REAL ESTATE

Saks to make Canada debut, in Toronto

BY Marianne Wilson

Toronto — Hudson’s Bay Company will sell its flagship in downtown Toronto and neighboring office tower for C$650 million ($587.09 million) to an affiliate of commercial real estate developer Cadillac Fairview Corp., and open a full-line, 150,000-sq.-ft. Saks store in the leased-back space.

“This sale-leaseback provides HBC with resources to deleverage and accelerate investment in our growth initiatives,” said Hudson’s Bay CEO Richard Baker the statement. “We continue to explore other options to create additional value through the power and potential of our real estate assets.”

Hudson’s Bay, which also owns Lord & Taylor, bought Saks Inc for $2.4 billion last year.

Saks has also agreed to lease space for a full-line store in Toronto’s Sherway Gardens mall under the arrangement, Bloomberg reported.

As of August, the company had more than 17 million sq. ft. of owned and ground leased properties from Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Saks full-line stores, according to its website.

Nordstrom is also getting ready to prepares to open its first store in Canada this year, setting the stage for a battle between two top U.S. luxury chains in the heart of the country’s most competitive retail market.

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OPERATIONS

Francesca’s CEO to assume additional title of president; COO leaves

BY Staff Writer

Houston — Francesca’s Holdings Corp. announced that in connection with a management restructuring, Theresa Backes, president and COO of Francesca’s, will be leaving the company effective Jan. 27.

The board of directors appointed Neill P. Davis, Francesca’s CEO, to the additional title of president. The retailer said it will not replace the COO position, and will realign the responsibilities among Davis and other existing executive officers.

"We believe this reorganization will bring me closer to others within our management structure as we focus on growing our business,” David said. “We believe our differentiated business model, combined with our retail growth strategy and execution of our operational initiatives will continue to drive improvements in long-term shareholder value."

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OPERATIONS

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf names VP of store development

BY Staff Writer

Los Angeles — The Coffee Bean & Tea Left said that Bill Robards has joined the company as VP of store development. He will be responsible for delivering upon the brand’s extensive growth and expansion plans in the United States.

Robards brings 30 years of strategic leadership in real estate, construction, and asset and facilities management. Prior to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Robards held the positions of senior VP of development for JP Morgan Chase & Co. and previously worked with Starbucks as divisional VP of assets/facilities and divisional VP for the Western Division, which grew over 1,200 new stores. He also spent several years with McDonald’s Corporation in the real estate division.

In September 2013, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf announced that Advent International, CDIB Capital and Mirae Asset Private Equity had joined together to acquire a significant equity position in the company. John Dawson was appointed CEO and president of chain as of January 1, 2014. His background includes leadership positions at Dunkin’ Brands — where he held various positions over the past eight years, most recently serving as the global development officer of Dunkin’ Donuts — as well as VP of worldwide restaurant development at McDonald’s Corporation.

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