REAL ESTATE

Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts to open in former Comp USA store

BY CSA STAFF

Paramus, N.J. — New Rochelle, N.Y.-based Welco Realty, an X Team partner, announced that it has signed a lease representing Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft for 30,000 sq. ft. for a flagship store in the former Comp USA space in Paramus, N.J.

This store will be one of the largest format stores for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, its first store in the Paramus market.

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FINANCE

SpendingPulse: Retail growth solid in March

BY CSA STAFF

Purchase, N.Y. — Most retail segments showed solid year-over-year retail growth in March, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and services sales.

Electronics sales and department stores showed modest gains while luxury and e-commerce recorded strong growth. Some segments of the restaurant sector also showed strength in March.

“Most retail sectors continued to record solid growth year-over-year, similar to February, although we’re not seeing an acceleration of momentum from February to March,” said Michael McNamara, VP research and analysis, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. The lack of increased momentum in some sectors could be due to calendar shifts, given that Easter falls very late this year.”

Gasoline prices remain a concern as the average price continues to be above $3.50 a gallon,’ McNamara said.

“Compared to March 2010, we’re seeing drivers pump less gasoline,” he said. “Based on what we’ve observed in the last three to four years, high gasoline prices typically result in consumers consolidating shopping trips, shopping closer to home, and making fewer trips to the brick and mortar locations as we get to Saturday. On the other hand, we’ve seen the e-commerce channel benefitting somewhat from this trend.”

Here are details of some specific sectors for March 2011:

  • Total apparel sales recorded their eighth consecutive year-over-year sales gains, increasing by 4.4% year-over-year. Nevertheless, March’s gain is approximately half of the average growth recorded between September 2010 and February 2011. The only sub-sector posting a loss was footwear, with sales declining 1.6%. The Easter calendar shift may have limited the year-over-year growth in the men’s and women’s apparel segments.
  • The furniture sector posted a modest increase of 2.4%, its fifth consecutive month of positive growth.
  • E-commerce continued to grow in double digits, highlighting the continued strength in online sales. The sector posted its fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth, rising by 16.1%, higher than February’s 13.2% increase.

The SpendingPulse Luxury Index, which measures sales at high-end restaurants, food stores, department stores and general apparel categories, was up 8.5%, the largest year-over-year increase since December 2010, and the sixth consecutive month of growth.

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REAL ESTATE

Cabela’s expands in Canada

BY CSA STAFF

Sidney, Neb. — Cabela’s will open a store Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in spring 2012. The 50,000-sq.-ft. store will be Cabela’s third store in Canada, joining locations in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a former S.I.R. Warehouse Sports Store acquired and converted in 2008, and Edmonton, Alberta, to open late this summer.

The building’s exterior will reflect Cabela’s traditional store model with log construction, stonework, wood siding and metal roofing. The inside will highlight the retailer’s next-generation layout, which is designed to immerse customers in the outdoor experience and includes conservation-themed wildlife displays and trophy animal mounts. The store will also feature a Bargain Cave and a Fudge Shop. Construction is expected to start in July.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Cabela’s will open stores in Allen, Texas, and Springfield, Ore., in addition to the Edmonton store. The company has also announced plans to build a store in Wichita, Kan., expected to open in early spring 2012.

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