OPERATIONS

HSN names retail veteran to CIO post

BY Katherine Boccaccio

St. Petersburg, Fla. — HSN announced Tuesday it has appointed Karen Etzkorn to the newly created position of chief information officer of HSNi, effective Jan. 3.

Etzkorn is charged with overseeing all aspects of information technology for HSNi’s two operating segments — HSN and Cornerstone.

Etzkorn was most recently senior VP and CIO for Ascena Retail. Prior to that, she was senior VP and CIO at Tween Brands and has also held senior technology roles at The Home Depot, Williams-Sonoma, Gap and Limited.

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REAL ESTATE

Report: Store opening plans for 2013 at a four-year high

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — Store opening plans for 2013 are at a four-year high even as positive retail trends tempered with uncertain fiscal policies signal a cautious start to the new year, according to a report released Monday by Jones Lang LaSalle.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2013 National Retail Real Estate Outlook, retailers will open as many as 78,325 stores in the next two years – up 11% from year-end plans in 2011. Construction will add 52 million sq. ft. of space in 2013, more than double the 20 million sq. ft. completed in 2012.

Also, relatively stable pricing and pent-up demand for non-durable goods will drive up consumer spending slightly in 2013, but retail real estate performance is unlikely to see dramatic improvements until employment growth accelerates.

“2013 will be a year to separate the wheat from the chaff,” said Greg Maloney, president and CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Americas. “Property subtypes, markets and retailers that are doing well now will continue to strengthen their position, while those that are weak and struggling will stumble along or fail entirely.”

Jones Lang LaSalle’s forecast assumes that lawmakers will act to avert a fiscal and economic collapse, even if only by means of a temporary compromise. Lingering risks to retail sales in 2013 include a potential spike in energy prices, natural disasters, geopolitical instability abroad and structural shifts in buying patterns and online purchasing.

Retail real estate fundamentals, too, are in a tug of war between positive and negative trends that will largely cancel each other out in 2013, leaving overall occupancy and rental rates to stagnate. Some retailers will expand aggressively, but there is a concurrent trend toward smaller store footprints. And as some chains vacate big box spaces or close altogether, off-price department stores and other retailers will seize upon those opportunities to backfill the space, according to JLL.

Consumers will be slightly better off in 2013 and are expected to increase retail spending moderately, barring economic shocks. Households continue to deleverage, core inflation remains low, and another unseasonably mild winter may reduce consumers’ energy costs and boost spending at restaurants and on staple goods like apparel and footwear through mid-year. Weather and disaster-related preparation and repairs may drive some spending, and sales of existing and new homes will increase in 2013, driving purchases of furniture and other goods.

The report revealed the following 2013 retail real estate outlook highlights:

  • Non-durable purchases will outperform throughout 2013 with a marked improvement expected in the second half, reflecting stable core prices (excluding food and energy).
  • More retailers are opening stores-within-anchors: Target has added Apple displays and small shops; J.C. Penney operates mini-stores such as Mango and Sephora and plans hundreds of in-store shops; and Finish Line plans to open 450 stores inside Macy’s.
  • To better compete with online sellers, retailers including Wal-Mart are experimenting with same-day delivery in some markets.
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Apr-10-2013 07:35 pm

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P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 07:35 pm

Lingering risks to retail sales in 2013 include a potential spike in energy prices, natural disasters, geopolitical instability abroad and structural shifts in buying patterns and online purchasing. Chatrandom

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News

Big Lots loss only half as bad as planned

BY CSA STAFF

The addition of 27 new stores wasn’t enough to prevent Big Lots from reporting a 1.9% sales decline during the quarter ended October 27.

The operator of 1,482 closeout stores in the U.S. said sales declined 1.9% to a little more than $1 billion and same store sales dropped 4.6% during the company’s third fiscal quarter. The addition of 27 new stores helped mitigate the comp decline and from a profit standpoint Big Lot’s lost less money than it expected and most of the loss was related to Canada where the company operates 79 Liquidation World stores. The company reported a loss from continuing operations of $6 million, or 10 cents a share, that was well below earlier guidance that called for a loss in the range of 20 cents to 30 cents. Seven cents of the 10 cent loss was attributable to the relatively young Canadian business acquired in July 2011. Last year, Big Lots reported a profit from continuing operations of six cents a share.

With a better than expected third quarter loss, Big Lots updated it full year financial forecast and now envisions income from continuing operations ranging from $2.86 to $3.05. Much of that amount is expected to come during the fourth quarter when income from continuing operations is forecast to be $1.91 to $2.20, despite expectations of a low single digit same store sales decline at U.S. stores.

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