FINANCE

Retail sales mixed in August

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Although back-to-school sales were expectedly sluggish, retail sales for the month of August benefited from a late boost in store traffic.

Of the retailers still reporting monthly sales – most so far are reporting slight increases in August same-store sales. Retail Metrics forecast an overall August gain of 3.2% year-over-year; retail sales advanced 3.3% during the same period last year.

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a same-store sales rise of 4% in August, surpassing a forecast 3.8% gain.

The Limited saw August comps climb 2%, just missing an expected rise of 2.1%. Total sales for the month rose to $704.7 million, from $665.6 million.

The Buckle beat forecasts with a 1% rise, but was off last year’s mark of a 4.5% gain. Revenue for the month inched up 0.3% to $101.1 million.

Stein Mart same-store sales rose 3.8%, and Cato Corp. recorded a 2% drop.

At Fred’s Inc., same-store sales were flat to a decline of 2.8% last year. Total sales were also flat, at $140 million.

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REAL ESTATE

NRDC signs three tenants at Pohatcong Plaza

BY Michael Fickes

Purchase, N.Y. — Hobby Lobby, Marshall’s and Home Goods have leased more than 98,000 sq. ft. of space at 562,000-sq.-ft. Pohatcong Plaza power center in Phillipsburg, N.J., according to National Realty & Development Corp.

The retailers will occupy a redeveloped building where Wal-Mart operated before expanding to a Supercenter early last year — in NRDC’s adjoining Pohatcong Plaza II.

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REAL ESTATE

MC Sports signs into East Peoria center

BY Michael Fickes

Peoria, Ill. — MC Sports will open a 22,555-sq.-ft. location at Town Centre II in East Peoria this fall, according to Cullinan Properties, the firm that arranged the lease.

Town Centre II is owned by M&L Joseph Properties, a real estate investment partnership that owns retail and office properties throughout central Illinois. M&L Joseph and Cullinan are partners in an effort to enhance the retail mix at Town Centre II.

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