HOT CONCEPTS

Zara takes Manhattan

BY CSA STAFF

Zara, part of Spain’s Inditex Group, has opened its biggest U.S. location, a 32,000-sq.-ft., three-level flagship on a primo stretch of Manhattan real estate: Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street. The store is part of a 90,000-sq.-ft. retail condominium that also houses Hollister and Uniqlo flagships.

Featuring a chic black and white theme, the new store represents Zara’s updated brand image and revamped architecture and interior design scheme. It has a sleek, modern feel and displays the fast-fashion retailer’s merchandise offerings (for women, men and children) in intimate in-store boutiques.

On each of the three floors, the store is organized around two long corridors or "catwalks" that lead to intimate boutique-like spaces or cubes on each side. Each space showcases a specific collection.

The wood furniture used throughout is finished in neutral elegant colors and textures reminiscent of fabrics such as linen or silk.

According to the company, Zara’s new store image is based on four principles: beauty, clarity, functionality and sustainability. On that last note, the store is expected to consume 30% less energy and 70% less water than conventional shops.

Specific eco-friendly features include:

  • Motion detectors in the storeroom dim the area’s lights by 80% when no one is present. Motion detectors for lighting are also installed in restrooms and back-of-store corridors.
  • The lighting dims to 66% of normal during janitorial and merchandise loading and unloading shifts.
  • Electronically regulated air curtains at store entrances prevent the influx of colder or hotter air from outside.
  • Speed-controlled mechanical escalators help reduce energy.
  • Energy-intensive systems are turned on in a sequential pattern to prevent demand spikes.

To date, Zara has opened 47 stores in the United States, six of which are in Manhattan.


Click here for past Stores of the Week

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News

Alliance Data in new multi-agreement with Canada’s Toys”R”Us

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS — Alliance Data Systems Corp. announced that its Canadian coalition loyalty business has signed a new multi-year agreement with Toys“R”Us, Canada to issue air miles reward miles in its 73 stores across Canada effective March 23.

The Air Miles Reward Program is Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program, with approximately two-thirds of Canadian households actively collecting reward miles.

“This partnership further strengthens our presence and impact in the important specialty retail sector,” said Bryan Pearson, president of LoyaltyOne. “Coupled with a number of Air Miles specialty retail partnerships announced in 2011, we continue to pursue growth in this category given its positive issuance potential and broad consumer appeal within Canada.”

Following a 2011 pilot in which select Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores issued Air Miles reward miles, this new agreement provides for reward miles issuance in all Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us locations across Canada.

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FINANCE

Target sees $3 dividend by 2017, buybacks to continue

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Target Corp. anticipates that its annual dividend may hit $3 per share or more by 2017, if its annual earnings are at $8 per share or more by that time.

Target on Monday said it has paid a dividend every quarter since it became a public company in 1967, and in 2011 the company marked its 40th consecutive year of annual dividend increases.

Target also announced that it plans to invest $1.5 billion or more in buybacks in 2012. It invested nearly $1.9 billion in stock repurchases last year.

“Target’s completion of the 2007 share repurchase program demonstrates our long-standing commitment to return cash to shareholders through both dividends and share repurchase,” said John Mulligan, incoming EVP and CFO, Target. “Through disciplined financial management, Target continues to generate far more cash than we need to fund appropriate reinvestment in our core businesses. As a result, we intend to continue to invest in the repurchase of shares under our January 2012 authorization.”

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