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News Briefs

  • 5/22/2024

    First National Realty acquires Jewel-Osco-anchored center


    Commercial real estate firm First National Realty Partners (FNRP) has acquired a new property in Illinois. 

    The company has closed on Townes Crossing, a 105,731-sq.-ft. shopping center located in Oswego, a village just outside of Aurora. Townes Crossing is anchored by a 65,000-sq.-ft. Jewel-Osco store, which has been a tenant at the center for over 30 years.

    Jewel-Osco is joined by daily-needs retailers including Phenix Salon Suites, Oswego Dental, The UPS Store, and Subway.

    "Townes Crossing is a testament to strong competitive positioning, with tenants boasting a weighted average tenure at the property exceeding 25 years," said Matt Annibale, vice president of acquisitions at FNRP. "The center is situated in a neighborhood trade area, and we believe is poised to benefit from continued migration to Kendall County."

    Within a five-mile radius, the population exceeds 220,000 people with average household incomes of over $124,000. The center sees over 54,000 vehicles per day.

    "Townes Crossing marks our fourth off-market acquisition in 2024,” said Mike Hazinski, chief investment officer at FNRP. “This off-market activity is a testament to FNRP's platform as our team continues to be one of the most active acquirers of grocery-anchored retail in the country.”

    Founded in 2015, New Jersey-based FNRP operates 64 properties across the United States.

  • 5/21/2024

    Erewhon utilizes AI for workforce management


     Erewhon is leveraging a new platform for its workforce management tasks.

    The upscale California grocer will utilize Legion Technologies’ AI-driven workforce management (WFM) platform for automated scheduling, demand forecasting, and frontline communications to improve labor efficiency.

    The platform aims to maximize labor efficiency and employee engagement with intelligent automation. The AI-powered tool optimizes schedules, produces accurate demand forecasts and provides actionable insights so employers can control labor costs, increase productivity and minimize compliance risk. Legion InstantPay is designed to increase productivity and employee engagement by linking work and pay in the same mobile app and allowing employees to immediately access their wages.

    “We’re excited to utilize Legion, which is well-equipped to serve our amazing employees with the most innovative, AI-powered workforce management platform in the industry,” said Tony Antoci, CEO of Erewhon. “We view Legion WFM as a vital tool to scale effectively and bring the Erewhon Standard to more communities.”

    Founded in 1968, Erewhon operates 10 locations across Southern California, and employs more than 2,000 people.

    “Erewhon is dedicated to the well-being of its employees and strives to build connection and community within its frontline, hourly workforce,” said Sanish Mondkar, CEO and founder of Legion Technologies. “As organizations aim to streamline operations and create a better experience for their hourly employees, Legion is helping to modernize their workforce management with our intelligently automated, employee-centric workforce management platform.”


  • 5/21/2024

    Lowe’s beats on earnings, revenue amid gains in Pro, online


    Lowe’s Cos. reported better-than-expected first-quarter top- and bottom-line results even as consumers continued to hold off big ticket purchases.

    Unlike rival Home Depot, which cited a slow start to spring in reporting its first-quarter results, Lowe’s CEO Marvin R. Ellison said the company was pleased “with our start to spring, driven by strong execution and enhanced customer service.”

    Lowe's net earnings totaled $1.8 billion, or $3.06 a share, for the quarter ended May 3, down from $2.3 billion, or $3.77 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted were $3.67 per share.Analysts had expected earnings of $2.95 per share.

    Sales fell to $21.364 billion from $22.347 billion, topping estimates of $21.137 billion.

    Same-store sales fell 4.1%, less than analysts had expected. Lowe’s said the decline in do-it-yourself big ticket discretionary spending was partially offset by positive comparable sales in Pro and online.

    In January, said it would its loyalty program from home improvement professionals to everyday customers, with a national rollout in March. The expansion follows the March 2022 introduction of the Lowe's MVPs Pro Rewards and Partnership Program for industry professionals.

    "This quarter we rolled out our new DIY loyalty program nationally, expanded same-day delivery options and took market share in key categories,” stated Ellison. “We continue to gain momentum with our Total Home strategy, reflected in our growth in Pro and online.

    The retailer affirmed its full-year outlook which calls for sales to range from $84 billion to $85 billion and for earnings per share to range from $12.00 to $12.30. It expects same-store sales to fall 2% to 3%.

    During the quarter, the company repurchased approximately 3.0 million shares for $743 million, and it paid $633 million in dividends.

    As of May 3, 2024, Lowe's operated 1,746 stores.

  • 5/21/2024

    Bruce Nordstrom dies at 90; helped expand company into national fashion retailer

    As April 29, Nordstrom had a total of 347 stores.

    The grandson of the founder of Nordstrom has died at the age of 90.

    Bruce Nordstrom led the company for 40 years and is the father of the company’s current leaders: Erik and Pete Nordstrom, who serve as CEO and president respectively.

    Nordstrom’s roots date back to 1901 when Swedish immigrant John Nordstrom and a partner opened a shoe store in Seattle. Bruce Nordstrom and other members of the third generation took the leadership reins in 1968. 

    From a small shoe store chain in the Pacific Northwest, the team expanded the chain’s footprint, starting in California and eventually across the U.S. They took the company public in 1971. They also debuted the first Nordstrom Rack store, in 1973.

    Bruce Nordstrom retired from his executive role in 1995 as the third generation handed over leadership to the fourth. He retired as chairman of Nordstrom's board in 2006.

    “He loved this company,” the Nordstrom family said in a message to employees on Saturday, reported the Seattle Times. He loved the business (especially selling shoes) but most of all, he loved our people and culture,” the family said in a message to company employees Saturday. “His quiet wisdom shone through in his commitment to doing the right thing for our customers, for the people around him, and for our community.”

  • 5/20/2024

    Game show to bolster Mall of America's entertainment offerings

    Mall of America

    America’s largest mall is adding a new attraction.

    Live-action game show Great Big Game Show is the newest addition to the Mall of America, and will give guests the thrill of participating in a televised game show without the TV audience.

    Great Big Game Show is a new concept from the creators of The Escape Game, an attraction already at Mall of America. At Great Big Game Show, friends, families, and coworkers will work together in rounds of gameplay. Players will get to select from two different theme packs, “The Original” and “Trivia Showdown.” 

    During “The Original,” two teams will face off head-to-head in a fast-paced battle for points including trivia, chance, challenges, and more. While playing “Trivia Showdown,” teams will compete in an immersive battle of knowledge and speed as they race to hit the buzzer the quickest, while also having the correct answer. To provide a realistic experience, the game show studios will be complete with decked-out stages, podiums, buzzers, and even a real-life host.

    “This is an exceptional addition to the unique attractions Mall of America has to offer,” said Carrie Charleston, VP of leasing at Mall of America. “Great Big Game Show is guaranteed to provide lots of fun allowing contestants to let loose and show off their competitive side, while creating special memories.”

    At 5.6 million sq. ft., Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minn., is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in North America with up to 520 world-class retail stores and restaurants, and several entertainment attractions.

  • 5/17/2024

    Study reveals different store preferences between Democrats and Republicans

    Democrat Donkey and Republican Elephant. 3D rendering; Shutterstock ID 473764057

    As is true with so many other things, Democrats and Republicans differ when it comes to their retail favorites.

    Democrats spend more at stores such as Costco, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, while Republicans spend more at Walmart, Dollar General and Lowe’s, according to data collected from Affinity Solutions’ Consumer Purchase Insights. The data is based on actual credit card, debit card and transaction data in the second quarter of 2024.

    In other findings, Democrats spent more at airlines, wholesale clubs and department stores. Republicans spent more at discount stores, service stations and fast-food stores. The largest categorical spending difference between Democrats and Republicans was in the discount category, with Republicans spending on average $167.20 more than Democrats. 

    In addition, some brands cross party lines. Five Below, Stitch Fix, Teleflora and HIMS were among the brands with the lowest level of spending discrepancy between Republicans and Democrats. 

     Additional insights on spending per card are below.

    •Service stations and airlines had the next highest levels of spending discrepancies, with Republicans spending on average $45.94 more than Democrats at service stations and Democrats spending $31 more on airlines than Republicans.

    •At the brand level, the largest spending difference between Republicans and Democrats occurred at Walmart, with Republicans spending $142.89 more than Democrats at Walmart. 

    •Costco had the next highest difference, with Democrats spending $34.11 more than Republicans, followed by Dollar General, with Republicans outspending Democrats by $20.91, and Lowe’s, with Republicans outspending Democrats by $14.49.

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