REAL ESTATE

ICSC designations and awards

BY Michael Fickes

Woodland Hills, Calif. — NewMark Merrill Companies has announced that Heather Danko and Danielle Bovard have received the Certified Marketing Director designation from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

The CMD designation is awarded for expertise in multiple disciplines including marketing management, research, marketing plan implementation, public and community relations, advertising, and media buying.

Heather Danko, a 14-year veteran in the commercial real estate industry, directs the strategic development and execution of all activities related to corporate marketing and advertising at NewMark Merrill Companies. Her role includes all aspects of marketing strategies, advertising programs, website, social media marketing, mobile marketing and special community events for over 3-million square feet of property within NewMark Merrill’s California shopping center portfolio.

Danielle Bovard is responsible the strategic marketing direction for over 1.2-million sq. ft. of retail property in Anaheim, Upland, Riverside, and Santa Ana. Bovard creates and implements branding programs, community events, social media, mobile marketing, website and public relations.

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REAL ESTATE

Online retailer debuts with astrological bent; physical store in works

BY Marianne Wilson

Albuquerque, N.M. — Consumers can shop for clothes categorized by astrological signs at the newly launched Fashionsofthezodiac.com, described as the world’s first online store to organize its clothing and accessories by the 12 signs of the zodiac. The company expects to open a store early next year, in Denver.

To shop for clothes on the site, customers consult their astrological sign, which helps them find the items that best match their personalities. Each collection of clothing in the store exhibits a certain style – which includes particular colors, embellishments, and accessories — inspired by the preferred fashions of each sign.

"Zodiac fashion sense is not a fashion trend or something that will go out of style, deep rooted fashion senses based on astrological characteristics have always been present,” said co-founder Eric Morales. “Prior to the mid 1900’s, fashion was somewhat suppressed by sociological boundaries, manufacturing capabilities and cultural differences throughout much of the world. Only in the last 20 years, has astrological fashion really started to blossom as women freely express their inner fashion senses."

The new site features dresses, blazers, leggings, lingerie, shoes, and swimwear — all categorized by astrological signs. The company plans to expand the assortment to include men’s, kids’, and plus sizes.

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REAL ESTATE

Sears planning to close more stores going forward

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — There are more store closings in Sears’ future. In an address at Sears Holding Corp.’s annual shareholders meeting, chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said the company would close stores and look for ways to leverage its real estate as it continues to focus on integrated omnichannel retail and its Shop Your Way rewards program.

"Closing stores is going to be part of our future," Lampert said. "I’d rather do (fewer closures) rather than more, but the world has shifted."

He did not give an estimate on how many stores Sears would close. But with regards to marginally performing stores, Lampert said "the decision more often than not is to not renew the lease."

"We think you don’t need 2,000 stores to be relevant in the United States," he said.

Lampert said that rental income from subleasing store space in Sears stores to other retailers is likely to increase going forward. Sears has closed about 300 stores since 2010, and has spun off its Orchard Supply Hardware, Sears Hometown and Lands’ End businesses. The company currently operates approximately 778 full-line namesake stores and 1,152 Kmart stores in the United States.

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