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Limited Too makes a comeback

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – In a consumer culture obsessed with nostalgic “throwbacks,” a retail brand from the not-too-distant past is coming back. Specialty apparel brand Limited Too, which was consolidated into the Justice banner by then-parent company Tween Brands in 2009, is making a return.

Brand management company Bluestar Alliance LLC is bringing back the Limited Too brand. In addition to stand-alone stores, stores-within-stores and e-commerce sales, Limited Too merchandise will also be sold through partnerships with other department stores.

"Limited Too is a girl's market leader with a solid foundation of brand loyalty," said Ralph Gindi, COO of Bluestar Alliance. "Over the years Limited Too has brought fun and joy to children's fashion shopping experiences and holds a special place with the millennial moms who are now having children of their own."

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Simon courts teen girls across channels

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – Mall operator Simon knows teen girls are a key part of its consumer base, and is courting them this summer. Simon and Teen Vogue are partnering to present the fourth annual Teen Vogue Back-to-School Saturdays (BTSS) omnichannel promotion.

Teen Vogue has teamed with Simon as the exclusive mall marketing partner of Teen Vogue Back-to-School Saturdays. Simon and Teen Vogue will collaborate to bring fashion content to malls at five showcase events around the country, which will include appearances by Teen Vogue editors and style influencers who will facilitate Back-to-School-themed panel discussions and trend talks.

"Simon is excited to be hosting Back-to-School events at so many of our locations," said Chidi Achara, global creative director for Simon. "This unique collaboration with Teen Vogue illustrates how Simon is embracing all mediums – digital, physical, or a blend of both – to connect with our millennial shoppers."

Back-to-School showcase events will take place Aug. 8 at The Domain and Barton Creek Square centers in Austin, Texas, and Florida Mall in Orlando; Aug. 22 at Castleton Square in Indianapolis; and Aug. 29 at North Shore Mall in Boston.

Nearly 100 additional Simon centers will also celebrate the event with special events, shopping incentives, and exclusive promotions that will begin on Saturday, Aug. 8 and extend through Saturday, Aug. 29.

Teen Vogue and Simon will also unveil a special eight-page in-book style guide featuring trends for Back-to-School, as identified byTeen Vogue editors, with each profiled piece found at Simon. In addition, Simon will extend the section to a full-blown “magalog,” complete with a shopping guide of products, which they will distribute at all activated malls during BTSS.

Further extending the partnership and BTSS content, Teen Vogue and Simon have chosen YouTube celebrity Amanda Steele to star in a series of shopping haul videos, showing how she shops Simon centers to achieve Teen Vogue'sthree highlighted trends. The videos will debut just in time for the back-to-school shopping rush, with the content running across all Teen Vogue and Simon digital and social platforms.

Additional participating retailers and brands for this year's BTSS program include: Aeropostale; American Eagle; AG Jeans; American Apparel; ASOS; Bearpaw; Biore; Bonpoint; Boohoo.com; Delia's; Finish Line; Hask; Jovani; LeSportsac; Macy's; Maybelline; Not Your Mothers; OGX; Others Follow; PacSun; Secret; Simple; Sorel; Staples; Tampax; Vera Wang Princess Hippie and Qubed.

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Hudson’s Bay capitalizes on real estate

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is capitalizing on 42 real estate assets. The retailer has closed a joint venture with Simon Property Group focused on credit tenant, net-leased and multi-tenanted retail buildings in the U.S. and internationally.

The joint venture will enable HBC and Simon to build on the strength of existing real estate assets and identify new real estate growth opportunities. HBC contributed 42 owned or ground-leased properties to the venture, including the Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills flagship and the Westchester and Manhasset Lord & Taylor stores, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $1.7 billion. The contributed properties total approximately 5.4 million sq ft.

Third-party debt at the HBC-Simon JV totaling $846 million was arranged in conjunction with the closing. Of this amount, HBC received $600 million cash for the properties it contributed. HBC intends to use these proceeds to repay the balance of its an existing loan and reduce borrowings on its U.S. revolving credit facility.

The partnership expects to use the remaining $246 million toward the proposed purchase of at least 40 owned or partially-owned properties in Germany, which HBC is expected to acquire at the end of the third fiscal quarter as part of its previously announced acquisition of Galeria Holding.

Simon contributed an initial $1 million upon closing, and has committed to contribute up to a total of $278 million to the venture. This includes $100 million for improvements to properties contributed by HBC, with the balance of $178 million intended to be used by the venture to partially fund the acquisitions of the properties in Germany.

The venture is establishing a dedicated management team to oversee the contributed properties and growi the portfolio, with support from HBC and Simon. This team will be led by Lee Neibart, who has extensive real estate experience and is a member of the HBC board of directors. The venture’s board is comprised of four directors, two of whom have been appointed by each partner. Unanimous board consent is required for all major operating decisions.

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