REAL ESTATE

PREIT finances one mall, pays off another

BY Michael Fickes

Philadelphia — Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust has completed the financing of Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and used a portion of the proceeds to repay the mortgage loan balance on Beaver Valley Mall in Monaca, Pa., without penalty.

The new 10-year, non-recourse loan on Wyoming Valley Mall totals $78 million and replaces a $65 million loan that was repaid in September. The transaction produced proceeds of $13 million. The interest rate on the new mortgage is 5.17%, a decrease of 68 basis points from the previous rate.

The company used a portion of the proceeds from the new loan to pay off the $42.2 million mortgage loan balance on Beaver Valley Mall, which is now unencumbered. That load carried an interest rate of 9.36% and was set to mature in April 2032. The balance of the proceeds was used to pay down amounts outstanding under the company’s 2013 revolving facility and for general corporate purposes.

"PREIT has made significant improvements in strengthening its balance sheet in 2013 with these transactions being examples of our commitment," said Joseph Coradino, CEO of PREIT. "We are pleased with the favorable terms we received on Wyoming Valley Mall’s financing and to have paid off the mortgage loan on Beaver Valley which carried a disproportionately high interest rate."

Wyoming Valley Mall is a 910,000-sq.-ft. mall in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., anchored by Sears, J.C. Penney, Bon-Ton and Macy’s with sales per square foot of $396 as of September 30, 2013. Beaver Valley Mall is a 1,154,000-sq.-ft. mall in Monaca, Pa., anchored by Sears, Boscov’s, J.C. Penney and Macy’s with sales per square foot of $272 as of September 30, 2013.

In 2013, the company completed $291.1 million of property-level financings yielding approximately $31.7 million in proceeds at an average interest rate of 4.26%, a 127 basis point reduction versus the previous mortgages.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Macy’s to build new fulfillment center

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – Macy’s will build a major direct-to-consumer fulfillment center near Owasso in Tulsa County, Okla., to support continued sales growth driven by Macy’s omni-channel strategy. The company is expected to invest more than $170 million in the facility, including the latest technology in material handling equipment and warehouse management systems.

Construction of the 1.3 million-sq.-ft. facility is expected to begin in spring 2014, with operations starting in April 2015 and the first orders shipping in summer 2015. When fully operational, the Tulsa fulfillment center is expected to employ approximately 1,500 full- and part-time associates year-round. In addition, another 1,000 or more temporary seasonal associates are expected to be hired each year to handle a significantly higher level of online orders from customers during the holiday shopping season

“The rapid growth of Macy’s direct-to-customer shipments, rooted in our omni-channel approach to business, requires us to continue to strategically add fulfillment capacity so our customers can receive their orders quickly and efficiently,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s, Inc. “Customers today are shopping whenever, however and wherever they prefer, via stores, desktops and mobile devices, and we continue to invest to meet the customer demand. We have rolled out fulfillment capability to 500 Macy’s stores nationwide, as well as built three major fulfillment centers over the past seven years. Our new Tulsa County facility will represent another significant expansion of our shipping capacity, particularly to customers in central and southern regions of the United States.”

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FINANCE

Target.com experiences digital growth

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target says that online traffic continues to grow at double-digit rates, with mobile sales growing more than 100% for the holiday period. Target.com experienced two of the strongest days of sales in its history on Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

In addition, Target was recently ranked as the most-browsed retailer on mobile over the past six months, according to a new report from Mobiquity.

Cartwheel, Target’s omni-channel promotional program, has gained more than 1 million new users this holiday season, and now 4 million customers have signed up since Cartwheel launched in May. The average savings per guest has increased by more than 40%, and since launch, Cartwheel users have saved more than $25 million. Cartwheel users will also have a one-day sale on Dec. 19 when nearly 40 items, from toys and apparel to cookware, will have special offers with discounts ranging from 10 to 60% off. Also, Target.com’s new buy online, pickup in store service, will be available for holiday shopping through 2 p.m. local time on Dec. 24.

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