REAL ESTATE

Report: U.S. centers gain in occupied space in Q4; asking rents average $38.92 per square foot

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Shopping centers in the United States had their first net gain in occupied space in four years amid a rise in consumer confidence and job growth, according real estate research firm Reis Inc., Bloomberg reported.

Neighborhood and community shopping shoppers saw a net increase of 3.18 million sq. ft. in the fourth quarter, the most since 10.1 million sq. ft. in the last three months of 2007.

“While this represents welcome news, we remain wary about pronouncing a turnaround until we observe a few more quarters of improvement,” Victor Calanog, head of research, Reis, said in the report.

The fourth quarter tends to be the strongest period of the year for retail leasing.

Vacancies at shopping centers averaged 11% in the fourth quarter, consistent with the previous three months and up from 10.9% in the year-ago period, the report said.

At regional and super-regional malls, asking rents rose to an average of $38.92 per sq. ft. from $38.81 in the third quarter and $38.79 a year earlier, according to Reis, Bloomberg reported.

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Craft & Hobby Association names new leader

BY CSA STAFF

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) board of directors has announced Andrej Suskavcevic as new president and CEO of CHA. The appointment of Suskavcevic concludes an eight-month executive search during which Tony Lee, VP meetings and expositions, served as CHA’s interim leader.

"After a long and exhaustive national search, we believe Andrej has the expertise and qualifications needed to lead CHA forward, capitalizing on the positive momentum created by Tony and Team CHA," says Larry Olliges, CHA board chairman."Andrej has some core strengths in marketing, public relations and finance that make him uniquely qualified for this position at this time. We have every confidence in him and look forward to great things."

Since 2007, Suskavcevic has served as CEO of the Commercial Finance Association (CFA) in New York City. CFA is the premier trade association for the asset-based lending and factoring industries. Previously, he was VP operations at Financial Executives International (FEI) in Morristown, N.J., a professional association for CFOs, controllers and treasurers. Before joining FEI, he served as COO at Zepter International, an international cookware and tabletop company.

"I am very excited about joining CHA and working with members to grow and develop the organization to be a champion for the industry," said Suskavcevic. "I see opportunities for CHA to be the ultimate resource for the industry and a platform for members to share their expertise and connect with customers globally."

Suskavcevic is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and active member of the American Society of Association Executives. He holds a bachelor of science in finance from Montclair University and a master’s of business administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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American Apparel selects Oracle applications to support global retail channels

BY Staff Writer

Redwood Shores, Calif. — American Apparel has chosen Oracle ATG Web Commerce and Oracle ATG Web Commerce Customer Service applications to help grow its global, multi-channel retail business. The apparel retailer will use Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce to personalize the customer experience across all channels, including the web, contact center, mobile devices, social media and in stores.

“American Apparel has a large, talented ecommerce team and we needed a platform and tools to fit our growth and customer service needs,” said Stacey Shulman, CIO, American Apparel. “Oracle ATG Commerce solutions provide us a scalable platform with the flexibility and intelligence to personalize our offerings and drive our online growth.”

The implementation is part of a larger business strategy in which American Apparel will grow revenue, reduce inventory costs and extend its commerce and merchandising operations worldwide. The chain selected Oracle because it required a scalable, reliable platform with the ability to personalize offers, cross-sell merchandise and extend the commerce environment to meet specific requirements.

American Apparel has chosen Object Edge, a member in the Oracle PartnerNetwork, as its implementation and integration partner.

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