature “good stuff cheap” during the holiday season.

For the nine-week period ended December 31, 2016, Ollie’s total sales increased 16.3%, with a same-store sales increase of 1.9%. The discounter said it now expects full-year net sales to total about $888 million, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $874 million. It expects same-store sales growth of about 3% and per-share earnings of about 93 cents.

“We are thrilled with our holiday sales results, as well as the underlying trends and consistency of the business,” said Mark Butler, chairman, president and CEO. “Despite an extremely challenging same store sales comparison of 14% on a two-year stacked basis, we believe our sales results through the first nine weeks of the quarter position us well to deliver another solid increase in comparable store sales in the fourth quarter."

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FINANCE

Party City acquires 18 locations

BY Marianne Wilson

Party City Holdco Inc. continues to acquire its franchised locations.

The company has entered into an agreement to acquire a master franchise group representing 18 franchise stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, and with estimated 2016 sales of approximately $34 million. The purchase price is estimated to be $14.5 million to $15.0 million.

“Acquiring franchise stores over time is an integral component of our strategy to invest in growth opportunities at attractive multiples of earnings,” said James M. Harrison, CEO, Party City Holdco. “This acquisition gives the Company total ownership of the Louisiana and Alabama markets, creating an opportunity to open additional company-owned stores over time and strengthen the brand integrity of these locations, improving the experience for our customers.”

Party City Holdco Inc. designs, manufactures, sources and distributes party goods. The company’s retail operations include over 900 specialty retail party supply stores (including approximately 160 franchise stores) throughout North America operating under the names Party City and Halloween City, and e-commerce websites.

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DEVELOPMENT/REDEVELOPMENT

Hughes buys Macy’s; will convert mall to open-air center

BY Al Urbanski

The Howard Hughes Corporation announced it has purchased the 11.4-acre Macy’s store and parking lot at its Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Virginia, and will set about transforming the enclosed property into an open-air center.

Macy’s shuttering of the location gave Hughes the opportunity to act on a rezoning of the site approved by the Alexandria City Council in 2013. In a release, the company said it intends to turn the 1965 vintage mall into a “vibrant, open-air, mixed-use community … designed to create a dynamic urban village.”

“Our vision is to revive the site and create a new urban hub on the west end of Alexandria,” said Mark Bulmash, Hughes’s senior VP of development.

Hughes will close a portion of the mall at the end of the month as a prelude to redevelopment. A timeline for its progress has not been finalized.


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