FINANCE

Macy’s to close 5 underperforming stores; Bloomingdale’s to enter Dubai

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Macy’s announced on Tuesday that it is gearing up to close five stores, mostly in the Midwest, to eliminate some of its underperforming locations.

The move will affect about 307 employees. The company plans to offer jobs at nearby stores to displaced employees when possible.

Macy’s said the closings are part of the normal course of business.

“The decision to close stores is difficult and often occurs when the market changes, new competing shopping centers are opened near existing older ones, or when customers change shopping habits,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO, in the release. “We are committed to maintaining a healthy portfolio of stores, which requires us to make the difficult decision to close some stores that no longer meet our performance requirements, as well as to open new stores where we see opportunities.

The five stores Macy’s are closing are in Boise, Idaho; Waterford, Michigan; St. Ann, Mo.; Missoula, Mt..; and Burlington, N.J.

Final clearance sales at these stores will begin on Jan. 10 and will run for approximately 60 days.

In other news, the company said it plans to open two Bloomingdale’s stores in 2010, one in Santa Monica, Calif., and the other in Dubai.

The Dubai store, which will be located at The Dubai Mall, is scheduled to open in February.

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MyShape launches new denim line with Cookie Johnson

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES Online retailer MyShape has launched a new denim line by Cookie Johnson.

CJ by Cookie Johnson was launched by Cookie Johnson, wife of NBA superstar Magic Johnson, and partner Michael Glasser, legendary founder of 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, and Rich & Skinny. Also on board is top denim designer, Joie Rucker, formerly of Guess, Levi’s and Rich & Skinny.

Johnson said she was inspired to create the line after not being able to find a premium denim jean that fit her curvy figure.  “I know MyShape has a great reputation for helping its customers find the right fit, so it seemed like a natural partnership.”

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Hope for home in 2010

BY CSA STAFF

Okay, the housing market in most parts of the country is still awful, but there are indications that this spring will see improvements in sales of existing homes. That’s good news for Target and its long-suffering home goods category, which benefits from turnover in the housing market as new occupants tend to remodel and refresh existing homes through the purchase of window treatments, rugs, lighting, table top and other decor items.

“We continue to be encouraged by the improvement in the monthly housing data and we have a cautiously optimistic outlook for the housing market in 2010, although soft underlying demand and elevated foreclose activity remain concerns,” according to Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig who follows the home improvement retailers and discounters.

One of the most positive indicators is the fact that sales of existing homes spiked 21.2% in October followed by a 42.1% increase in November of last year as buyers took advantage of record low rates and a first time buyer incentive of $8000.  With interest rates still low and the first time buyer incentive program extended and broadened to include other buyers expectations are high that sale of existing and new homes will benefit this spring and that is welcome new for Target home good business even if the outlook for the second half of 2010 is less clear and the federal government can’t offer tax incentives indefinitely.

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