Posiflex releases new mini-PC controller
Hayward, Calif. — Posiflex’s new TX4200E is a small industrial PC multipurpose controller that runs virtually any software to drive digital signage, kitchen control configurations, PC replacement, surveillance systems, point-of-purchase displays, POS and service, and wired or wireless vending or kiosk applications.
Powered by a Dual-core Intel Atom D2550 CPU 1.86 GHz with 4GB of DDR RAM for fast-task processing, the TX4200E also has a VESA bracket enabling it to be mounted behind a monitor or HDTV, hidden from view. This allows any VESA-compliant display or TV into a full-featured PC or digital signage unit. The TX4200E’s aluminum housing is fanless and ventless for quiet, cool operation.
TheTX4200E can be used as a PC replacement and is built on commercial-class embedded operating systems and CPUs. Its small footprint with Wi-Fi capability allows the TX4200E to be used for anywhere integration. The controller also offerss a variety of I/O port configurations, low power consumption, HDMI, and flexible options such as powered 24V USB, Wi-Fi and 64GB SSD.
“The TX4200E is a small-form-factor PC that delivers a powerful combination of both video and data, and it offers optional Wi-Fi expandability for anywhere computing,” said Doyle Ledford, VP of sales at Posiflex. “The TX4200E, along with six USB ports, a cash register port, four com ports and an optional powered 24V USB, provides wide ranging expandability and scale.”
Q&A with Joseph Coradino, CEO of PREIT
Joseph Coradino stepped up to the post of CEO at Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust in June of 2012. At the time, he had been with PREIT and a predecessor company for three decades. Since 2004, he had served as president of PREIT Services and PREIT-RUBIN. He had been a Trustee since 2006.
When the appointment was announced, Coradino evaluated PREIT’s business position. “We are operating from a position of strength today given the strides we have made in our development and redevelopment programs, diversifying our revenue streams and increasing occupancy and improving our margins,” he said.
His plan: keep moving forward. And he has. On the day of his appointment as CEO — June 7, 2012, PREIT stock opened at $12.27 per share. On October 25, 2013, about 16 months later, shares cost $18.99, an increase of nearly 55%.
Back in February of this year, the company declared a 12.5% increase in dividends per common share.
PREIT is on the move, and Coradino aims to keep it moving. The strategy as laid out in the 2012 annual report has four objectives:
- Balance sheet improvement
- Operational excellence
- Elevating portfolio quality
- Positioning for growth
The 2012 annual report describes progress toward each of those objectives. Recently, Chain Store Age asked Joseph Coradino if 2013 has kept pace with 2012. Here’s what he had to say.
Your 2012 annual report called 2012 “a year of tremendous transformation and accomplishment for PREIT” and looked to continue the momentum in 2013. Have you?
We absolutely have — we have a strong balance sheet, have continued to demonstrate stable operational performance, have improved the quality of our portfolio and have put ourselves in a position to be able to grow the platform.
Let’s talk about balance sheet improvements for 2013. Have you issued any securities this year? What did the proceeds go toward?
In May, we issued $230 million in common equity. We used the proceeds to pay down debt. We were one of the most highly leveraged companies in our sector, and it was a very high priority for us to change that.
What balance sheet ratios are you working to improve? What are the ratios now? What is your goal?
We are primarily concerned with our leverage ratio, defined by our banks as debt to gross asset value. As of the end of the second quarter, we were at 49.8%, the lowest since 2005. We hope to get into the low to mid 40s. But it has changed dramatically already. We used to say below 60 was the goal. Then we wanted to get to 50. So we’re happy to be talking about the prospects of the low 40s.
Let’s turn to your second strategic objective of operational improvements. In 2012, you brought a number of high quality retailers and restaurants — Apple and Grand Lux Café, for instance — to your properties. Have you been able to continue that?
This year has been a good year in that regard. We opened a lot of great stores.
We opened one of the first three Dynamite stores in the U.S. at Cherry Hill Mall, where we also signed Williams Sonoma.
At Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids, Mich., our tenant roster continues to improve with a new H&M store opening at the end of October, a new Soma store and an Art of Shaving.
We opened a Francesca’s Collection and Teavana at Exton Square Mall — upgrades for the affluent shoppers in that area.
We are also looking forward to a new J.Crew Factory at Plymouth Meeting Mall.
What is your portfolio occupancy rate?
Through June, mall non-anchor occupancy was up 200 basis points to 89.6% over the prior June.
You have classified PREIT properties under three headings — premier, core growth and opportunistic. How is this helping you to elevate portfolio quality?
This has helped us do a number of things. Primarily it helps us illustrate the inherent quality of our portfolio to retailers and investors. We have been defined by our lower-productivity properties and wanted to start educating the public that those are few in number, and their contribution to our income stream is limited as well. It has also helped us internally think about how and where to focus our energy.
What are the criteria for moving a property into a non-core category and selling it?
We have primarily moved properties that have been a drag on our ability to lease space and renew tenants at our better properties. In other cases, we felt we would need to make significant capital investments to stay competitive, and we have simply felt that we really wanted to allocate to our better properties.
Has all this work positioned PREIT for growth?
Well, I like to say all the work we’ve been doing has put us at the starting line — so for the next year, we’re looking to ramp up our performance and start to grow our portfolio, both by delivering on organic opportunities and finding quality new properties to add to our portfolio.
Kmart expanding online and in-store conveniences to Puerto Rico
Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Kmart announced it is extending its integrated retail shopping strategy, which connects online and in-store shopping channels to provide more flexible ways to shop, to customers in Puerto Rico. For the first time this holiday season, Puerto Rico-based Kmart customers and Shop Your Way members will have access to online layaway, store-to-home shipping, free Anyone, Anywhere pickup and free store pickup.
The expansion coincides with the launch of a localized e-commerce channel that has been created within Kmart.com. The site also allows customers in Puerto Rico to enter their ZIP code and shop online at Kmart.com for a relevant assortment of products.
"Kmart strives to provide a seamless experience for our customers," said Dave Rodney, regional VP of Kmart Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "We are excited to give our Shop Your Way members and customers in Puerto Rico access to new options that enhance the experience in-store and online."
Expanded in-store and online shopping amenities will bring added convenience to customers in Puerto Rico by giving more choices and additional ways to shop and save this holiday season. Customers will find new ways to plan holiday spending with online layaway, save time with store-to-home shipping and minimize unnecessary shipping costs with free Anyone, Anywhere pickup and free store pickup.