News

Who’s Who

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Accruent, Inc. Santa Monica, Calif.www.accruent.com

Accruent leads the industry with a new generation of solutions that fully leverage enterprise real estate assets as a competitive advantage. Accruent Real Estate Performance Management (RPM) maximizes the impact that retail outlets, restaurants and other corporate facilities have on performance by driving revenue growth, reducing costs and helping companies more easily achieve regulatory compliance. In addition, Accruent integrates a broad, deep real estate data set with advanced business intelligence to bridge the gap between daily operations and strategic decision-making. More than 40% of the Top 100 Retailers and 20% of the Fortune 500 use Accruent solutions.

Featured solution: Accruent 7, the newest release of Accruent’s RPM solution, applies information technology to the decisions and processes involved in acquiring and managing enterprise real estate. Embedded business intelligence and executive dashboards enable senior management to better understand real estate portfolio cost drivers and make strategic decisions based on real-time data. Accruent 7 also delivers a rich visual experience, enhanced lease-administration capabilities, industry-specific configurations and support for companies with global operations.

AMTdirect by Asset Management Technologies Cornelius, N.C.www.AMTdirect.com

AMTdirect is the leading on-demand retail real estate information platform for companies that own or lease real estate. AMTdirect allows organizations to manage locations and properties with greater efficiency and attention to detail than ever before. All critical information is in one centralized location, available 24-hours a day, with no software or servers to maintain. AMTdirect controls everything, online, with the highest levels of security. Benefits include deep integration between data and electronic documents, with instant access to vital information. Specific features include location- and lease-contract management, document management, critical-date notification e-mails, accounting, facilities management, project management and more.

Featured solution: AMTdirect is a leading technology and consulting firm focused on helping retailers of any size manage their real estate assets. Its products and services are dedicated to enhancing the “active” performance of real estate assets and improving operating efficiencies, driving substantial dollar savings to the bottom line. Specific services include lease abstraction, lease auditing and document imaging on- or off-site, document indexing, and project management.

Buxton Fort Worth, Texaswww.buxtonco.com

Buxton was founded on a unique premise—to assist enterprises in building success by accurately identifying their customers. Leading the industry in customer analytics and retail site-selection technology, Buxton provides actionable solutions in customer-based site selection and targeted marketing to major retailers, developers and communities nationwide. With over 450 years of cumulative executive retail experience and more than 1,200 clients, Buxton understands what retailers need to know before they make their site-selection decisions. As Buxton continues to grow, the commitment to retail grows.

Featured solution: Buxton provides retailers and restaurants with the most accurate sales-forecasting models available. Through extensive databases and customized solutions, CustomerID identifies customers more precisely by using the most advanced market research technologies and information resources available. Companies nationwide use Buxton’s modeling capabilities to make multimillion-dollar site-selection decisions. Using these models can make the difference between selecting an exceptional site or a poorly performing site.

DAVACO, Inc. Dallaswww.davacoinc.com

DAVACO, the national leading provider of retail services, specializes in the quality management and execution of in-store merchandising, shop-in-shops and high-volume roll-outs, retrofits, resets and new stores. DAVACO offers a comprehensive range of services that helps retailers maximize brand presence and profitability at retail. Services include:

Rollouts, retrofits, resets and remodels;

Fixture and graphics installations;

Project services;

Project management;

Hard- and soft-line merchandising;

Site and marketing surveys;

Logistics and consolidation;

Design services; and

Strategic sourcing/procurement management.

Featured solution: DAVACO utilizes its team of more than 600 retail professionals across the country to conduct site and marketing surveys, providing retailers with greater visibility into their stores. Surveys are customized to each retailer’s need and include an inspection of existing conditions and documentation of precise dimensions—all supported by digital photography. Results are posted and inventoried on a customized, secure Web site that clients may access any time, from any computer. For more information on this or other DAVACO services, visit www.davacoinc.com or e-mail [email protected].

DJM Realty Melville, N.Y.www.djmrealty.com

DJM Realty, a Gordon Bros. Group company, is the trusted global real estate consulting and advisory firm specializing in dispositions, valuations, acquisitions and capital solutions. DJM Realty services the world’s most recognizable brands such as CompUSA, Eckerd, Big Lots, Pep Boys and West Marine.

DJM Realty, founded in 1992, is headquartered in Melville, N.Y., and has offices in Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. For more information, please visit www.djmrealty.com or visit DJM’s Booth No. N235 Second Ave., North Hall, at the ICSC Las Vegas conference, May 20-23.

ESRI Redlands, Calif.www.esri.com

ESRI, the world leader in geographic information systems (GIS) software, offers real estate professionals a new way to create, visualize, analyze and present information better and more clearly. This enables users to make more informed business decisions and act with greater confidence. ESRI brings together all the data and analysis capabilities needed, so clients can work the way they want and get the answers they need. To learn how other real estate professionals have profited and succeeded using GIS, visit www.esri.com/realestate or e-mail [email protected].

Featured solution: Site to Do Business uses ESRI Business Analyst Online (BAO) to create its STDBonline Web portal. This unique site has tailored workflow for the 17,000 members of the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute. BAO combines GIS technology with extensive demographic, consumer and business data to deliver 75+ reports and maps via the Web. This is the solution of choice for real estate professionals who need to profit and succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

GeoVue Woburn, Mass.www.geovue.com

GeoVue is the leading provider of dynamic location-optimization software for retailers, restaurants and other real estate-based consumer channels seeking a higher return on capital investment. Founded in 1994, the company has more than 150 clients, including Big Lots, Dunkin’ Brands, Meineke, Papa Murphy’s, Pet Supermarket, REI and The Limited.

Featured service: GeoVue’s geoefficient modeling and optimization solutions help its clients holistically plan store networks and prioritize capital investments based on predictive, multi-factor trade areas. Clients prioritize markets to enter, expand or exit; optimize store networks; and localize marketing and merchandising. GeoVue’s unique approach to data and model maintenance provides each client with a localized, real-time geospatial decision-making framework configured for its particular customer-centric strategy. GeoVue clients “don’t leave square footage on the table.”

MapInfo Corp. Troy, N.Y.www.mapinfo.com/retail

MapInfo’s Predictive Analytics Group is the world’s largest full-service research organization devoted exclusively to serving the needs of the retail, restaurant and commercial real estate industry.

MapInfo provides a unique array of data, software, business-intelligence and service solutions to meet the varying needs of real estate professionals, ranging from market data and display analytics to advanced modeling solutions, which provide mission-critical guidance in strategic real estate decisions.

By leveraging advanced predictive-analytics modeling technology, the real estate executive is able to immediately prioritize capital expenditures and site acquisitions based on realistic measures of return and proactively secure the best sites for his brand ahead of the competition, while working from an overall strategic blueprint that ensures the optimal long-term location strategy for the chain.

Featured Solution: Predictive Analytics Modeling Solutions: MapInfo modeling solutions use a chain’s own real-world customer and POS data from its store locations to quantify the impact of variables such as demographics, competition, sister stores, settlement densities, geography and site characteristics (signage, visibility, accessibility, parking) on store sales performance.

These custom predictive-analytics modeling solutions, delivered on MapInfo’s Any Site software platform, help real estate executives and analysts to evaluate tens of thousands of sites across the nation, running multiple “what if” market-optimization scenarios, each with detailed pro forma sales projections, all in a matter of minutes.

Virtual Premise, Inc. Atlantawww.virtualpremise.com

Virtual Premise, Inc. is now the fastest-growing provider of Web-based, real estate management software and services. The Virtual Premise Global Real Estate Management System is comprised of “Editions” designed to meet the unique needs of retailers, landlords, corporations and service providers. Regardless of which Edition they choose, users will have immediate access through the Internet to the most powerful, simple-to-use real estate-management system available. Each Edition contains Portfolio Management, Lease Administration (A/P and A/R), Project and Construction Management, Transaction Management, Online Document Management, Contact Management and a powerful Ad-Hoc Report Writer available to every user.

Featured product: Annual Operating Expense and CAM Reconciliations just got a lot easier. Virtual Premise’s new Advanced Desktop Audit Manager (ADAM) automates a proven retailer expense-reconciliation process to streamline the annual OPEX and CAM Reconciliation process. Designed especially for the retail market, ADAM is available in a stand-alone version for use with an existing Lease Administration system, or integrated with Virtual Premise.

“After surveying the market, we realized that products available today only offered a place to store expense information, but do very little to reconcile or audit those expenses. We decided it was time to offer a product that actually helps reduce operating expenses,” said Mike Pascale, VP, chief product officer.

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Weekly Retail Fix

BY CSA STAFF

THE NEWS: SAM’S REALIGNS STORE-LEVEL MANAGEMENT

BENTONVILLE, ARK. Sam’s Club is changing the management structure in its stores. In the realignment, approximately 250 positions will be eliminated, Wal-Mart Stores announced last week. The company said it’s replacing five lower level management positions at each Sam’s Club location with three new higher level and higher paying assistant manager positions.

“This is not a cost cutting effort. We expect a slight increase in payroll upon completion of this change,” said Sharon Orlopp, senior vp of Sam’s people division.

THE FIX: Differentiation would better help Sam’s

Since Sam’s decided that its refocus on the business customer was too narrow, it has sought to find ways to make its clubs more attractive to primary shoppers, i.e., women. And that’s a pretty tough row to hoe, as Costco has done a pretty good job at satisfying the club customer in general and BJ’s has been going after female shoppers for several years now, with some success.

Having fewer managers with more direct responsibility could create a tighter knit club-level management and shorten lines of responsibility and accountability. Yet, without differentiating the offering, execution isn’t going to overcome all of Sam’s challenges.

That being said, a store-level management realignment might be overlooked at other retailers, but, this being Wal-Mart, everyone has to make a big deal about it. But that’s the price you pay as the big guy on the block.

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Weekly Retail Fix

BY CSA STAFF

THE NEWS: TOYS ‘R’ US EARNINGS GAIN 40.1%

WAYNE, N.J. Toys “R” Us today posted net earnings of $199 million for its critical fourth quarter, which meant it turned a profit for the fiscal year ended Feb. 3. But special charges and gains had an impact on its numbers.

Sales for the previous fiscal annum were $142 million, the difference translating into a net earnings increase of 40.1% year over year. For the last fiscal year, Toys “R” Us posted net earnings of $85 million versus a net loss of $384 million for the previous period.

Operating earnings in the fiscal 2006 fourth quarter gained 53.1% to $571 million versus $373 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. For the last fiscal year, operating earnings were $649 million versus an operating loss of $142 million for the previous period.

THE FIX: Improved shopper experience ups comps

Of course, any observer has to take into consideration special financial circumstances. Fiscal 2006 operating earnings were positively impacted by $96 million from gains on property sales, slightly offset by restructuring and other charges. In fiscal 2005, operating earnings were negatively impacted by $410 million in costs relating to the merger of the company, as well as $58 million of costs and charges relating to contract settlement fees, restructuring and other charges.

Still, sales were trending up at last year’s end. Net sales gained 15.8% to $5.7 billion. In the full fiscal year, net sales advanced to $13 billion, up 15.2%.

Comparable-store sales for the Toys “R” Us’ U.S. division gained 0.6% in fiscal 2006, and that represents the division’s first comps increase in six years. Comps at Babies “R” Us were up 4.8% and those at Toys “R” Us international were up 2.6% for the fiscal year.

Jerry Storch, chairman and ceo of Toys “R” Us, said the company is “pleased with the strides we made in fiscal 2006 to improve at all levels of the organization and reposition the company for profitable growth over the long term.”

He said the company’s new management team has been focusing on executing a strategy that would turn the retailer into a global toy and baby products authority.

“This translated into higher overall sales, positive comparable-store sales, improved gross margins and strong operating earnings growth for the 2006 fiscal year,” Storch asserted. “The key to our strategy has been improving the customer shopping experience in our stores. We are accomplishing this by delivering a more compelling merchandise selection, better service and a cleaner and more comfortable shopping environment.”

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