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News Briefs

  • 5/13/2024

    BH Properties names new managing director of retail

    Greg Sullivan BH Properties

    BH Properties has brought in a 25-year veteran of the Mills Corporation, GGP, and Brookfield Properties Retail to lead its retail real estate division.

    Greg Sullivan has been named managing director of the Los Angeles-based company, where he will lead the acquisitions, management, and leasing for the firm’s expanding retail portfolio. At Brookfield, he served as VP of big box leasing/development with a primary focus on large format entertainment, big box, junior anchor, restaurant transactions, and vacant anchor store re-development. During his six years there, he oversaw the closing of some 300 lease and sales transactions totaling more than 10 million sq. ft.

    For the past six months, Sullivan had been operating as a retail consultant to BH Properties, advising the firm on several mixed-use retail acquisitions, most notably the 322,000-sq.-ft. Anchorage Square on San Francisco’s famed Fisherman’s Wharf and Lincoln Road, a 130,000-sq.-ft. retail center in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood.

    “As commercial real estate’s retail sector continues to work through a challenging economy, we see a great opportunity to grow our presence in the marketplace,” said Jim Brooks, president of BH Properties. “In so doing, we wanted to make a bold move and Greg’s experience and knowledge in both leasing and re-positioning gives us access to a national network of retailers and will help accelerate our retail efforts across the country.”

    BH Properties’ current retail portfolio consists of 39 properties comprising more than 3.8 million sq. ft. nationwide. It also owns and operates substantial portfolios in the office, residential, and industrial real estate sectors nationwide.

  • 5/13/2024

    Denmark, U.S. tops in highest average yearly online spending per shopper

    Young adult African American female consumer holding credit card and smartphone sitting on floor at home doing online banking transaction. E commerce virtual shopping, secure mobile banking concept.; Shutterstock ID 1979496134

    The amount shoppers spend online on a yearly basis differs widely by countries. 

    Denmark holds the first spot in the ranking of online shopping spending, with an average of $3,426.47 spent per online shopper yearly, closely followed by the United States, with an average online spending of $3,389.03 per shopper, according to a study by Ubuy.dk of more than 50 countries. 

    South Korea ranks third, with an average online spend of $3,032 per shopper. The country with the lowest spend was Switzerland, with an average spend of $1,675.84 per shopper.

    Clothing is the most frequently purchased category online across the analyzed countries.

    In other findings, the U.K. has the highest proportion of its population shopping online at 98%, leading to an average spend of $2,547, followed by China, with 97% of the population shopping online. In the U.S., 92% of the population shops online. 

    Methodology

    The countries were first chosen based on the highest percentage of online shoppers. Each country's total e-commerce market size, shown in dollars, was divided by the respective number of online shoppers. 

    Countries were then ranked according to these average spending figures, from highest to lowest. Additional metrics, such as online shopping preferences and online consumers' age groups, were added for the context.

  • 5/13/2024

    Survey: Customer service workers feel their mental health is neglected

    Wrong order

    A majority of retail customer service workers believe their employers don’t take their mental health seriously.

    According to a new survey from AI-powered customer service platform DigitalGenius of nearly 520 respondents, 48% of customer agents agreed with the statement "my employer takes the state of my mental health seriously." Just over a quarter (26%) disagreed, while the same amount neither agreed nor disagreed.

    Just under half (46%) of workers surveyed are not provided with any initiatives or resources to help reduce stress or promote mental health. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of workers say they feel more stressed and overwhelmed during peak trading periods, such as around major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Christmas.

    More than two-thirds (69%) of workers agreed that if customers are left waiting a long time, it affects their mental health due to stress. A large number (59%) of workers said they feel worse at the start of the day if they know there are significantly more customer queries to respond to, compared to a normal day.

    DigitalGenius also found that 68% of workers like to see how much work is outstanding for their team in the day, but 27% said they are not shown this information. When it comes to workload, 71% of workers would rather have fewer customer service tickets that required more attention than more average quality tickets.

    The 517 respondents each verified that they were a current employee working in retail or e-commerce, and were not based on a shop floor.

  • 5/13/2024

    Ted Baker closing all U.S. stores

    bankruptcy form

    Ted Baker stores in the United States are winding down operations.   

    Ted Baker Canada, which conducts business operations for Ted Baker in Canada, Ted Baker Limited in the United States, Brooks Brothers in Canada and Lucky Brand in Canada, said that it has begun store closing sales across select locations. As of May 10, the retailer also ceased e-commerce sales “for the time being" and said all store sales are final.

    The sales involve all 31 Ted Baker stores in the U.S. as well as nine locations in Canada. The sales, which offer savings of up to 30% off original prices on the entire collection of men’s and women’s clothing, are being conducted by Gordon Brothers.

    Store closing sales are also being held at all eight Brooks Brothers Canada stores as well all seven Lucky Brand Canada.

    In late April, the operators of Ted Baker stores in Canada and the U.S. filed for insolvency proceedings in Toronto and filed a related Chapter 15 petition in New York bankruptcy court to recognize the Canadian proceedings, reported Bloomberg Law. (Chapter 15 is a form of bankruptcy that protects a company’s assets from creditors while they restructure in a different company, the report said.)

    The bankruptcy filing comes approximately one month after Ted Baker’s European business entered administration.

     Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc. is acting as the CCAA Monitor.  

  • 5/10/2024

    Target to limit Pride Month collection to ‘select’ stores in wake of 2023 backlash

    Pride Month Target

    Target Corp. is dialing it back a bit.

    The discounter is not rolling out Pride Month merchandise chainwide as it did last year. Instead, Target will offer a collection of Pride products that includes adult apparel, home, food and beverage items in select stores, based on historical sales performance. The collection, curated based on consumer feedback, will also be available on Target’s web site. 

    The move comes after Target, which has celebrated Pride Month for over a decade, was targeted last May with a social media-fueled boycott by some shoppers angry over the retailer’s collection of LGBTQ+ merchandise. Customers in certain areas knocked down Pride displays at some Target locations, angrily approached store employees and posted threatening videos on social media from inside the stores. The chain was also the subject of misinformation by prominent conservative groups and media outlets that falsely accused it of selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits designed for kids or in kids sizes.  

    Target said it will continue to support and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and year-round. It will join local Pride events in its Minneapolis hometown of Minneapolis and around the country. Its Pride+ Business Council will host internal events and experiences where interested team members “can learn, reflect, celebrate and connect. It’s complemented by the year-round resources and benefits we provide to our LGBTQIA+ team members,”

    In addition, the company said it will continue to support LGBTQIA+ organizations year-round, including Human Rights Campaign, Family Equality and more.

  • 5/10/2024

    Costco strong in April as sales rise 7.1%

    Costco operates 855 warehouses around the world.

     Costco Wholesale Corp. kept up its momentum in April — in-store and online. 

    The membership warehouse club retailer reported net sales of $19.80 billion for the retail month of April (ended May 5), up 7.1% from $18.48 billion in the year-ago period. (Costco noted that April 2024 was impacted by the shift in timing of Easter, which negatively impacted total and comparable sales by a little more than 0.5%.)

    Total company comparable-store sales rose 5.6% in April, with a 5.8% increase in U.S. clubs. E-commerce comps rose 14.6%. Total comps excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange rose 5.5%. 

    For the first 35 weeks, Costco’s net sales rose 7% to $166.44 billion. Total comparable sales rose 5.2%, with e-commerce up 14.7%.

    Costco currently operates 876 warehouses, including 604 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 108 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 33 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Korea, 15 in Australia, 14 in Taiwan, six in China, four in Spain, two in France, and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden.

    The company also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

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