REAL ESTATE

QSI Facilities to be acquired

BY Marianne Wilson

Cushman & Wakefield is expanding its U.S. facilities management offerings.

The global real estate services firm has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Quality Solutions (“QSI”), one of the nation’s leading facilities management firms. QSI specializes in on-demand facility maintenance and project management services through a national network of facilities contractors. The acquisition will expand Cushman & Wakefield’s facilities management capabilities and coverage across North American markets by leveraging QSI’s supply chain of qualified suppliers and facilities trades.

“Cushman & Wakefield has presented us with a great opportunity to integrate our existing platform into their best-in-class facilities management practice which will allow us to do more for our existing clients,” said Eric Crabb, CEO, QSI. “It is an exciting time to be part of the firm’s growth story. There is very real momentum and we’re just getting started.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of all applicable antitrust approvals.

“This acquisition will significantly benefit our clients by enhancing our leading facilities management platform, building on the existing strengths of our account-based Global Occupier Services business,” said Steven Quick, chief executive, global occupier services, Cushman & Wakefield.

Cushman & Wakefield’s global occupier services business delivers real estate solutions for large corporations around the world by providing services that include facilities management, portfolio administration, project and development services and transaction management, supported by leading technology and research.

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Reuters: Gymboree eyes closing half its stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Just 14 months after it successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Gymboree Group is reportedly weighing a major downsizing.

The children’s clothing retailer is considering closing more than half of its approximately 900 stores, reported Reuters, which cited people familiar with the matter. Gymboree has hired consulting firm Berkley Research Group LLC to help it review options, which could include filing for bankruptcy again, the report said. Berkley Research Group will also help the chain help cut costs and analyze its store leases.

Gymboree filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2017, and emerged later that year, in September, with a reduced footprint (less about 350 stores) and new owners. It also cut its debt by some $1 billion.

The retailer has been under heavy competition from Target and Walmart, both of whom have expanded their kids’ clothing offerings, and a reenergized The Children’s Place. In July, Gymboree announced it was rebooting its brand with new in-store and digital experiences. The re-boot also included a merchandise update.

In addition to its namesake brand, Gymboree also operates a higher-end brand, Janie & Jack, and value-brand Crazy 8.

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Double-digit traffic gains reported at re-curated malls

BY Al Urbanski

PREIT, whose CEO Joe Coradino has been on a five-year crusade to re-make its enclosed malls for a new generation of shoppers, reported encouraging results on the first weekend of the holiday shopping season.

Traffic was up by 13% at Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids, Mich., where tenants such as Altar’d States, Hollister, and Victoria’s Secret were the draws. Von Maur, Urban Outfitters, and REI will join the mall’s roster in 2019.

Viewmont Mall in Scranton, Pa., experienced an 11% surge. A vacated Sears on the property has been filled by Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, and HomeGoods.

The recent opening of HomeSense and Five Below in the former Macy’s space at Moorestown Mall in New Jersey helped ignite a near 9% traffic increase over the Thanksgiving weekend. Coming soon will be Sierra Trading Post and eateries Hash House a Go Go and Joe Italiano’s Maplewood.

”We’re confident that this data is a strong indicator for the rest of the season,” Coradino said.’

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