REAL ESTATE

Exton Square Mall to add residential units

BY Al Urbanski

A 300-unit luxury apartment building will soon begin rising at PREIT’s Exton Square Mall in Chester County, Pa.

The developer, Hanover Company, completed its $10.3 million purchase of a 4-acre parcel on the grounds of the mall, located about 15 miles west of King of Prussia on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The deal marks PREIT’s first re-make of one of its malls as a true mixed-use property.

“We are pleased to have completed this transaction as part of our densification program, which serves to improve the value of our assets and our liquidity position to strengthen our balance sheet,” said PREIT CEO Joseph F. Coradino in a press release.

PREIT kicked off its densification initiative in May, announcing opportunities for developers to partner with the company on 5,000 to 7,000 residential units and 1,500 to 3,000 hotel rooms at properties in the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., markets.

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REAL ESTATE

Luxury resale retailer expands physical footprint

BY Marianne Wilson

Resale is hot these days and Rebag is capitalizing on it — online and off.

The digitally-native company which trades in luxury handbags for resale has opened two locations in Los Angeles, one in the Melrose neighborhood and the other in Beverly Hills. Rebag made its physical debut this year, with a flagship in Manhattan’s SoHo, followed by an outpost on Madison Avenue.

Both Los Angeles stores feature the retailer’s signature “Rebag bar,” where customers who want to sell their bags can have them instantly authenticated and valued, along with hundreds of high-end designer handbags for sale. And both offer the same flexibility, and personalized services as in the brand’s NYC boutiques, the company said.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen considerable online adoption from customers on the West Coast and specifically in the LA area,” says Charles Gorra, founder and CEO of Rebag. “The time was right to expand our physical retail presence here, and while opening two stores at the same time is a bold move, the market has shown us that there is a strong appetite for Rebag. Each neighborhood with its unique clientele will allow us to reach even more customers with our transparent, instantaneous retail process through an elevated, in-store shopping experience.”

In line with the openings, Rebag also launched a new initiative called Rebag Infinity. It provides 70% store credit for every previously-purchased bag exchanged for a new Rebag handbag within six months.

Online, Rebag allows customers to sell their luxury handbags and shop through Rebag’s mobile app and its web site. Rebag promises payment for bags accepted within one to two business days for online and mobile transactions and in less than 60 minutes in stores.

“Rebag has always been about providing seamless access to luxury handbags and that means servicing our customers across the country,” says Gorra. “The decision to open our next physical retail locations in Los Angeles was a natural next step in furthering this mission.”

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REAL ESTATE

Sears lowers the boom on more stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Bankrupt Sears Holdings Corp. is downsizing its fleet yet again.

The retailer on Thursday said that 40 locations — 29 Sears stores and 11 Kmart units — will close their doors in February 2019. Liquidation sales at the 40 stores are set to begin late next week.

The new closings are on top of the nearly 200 stores the company previously said it plans to shutter in the coming months. Combined, the closures are expected to leave Sears with fewer than about 500 store locations. The beleaguered retailer had previously estimated it has about 400 stores that could be profitable on their own if it survives bankruptcy.

Sears is still in the process of trying to formally secure the funds it needs to stay in operation until it can find a potential buyer to avoid liquidation. When the retailer filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15, it announced it would close 142 unprofitable stores and warned more closures could follow.

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