Fresh Market Anchors Abercorn Walk
Columbia, S.C., Private retail real estate company Edens & Avant is opening a 70,000-sq.-ft. lifestyle center Abercorn Walk in Savannah, GA. The center’s grocery anchor, The Fresh Market, will open Aug. 31. Chico’s, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Kirkland’s and White House/Black Market will also open at Abercorn Walk.
Chico’s Posts Strong Quarter
Fort Myers, Fla., Chico’s FAS posted a record second quarter net income of $49 million, an increase of 38.4%. Comparable-store sales for the company-owned stores increased 15.7% for the 13-week period ended July 30, compared to the same 13-week period last year. Net sales for the second quarter rose 34.6% to a record $343 million, up from $255 million.
The company also announced that it plans to open 20 new Soma by Chico’s stores during fiscal 2006 over and above the combined 20% net square footage growth rate planned for the Chico’s and White House | Black Market brands. Scott A. Edmonds, president and CEO, commented, “The second quarter came in with very strong results as we generated an operating margin in excess of 22%, a sales increase of 35% and a net income increase of over 38%.”
On-Line Retailers Turn to Blogs to Attract Shoppers
Nationwide, On-line retailers are creating their own Web logs, or blogs, to promote themselves to consumers. The strategy seems to be successful. According to a recent study by ComScore Networks, an on-line market-research firm, shoppers who visit blogs spend approximately 6% more than average on-line shoppers.
Bluefly.com, EHobbies and GourmetStation all use blogs as part of their advertising. Bluefly.com sells designer clothes; EHobbies sells hobby goods such as plastic models, kites and science kits; and GourmetStation sells prepared foods. The companies post industry news and trends on their blogs, allowing visitors to engage in discussion about the topics.