REAL ESTATE

New outlet mall breaks ground in Phoenix

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Phoenix — Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group said Wednesday that its Premium Outlets division has launched construction of Phoenix Premium Outlets, an upscale outlet shopping center serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.

Phoenix Premium Outlets will be located in Chandler, Ariz. Phase I of the project will be comprised of 360,000 sq. ft. housing approximately 90 outlet stores featuring high-quality designer and name brands. A spring 2013 opening is planned.

"We are pleased to begin a new project that is creating hundreds of new jobs and significant economic development for the area," said John R. Klein, president of Simon’s Premium Outlets division.

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Allure of single price point could prompt further dollar store designs

BY CSA STAFF

Walk into a Target store anywhere in the U.S. and it’s a safe bet there will be at least a few customer rummaging through the bins of single price point merchandise in the Dollar Spot located just inside store entrances. The ever changing assortment’s treasure hunt appeal and single price point value proposition are simply too much for many customers to bypass. It is enough to make wanna-be merchants wonder if further expansion of the concept makes sense for Target, especially considering the raging success companies such as Dollar General and Family Dollar are having.

On Wednesday, Familiy Dollar reported a second quarter profit that increased 10.7% to $136.4 million compared with $123.2 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable-store sales increased 4.5%, thanks to increased customer traffic and increased average ticket. Sales were strongest in the consumables and seasonal and electronics categories.

Strong results from the nation’s second largest dollar store operator followed even stronger results the prior week from Dollar General, a company which now operates more than 10,000 stores. Dollar General’s quarterly profit surged 33% to a record $299 million, from $226 million in the prior year, and comps were up 6.5%.

Dollar General plans to open 625 new stores this year and remodel 550, while Family Dollar plans to open 450 to 500 stores.

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Workers’ rights issues emerge in Canada

BY CSA STAFF

The United States isn’t the only country where workers’ rights are called into question by pro labor groups. North of the border, Target, which is expanding there for the first time, is facing criticism for its "anti-worker" policies from unions in both the United States and Canada.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York States largest grocery workers union, has met with leadership from the Canadian labor movement to discuss cross border strategies to combat Target Stores growing anti-worker policies, according to a press release issued by UFCW.

"The walmartization of Target is in full swing and is effecting workers, families and consumers throughout North America," said Kevin Shimmin, a National representative for UFCW Canada. " We are excited to work with UFCW Local 1500 and other labor leaders from the United States to make sure Target Stores is held accountable in both the court of public opinion and the legal courts for their actions."

UFCW takes paticular issue with Target’s policies related to the conversion of Zellers stores. In a press statement, the union’s Canada arm said it was opposed to Target’s plans to have all jobs at the former Zellers stores filled by new hires, and that even long-time Zellers employees would need to reapply.

UFCW Canada has launched an all-out campaign that includes billboards, bus-stop ads and a websiteto paint Target as an unfair employer.

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