REAL ESTATE

Hawaii, Wisconsin are fastest-growing real estate states

BY Al Urbanski

It’s said that retail follows rooftops, so expansion-minded retailers might want to set their sights on Hawaii, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Washington, according to a report from Experian.

The credit reporting service ascribes a strong economy and historically low unemployment for home sale booms in several states. the 10 states with the biggest percentage increases in mortgage originations in the first quarter of 2018, according to Experian, were:

• Hawaii +43.5%
• Wisconsin +36.0%
• Kansas +35.6%
• Washington +34.3%
• North Dakota +34.2%
• Ohio +31.9%
• Kentucky +30.0%
• Oregon +29.5%
• Maine +27.4%
• Michigan +27%

The District of Columbia, Delaware, and Arkansas experienced the least mortgage origination growth in Q1, all with decreases in the teens.

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Valerie Richardson (Container Store) — ICSC
REAL ESTATE

Richardson joins Kimco board

BY Al Urbanski

Less than a week after being named chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Valerie Richardson has been appointed to the board of directors of Kimco Realty Corp.

“We look forward to the unique insight and perspective Valerie will bring from her work in the retail side of the business,” said Kimco CEO Conor Flynn. “Her experience in leading the real estate strategies for several major brands will be an important asset for Kimco.”

Richardson has more than 35 years of experience in retail real estate, working for brands such as Ann Taylor, Barnes & Noble and, most recently, The Container Store, where she has led the real estate team for nearly 18 years.

At Container Store, she oversees site evaluation and lease negotiation, along with the coordination of store design and construction for the brand’s nationwide expansion program.

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REAL ESTATE

Hudson’s Bay to close 10 Lord & Taylor stores

BY Marianne Wilson

One of New York City’s most iconic department stores is going dark.

Hudson’s Bay Co. said on Tuesday it would sell its upscale flash-sales site Gilt and close up to 10 Lord & Taylor stores, including its flagship on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, as it looks to focus on the brand’s digital business. In October, the department store giant said it was selling the property to shared working space company WeWork but would continue to operate a retail store in part of the building. But it now intends to pull out completely. On a conference call, CFO Ed Record said the Manhattan flagship would close by year-end, with most of the other closings occurring in the first quarter of 2019.

In a statement, HBC chief executive Helena Foulkes, said, with regards to Lord & Taylor, “We will take advantage of having a smaller footprint to rethink the model and focus on our digital opportunities. The Lord & Taylor flagship on Walmart.com, which launched last week, is a great example of this and represents how we are thinking about the entire business.”

Hudson’s Bay announced the news amid a widening quarterly loss on declines in its European and Saks Off 5th divisions. The retailer reported a net loss of C$400 million ($308.5 million), or C$1.70 a share, in its first quarter ended May 5, following a net loss of C$221 million, or C$1.21 per share, in the year-ago period. Its adjusted net loss excluding one-time items was $286 million, compared with analyst expectations of $200.5 million.

Boston-based flash site Rue La La said it has agreed to buy Gilt, which Hudson’s Bay acquired in January 2016 for $250. The purchase price was not disclosed. The new company will be called Rue Gilt Groupe, though Rue La La and Gilt will still operate their sites independently.

“Through the acquisition of Gilt and our evolution into a multi-brand platform, we are equipped for an acceleration in growth, innovation and profitability,” Rue La La CEO Mark McWeeny said in a statement. “Together with Gilt, Rue La La looks forward to increasing our presence and offering the attainable luxury and best-in-class experience that today’s customers demand.”

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