REAL ESTATE

Online retailer Respect Your Universe to open its first store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Portland, Ore. – The online active lifestyle apparel retailer Respect Your Universe has signed a five year lease with General Growth Properties Inc. to open its initial flagship store in downtown Seattle at Westlake Center. The retailer has partnered with Los Angeles-based architect and retail strategist Richard Altuna to design the 2,082-sq.-ft. flagship store.

RYU anticipates that the store will open in late December 2013 to capture a portion of holiday sales and will undergo transition into the full flagship design in time for the grand opening in late March, 2014.

The company’s near -expansion plan includes an outlet store which is currently in the final stages of negotiations and is expected to open in early 2014. In addition, RYU has begun discussion with another premium mall landlord for a second flagship store with a target opening in the first half of 2014.

"This is a milestone for RYU as it demonstrates GGP’s belief in our new retail concept in a location that generates significant retail traffic,” said CEO Craig Brod. “This marks a milestone step in our efforts to reposition our brand and to execute our retail expansion strategy."

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FINANCE

Safeway names Eastern Division president

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Safeway has appointed Brian Baer to president of the company’s Eastern Division. Baer joined Safeway in 2001 as VP finance for the company’s Phoenix Division. In 2004, he became group VP finance planning and analysis at the Safeway’s corporate headquarters.

Baer joined the Dominick’s Division as CFO in 2008, and was promoted to president of that Division in 2011. Prior to joining Safeway, Baer spent more than 12 years with the Marriott Corporation serving in various financial management positions in operations, corporate finance and real estate development.

"Brian’s proven management skills and experience will serve our customer base well in the Eastern Division," said Kelly Griffith, Safeway executive VP, retail operations.

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News

Central Garden & Pet’s loss widens in fourth quarter

BY CSA STAFF

Central Garden & Pet Company CEO John Ranelli offered a contrite response regarding the company’s lack of sufficient progress in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2013.

"Our financial results are simply unacceptable," said Ranelli. "While we will see some improvements along the way, it is going to take another year or two to get our performance consistently where we want it to be. We are taking deliberate actions to improve our company’s performance and achieve its true potential. We will continue to focus on putting our customers first, cutting costs, and raising profits to drive shareholder value."

The company reported net sales of $368.8 million for the quarter ended Sept. 28, down 7% on a year-over-year basis.

Meanwhile, a net loss of $22.6 million for the quarter was more than double that of 2012’s fourth quarter loss.

For the full year, the company’s net sales were $1.65 billion, down 3% from $1.7 billion in fiscal 2012. The net loss for the full year was $1.9 million, compared to earnings of $21.2 million in the previous year.

"We have made good progress in our Pet segment in laying the foundation for future success," added Ranelli. "However, our Garden results are disappointing. We are beginning to implement the same operating philosophies and disciplines we are instituting in our Pet segment to drive improvement in our Garden segment. Although our company’s results are expected to be choppy, I am confident these improvements will drive more favorable results over the long term."

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