REAL ESTATE

Simon to spin off Washington Prime Group

BY Michael Fickes

IndianapolisSimon Property Group plans to distribute all of the common shares of Washington Prime Group Inc. to Simon stockholders. Following the distribution, Washington Prime will be an independent, publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “WPG.”

Washington Prime will own or have an interest in 54 strip centers and 44 smaller enclosed malls across the United States, comprising approximately 53 million sq. ft.

Washington Prime intends to elect and qualify to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Plans call for the distribution of shares to occur on May 28 by way of a pro rata special dividend to Simon stockholders. Each Simon stockholder will be entitled to receive one Washington Prime common share for every two shares of Simon common stock held as of the close of business on May 16, 2014, the record date for the distribution.

Fractional shares of Washington Prime will not be distributed, and instead Simon stockholders will receive cash in lieu of any fractional shares they would otherwise be entitled to receive in the distribution.

Persons who hold common limited partnership interests in Simon’s subsidiary operating partnership, Simon Property Group, will be entitled to receive one unit of limited partnership interest in Washington Prime’s subsidiary operating partnership, Washington Prime Group, for every two units owned in Simon Property Group. Limited partners of Simon Property Group will receive cash in lieu of any fractional units of Washington Prime Group.

Washington Prime common shares will be distributed in book-entry form, which means that no physical share certificates will be issued.

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Whole Foods’ record revenue increase not enough for Street

BY CSA STAFF

Despite the Easter holiday shift, Whole Foods reported second-quarter revenue of $3.32 billion, a record increase of 10% from the prior-year quarter. But the record was not enough for Wall Street, which expected $3.34 billion.

The company’s earnings per share of 38 cents for the quarter also came in below expectations of 41 cents per share.

Comparable store sales, including the negative impact of approximately 50 basis points from Easter shifting from the second quarter last year to the third quarter this year, increased 4.5% on top of a 6.9% increase in the prior year. The spread between comparable store and identical store sales growth for the quarter due to five relocations and one expansion was approximately 50 basis points.

"The rapidly growing demand for fresh, healthy foods affirms our mission for the last 36 years and highlights the increasing growth opportunity ahead of us," said co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey. "Whole Foods Market is the premier brand in natural and organic foods, with unparalleled quality standards and the broadest selection. As we continue to innovate and evolve at a fast pace, we are confident in our ability to gain market share and expect our sales to approach $25 billion during the next five years."

Since the end of the first quarter, the company has added eight stores in six new markets. In the second quarter, the company opened three new stores. So far in the third quarter, the company has opened one new store and completed its acquisition of four New Frontiers Natural Marketplace stores in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona, Ariz.; and San Luis Obispo, Calif. The company expects to open seven additional stores in the third quarter and another 11 to 14 stores in the fourth quarter.

Whole Foods currently operates 379 stores totaling approximately 14.4 million sq. ft. and expects to cross the 500-store mark in 2017. Longer term, the company still sees demand for 1,200 Whole Foods Market stores in the United States.

The company has increased its development pipeline to a record 114 stores with the signing of nine new leases, including one relocation, totaling approximately 410,000 sq. ft. These leases include three new markets and are located in Fayetteville, Ariz.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Ind.; Metuchen, N.J.; Chappaqua, N.Y.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Richmond, Va.

Looking ahead, the company is revising its fiscal year 2014 outlook and now expects sales growth of approximately 11%, comparable store sales growth of 5% to 5.5% and diluted earnings per share of $1.52 to $1.56.

The company expects the Easter shift to positively impact comparable store sales growth in the third quarter by approximately 50 basis points.

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Walmart awards TCP 2013 Hardware/Paint Supplier of the Year

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart has named Technical Consumer Products as a 2013 Hardware/Paint Supplier of the Year in appreciation for the company’s support, outstanding contributions and overall operational fulfillment.

TCP, a leader in energy efficient lighting innovations, currently supplies more than 50 lighting products to Walmart, including LED and CFL light bulbs. Walmart has honored TCP with seven awards for supplier excellence in less than three years.

“TCP is committed to supporting Walmart’s growth in the lighting category,” said Jim Connolly, SVP of TCP’s retail division. “We are honored to be recognized for our contributions to the lighting category and look forward to the opportunity to provide Walmart and its customers with superior quality products at an affordable price point.”

The Hardware/Paint Supplier of the Year award recognizes suppliers for overall operational fulfillment, strong fulfillment rates, outstanding support and contributions and a commitment to maintaining high quality products at a low cost.

In less than three years, TCP has received seven awards for its operational support as a top Walmart supplier including Supplier of the First Quarter 2013, Supplier Award of Excellence: Price 2013, Supplier Award of Excellence: Product 2012, and Supplier of the Fourth Quarter 2012 for its quality, execution and understanding of the market to help Walmart better serve its millions of customers.

Founded in 1993 with its North America headquarters in Aurora, Ohio, Technical Consumer Products is a leader in energy efficient lighting innovations. TCP’s extensive product offerings include LED lamps and fixtures, compact fluorescent lamps, energy efficient halogen lamps, exit and emergency lighting, HID, decorative and outdoor fixtures, ballasts and fixtures and linear lamps.

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