OPERATIONS

Report: Retailers added more jobs in January

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A report released Monday by The Conference Board said that retail employers expanded their work forces in January.

The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index increased 0.2% to 100.5, the highest level in two years. The measure rose 7% from a year earlier.

“Employment growth is poised to accelerate,” Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomic research at the Conference Board, said. “Economic data as well as confidence measures have improved, and since employment growth typically lags, we expect larger numbers of jobs to be added back into the economy in coming months.”

The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor-market indicators to forecast short-term hiring trends. On average, the gauge can signal a rebound in hiring as little as three months before the fact and can predict job declines six to nine months in advance, the Conference Board said.

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FINANCE

Regency Centers breaks ground on $10 million retail renovation

BY CSA STAFF

Jacksonville, Fla. — Shopping center owner and developer Regency Centers said Monday that it has broken ground on a $10 million renovation of its Heritage Plaza, a 226,998-sq.-ft. retail center in Irvine, Calif.

The renovation of the Ralph’s-anchored center is scheduled for completion in November 2011.

The transformation will include a new exterior façade, upgraded architectural components, canvas awnings, new landscaping, new monument, building and wayfinding signage, wider pedestrian walkways, and the addition of focused gathering areas with benches, al fresco dining and sidewalk eating areas. The design was created by Nadel Architects and Hirsch & Associates.

Originally designed in the 1970s, Heritage Plaza was acquired by Regency in 1999.

The 44,376-sq.-ft. Ralph’s will undergo interior remodeling in June in conjunction with the center renovation. Heritage Plaza is tenanted by CVS/pharmacy, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Wendy’s, RadioShack and Elephant Bar Restaurant.

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News

Braun celebrates 90 years

BY CSA STAFF

KRONBERG, Germany — Braun celebrated its 90-year company anniversary on Feb. 1.Founded by Max Braun in 1921, Braun today is a globally successful brand and the world market leader in the foil shaver, epilator and handblender segments, according to the company.

Artur and Erwin Braun assumed the leadership of the company after the death of their father, Max Braun, in 1951. From 1955 they presided over the development of Braun Design, which remains famous to this day, introducing product icons such as the "Snow White’s Coffin" and the "sixtant." The protagonists who decisively shaped the unique Braun design were Dr. Fritz Eichler and Dieter Rams. Following its acquisition in 1967 by the Gillette Company of Boston, USA, Braun increasingly conquered the foreign market. Since October 2005, Braun has belonged to The Procter & Gamble Company, based in Cincinnati, USA, and is one of the consumer goods company’s top-earning brands.

Braun sees itself as well-equipped for the future, as Braun Vice President Markus Strobel explains: "The basis of Braun’s success lies in the consistent realization of our core equity values. In our product development we stress pioneering innovation, premium quality, and clear, distinctive design. The consumer and his needs are the starting point of all our efforts. They are our motivation in developing new technologies of high practical value and creating products that are of reliable, enduring quality right down to the smallest detail."

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