News

Riverchase Galleria, Hoover, Ala.

BY CSA STAFF

Alabama’s number-one shopping destination can now say that it is not only getting a new Von Maur department store, but also a full-scale renovation.

General Growth Properties and Jim Wilson & Associates’ Riverchase Galleria, located in Hoover, Ala., has unveiled a massive redevelopment project that will include expansive updates, modernization, and enhancement of both the interior and the exterior of the property.

Scheduled to begin in 2012 and be completed in 2013, other improvements include: relocation and upgrade of Center Court elevators to enhance sight-lines and provide better customer service; installation of aesthetic architectural elements, including pendant fixtures and “sails” with accent lighting throughout Center Court; upgrading and modernizing mall entrances and pedestrian bridge entrances; parking deck improvements; and the renovation and expansion of Center Court public restrooms. New landscaping and way-finding signage will be indigenous and complementary of the surrounding Riverchase and Hoover communities.

“GGP is proud of the reputation Riverchase Galleria has in Hoover and the entire state of Alabama,” said Tom Martin, senior general manager, Riverchase Galleria. “The proposed redevelopment and refresh of the center is critical to the success of the center. With the addition of Von Maur, the reputation and popularity of the Galleria is only further solidified as the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination.”

Alabama’s first Von Maur will open to Riverchase Galleria’s new refreshed look in 2013. The 187,000-sq.-ft. store is located in the eight-story-high glass atrium at center court under the world’s largest skylight. It will be the Galleria’s fifth department store, joining Macy’s, Sears, J.C. Penney and Belk. Von Maur will join other soon-to-open retailers, such as Jared Jewelry and Earth Fare.

Riverchase Galleria is a joint venture between General Growth Properties and Jim Wilson & Associates. The property opened in February 1986 and recently celebrated its 26th anniversary.


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News

Walmart gives new digital life to DVDs

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES — Movie lovers can now access their favorite DVDs/Blu-ray films on their Internet-connected devices, thanks to a new program from Walmart and its streaming video service, Vudu.

Starting April 16 in more than 3,500 stores, Walmart customers will be able to bring their DVD and Blu-ray collections to Walmart and receive digital access to their favorite titles from partnering studios including Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. An equal conversion for standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVDs can be upgraded to High-Def (HD) for $5.

“Walmart is helping America get access to their DVD library,” said John Aden, EVP for general merchandising Walmart U.S. “Walmart entertainment’s new disc-to-digital service will allow our customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they’ve made in disc purchases over the years. We believe this revolutionary in-store service will unlock new value for already-owned DVDs, and will encourage consumers to continue building physical and digital movie libraries in the future.”

The participating studios were also excited about the opportunity

“Consumers today want new and flexible ways to enjoy movies and Walmart’s disc-to-digital program will be another important avenue to introduce Paramount movies on this new platform to a broader, more comprehensive audience,” said Dennis Maguire, president Worldwide Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures. “The unmatched reach of Walmart – which serves over 140 million consumers every week – means we can quickly grow awareness for this unique technology throughout every region across the country.”

To watch a video from Walmart explaining the service, click here.

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FINANCE

Pacific Sunwear Q4 net loss widens

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Anaheim, Calif. — Pacific Sunwear of Calif. Inc. reported Tuesday that its loss for the quarter ended Jan. 28 widened to $38.1 million, compared with a net loss of $35.2 million a year earlier. Sales dipped 1% to $234.2 million from $237.6 million, missing Wall Street’s expected revenue of $245.9 million.

PacSun has been in the throes of a right-sizing effort, working to build sales while closing underperforming stores. The company closed 87 stores during fourth quarter and ended fiscal 2011 with 733 stores.

“We remain focused on the key merchandising, in-store and digital initiatives that we believe are critical to successfully rebuilding the PacSun brand and our position in the marketplace," said Gary Schoenfeld, president and CEO.

For the full year, PacSun’s loss widened to $106.4 million, from a loss of $96.6 million in 2011. Revenue was essentially flat at $833.8 million.

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