FINANCE

ShopperTrak: Year-over-year weekly retail sales rise 1.1%

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago Year-over-year GAFO retail sales increased a 1.1% for the week ending Oct. 30 while sales slipped 3.9% versus the previous week ending Oct. 23, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate.

Week-over-week GAFO sales declined last week as the large majority of spending for Halloween merchandise and candy fell outside of the GAFO retail category which ShopperTrak routinely measures (general, apparel, furniture, office). However, on a yearly basis, sales posted a slight rise as cooler weather possibly lifted fall merchandise purchases in parts of the country.

“Although the week-over-week decline was slightly larger than we anticipated, last week’s overall performance wasn’t beyond the normal for those retailers in the GAFO segment,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “Over the next two weeks our data suggests retailers will see minimal weekly gains as consumers transition from fall spending to winter and holiday spending in late November on Black Friday, or the official start of the 2010 holiday shopping season.”

The NRSE is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak’s proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.

For ShopperTrak’s holiday forecast and weekly 2010 sales and traffic analysis, go to shoppertrak.com.

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REAL ESTATE

Chipotle to open new concept

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Chipotle Mexican Grill founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells is developing an Asian fast-casual concept that he expects to debut in mid-2011, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

The new concept will be similar in pricing to Chipotle, the report said.

Ells said in a statement, “Since opening the first Chipotle some 17 years ago, I have often thought about how other types of food might fit the Chipotle model.”

“Chipotle is not successful because we serve burritos and tacos,” he added. “Our success comes from finding the very best sustainably raised ingredients, prepared and cooked using classical methods in front of the customer, and served in an interactive format by special people dedicated to providing a great dining experience. And while our Chipotle restaurants will, of course, remain our primary focus, we are also excited to see how this format works with other cuisines.”

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REAL ESTATE

Target to open in downtown Los Angeles

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Target Corp. will open a store in downtown Los Angeles, at the 7+Fig shopping center, which has been without an anchor tenant since Macy’s left early last year, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Expected to open in 2012, the store will be located in a combined space on one floor formerly occupied by Macy’s and Bullock’s department stores. It will carry a different merchandise mix, with a heavy emphasis on food and household basics, according to the newspaper.

"It’s really about trying to magnify the relationship that we have had with those urban central core guests," said John Griffith, executive VP property development at Target, in the report. "We believe that as we offer them an alternative that is immediately adjacent to where they work, where they live, that we can increase the depth of that relationship."

Target’s agreement to rent more than 100,000 square feet at the corner of 7th and Figueroa streets is one of the largest retail leases in decades downtown, the newspaper reported.

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