REAL ESTATE

Marshalls opens in Washington, D.C.

BY Michael Fickes

Washington, D.C. —Marshall’s has opened its second Washington, D.C. store. According to the Washington, D.C., Economic Partnership, the 28,925-sq.-ft. store is located at the National Press Building at 14th and F Streets downtown. Marshall’s is planning a third location for the Shops at Dakota Crossing in the city’s northeastern quadrant.

Marshall’s joins other national retailers that have recently executed leases or opened in the District this year. They include Barnes & Noble, H&M, Pinstripes and Bloomers, an upscale lingerie store. Over 400,000 sq. ft. of new retail space will open by the end of 2013.

The D.C. Economic Partnership estimates that unmet retail demand in the city is over $1 billion and notes that the District’s economy is one of the most robust in the nation.

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OPERATIONS

Big Lots to shut down its wholesale business

BY Marianne Wilson

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots will close down its wholesale operations — Big Lots Wholesale, Consolidated International and Wisconsin Toy — by the end of its current fiscal year as it concentrates its focus on its retail stores. The shuttering will result in the liquidation of the wholesale unit’s inventory.

Big Lots CEO and president David Campisi noted that the decision to exit the wholesale business was not one the company took lightly as it involved a number of dedicated associates. But he said “over the years, the wholesale business environment has changed, become increasingly more competitive, and the sales and margin growth opportunities are not what they once were.”

“We believe a narrower focus and investing in new ways to enhance our relationship with the customer will provide greater value for our shareholders over the longer term," Campisi said.

Big Lots said it expects to record a charge in its third quarter of $5 million to $8 million resulting from the closing.

Campisi said the company is evaluating all aspects of its current operations and potential new business opportunities.

“We have already identified and begun to execute towards several new initiatives such as the expansion of our cooler and freezer program, the introduction of furniture financing, and our desire to enter the digital, social, and omnichannel space,” he said. “These new initiatives also represent potential growth and development for our associates here in Columbus and in our field operations team."

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FINANCE

The Container Store makes public debut on New York Stock Exchange

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Container Store on Friday, Nov. 1, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol “TCS.” Expectations were high: On Thursday, the retailer set its IPO price at $18 per share, higher than the originally-expected range of $14 to $16 per share.

The company is offering all 12.5 million shares of common stock, with an additional 1.9 million shares 30-day purchase option for the underwriters.

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