REAL ESTATE

Real Estate and tech, through a Millennial’s eyes

BY Katherine Boccaccio

First, who said technology coverage has little to do with retail real estate commentary?

And second, who said the Millennials aren’t wise beyond their years?

For the record, I never said either.

I’m glad I didn’t, because here is a link to an editorial that would refute both. Adam Arinder, a Baton Rouge, La., university student, penned the piece for LSU’s college newspaper The Daily Reveille. (Read it here.)

I think we old dogs in retail real estate could learn a thing or two.


Past Blog Entries by Katherine Field Boccaccio

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News

Dick’s gets in the U.K. sporting goods game

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH — Dick’s Sporting Goods is looking into opportunities beyond the United States and has agreed to make a 20 million pounds Sterling strategic investment in JJB Sports plc, a leading U.K. sports retailer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dick’s Sporting Goods will purchase 18.75 million pounds in junior secured convertible notes and 1.25 million pounds in ordinary shares of JJB Sports, subject to the approval of JJB’s shareholders. In addition, Dick’s has been granted the option to purchase an additional 20 million pounds in junior secured convertible notes of JJB in connection with a follow-on financing expected to take place in the first fiscal quarter of 2013. Subject to certain conditions, the notes are convertible into ordinary shares of JJB Sports at Dick’s election. Upon full conversion of the notes, Dick’s would become a controlling shareholder of JJB. Certain current shareholders of JJB are also expected to participate in the 2012 and 2013 financings through the subscription for 10 million pounds and 5 million pounds, respectively, of additional ordinary shares of JJB.

In conjunction with its investment in JJB Sports, Dick’s will be entitled to nominate up to two non-executive directors to serve on the board of JJB. Dick’s will also be entitled to board observer rights under certain circumstances.

"This is an exciting strategic investment that provides us with a valuable introduction into the workings of the United Kingdom sporting goods market from an established company that shares our commitment to serving the needs of core athletes," said Edward Stack, chairman and CEO. "By partnering with JJB, we will be positioned to share our more than 60 years of operating experience in the United States while gaining insight into the specific needs of U.K. athletes, which will serve as a stepping stone for our company’s future growth and development."

In a separate announcement, Dick’s Sporting Goods said it completed the purchase of the intellectual property rights to the Top-Flite brand from Callaway Golf Company and will now be the exclusive retailer of Top-Flite products.The intellectual property rights acquired include all Top-Flite trademarks and service marks world-wide.

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FINANCE

Warm weather gives apparel retailers and department stores a boost in March

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Many apparel retailers and department stores registered solid gains in March, as an early spring brought out shoppers looking for seasonal merchandise earlier than they typically would. Last month was the warmest March in North America in more than 50 years, according to weather data provider Planalytics.

Macy’s, Kohl’s Corp., Limited Brands and Gap Inc. were among the retailers who topped analyst estimates.

Macy’s said that its same-store sales climbed 7.3%, outpacing the 4.8% increase predicted by the Street. The company also raised its forecast for the key revenue metric for the combined March and April period, citing its strong March results.

Macy’s, which includes online sales in its calculation of the key monthly revenue figure, said that it benefited from an earlier Easter and moving a cosmetics event to March from April last year. Total revenue for the five weeks ended March 31 increased 6.9% to $2.36 billion.

Limited, parent of Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works, said its same-store sales in March rose 8%, handily topping Wall Street expectations.

Gap Inc. reported a 10% increase in same-store sales in March. The chain said it benefitted from customer response to its new merchandise. By brand, Gap North America’s sales rose 9%, and Banana Republic North America’s sales were up 5%. Old Navy North America saw its sales climb 11%. On the international front, sales were up 2%.

“We delivered solid sales performance in March and are pleased with customer response to product across all brands,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap.

Kohl’s credited warmer weather and an earlier Easter with helping to boost its same-store sales in March by 3.6%. Analysts had expected an increase of 2.1%.

Saks Inc. said its same-store sales rose 6.3% in March on strong demand for contemporary apparel, accessories and other items. The results matched average Wall Street predictions.

At The Buckle, same-store sales in March rose 6.4%, less than Wall Street had expected.

In other apparel same-store sales results for March:

• Zumiez said its same-store sales rose 14.1%;
• The Wet Seal reported a 7.8% decline;
• Cato Corp.’s sales increased 7%.

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