Marks & Spencer to unveil green lease policy for stores
New York — Marks & Spencer, one of the leading retailers in the United Kingdom, is set to unveil a new property lease policy under which all new M&S stores will have ‘green’ clauses as standard enabling landlords and tenants to better manage a building’s environmental performance.
In addition, the retailer has reached agreement with members of the Better Buildings Partnership (a collaboration of London’s major commercial landlords) to ‘retro fit’ green clauses to the leases of existing M&S stores. The collaboration is the first of its kind on this scale and will see the signing of 70 retro fit agreements across sites from London to Glasgow.
The green clauses, both in new leases and retrofit agreements, will facilitate the sharing of waste information and data such as gas, electricity and water usage in M&S occupied buildings to encourage both landlord and tenant (M&S) to make significant carbon reductions. It also encourages a joint approach to investment in eco building technology such as biomass boilers, LED lighting and rainwater harvesting to further reduce building impacts and costs.
“Unfortunately, big carbon reductions from the U.K.’s building stock cannot come only from new stores,” said Clem Constantine, director of property at M&S. “Seventy percent of current commercial buildings will still exist in 2050, so if we are genuinely going to tackle the problem we have to invest in eco solutions for existing buildings.
Constantine added that it can be difficult for landlords and tenants to work together when it comes to a building’s environmental performance, particularly for older leases
“There’s often no real structure for measurement, incentives or sharing of goals,” he said. “Green leasing changes this situation as it provides the framework within which both can work together. And both will benefit, a store with a reduced environmental impact and lower costs is more marketable for landlords and more cost effective for tenants to occupy – a genuine win, win.”
Dover Saddlery Retail to open first New York store
Littleton, Mass. — Dover Saddlery Retail, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dover Saddlery, will open its first New York store, in Huntington (on Long Island), on April 19.
The store, which will evoke the look and feel of a premium equestrian stable, will feature an extensive range of riding apparel, tack and horse care supplies from all the leading brands. The location, as all Dover Saddlery stores, will offer helmet, boot and coat fittings as well as demo saddles for test rides in a wide selection of models.
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Best Buy tops Street as Q4 loss narrows; buyout talks with founder Schulze end
Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. said that its loss narrowed in the fourth quarter, helped by improved U.S. sales. In a separate release, the company said that the deadline passed without it having received an acquisition offer from its co-founder, Richard Schulze, who had been considering making a bid for the chain.
“The company received no such offer and will continue to focus on its transformation for the benefit of all of its stakeholders,” Best Buy said in a statement.
A report by Reuters said that Best Buy spurned a $1 billion minority investment proposal by Schulze’s three private equity partners: Leonard Green Partners, Cerberus Capital Management and TPG Capital. Under the proposal, the three firms would have each received a seat on the board, the report said.
Best Buy reported a loss (after paying preferred dividends) of $409 million for the three months ended Feb. 2. The loss was less than Wall Street had expected, and its shares rose more than 5% in premarket trading on Friday.
Revenue was nearly flat at a better-than-expected $16.71 billion, from $16.67 billion last year. Analysts expected $16.29 billion.
“These results were driven by a compelling assortment of new products in key growth categories, increased “blue-shirt” training and higher customer engagement in our retail stores, and impactful ‘traffic-generating’ marketing activities," said Hubert Joly, Best Buy president and CEO.
Same-store sales at U.S. stores in the quarter rose 0.9%, boosted by performance from Best Buy’s freestanding mobile stores. International revenue in stores open at least one year fell 6.6% on weak results in Canada and China.
For its current fiscal year, Joly said the chain would pursue six priorities: accelerating online growth; escalating the multichannel customer experience; increasing revenue and gross profit per square foot through enhanced store space optimization and merchandising; driving down cost of goods sold through supply chain efficiencies; continuing to gradually optimize the U.S. real estate portfolio; and further reducing SG&A costs.
“In addition, we will focus on driving operational improvements in our International business,” Joly said.
To support its initiatives, the chain expects capital spending be in the range of $700 to $800 million and incremental SG&A investments in the range of $150 to $200 million. These investments will be principally in the areas of online, mobile and the multichannel customer experience, in addition to non-recurring costs associated with the insourcing of IT, which is expected to be completed this year.
For the year, Best Buy reported a loss of $249 million, compared with a loss of $1.32 billion in the prior year. Revenue edged down less than 1% to $49.62 billion from $50.04 billion.
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