REAL ESTATE

Tucker Development is bringing ShopRite to Springfield Avenue Marketplace

BY Staff Writer

Newark, N.J. — Tucker Development Corp. has signed a deal with Wakefern Food Corp. retail cooperative to bring a 67,000-sq.-ft. ShopRite grocery store to Springfield Avenue Marketplace in Newark, N.J.

Wakefern is the merchandising and distribution arm for ShopRite stores.

The new ShopRite will anchor the 125,000-sq.-ft. center set to break ground this fall. When complete, the center will serve approximately 280,000 Newark residents, 180,000 employees and 60,000 college students and faculty.

The development will also feature approximately 150 residential apartments and create approximately 240 construction jobs and almost 400 full and part-time jobs.

The shopping center and residences will form part of a Newark Urban Enterprise Zone, where customers will receive a 50 % reduction of sales tax on most purchases along with the full exemption of taxes on grocery and clothing purchases in New Jersey.

“ShopRite and other retailers at Springfield Avenue Marketplace will help recapture a large portion of the $575 million in retail sales that Newark loses every year, as residents have been forced to make 38 % of their purchases outside the city,” said Richard Tuck, president and CEO of Tucker Development Corp. “It will also provide a necessary resource to neighborhood residents, create employment opportunities and help to increase the city’s tax revenue base.”

“The site where the ShopRite will be built has been vacant for over 20 years, and this store along with the other developments slated to go on that 11-acre parcel, will be a game-changer for that part of Springfield Avenue,” said Darrin Sharif, Central Ward Councilman for the City of Newark.

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News

Recent acquisitions bolster Ascena’s Q3 results

BY CSA STAFF

SUFFERN, N.Y. — Lower-than-expected foot traffic driven in part by unseasonably cold weather was not enough to negatively impact Ascena Retail Group’s net sales for the third quarter ended April 27, which were bolstered by the recently acquired Lane Bryant and Catherines businesses.

The company reported net sales for the quarter of $1.1 billion, an increase of 46% from $783 million in the prior year’s third quarter. The growth was driven by the inclusion of the company’s recently acquired Lane Bryant and Catherines businesses, slightly offset by a total comparable stores and e-commerce sales decrease of 1% for the quarter versus the prior year. Consolidated comparable store sales, excluding e-commerce, fell 4% for the period. E-commerce sales rose 171% to $98 million on a consolidated basis and 37% on a comparable basis.

“Our soft third quarter top line performance reflects lower than expected traffic driven by continued economic challenges for our customers and unseasonably cold weather as well as merchandising misses at Lane Bryant and Dressbarn,” said president and CEO David Jaffe. “Sales trends improved somewhat across all brands in Q4 to date compared to Q3, and we are adjusting our promotional plans to ensure that spring inventory balances are at appropriate levels by the end of our Fiscal 2013 fourth quarter.”

Unseasonably cold weather and economic pressure on middle-income consumers drove decreased traffic and spending, which contributed to negative comparable store sales of 4% at Justice, 6% at Lane Bryant, 3% at Maurices and 7% at Dressbarn, whereas Catherines realized an 8% increase in comparable store sales.

Ascena Retail Group is a leading specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes and accessories for missy and plus-size women, under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, Maurices, Dressbarn and Catherines brands, and for tween girls and boys, under the Justice and Brothers brands. Ascena Retail Group operates through its subsidiaries approximately 3,800 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

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OPERATIONS

SD Retail: Retailers slow to adopt store ops strategies to omni-channel world

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Some of the largest retailers in the United States and United Kingdom are not keeping pace at adapting their store operations to changing consumer buying habits.

That’s the conclusion of a study by SD Retail Consulting, a leading strategic retail advisory firm and unit of Hilco Trading. It found that 80% of the surveyed retailers are not effectively training their in-store staff to accommodate the complex needs of the new multichannel shopper. For example: Only 29% of U.S. retailers surveyed have implemented in-store pick-up options, and only 24% are planning to unveil a pilot program by late 2013. And only 18% have rolled out mobile POS systems across a significant number of their stores.

“The seamless customer experience and speed of change led by pure play e-retailers such as Amazon is setting a high bar for retailers operating both bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce channels,” said Antony Karabus, president of SD Retail Consulting. “The pace of change to meet this high bar needs to accelerate as the pressure from these new competitors continues to grow. The largest retailers must examine every customer touch point and how they play their part in creating that seamless customer experience. For the minority of retailers who are successfully transforming their store environments, the rewards will be substantial.”

Key findings of the report include:

Mobile POS is rare. Only 18% of U.S. retailers have implemented mobile POS systems across a significant portion of their stores, and in most of those cases, retailers have only rolled it out to select groups of stores, rather than entire chains.

Further, mobile POS is still typically utilized for only one or two specific uses (i.e. line busting or search/assistance within specific departments), rather than leveraging the full extent of its capabilities (CRM, labor scheduling, traffic counters, etc.)

There is no store associate incentive and recognition for cross-channel selling. Less than 10% of retailers surveyed are currently compensating their associates in some way that recognizes their contribution to cross-channel sales. Retailers with cross-channel customers acknowledge that while the store may not ring the sale, their associates play a critical part in driving company top-line sales, yet methods for compensating employees for contributing to the sale by servicing the shopper in-store (before they actually transact on-line) have yet to be formalized

Store staff are not getting effective cross-channel training. Eighlty percent of retailers surveyed said they have not invested sufficiently in training their store staff on how to handle multichannel customers in-store, whether on how to handle “show rooming,” competitive price-matching, in-store pick-up requests, or addressing specific product knowledge customers may have gained from the web.

Additionally, fewer than 25% of retailers surveyed indicated that their field management was providing the leadership necessary to drive improved productivity through their physical stores in this new multichannel environment .

According to Joe Madigan, VP store operations, SD Retail Consulting, “multichannel is disrupting store operations across real estate footprint, inventory “location,” customer service and selling and is the most significant challenge to store operations that I have seen in the last 25 years.”

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