FINANCE

Things are looking up at Gap, led by Old Navy

BY Marianne Wilson

Gap Inc.’s reported a 12% jump in first quarter profit amid another strong performance from its Old Navy division.

Net income rose to $143 million, or 36 cents per share, in the quarter ended April 29, from $127 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier. Its results easily beat the Street, which had predicted earnings of 29 cents per share.

Net sales for the quarter were $3.4 billion, about flat with last year and also better than expected. The translation of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars negatively impacted the company’s net sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 by about $11 million, Gap said.

Total same-store sales for the quarter rose 2%. Analysts had expected a 2% decrease. By brand, same-store rose 8% at Old Navy, and fell 4% at Gap and 4% at Banana Republic.

“We are pleased with our positive comp and earnings growth this quarter,” said Art Peck, president and CEO, Gap Inc. “We’ve made substantial improvements in product quality and fit, and our increasing responsive capabilities are enabling us to better react to trends and demand. While the retail environment continues to be challenging, we are focused on delivering the best possible product and customer experience, and our ability to leverage a portfolio of iconic brands and operating scale uniquely positions the company for long-term growth.”

The company also reaffirmed its full-year diluted earnings per share guidance to be in the range of $1.95 to $2.05.

The company ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 with 3,652 store locations in 50 countries, of which 3,186 were company-operated. It expects store count to be about flat at the end of fiscal year 2017 compared with fiscal year 2016, down from previous guidance of 40 net store openings.

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REAL ESTATE

Fort Worth’s West 7th district gets a new name

BY Al Urbanski

West Elm will be opening its first Fort Worth location in rebranded urban retail development in the town’s Cultural District.

Heretofore known as West 7th, The Woodmont Company decided to call upon a more colorfully named street in the neighborhood to rebrand the shopping and entertainment district as Crockett Row at West 7th.

“The Crockett Row brand will better distinguish the property’s popular restaurants, stores, and events to continue to attract visitors,” said Woodmont senior VP Peter Jacobsen.

In April, West Elm signed a lease for a 10,502-sq.-ft. space that will feature a selection of Texas-based creators of furniture and décor as part of its west elm LOCAL program. Woodmont has also recently signedThe Common Desk, a co-working space, and C.H. Robinson, to office spaces.

Crockett Row at West 7th will begin seeding its new name locally with a series of events including a Blues Brunch in July and a Local Filmmakers’ Festival with Film Fort Worth in October.

The property is managed by Vestar.


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REAL ESTATE

New Jersey town center changes hands

BY Al Urbanski

The Azarian Group has acquired The Livingston Town Center in Livingston, New Jersey in a $21.2 million trade arranged by Cushman Wakefield.

The 11-year-old lifestyle retail property houses a diverse mix of 28 restaurants and shops, including Fan Bistro, an upscale Asian spot, Restore Cold Pressed Juices, and Dentistry with a Smile. Fit 36 and Xtend Barre are scheduled to open there soon.

“It’s a successful town center concept that also includes 114 upscale residential units,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s David Bernhaut. “At a time when investors continue to chase high-quality retail, this offering was very well received.”

Seller of the property was the Onyx/Luber Adler joint venture, which purchased it in 2011.

“Onyx and Lubert Adler repositioned Livingston Town Center as a destination shopping center,” Whitmer said.

The Livingston Town Center is positioned on a highly trafficked intersection in one of the wealthiest townships in New Jersey. Livingston boasts an average household income of $173,223 and a median home value of $528,118.


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