REAL ESTATE

Report: American Dream Meadowlands mall close to signing big retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — American Dream Meadowlands, the much-delayed shopping and entertainment complex adjacent to Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., is close to signing several major retail tenants, according to Crain’s New York.

The complex, originally called Xanadu, was started in 2004, and never completed. It has gone through several changes in ownerships, eventually falling into default. In July, it was acquired by Canadian developer Triple Five Group.

Crain’s reported that Uniqlo, Topshop, Forever21 and Zara are in advanced negotiations to take space in the center. The complex will also have a big entertainment emphasis, with an indoor ski slope and the largest Ferris wheel in the U.S among the planned attractions.

However, the center’s future remains shadowed by an ongoing battle with Both parties are due in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack on Aug. 23 for a hearing-the latest in a long legal battle.

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FINANCE

Brown Shoe Co. swings from loss to profit

BY Dan Berthiaume

St. Louis – Brown Shoe Company swung from a net loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 to net earnings in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The retailer also boosted net sales and same-store sales.

For the quarter, Brown Shoe reported net earnings of $15.4 million, compared to a net loss of $2.5 million a year earlier. Net sales grew 10.1% to $621.7 million from $564.9 million and same-store sales rose 6/8%. The retailer attributed this strong performance to good sales growth in running, sandal and canvas shoe styles. During the quarter, Brown Shoe closed or relocated 14 stores and added 19 new stores, as average revenue per square foot continued to improve.

While consolidated net sales were up $57 million in the quarter — or 10% year-over-year — approximately $22 million of this amount was timing related, due to a shift in sales to the second quarter from the third quarter,” said Diane Sullivan, president and CEO of Brown Shoe Company. “Both retail and wholesale contributed to this quarter’s success, with Famous delivering record second quarter sales and operating profit and both of our wholesale platforms, Healthy Living and Contemporary Fashion, reporting double-digit increases in sales.”

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FINANCE

Tiffany net earnings sparkle in Q2

BY Staff Writer

New York – Tiffany & Co. grew its net earnings 16% during the second quarter of fiscal 2013, and also increased net sales and same-store sales. Net earnings increased 16% to $107 million, from $92 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

In addition, worldwide net sales rose 4% to $926 million while same-store sales grew 5% due to growth in most regions. In the Americas region, total sales increased 2% to $444 million in the second quarter and total sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose 20% to $208 million. The negative impact of currency translation due to a weakened yen caused total sales to decline 14% to $136 million in Japan, but without currency impact total sales in Japan would have risen 7%.

In addition, total sales in Europe rose 11% to $111 million in the second quarter and other sales increased 33% to $26 million, primarily reflecting the conversion in July 2012 of five stores in the United Arab Emirates from independently operated to company-operated.

"Total sales growth met our objective due to solid performance in most regions, and with particular strength in our statement and fine jewelry product categories,” said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO of Tiffany. “We were pleased with the results of our efforts to improve gross margin which, combined with well-controlled expenses, yielded a solid increase in operating margin."

Looking ahead, Tiffany sees the addition of a net of 14 company-operated stores. This includes opening six stores in the Americas, seven in Asia-Pacific and three in Europe, and closing one each in Asia-Pacific and Japan.

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