FINANCE

Filene’s Chapter 11 plan confirmed

BY CSA STAFF

Wilmington, Del. Abacus Advisors LLC announced Tuesday that FB Liquidating Estate (formerly known as Filene’s Basement) confirmed its chapter 11 plan and will soon make an initial distribution to unsecured creditors of the bankrupt retailer, whose trade name, leases and other assets were sold to an affiliate of Syms Corp. last June for approximately $64 million.

The announcement follows an earlier confirmation of the Joint Plan of Liquidation of FB Liquidating Estate by Judge Mary F. Walrath in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

“In the coming months, we expect to make additional distributions that will ultimately result in the payment of 100% of secured, administrative and priority claims, and 75% or more for the $57.0 million in general unsecured claims,” said Alan Cohen, chairman of Abacus Advisers.

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Tiny Target coming soon

BY CSA STAFF

Before Target can experiment with a small-format store in the range of 60,000 to 100,000 square feet the company plans to carry out a different type of experiment intended to asses the concept’s viability. Three existing stores at undisclosed locations on the West coast, the Midwest and the Northeast will have their assortments pared by 50% in order to gauge consumer reaction to a streamlined product offering of a smaller store.

“We’ve made great progress in our efforts at SKU rationalization across our stores, reducing SKU’s by 10%, and this test is an effort to better understand how we can maximize the convenience and performance of a smaller urban format,” said Target chairman, CEO and president Gregg Steinhafel. The company didn’t say where or when the small stores would open, only that the experiment would take place in a handful of markets during the next several years.

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The color of redemption

BY CSA STAFF

Target added four-color capability to its receipt marketing program and experienced a significant, but unspecified, lift in redemption compared with its earlier program, which relied on black-and-white printing technology. In addition to increasing redemption rates, the program is persuading customers to shop other areas of the stores. Now, the retailer is putting coupons in the hands of more shoppers, as it has added functionality that lets customers download and redeem coupons using their mobile phones.

Retailers have been talking about consumers increased usage of coupons for more than the past year, so it is not a big surprise then that data out this week shows that redemption activity was up last year. What is surprising is the magnitude of the increase, as there were 3.3 billion coupons redeemed last year, a 27% increase from the prior year when 2.6 billion coupons were redeemed, according to Inmar, the nation’s leading promotion transaction settlement provider. The surge in redemption activity was made possible by the fact that CPG manufacturers relied extensively on coupons, issuing 367 billion of them, as a means to maintain sales volumes as consumers were included to purchase store-brand alternatives.

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