Loblaw Cos. to spin off real estate into REIT
New York — Canada’s Loblaw Cos. Ltd. plans to spin off the vast majority of its property assets into a real estate investment trust. The retailer said it plans to spin off real estate worth more than C$7 billion ($7.05 billion) into the REIT and sell units of the trust through an initial public offering that it hopes to complete by mid-2013.
"We are announcing this today because we feel the timing is right for both our business and the capital markets," said Galen Weston, Loblaw’s executive chairman, on a conference call, according to Bloomberg. "The size and quality of our real estate assets should be appealing to investors."
Loblaw said its real estate portfolio spans an estimated 47 million sq. ft., according to the report. As part of the transaction, Loblaw plans to contribute about 35 million sq. ft. to the REIT, and it will enter into long-term lease arrangements with the REIT on those properties.
Loblaw said it intends to retain a significant majority interest of over 80% in the REIT.
Starbucks to open 1,500 new stores in U.S. by 2017
New York — Starbucks Coffee Co. is moving ahead full-steam. The company on Wednesday announced accelerated global growth plans that include opening at least 1,500 stores in the United States during the next five years. Including Canada and South America in the mix, Starbucks expects to add a total of 3,000 new locations in its Americas region — and renovate thousands more — by 2017.
Speaking at Starbucks’ 2012 Investor Conference, Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks Americas and U.S., also announced plans to leverage the company’s recently completed Evolution Fresh and La Boulange acquisitions by making La Boulange products available in more than 2,500 U.S. company-operated Starbucks stores and making Evolution Fresh juices available in more than 5,000 U.S. company-operated stores by the end of 2013.
Starbucks is also looking to take a leadership position in the global tea market with its intended acquisition of Teavana. Once the deal is complete, Starbucks plans to continue to grow Teavana’s 300 mall-based stores, as well as add a high-profile neighborhood store concept that will accelerate Teavana’s domestic and global footprint.
On the global front, the company announced that China is on track to become its largest market outside of the U.S. in 2014. The company is on plan to have 1,500 stores in 70 cities throughout the country in 2015. In the overall China and Asia-Pacific region, Starbucks will approach 4,000 stores by the end of 2013, including its first store in Vietnam.
The company also reaffirmed plans to open its first store in Delhi, India, in early 2013, following the successful opening of its first three locations in Mumbai, India, in October 2012.
“Starbucks business and brand have never been healthier, and as a company we have never been better positioned to execute against our global, multichannel growth agenda,” Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz said at the company’s conference. “Starbucks will have more than 20,000 retail stores on six continents by 2014 and more than 200,000 points of global CPG distribution by 2015
On the digital front, Starbucks expects its mobile payment platform to account for 10% of payments in Starbucks U.S. stores by the end of fiscal 2013.
Sherwin-Williams opens 3,500th retail store
Cleveland — Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores Group announced Wednesday it has opened its 3,500th retail location in total and its 70th in 2012.
The newest store is 4,000 sq. ft. and located in Rancho Santa Margarita (Orange County), Calif.