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Edwin Watts Golf Shops enters Chapter 11; plans to sell company

BY Marianne Wilson

Fort Walton Beach, Fla. — Edwin Watts Golf Shops on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware, with the intention of selling the operating assets of the business.

The company, owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, listed estimated liabilities and assets of $100 million to $500 million.

All parties involved hope to have a Court approved sale transaction closed before the end of the year. Pursuant to the transaction, a significant number of Edwin Watts stores are expected to continue operating. Final store counts have not yet been determined.

Edwin Watts president and CEO John Watson noted that the decline in the golf industry over the past five years has resulted in extremely sluggish consumer demand and that it experienced a particularly challenging first half of 2013 due to poor spring weather, the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast and a poor Florida golf season. Year over year golf rounds were down nearly 15% in early 2013, according to the National Golf Foundation. These challenges, Watt said, have led to a further erosion of the company’s financial position during 2013.

Edwin Watts Edwin Watts operates 90 stores across 15 states. The bulk of its retail footprint is in the Southeast U.S., with 32 stores in Florida and 12 stores in Georgia.

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Hudson’s Bay completes acquisition of Saks; NYC flagship to get major renovation

BY Marianne Wilson

Toronto — Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Co. said Monday that it has completed its $2.4 billion acquisition of Saks Inc. Saks shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale of the New York company during a special meeting on Wednesday. The combined company will operate a total of 320 stores, including 179 full-line specialty department stores, 72 outlet stores and 69 home stores in prime locations throughout the U.S., and Canada, along with three e-commerce sites.

In related news, Hudson’s Bay CEO Richard Baker told CNBC on Monday that Saks’ flagship in Manhattan will be getting a major makeover, as part of the acquisition.

"We will be able to spend $200 million to $250 million to renovate this store to really make it the most exciting and spectacular department store in the world," Baker said.

Saks previously said that chairman and CEO Stephen Sadove and president and chief merchant Ronald Frasch would leave the company once the transaction closed. Hudson’s Bay said that Marigay McKee would take over as president.

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Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade to come with free app

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will step-off at 77th Street and Central Park West on Thursday, Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. Started in 1924 with only about a dozen elements, the 2013 line-up of wonder features 15 giant character balloons; 37 large scale, novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 30 floats; 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers; 900 clowns; 11 marching bands; and a host of celebrity performers.

This year’s parade also features its own app. The free Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade App will give fans the chance to interact with the famed march, learn more about the elements and share content with their friends.

From behind-the-scenes previews to the exclusive Elf-o-matic feature, which allows fans to transform themselves into an Elf balloon and share their high-flying debut with friends, the App is a one-stop destination for all things Macy’s Parade. The App can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or from Google Play.

In addition to the interactive app experience, this year Macy’s iconic characters will take center stage in a series of animated spots on Macys.com/parade.


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