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  • 6/7/2024

    ShopOne Centers acquires grocery-anchored Atlanta-area center


    ShopOne Centers and joint-venture partners, Pantheon and a global institutional investor, have acquired Publix at Mt. Zion in Morrow, Ga.

    Located at the dominant retail corner of the Southlake regional shopping corridor, the 79,031 sq.-ft., 99% leased asset is anchored by a Publix supermarket that has been operating at the property for more than 30 years. 

    Publix at Mt. Zion caters to a trade area of more than 225,000 people in the southern Atlanta suburb of Morrow. The property is located less than seven miles south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and benefits from its position in the heart of a critical mass of major national tenants Costco, Ross Dress for Less, LA Fitness, Best Buy, PetSmart, The Home Depot, TJ Maxx, and others.

    “This acquisition exemplifies our strategy to acquire neighborhood grocery-anchored shopping centers in high-growth metro statistical areas (MSAs) like Atlanta and add value for our investment partners through our operating platform and deep leasing network,” said Chris Reed, chief investment officer at ShopOne. “Like our other three assets in the market, Publix at Mt. Zion benefits from strong repeat foot traffic and prime visibility while serving the daily shopping needs of the local community. We will continue looking to add scale in markets with similar growth profiles.”

    The three other assets the joint venture owns in the Atlanta MSA are Sharon Greens in Cumming, Bethesda Walk in Lawrenceville, and Kennesaw Walk in Kennesaw. The venture’s portfolio consists of 15 properties totaling nearly 1.5 million sq. ft.

  • 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.

  • 6/7/2024

    GameStop Q1 sales plummet 29%; to sell more stock

    GameStop store

    GameStop Corp. reported another quarter of falling sales even as its loss narrowed. 

    In a separate filing, the long-struggling video game retailer said it had entered into an agreement with Jefferies to sell up to 75 million shares of its common stock pursuant to an existing open-market sale agreement through which GameStop has already sold 45 million shares. Announced in May, the sale yielded roughly $933 million in gross proceeds.

    GameStop’s stock has soared in recent weeks after meme trader and viral sensation Keith Gill, who promotes his results as "Roaring Kitty" on YouTube, resurfaced online after a long hiatus. Earlier this month, he posted a screenshot in a Reddit forum showing he owns approximately $116 million in GameStop shares. The screenshot also appeared to show that Gill owned $120,000 GameStop call options with a $20 strike price and June 21 expiration date, reported Marketwatch.

    The retailer reported a new loss $32.3 million, or $0.11 per share for the quarter ended May 4. down from a loss of $50.5 million, or $0.17 per share, in the year-ago period. The adjusted net loss came to $0.12 per share, greater than the $0.09 loss per share Wall Street expected. 

    Net sales plunged 29% to $881.8 million, down from $1.237 billion last year. The Street had expected sales of $995 million.

    The company said it has cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.083 billion at the close of the quarter.

  • 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.

  • 6/6/2024

    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.

  • 6/4/2024

    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.

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