REAL ESTATE

Mid-America announces six new leases in Chicago

BY Michael Fickes

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.Mid-America Asset Management Inc. has announced six retail leases in four Chicago shopping centers.

At Chatham Market, BMO Harris Bank took 2,016 sq. ft., and Colour Nails signed a lease for 2,174 sq. ft. Both plan to open in January. Wal-Mart and Lowe’s anchor Chatham Market. Other tenants include Aldi, Potbelly, Planet Fitness and Chase, which will open in March. Mid-America represented the landlord in both leases. Jones Lang LaSalle represented BMO Harris. Colour Nails represented itself.

Marshfield Plaza will welcome Sneaker Villa — 6,069 sq. ft. — and Wingstop — 2,016 sq. ft. Both will open early next year. Target, Jewel-Osco and Burlington Coat Factory anchor Marshfield Plaza. Mid-America represented the landlord in both leases. Bialow Real Estate represented Sneaker Villa, and Keystone Ventures represented Wingstop.

City Sports has signed a lease for 5,800 sq. ft. at Pullman Park, a 270-acre mixed-use development at the intersection of I-94 and 111th Street. Wal-Mart, Ross Dress for Less and Planet Fitness anchor Pullman Park. Mid-America represented the landlord, and MHK Investments represented the tenant.

Selfish Clothing Boutique has signed a lease for 4,400 sq. ft. at Scottsdale Shopping Center. The boutique opened in early November. Low’s and The Room Place anchor the 294,000-sq.-ft. center. Mid-America represented the landlord in the transaction, and the tenant represented itself.

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REAL ESTATE

Marcus announces tenants for Corners of Brookfield

BY Michael Fickes

Milwaukee — The Marcus Corporation has announced the initial line-up of tenants at The Corners of Brookfield, an open-air, town-center-style development in Brookfield, Wis. The mixed-use 460,000-sq.-ft. development will be anchored by Wisconsin’s first Von Maur department store, which will span 140,000 sq. ft.

The announcement followed a vote by the Brookfield Board approving the development agreement between the town and Marcus. The agreement provides for tax incremental financing for the project.

Tenants planning to open at The Corners of Brookfield include:

• Arhaus Furniture
• Brio Tuscan Grille
• Café Benelux
• Chico’s
• Colectivo Coffee
• Crave Restaurant
• Grimaldi’s Pizza
• Hot Mama
• Kilwins
• White House | Black Market

In February 2013, Marcus announced that it had signed an agreement with the Mandel Group to direct development of the residential component of The Corners.

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Hidden Costs of Holiday Returns can Wreak Havoc on Bottom Line

BY CSA STAFF

By Tom Rittman, VP of marketing, The Retail Equation

Retailers around the world are gearing up for the hustle and bustle of the busiest time of year. Experts are projecting consumers will spend $602 billion this holiday season. And with billions in sales, there’s bound to be billions in merchandise returns, which can cause retailers to lose a significant profit margin.

However, the monetary drain of these lost sales does not end there. Additional “hidden” losses accrue when you factor in the time employees spend processing returns, evaluating the item’s resale potential, and restocking the returns. When an item must be discounted or, even worse, discarded after a return, it further compounds the company’s losses. There are also the administrative expenses of accounting for returns and managing the entire return system. For major chains, the costs can reach into the millions of dollars annually.

Below are the top seven hidden costs of returns:

1. Labor time and cost. Besides the staffing of the customer service role at the return counter, there are other aspects of labor including the time spent assessing the item’s condition, making it ready for re-sale (cleaning, tagging, folding, packaging), and placing it back on the selling floor or dispositioning it for other processes.

2. Credit/debit or other transaction fees. A retailer may typically see credit card interchange refunded, but not necessarily their transaction fees for authorization and settlement. So while the retailer may get back the majority of what they paid in fees, it is not every penny nor is a return a free transaction to them.

3. Restocking with markdowns. Even if an item is returned in re-sellable condition, it may be past its prime selling time. This might relate to the seasonality of the fashion or the status of the current model of the item. In many cases, items in this semi-out-of-date situation are subject to markdown discounts to clear the inventory from the selling floor, lowering the margin on that returned item.

4. Disposition of a non-sellable item. In many cases, the merchandise returned must have some extra action performed to determine whether it can be resold. Often this falls into a retailer’s reverse logistics process. The item may need to be sent to an interim location for inspection and testing. It may need to be re-packaged. It may need some or all of its accessories and manuals replaced. It may need to be returned to vendor for credit. It may need to be disposed. In all cases, it is removed from the selling floor, eliminating the possibility for the revenue and margin from the purchase.

5. Administrative costs. Depending on the destination of the returned item – back to the selling floor or out the back door – there are inventory and logging requirements to account for the item’s status and location. While modern supply chain systems help, tracking returned merchandise still requires attention to detail.

6. Shrink. Return rates and shrink are strongly correlated. The higher the store’s return rate, the higher its shrink. Studies show if a retailer takes actions to better control returns, shrink can be reduced by a significant amount.

7. The customer experience. While not a measurable cost like those above, the retailer’s relationship with their customer in this potentially negative encounter is paramount and, in fact, trumps all other costs. A fast, friendly, and flexible return experience is worth the retailer’s investment to ensure best customers keep their trust, and their spending, in the store’s brand.

Tom Rittman is VP of marketing for The Retail Equation, a leader in optimizing retailers’ revenue and margin by shaping behavior in every customer transaction.


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