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Report: Reopening of Filene’s Basement in Boston Put on Hold

BY CSA STAFF

New York City The lead developer of Boston’s Downtown Crossing redevelopment project, home of the original Filene’s Basement outlet, has put the project on hold indefinitely until costs can be reduced and financing secured, Business First of Columbus reported. The store is located in a building that is being redeveloped as a mixed-use retail, office and residential center. It has been closed since last fall.

Developer John Hynes said at a real estate panel discussion last week that the project’s construction is being halted for at least 30 to 90 days, and that he was unsure when it may resume, according to the report.

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Study: Organic market not recession-proof

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO According to Mintel, the market for organic foods and beverages should reach $7.2 billion in 2008, an increase of over 140% from the $3.0 billion recorded during 2003. But year-over-year, Mintel has seen sales growth slowing. With many Americans now struggling financially, Mintel projects that sales of organic foods and beverages will not rally anytime soon.

Rising food and gas prices, the credit crunch and economic uncertainty have deeply affected peoples shopping habits, comments Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst at Mintel. Across the board, Americans are spending less and organic versus traditional is a decision many people are thinking about carefully.

People are also saving money by reaching for private label organics, which have exploded in recent years. Mintels Global New Product Database (GNPD) tracked over 540 new private label organic foods in 2007, a massive increase from the 35 new products seen in 2003. Furthermore, when Mintel asked survey respondents about the difference between name brand and private label organics, three in five (60%) said it didnt matter, that they reached for whatever is available when shopping. Private label posts an increasingly large threat to branded organic lines.

Economic struggles will undoubtedly change the way organic food and drink is sold. But we dont expect people to completely stop buying organics, states Mogelonsky. We anticipate more subtle changes, such as the formerly all-organic shopper who returns to traditional cookie brands while sticking with organic produce. These small changes will slow market growth.

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A&F names new cfo

BY CSA STAFF

NEW ALBANY, Ohio Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced that Jonathan Ramsden has been named evp and cfo, effective upon his joining Abercrombie & Fitch in early to mid-December.

For the past 10 years, Ramsden has served as the cfo and a member of the executive team of TBWA Worldwide, a large advertising agency network with more than 11,000 employees worldwide and a division of Omnicom Group.

“Jonathan came to us by way of a nationwide executive search for a new cfo. We were extremely impressed by several of the candidates, but Jonathan clearly stood out above the rest,” said Mike Jeffries, ceo and chairman of the board of Abercrombie & Fitch.

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