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Iconic accessories brand to open first New York City store

BY Marianne Wilson

Vera Bradley in entering the New York City market, opening a digitally-savvy flagship in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

Scheduled to open in September, the two-level, 2,700-sq.-ft. store will carry the complete Vera Bradley collection, ranging from handbags and travel items to eyewear and jewelry, and debut the brand's newly redesigned logo and store concept.

The store design stands true to the brand's aesthetic, featuring signature design elements married with new architectural detail and digital innovation. Digitally triggered technologies are used throughout the store. Three digital wall displays virtually bring to life the brands iconic patterns, an interactive touchscreen allows store visitors to participate via social media in the brands "It's Good To Be A Girl" campaign launching September as well as shop in-store on VeraBradley.com.

The space also features exclusive sketches from fashion illustrator Dallas Shaw and a wall of sweets from Sugarfina.

The new store replaces a Kate Spade pop-up shop that vacated the building at the end of May.

“We are thrilled to open our first Vera Bradley store in New York City," said Robert Wallstrom, CEO, Vera Bradley, Fort Wayne, Ind. "We look forward to showcasing our iconic collections and signature in-store experience to both the local community and tourists.”

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Sales rise at Dollarama, beating expectations

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

While some specialty chains struggle to meet earnings predictions, Dollarama reported better-than-expected second quarter results. The Montreal-based discount chain’s net income was $106.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2017, ended July 31, 2016 — up 11.4% from $95.5 million for the same period last year.

Sales increased 11.6% to $729 million for the 13-week period, up from $653.3 million a year ago. For the quarter, same-store sales grew 5.7% over the previous year; average transaction sizes increased 4.6%, and the number of transactions climbed 1.0%.

Dollarama credited the gains to “the careful execution of our merchandising strategy, and the implementation of operational improvements,” Neil Rossy, the chain’s president and CEO said in a company statement.

Store growth is also on the rise, with 1,051 stores open as of July 31, 2016, compared to 989 stores on August 2, 2015. The discount chain is on pace to open 60 to 70 new stores by the end of its fiscal year, Rossy added.

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PREIT installs Amazon lockers at 15 malls

BY Al Urbanski

PREIT unveiled Amazon lockers at 15 of its mall locations on the East coast, making it one of the first mall owners to engage in this most physical of online-offline integrations.

Amazon shoppers who choose the locker option when checking out are notified when their packages have been delivered and can go to the locker location to pick them up. Consumers gain an added convenience and mall tenants get Web shoppers in their stores.

“To team up with Amazon to offer a first-of-its-kind, multi-location Amazon Locker installation at some of our malls is a great milestone,” said PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino. “We fully embrace the growing intersection of physical and digital retail, and through this program, are expanding our shopper base to welcome new consumers to our properties.”

Amazon has been rolling out its locker program in varied outlets the last few weeks. Other places they’ve popped up include Portland Plaid Pantry stores in Oregon and Shoppers Food Stores in Maryland.

The curious can check out Amazon lockers at the following PREIT properties:

Maryland: Francis Scott Key Mall, Mall at Prince Georges, Valley Mall

Massachusetts: Dartmouth Mall

New Jersey: Cumberland Mall, Hudson Mall, Moorestown Mall

Pennsylvania: Beaver Valley Mall, Capital City Mall, Exton Square Mall, Plymouth Meeting Mall, Shops at The Bellevue, Willow Grove Park

Virginia: Patrick Henry Mall, Springfield Town Center


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