ECOMMERCE

Vera Bradley adds e-commerce expertise to board

BY Gina Acosta

Vera Bradley is adding some deep e-commerce experience from Best Buy to its board of directors.

Kelley has e-commerce, marketing, and strategic planning experience and has served as president, e-commerce for Best Buy since 2014. Prior to joining Best Buy, Kelley served as senior VP, e-commerce for Chico's FAS and held the posts of VP of retail real estate and marketing and VP of e-commerce for L.L. Bean.

"We are so pleased that Mary Lou Kelley has joined our board of directors," said Robert Wallstrom, CEO of Vera Bradley. "Her vast omnichannel experience, counsel, and insight will be invaluable as we continue to transform our business, which includes elevating our marketing efforts and growing our own Verabradley.com digital flagship."

Previously, she also held key marketing positions with Ashford.com and Ben & Jerry's and was an engagement manager at McKinsey and Company. Kelley holds a BA in Economics from Boston College and earned a MBA from the University of Virginia Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business.

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REAL ESTATE

Time Equities expands its footprint in Wisconsin by acquiring four centers

BY Melonie Messina

New York — Time Equities acquired four Wisconsin multi-tenant retail assets for $18.1 million, spanning 307,668 sq. ft. in total. The acquisitions, consisting of two separate transactions, include The Geneva Commons purchased for $1.3 million, in addition to Oak Creek Centre, Park Plaza and Taylor Heights acquired for $16.8 million.

“Time Equities recognized this opportunity to acquire highly visible and heavily trafficked centers in several Milwaukee suburbs with strong retail fundamentals,” said Ami Ziff, director of national retail with Time Equities. “With average portfolio occupancy of approximately 71%, we are excited about the prospects for leasing and bringing the portfolio to stabilization.”

About centers:
Geneva Commons, located in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The center is currently 70% leased by nationally recognized tenants including Mattress Firm, Sally Beauty and Maurices, and shadow-anchored by Target.
Oak Creek Center, located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The center is currently 84% leased, anchor by TJ Maxx, in addition to junior anchors Petco and Dollar Tree.

Park Plaza, located Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The center is currently 61% leased and anchored by Hobby Lobby, along with retailers including Family Dollar, Papa Murphy’s and Advance America.

Taylor Heights, located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The center is currently 70% leased and anchored by Planet Fitness, additional tenants include Napa Auto Parts and Noodles & Company.

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REAL ESTATE

Wheeler appoints new member to its board of directors

BY Melonie Messina

Virginia, Beach, Va. — Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust announced it has appointed John McAuliffe to the company's board of directors, effective Dec. 2. McAuliffe returns to the company's board of directors after having previously served from November 2012 until April 2013. McAuliffe has over 36 years' experience in the financial services industry. In April 2013, he resigned from the company's board of directors to focus his efforts on investment banking with Newbridge Securities Corporation. Wheeler's board will increase to nine members with McAuliffe's appointment with six of those members being independent.

"We are pleased to have John return to the company's board. John has played a key role in our development and has been instrumental in Wheeler's success,” said Jon S. Wheeler, chairman and CEO. “We believe his background in the financial services industry, especially his experience in institutional sales and the capital raising process will again prove itself invaluable to our board."

Presently, McAuliffe serves as a lead investment banker with Newbridge Securities Corporation, a full-service securities brokerage and investment banking firm. Prior to joining Newbridge Securities Corporation in 2005, he ran his own consulting firm, which provided advisory and structural development services to the management of small to medium sized publicly traded companies. Throughout his career, McAuliffe has participated in excess of over 200 capital raises and has been involved in all aspects of the capital formation process serving in a variety of positions ranging from institutional salesman to the managing director of an investment banking firm.

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