REAL ESTATE

Saks Off 5th to open in new center in Massachusetts

BY Staff Writer

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th announced that it plans to open a store in Merrimack, Mass., on June 14.

The 28,032-sq.-ft. store is located in Merrimack Premium Outlets, a new shopping center 55 miles northwest of Boston. The store’s launch will coincide with the outlet’s grand opening celebration, which will last from June 14 until June 17. Operated by Simon Malls, the Outlet Center will be home to a collection of 100 designer and name-brand outlet stores, up to four restaurants and a food court.

The new Off 5th store will feature the retailer’s “luxury-in-a-loft’ store design, which maximizes efficiency and flexibility, enabling easy changes in the general layout. The space will be bright, uncluttered, with no hard aisles and one consistent hard-surface floor throughout. All fixtures will be on casters, ensuring ease in movement, and all hardware will be interchangeable between fixtures.

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News

Retail sales slow in May, but industry not worried

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — After a surprisingly strong first quarter, consumers have slowed their spending in May, according to the latest report from the National Retail Federation. The NRF reported that May retail sales (excluding automobile, gas stations and restaurants) decreased 0.3%seasonally adjusted from April but increased 4.8% unadjusted year-over-year, marking 23 consecutive months of retail sales growth.

“As the first industry to feel any backlash from consumers’ attitudes about the revival of the economy, retailers are far from discouraged by May’s sales report, it’s evident that consumers are simply taking a breath,” said NRF Ppresident and CEO Matthew Shay. “Going forward, retailers will make sure to keep a steady eye on key economic indicators, being cautious with inventory and promotions as back to school – the second biggest time of the year – approaches.”

May retail sales, released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, showed total retail and food services sales (which includes non-general merchandise categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants) decreased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month but increased 7.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

“This economy thus far is working like an old machine with many fits, starts and even some sputtering,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Overall though, consumers are benefiting from the slow but steady decline in gasoline prices and we expect growth will resume, and should pick up through the fall.”

Other findings from the May retail sales figures include:

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 0.9% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and increased 7.3% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 0.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 1.2% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 0.4% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 11.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Health and personal care stores’ sales decreased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month but increased 3.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales decreased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month but increased 9.1% unadjusted year-over-year.

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FINANCE

Ascena completes Charming Shoppes tender offer

BY Marianne Wilson

Suffern, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group Inc. announced it has successfully completed its tender offer for Charming Shoppes Inc.’s outstanding shares.

Ascena announced in May it that was buying Charming Shoppes, whose banners include Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherines Plus Sizes, for about $890 million.

Charming Shoppes will become an Ascena subsidiary and will stop trading on the Nasdaq and Chicago Stock Exchange once the transaction is complete. Ascena’s retail subsidiaries include Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice.

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