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Family Dollar president and COO Michael Bloom resigns amid disappointing Q1 results

BY Marianne Wilson

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores on Thursday announced that president and COO Michael Bloom has left the company to pursue other interests. The company will conduct a search for a new president and COO. The news comes amid disappointing first quarter results for the company, which lowered its earnings expectations for the second quarter and full year. Family Dollar also announced it has promoted Jason Reiser to the position of executive VP – chief merchandising officer.

Family Dollar’s sales rose 3%, to $2.5 billion, in the three months ended Nov. 30, the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year. But profits fell 3%, to $78 million, hurt by higher payroll and store occupancy costs, and same-store sales fell 2.8%. Family Dollar said it saw fewer customer transactions and a drop in the average transaction size.

“While we have made meaningful progress to improve our execution, our financial performance has not met our expectations,” said Levine in a statement. “We have a great business model and ample growth opportunity, and I know we can do better.”

During a conference call with investors and analysts, Levin said he and Bloom were not in agreement on merchandising strategies, and that while it was “not at all pleasant” to let Bloom go, it was the right choice, the Charlotte Observer reported.

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CBL’s digital mall marketing system

BY Michael Fickes

In partnership with PlaceWise Media, CBL & Associates Properties has launched websites with technology that connects retailers and customers at 27 of its malls.

The technology collects deals offered by retailers and puts them in front of shoppers via smartphones and tablets. It provides every retailer and restaurant in a mall with an online presence that enables each to engage local customers.

The websites integrate online, mobile and social media into a single platform and deliver a mix of retailer deals, promotions, fashion and lifestyle editorial content and featured products to shoppers — who can access that information on mobile devices to plan their shopping trips.

Malls, retailers, restaurants and local managers use PlaceWise tools to feature store brands and drive traffic to stores. Retail and restaurant brands use interactive features to provide content and messaging to shoppers and diners. Local store and restaurant managers can also interact directly with local customers.


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Franklin Flea returning to Philadelphia in April

BY Michael Fickes

Philadelphia — Franklin Flea’s successful holiday season earned the once-a-week indoor flea market a return booking for April.

Starting back in November, Franklin Flea brought local artisans and vendors together in Center City Philadelphia to showcase handmade, repurposed and antique items as well as an assortment of artisan foods.

Producer and curator Mark Vevle and Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, owner of The Gallery, combined forces to bring the market to the city. PREIT provided space for the market’s more than 50 vendors in its historic former Strawbridge and Clothier building at 8th and Market.

Vevle credits Franklin Flea’s location in the thriving Market East section of Philadelphia with the project’s popularity. “The cross-market of shoppers we found in this centralized location was crucial to the success of Franklin Flea, and also paints a colorful picture of the long-term business story we will see in the months to come,” he said.

PREIT CEO Joseph F. Coradino said: ““The success of Franklin Flea speaks volumes to the fact that Philadelphia – especially the Market East corridor – is ready for a fresh, revitalized retail environment, and we are optimistic we will be able to deliver it in the future with a remerchandising of the Gallery.”

Vevle and PREIT have already begun planning Franklin Flea’s return for a spring market in April.


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