FINANCE

New Shopping Centers to Seek LEED Gold

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Talbert Development, Burbank, Calif., is showing its green stripes. The company is developing two sustainable retail centers in California, both of which of which are being built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification standards.

Talbert’s The Shoppes of Rancho Mirage, in Rancho Mirage, is expected open in early 2009. Designed by Charles Martin Architect in Palm Desert, Calif., it will feature cool-roof technology that keeps roofs up to 70 degrees cooler; and dual-flush toilets that reduce water consumption up to 20%. Other sustainable features include ultra-high efficiency air-conditioning units with economizers, high-insulated walls and electric refueling stations for golf carts and cars.

Because of the green features that have been built into the center, tenants will save 20% to 40% on energy costs compared to other conventional and older buildings, according to Talbert.

The Shoppes of La Quinta, in La Quinta, Calif., is expected to break ground in June 2009. It is being designed by Perkowitz + Ruth Architects, Long Beach, Calif., and will feature an array of alternative-energy technologies and sustainable-development practices.

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Jo-Ann Stores reports 3Q sales increase, raises outlook

BY CSA STAFF

HUDSON, Ohio Jo-Ann Stores reported that net sales for the third quarter ended Nov. 1, were $480.1 million compared to $480.2 million in the prior year. Same-store sales decreased 1.5% versus a same-store sales increase of 2.4% last year.

The company said it expects to report slightly improved third quarter earnings compared to last years third quarter earnings of 32 cents per diluted share.

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Gap Inc. October comps down 16%

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO Gap Inc. reported net sales of $1.08 billion for the four-week period ended Nov. 1, a decrease of 12% as compared with net sales of $1.23 billion for the same period in 2007. Comparable-store sales decreased 16%, compared to an 8% decrease for October 2007.

Comps for Gap decreased 14%, Banana Republic saw a 17% comps drop, Old Navy posted comps of negative 20% and International comps came in at a 5% decrease.

“In October, we continued to deliver merchandise margins significantly above last year despite the tough market conditions,” said cfo Sabrina Simmons. “We are reaffirming our full-year earnings guidance and will continue to use inventory and cost management to offset what we anticipate will be a challenging holiday season.”

For the 13-week third quarter, total company net sales were $3.56 billion, a decrease of 8% from $3.85 billion in 2007. Comparable-store sales decreased 12%, compared with a decrease of 5% in the third quarter of the prior year.

Third-quarter comps fell 7% at Gap, 11% at Banana Republic, 18% at Old Navy and 1% internationally.

Gap Inc. expects diluted EPS on a GAAP basis for the third quarter to be 33 cents to 35 cents, compared with diluted EPS of 30 cents last year. The company reaffirmed that it expects full-year diluted EPS of $1.30 to $1.35 on a GAAP basis, compared with fiscal year 2007 diluted earnings per share of $1.05.

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