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The Westchester launches social media sweepstakes

BY CSA STAFF

The Westchester Mall in White Plains, New York, is backing its tenants this back-to-school season with a $3,500 social media sweepstakes.

Promoted via a digital video filmed at The Westchester, the contest asks shoppers to fill in a blank of their favorite purchase and gain extra credit by sharing a picture of it on social media.

The Westchester is Simon Property Group'sprime location in the suburban New York City county of Westchester, presenting high-end brands in a marble-lined, skylit center. Tenants include Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Tiffany, Burberry, Apple, and P.F. Chang’s.


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REAL ESTATE

Going Dutch: Are bike garages in your future?

BY Al Urbanski

As more retailers begin to adopt the Bonobos-style showroom store as their brick-and-mortar strategies, will bike garages become a new fixture in malls and shopping centers?

If so, the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands might prove the design test case. It just opened the first phase of what will be the world’s largest bike garage at the Central Train Station, a 184,000-sq.-ft. space capable of holding 12,500 bikes at full build-out.

Since the Hoog Catharijne shopping mall was built near the stationin the 1970s, traffic congestion has plagued the area and more bikers have filled the streets.

More such garages are planned for the bike-mad nation, which has more bicycles than people. An 8,500-bike garage is being built in The Hague and similar facilities are underway in Amsterdam and Delft.


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C-SUITE

Specialty retailer emerges from Chapter 11 — on hunt for new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Payless ShoeSource has emerged from bankruptcy — with a slimmed down U.S. portfolio and a cleaner balance sheet.

The company on Thursday touted its successful emergence from Chapter 11, and announced that, following the completion of its restructuring, Paul Jones will retire as CEO. The board will begin a search to identify a new chief executive. In the interim, Payless will be led by a newly appointed executive committee comprised of company's CFO, Michael Schwindle, and COO, Mike Vitelli, and Martin R. Wade, III, chairman of Payless’ post-emergence board and interim CEO.

Payless, which filed for Chapter 11 in April, has closed approximately 700 stores during bankruptcy. It currently has about 3,500 stores around the globe. It also eliminated in excess of $435 million, roughly half, of its funded debt.

Going forward, Payless said it plans to invest in areas that will help it stay competitive, including online and international expansion in Asia and Latin America. It is also investing in systems that will adjust inventory quickly in response to customer demand and improve its competitiveness online, according to CNBC.

“In a year where so many major retail companies have filed for Chapter 11 restructurings, Payless is the first to successfully emerge as a stronger and healthier enterprise for the benefit of its customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, and lenders," Jones stated. "That is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone at Payless, and I thank them for the honor of having worked with them over these past five years. Our new owners believe wholeheartedly in the future of Payless, and I am confident that they will identify a new leader who will complement our outstanding and deeply committed management team, while sparking new ideas and approaches."

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