REAL ESTATE

Mills to Focus on Core Operations

BY CSA STAFF

Arlington, Va., The Mills Corp. announced a plan to scale back its development projects. “We intend to enhance our focus on those projects with the greatest potential for shareholder value creation,” said Mark D. Ettenger, president of The Mills. “Our approach to every project will continue to stress discipline and a careful evaluation of risk-adjusted return, so that we can determine if the value to be created warrants the level of capital and management attention needed to pursue each opportunity.”

Domestically, The Mills will continue to concentrate its efforts on developments, including Meadowlands Xanadu (Bergen County, N.J.); 108 North State Street (Chicago); and Potomac Town Center (Woodbridge, Va.), the redevelopment projects at Del Amo Fashion Center (Los Angeles); The Shops at Riverside (Bergen County); Stoneridge (San Francisco, Calif.) and other selected properties. Accordingly, 10 predevelopment projects will be written off, including six domestic projects.

Internationally, the Mills will focus on Europe and Canada, both of which have been historically successful geographic regions for the company.

The company also intends to restate results from 2000 to 2004 and the first nine months of 2005 in an accounting move primarily related to its MEI subsidiary and accounting for long-term incentive compensation, it said.

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News

Tuesday Morning Reports Sales for 4Q, Year

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas, Tuesday Morning Corp. posted net sales of $335.2 million in its recently completed fourth quarter, up 0.8% from the year before. For the fiscal year, sales increased 3.8% to $931.8 million. Comp-store sales declined 5.3% for the quarter and fell 4.0% for the year.

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FINANCE

December Comps Gain 3.2%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Aflurry of shopping in late December helped retailers post a moderately strong month of sales. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), year-over-year comp-store sales for the industry increased 3.2%. This year’s tally bested December 2004, which showed comp-store-sales growth of 2.7%.

For the two-month holiday period, comps grew 3.5%, much stronger than the 2.3% gain registered in the same two-month period in 2004. For all of 2005, chain-store comps grew 3.7%, just off the pace of the previous year. The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, finished the month with comps of 2.2%, near the low end of its previous guidance, while rival Target Corp. posted a gain of 4.7%. One of the glaring sales disappointments is Gap Inc., which posted a comp-store decline of 9.0% in the month. In January, the ICSC expects same-store sales to increase 3.0% to 3.5%.

Other notable comp-store performances include:

Abercrombie & Fitch, 29.0% gain

Chico’s FAS, 16.4% gain

Costco Wholesale, 7.0% gain

Guess?, 17.5% gain

New York & Co.; 10.9% gain

Sharper Image, 15.0% decline

United Retail, 16.0% gain

Wet Seal, 38.5% gain

Wilsons Leather, 7.7% decline

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