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  • 6/6/2024

    Spirit Halloween sets sights on 50,000 seasonal employees

    Spirit Halloween

    Spirit Halloween is aiming to hire a larger workforce than last year with the holiday more than five months away.

    The Halloween retailer is looking for 50,000 seasonal sales associates and store managers to support more than 1,500 retail locations in the United States and Canada expected to open in 2024. Last year, Spirit aimed to hire 40,000 workers for the approximately same amount of stores.

    Founded in 1983, Spirit is a one-stop destination for all things Halloween. Stores offer an immersive and interactive experience for shoppers, complete with a vast assortment of costumes and accessories along with exclusive décor and animatronics.

    Spirit says its associates can look forward to competitive salaries, flexible scheduling, and a premium pay incentive program while returning store managers are also eligible for seasonal retention bonuses. All associates also receive a 30% discount on Spirit Halloween purchases.

    "The excitement and enthusiasm of Halloween continues to grow, and as we gear up for another season, we are looking forward to welcoming new associates and store managers to our team," said Steven Silverstein, CEO of Spirit Halloween. "Opening over 1,500 retail locations is no small feat, and much of the magic we create for fans each year is thanks to the passion and dedication of our associates who bring the Spirit Halloween experience to life.”

    Spirit Halloween and mall retailer Spencer’s Gifts are part of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.-based Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc.

  • 6/6/2024

    WHP-led consortium gets court OK to acquire Express; group includes mall landlords

    Express store

    Express, Inc. has inched closer to being acquired by its landlords.

    The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has given its approval to a consortium led by brand management firm WHP Global (and including Brookfield Property and Simon Property Group) to acquire the struggling retailer. The group has put up a stalking horse bid of about  $160 million in cash and $38 million in assumed liabilities. 

    WHP Global would own the intellectual property of the Express and Bonobos brands, while Simon and Brookfield would have oversight of retail operations.  The sale, however, is subject to better offers.  If a higher bid is received by June 11, an auction is set for for June 12.

    Express  filed for bankruptcy in April, saying it had received a non-binding letter of intent from WHP Global, Simon and Brookfield to purchase the company’s operations and most of its stores. (In January 2023,  Express and WHP entered into a joint venture.)

    Simon and Brookfield have previously teamed up to acquire other   tenants, including Forever 21 and JCPenny.

    In filing for bankruptcy, Express, which operated about 540 locations at the time of the filing, said it planned to close approximately 95 namesake stores (including full-price and factory outlet stores) and all 10 UpWest locations. Store closing sales begin on April 23. 

    The company also said that it would continue to assess its store footprint. In May, national retail real estate advisory firm RCS Real Estate said it was working with Express on the strategic realignment and right-sizing of its portfolio.

  • 6/6/2024

    Survey: Shoplifting fairly common among Americans

    retail theft

    A large percentage of American adults have admitted to stealing merchandise from a store.

    That’s according to a new survey Express Legal Funding, conducted with SurveyMonkey, which found that 40% of respondents admitted to having shoplifted at least once, indicating that theft is a fairly common behavior among Americans. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents in all age groups reported knowing someone who has shoplifted before.

    The survey found that women shoplift more than men, with 43% of women reporting prior shoplifting, while only 37% of men said they shoplifted before. Women are consistently more likely than men to know someone who has shoplifted, with a difference of roughly 10% in each region.

    The likelihood of shoplifting decreases with age, with the 18-24 age group reporting the highest likelihood of shoplifting in the next two years, while the 55+ group shows the lowest.

    As far as motivations for shoplifting, financial hardship (52%) was cited as the most prevalent and consistently cited primary reason for shoplifting across all demographics. Seeking a “high” or thrill from stealing was reported as the main factor for shoplifting by 19% of the respondents.

    According to the survey, the most commonly cited reason for hesitation towards retail theft across all regions is the belief that shoplifting is morally wrong or against their religion (70%), followed by the fear of getting in trouble with the police.

    Express Legal Funding and SurveyMonkey interviewed 535 consumer participants for the survey.

  • 6/4/2024

    Nordstrom names new chief operating officer

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

    Nordstrom has given one of its executives a new title. 

    The upscale department retailer has promoted Alexis DePree to COO.  DePree, who joined Nordstrom in January 2020 as executive VP and chief supply chain officer, will continue to support supply chain operations, transportation, inventory operations, enterprise operations and store operations, but with an expanded title that "better reflects the breadth of the work these teams are doing," the company said in a statement. 

    “With Alexis's support, our teams have made meaningful progress in several different areas,” Nordstrom stated. “We’ve strengthened our supply chain network, dramatically improved our speed to customers and reduced costs. We continue to make progress implementing RFID technology and creating operational consistency across our stores. As we focus on improving operational efficiency across the business, Alexis and her team will continue to be integral to our success.”

    Prior to joining Nordstrom, DePree held senior leadership roles at Amazon and Target in supply chain and distribution management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

    For the most recent financial period, Nordstrom reported mixed results with a wider than expected loss but sales that topped estimates. At the end of the quarter, the company operated 264 Nordstrom Rack stores, 93 Nordstrom stores, six Nordstrom Local service hubs and two Last Chance clearance outlets.

  • 6/4/2024

    DLC Management and Cohen & Steers buy two centers in Arkansas


    Global Investment Manager Cohen & Steers and DLC Management Corp.have jointly acquired a two-property open-air shopping center complex in Fayetteville, Ark.

    The acquisition is made up of two centers, Spring Creek Centre and Steele Crossing, that encompass 403,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The centers are 95% occupied by tenants that include TJ Maxx, Ulta, Best Buy, Old Navy, PetSmart, and Kohl's. Key anchors Walmart, Home Depot, and Target own their properties.

    “Similar to many Sunbelt cities, Fayetteville is benefiting from national migration trends as people move to more affordable and economically attractive residential areas across the country,” said James S. Corl, head of the private real estate group at Cohen & Steers. “We believe the shopping centers are well-positioned in a dominant location to benefit from these tailwinds and we are excited to partner with DLC."

    Open-air shopping centers are at their highest occupancy level of the past 16 years at 95.7% nationally, according to CoStar Group, which added that over the last five years, Northwest Arkansas’ population has grown at 4.5 times the national average. 

    New York-based DLC has more than three decades of expertise in shopping centers with a focus on open-air centers. The company has a national footprint of more than 70 shopping centers and has
    managed Spring Creek Centre and Steele Crossing for more than a decade.

    Founded in 1986, Cohen & Steers is headquartered in New York City, with offices in London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore.

  • 6/3/2024

    JCPenney celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month with special collection

    Penney Pride Month 2024

    JCPenney is featuring a limited-edition assortment of apparel items from designers identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

    In recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month this June, the department store retailer is releasing its third annual Hope & Wonder Pride Month Collection. Net profits from the assortment will benefit the non-profit Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students in postsecondary education.

    The 2024 collection’s theme is "Standing with Pride," which served as inspiration for the designs developed by JCPenney’s Creative Coalition, a cross-functional team of diverse designers who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community and are featured in the photoshoot for the collection with members of the Pride business resource team (BRT), an internal group dedicated to creating a more inclusive workplace, and Point Foundation alumni.

    Funds donated by JCPenney will support Point Foundation’s Community College Scholarship program. To date, JCPenney has funded 20 community college students throughout the United States.

    Hope & Wonder is JCPenney’s private label brand that celebrates cultural observances throughout the year, including Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride Month, Juneteenth, and Hispanic Heritage Month.

    In addition to corporate contributions, all net profits from Hope & Wonder sales are donated to nonprofits selected by JCPenney associates. Since Hope & Wonder launched in 2022, JCPenney has invested more than $1 million in Hope & Wonder partnerships.

    Hope & Wonder brand campaigns include JCPenney associates, community leaders, and members of the JCPenney Creative Coalition.

    JCPenney, which emerged from bankruptcy in late 2020 under new owners Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group, currently operates 650-plus stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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