REAL ESTATE

Inland Western announces JV with Canadian REIT

BY CSA STAFF

Oak Brook, Ill. Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust announced that the company has forged a joint venture with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Canada’s largest REIT.

The initial RioCan investment of approximately $138 million includes eight grocery and necessity-based-anchored shopping centers located in Texas. 

Under the terms of the agreement, RioCan will acquire an 80% interest in the venture and Inland Western will retain 20% interest and will additionally earn property management and asset management, as well as other customary fees on the portfolio. 

Inland Western and RioCan said they intend to grow the venture over time through acquisition of additional necessity-based retail properties.

“This transaction represents the continued execution of our strategy to align ourselves with strong institutional partners,” said Shane Garrison, chief investment officer of Inland Western. “RioCan is the dominant retail property owner in Canada, and we are pleased to partner with them as they selectively enter the U.S. real estate market. We look forward to expanding this relationship and the alignment of these highly experienced real estate platforms.”

The Texas portfolio consists of approximately 1.2 million sq. ft. and has tenant anchors including Wal-Mart, Tom Thumb, HEB, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less and Hobby Lobby.

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FINANCE

Tiffany’s Q1 profit sparkles

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Tiffany & Co.’s net income more than doubled in the first quarter as its revenue rose in the United States and soared 50% in Asia, the company said Thursday.

The jeweler said it earned $64.4 million in the three months ended April 30. That compares with $24.3 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $633.6 million.

Revenue in the Americas increased 22% to $315.3 million, versus a 31% drop in the year-ago period. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 20%, and same-store sales rose 15%, led by the flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where the figure rose 26%.

In the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn’t include Japan, Tiffany’s revenue soared 50% to $122.3 million. During the first quarter, the company opened its third store in Shanghai; by the end of the period, it operated 11 stores in China. Company officials said that they plan to have a total of 30 stores in China within the next five years.

In Japan, revenue slipped 2% to $115 million. Business in Europe rose 25% to $68.6 million.

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News

Best Buy Mobile enhances Web site

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Mobile has annouced the re-launch of BestBuy.com/Mobile. According to the company, the new Web site will include such new features as online purchasing and Instant Ship, the new online hub offers convenient, customer-focused solutions for on-the-go gadget shoppers.

Through the new Web site, customers can now purchase a mobile phone online and have it shipped to their home or they can pick it up in-store. For customers needing assistance while choosing their phone online, Best Buy Mobile has a dedicated call center to respond.

 

“The capabilities within the enhanced site in combination with our in-store experience give Best Buy something completely and totally unique in the mobile phone marketplace,” said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. “Now, we are truly a multi-channel mobile phone retailer supporting customers when and where they choose to engage us.”

 

Best Buy’s Mobile Web site provides customers with a larger range of functions, which include:

    * Online purchases: Customers can purchase a mobile phone with a contract using online channels. Customers place their order, and can then choose to pick up in store or have their new phone shipped directly to their home.    * Instant Ship: With Instant Ship, if a customer comes in and is qualified for a device that is not available in-store, the device can be ordered and shipped directly from the Web site. Instant Ship online improves the options of phones and colors for customers, and allows customers to have their new handset delivered right to their home.

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