PRSM Weekly
Sep. 7, 2012

Kohl's electrifies green efforts with more
charging stations

Retailing Today
Kohls reaffirmed its green reputation with the announcement that it will expand its electric vehicle (EV) charging station initiative with 36 new stations across 18 additional Kohl's locations by the end of fall 2012. The expansion spans three new states, including Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin and adds additional locations to the company’s Texas EV program. With the expansion, Kohl's shoppers will be able to take advantage of a total of 101 charging stations at 52 Kohl's locations across 14 states. Each of the participating Kohl's locations will have two or three parking spaces reserved for EV drivers to charge at no cost while they shop. More

Retail CEOs charting careful course into the holidays
From the health of the consumer to navigating the choppy, uncertain waters of the second half of the year, there's been a lot to talk about at the 19th annual Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference, and so far, retail executives are leaving no topic untouched. More

Sales at Miami's Bal Harbour Shops tops in world
The Miami Herald
When it comes to sales volumes, the Bal Harbour Shops in Miami ranks as tops in the world, according to a recent industry report. With its roster of luxury retail tenants, Bal Harbour reported annual sales of $2,555 per square foot and expects that number to grow to $3,000 by year end. Those numbers earned the mall that has long been synonymous with luxury shopping in South Florida, the top spot in a September report by Shopping Centers Today magazine. Sales per square foot are considered the industry standard for measuring retail sales productivity rather than total sales volumes because it accounts for differences in property sizes. More

What's hot in retail — August '12
National Retail Federation
The world was memorized this August with the London Olympic Games, but there was still plenty of captivating retail news to tell back across the pond. On the policy front, the National Retail Federation stayed hot on the push for sales tax fairness before the Congressional summer recess began. While consumers helped beat economists' estimates thanks to stronger than expected July retail sales numbers, NRF recognizes that the ripple effect of the oncoming fiscal cliff will have a huge impact on whether consumer confidence will continue to grow or if this uncertainty will trickle into the holiday season ahead. Putting policy aside, read on for what else was hot in retail last month. More

Portland, Ore., to get massive green roof — Atop a Walmart
Say what you will about Walmart and its ongoing sustainability efforts, but it appears that the big box behemoth has done a bang-up job at winning over Portland, Ore.-area naysayers and NIMBYists who have historically grabbed their torches and tried to chase the company out of town. So how'd the world's largest retailer — 4,522 U.S. stores and counting — manage to do it? They put a green roof on it.More

Starbucks heads 'best-loved' brands list
MediaPost Communications
Based on analysis of consumer sentiments as expressed on social media, Starbucks was the restaurant brand "most loved" by U.S. consumers as of this year's first half, according to a new report from DigitalCoCo. DigitalCoCo tracks social media sentiment for more than 3,400 restaurant brands, including the sentiments of consumers identified as "super influencers" in the restaurant arena. More

Stores aim to lure shoppers with celebrities and giveaways as Fashion's Night Out's hits 4
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Break out your stilettos — and your wallet. Retailers all over the world are gearing up for the fourth annual Fashion’s Night Out, a celebrity-studded night designed to draw shoppers into stores for a night of celebrity spotting, music, giveaways, food and drinks, and, of course, shopping.More

Dollar General: Cash-strapped Americans mean strong profits ahead
Americans keen to stretch their budgets last quarter made Dollar General stores a frequent stop. The discount chain’s latest quarterly surpassed Wall Street estimates, and allowed the company to raise full-year guidance. Dollar General now expects to earn between $2.77 to $2.85 a share this year, up from the earlier forecast range of $2.68 to $2.78. Analysts saw Dollar General making $2.81 a share. The company confirmed that it expects sales to grow 8% to 9%, matching expectations.More

Malware on the rise
A new Zeus malware strain has hit a number of e-commerce sites. The latest Zeus variant catches victims off-guard by waiting to attack until after a website's login page appears to be functioning normally, says Andreas Baumhof, chief technology officer at ThreatMetrix. After the victim logs in, the Zeus Trojan attempts to steal confidential information. What puts online retailers, payment processors, financial institutions and even social media networks at such high risk with this particular variant of Zeus is that all of the fraudulent pages and windows appear legitimate to most users.More

Eyeing Donatelli project nearby, Katz Properties plans upgrades at East River Park Shopping Center in Washington, DC
The Washington Post
Katz Properties plans major upgrades to the East River Park Shopping Center in Northeast D.C. after buying it for $33.6 million from District-based City Interests. Anchored by a Safeway grocery store and CVS Pharmacy, East River Park is at the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road, one of the most heavily trafficked corridors in the city, but one that has not experienced the revitalization many District neighborhoods have enjoyed in recent years.More

Regency Centers engages in crowdsourcing to lease shopping center in Baltimore
Commercial Property Executive
Regency Centers is experimenting with a new leasing phenomenon known as "crowdsourcing" in its efforts to lease space in its Parkville Shopping Center in Baltimore. The company is asking people to recommend the stores and restaurants they want to see go into the center through an online crowdsourcing platform called Popularise.More

Outlet centers fill the development pipeline globally
Retail Traffic
Cost-conscious shoppers are fueling demand for new outlet shopping centers in countries ranging from Canada and the U.S. to Russia and South Korea. "Because of the economic downturn, shoppers are looking for value and outlet centers have always had that perceived value," says Craig Delasin, chief operating officer and principal at Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties LLC. "That is why that segment of the market has continued to thrive."More

Lord & Taylor owner Hudson's Bay explores IPO
The New York Times
Two of the oldest department store chains in North America are on the verge of a public stock listing. Plans for an initial public offering are in the works for the Hudson’s Bay Company, the parent of The Bay stores in Canada and Lord & Taylor in the United States, according to two people briefed on the talks. A listing, which is expected to be on the Toronto Stock Exchange, could come before the end of November, these people said. More

Kroger hits sustainability milestones
Progressive Grocer
Energy savings, waste reduction and community involvement are spotlighted in The Kroger Co.'s sixth annual sustainability report, in which the grocer details how it has met annual sustainability benchmarks. More

Best Buy's new CEO wants to learn from the front line
Reuters via Chicago Tribune
Best Buy's new chief executive, Hubert Joly, will spend much of his first week on the job wearing a blue shirt and working the floor as a salesman at the chain's stores in Minnesota as the restructuring expert tackles criticism that he lacks retail experience. Just like any other new employee, Joly will be trained to serve customers, stock items, accept returns and go on calls with Geek Squad agents.More

Instant price changes on aisle 4
Shoppers can be reasonably confident that the price of a box of their favorite cereal will not budge in the time it takes to push a cart down a supermarket aisle. But that may change as stores begin to experiment with the kind of minute-by-minute price adjustments made online.More

The average college student is spending a record $907 on dorm decor
Business Insider
College students used to focus on utility in their dorm rooms. An egg crate and some twin XL sheets would do. Now, students are spending an average of $907.22 turning their dorm rooms into luxury suites, according to a new report by the National Retail Federation. And U.S. dorm room spending accounts for $50 billion a year. More

Vegetarian McDonald's: Its 1st non-meat restaurant to open in India
Los Angeles Times
McDonald's, that carnivore's haven of beefy Big Macs and chicken McNuggets, is going vegetarian. The fast food giant will open its first non-meat restaurant next year in India, in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. The branch, to be located by the much-visited Golden Temple, will serve herbivore options tailored to the country’s cultural tastes, according to AFP. More

Toys R Us, Walmart, waives fee for layaway program
The Associated Press via ABC News
As brick-and-mortar stores face increasingly tough competition from online retailers, chains like Toys R Us, Walmart, Sears and others have been expanding services such as layaway to draw customers into stores. Retailers will be pulling out all the stops for customers as the intensely competitive holiday season approaches, which can account for as much as 40 percent of annual sales.More