FINANCE

GNC Q2 profit leaps 42.5%

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh General Nutrition Centers reported Tuesday that net income for the second quarter ended June 30 was $25.6 million, compared with net income of $18 million for the year-ago period.

The nutrition retailer said its second quarter 2009 financial performance was negatively impacted by the May 2009 Hydroxycut product recall.

Consolidated revenue for the quarter rose 5.4%, to $455.9 million. Retail and franchise segment revenue increased by 8.2% and 5.5%, respectively, and declined in the manufacturing/wholesale segment by 13.5%.

Same-store sales improved 6.5% in domestic company-owned stores.

In second quarter 2010, the retailer said it opened 13 net new domestic company-owned stores, 1 net new company-owned store in Canada, 43 net new international franchise locations, and 49 net new franchise store-within-a-store Rite Aid locations, and closed nine net domestic franchise locations.

GNC currently operates more than 7,100 locations in the United States and 50 countries.

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Splashdown in Santa Monica

BY Katherine Boccaccio

The opening of the newly redeveloped Santa Monica Place, in Santa Monica, Calif., on Aug. 6, is noteworthy on several levels, not the least being that it marks the debut of the most ambitious shopping center in some time. In fact, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, it is the only major mall to debut in the United States this year.

Locally based Macerich Co., which bought the Frank Gehry-designed mall in 1999 from what was then The Rouse Co., has transformed the aging, enclosed circa-1980 mall into a three-level, open-air study in modernity with views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Mountains and Santa Monica Pier. (The property closed in January 2008 as it embarked on its 30-month reinvention.)

Macerich not only redid the center, which connects with the Third Street Promenade and downtown Santa Monica, but also significantly changed its tenant base, signing on an upscale tenant line that includes Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Barneys Co-op, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Tory Burch, Coach, and Michael Kors.

Open-air walkways and public gathering spaces augment the 524,000-sq.-ft. space, which also features a third-level rooftop Dining Deck that incorporates — besides both ocean and city views — chef-driven restaurant concepts, fast-casual eateries and The Market, a collection of artisanal, gourmet and organic food purveyors. The custom-designed furnishings, a large-scale fireplace and a signature olive tree accent the Dining Deck space.

The first-level Plaza provides cafe tables and a crescent-shaped fountain in an urban plaza-like setting reminiscent of those found in European cities.

Landscaping throughout the reborn Santa Monica Place is distinctive, from the seashells and mother of pearl in the paving to an urban kelp garden and sculptural dragon trees.

The Jerde Partnership, Venice, Calif., is the design architect for the project, which was created via the adaptive re-use of the former enclosed mall structure. The executive architect is Omniplan, out of Dallas.

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Publix testing out ‘Curbside’ delivery service

BY CSA STAFF

Lakeland , Fla. Publix announced that it is testing its Publix Curbside online grocery ordering and at-store pickup service at one Atlanta and one Tampa, Fla. store in the near future.

According to the company, customers can visit www.publix.com/curbside to place their orders and select their desired pickup location.  No minimum order amount is required and a $7.99 service fee per Curbside order will be added to the total. As an introductory offer, the $7.99 service fee is waived for first time users, the company said.

“As we continue to provide our customers with the service they have grown to expect, we need to provide new and more advanced ways to meet the needs of their growing and changing families,” said Maria Brous, Publix director media and community relations. “Publix Curbside is a natural extension of our service commitment, especially for time-starved families.”

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