Disney Store Expands to Outlet Arena
Glendale, Calif., Disney Store North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Children’s Place Retail Stores, will expand into the retail outlet arena. Its first outlet will measure more than 7,000 sq. ft. and will open in New York this weekend at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Five additional outlets are planned to open this year in California, Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee and Ontario, Canada. The move marks the first adjustment to Disney Store’s real estate strategy since The Children’s Place acquired the chain in November.
Vornado Supports Kmart Acquisition of Sears
New York City, Vornado Realty Trust announced it would back Kmart Holdings Corp. in its proposed acquisition of Sears Roebuck & Co. Vornado, currently holding 1.18 million shares of Sears stock and a derivative position for another 7.9 million shares, said it would elect to receive stock in the new merger.
Paramus, N.J.-based Vornado raised eyebrows in the investment community last November when, shortly before the proposed acquisition was announced, it revealed that it had boosted its holdings in Sears to 4.3%. The announcement triggered speculation that Vornado was planning to redevelop some of Sears’ real estate, much of which is leased at below-market rates.
Sears’ shares have consistently traded higher since the merger was announced in November on the hopes that Vornado might team with a rival retailer to make a competing bid. Any spoiler would be forced to absorb $400 million in break-up fees, part of the Sears-Kmart agreement.
St. Johns Town Center Opens in Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Fla., Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group opened St. Johns Town Center, a 1.5 million-sq.-ft. open-air retail project in Jacksonville, Fla., comprised of a town center and a community center. St. Johns features Dillard’s, Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, Ashley Furniture, Designer Shoe Warehouse, JoAnn Fabrics, Old Navy, PETsMART, Pier 1, Ross Dress For Less and Staples. Restaurants complementing the retail offerings include The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s and P.F. Chang’s. The center is 100% leased and committed.