FINANCE

ShopperTrak: 1.4% traffic decline, 3.5% sales rise predicted for back-to-school

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago A report released Tuesday by ShopperTrak said that it expects total U.S. foot traffic for back-to-school 2010 to dip 1.4% while retail sales are expected to increase 3.5% for the same period as compared with last year.

ShopperTrak said its historical data suggests back-to-school (a period defined as the month of August) will perform much better than the 7.7% traffic and corresponding 4.9% GAFO sales declines retailers experienced in 2009 — a period mired in the recession and compared to a rather strong back-to-school 2008, which occurred the month before the U.S. financial crisis began.

And while ShopperTrak predicts back-to-school traffic levels should decline this year, the company says this won’t be a surprise to the industry as back-to-school performance will most likely mirror sales and traffic levels seen throughout 2010.

“The data we’ve received from thousands of retail clients throughout the year shows traffic levels have been slightly down since just before the holidays, but spending has remained positive during this time, which points to value-driven consumers spending more during less trips to malls,” said Bill Martin, president of ShopperTrak. “In analyzing the upcoming back-to-school season, we think the relative positivity compared to last year added to pent up demand and the need to replace some worn out items will equal a 3.5% sales rise, which would ultimately be considered a strong season for retailers.” 

Martin continued: “While we anticipate some relative strength throughout August, we will continue keeping a close eye on gasoline prices and unemployment levels, which historically can dramatically impact retail performance.”

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REAL ESTATE

Regency names investment VP in Los Angeles

BY CSA STAFF

Regency Centers said Monday it has appointed John T. Mehigan as VP investments.

Located in the company’s Los Angeles office, Mehigan will be responsible for identifying, evaluating, and structuring profitable retail development opportunities throughout Southern California, said Regency.

Most recently, Mehigan served as senior development manager for Panattoni Development Co.

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News

Stewart helps Office Depot deliver backpacks to Indiana kids

BY CSA STAFF

INDIANAPOLIS Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation announced that Tony Stewart, an Indiana native and driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy Impala in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will join the Foundation on July 22 to donate more than 5,000 backpacks to non-profit organizations and schools in the Indianapolis area.

The backpack donations will be made during a special “Back-to-School Backpack Celebration” event beginning at 2 p.m. local time at the Office Depot store located at 12417 North Meridian Street in Carmel, Ind. In addition to Stewart, special guests scheduled to attend include Katherine Blane, representing Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), State Senator Mike Delph (R-29), State Representative Cindy Noe (R-87), Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman and Carmel City Council Member Ron Carter, the company reported.

 

“I am very proud to partner with the Office Depot Foundation again this year and to be able to help so many kids here in the Indianapolis area,” Stewart said. “This is a big year for the Office Depot Foundation because it is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its National Backpack Program, and I can tell you from experience how rewarding it is to see the look on these kids’ faces when they get a new backpack – it’s an automatic boost of confidence for them and helps them feel ready to take on the new school year just like everybody else. Of all the things I’ll do this weekend, participating in this program is definitely the most important.”

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