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Commerical Repairs & Sales

PRSM Weekly
March 6, 2009  
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Fed Changes Rules on Retailers' No-interest Offers
from USA Today
"No interest! No payments for 18 months!" "Two years, same as cash!" Retailers are scrambling to save the deals they love to shout about. A new federal rule is expected to change the promotion and perhaps even the availability of the months-long special offers, which retailers often market for big-ticket items like TVs, furniture and appliances. The rule change, made by the Federal Reserve, does not take effect until July 2010. More

Roof Connect

Target to Open 27 New Stores in 15 States
from BusinessWeek
Target Corp. announced this week that it will open 27 stores across 15 states on Sunday, including the chain's first two locations in Hawaii. Six of the new stores will be SuperTargets, featuring full grocery offerings as well as general merchandise, and employing 200 to 300 workers each, with about 186,000 square feet. Those stores will be in Kissimmee, Fla.; Canton, Ga.; Hillside, Ill.; and three Texas locations in Allen, Lewisville and Pflugerville. More

Retail Sales Top Projections on Springtime Inventory
from Bloomberg
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., TJX Cos. and Aeropostale Inc. reported better February sales than anticipated as spring merchandise drew bargain-hungry shoppers back to stores. Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 5.1 percent at Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer said. That outpaced its quarterly forecast of 1 percent to 3 percent growth. Aeropostale reported an 11 percent rise, higher than the 6.9 percent estimate in a survey by Retail Metrics Inc. Sales at TJX, which runs the TJ Maxx chain, were unchanged, better than an estimated 2.1 percent drop. More

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Dead Malls
from Sustainable Industries
When designer Victor Gruen created the first mall about 50 years ago, its design was revolutionary: a fully enclosed shopping center with storefronts all facing toward the building’s interior—all surrounded by a parking lot. Gruen’s vision that malls would become the gathering places of modern America was lost in the construction frenzy that would lead to huge shopping meccas in nearly every U.S. community. In fact, by the time he died in 1980, he reportedly disavowed the modern mall, which had led to the demise of many small businesses. More

Brinker Enters New $215 Million Credit Pact
from CNN Money
Brinker International Inc. entered a smaller $215 million unsecured, three-year revolving credit line to replace an existing pact, which was set to expire in October. The company had about $90 million outstanding on the old credit line, which totaled $300 million, as of Dec. 24. More

Vortex Industries

Check Out Line: A Little Less Luck of the Irish
from Reuters
Check out leprechauns and the rest of us spending less green this year. According to the National Retail Federation’s St. Patrick’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, people celebrating the March 17 holiday plan to spend an average of $32.80, down from an average of $35.04 in 2008. Still, that spending on decorations, food, drinks and clothing is expected to total $3.29 billion. More

More Shopping Malls Reduce Heat, Cut Hours
from United Press International
More U.S. shopping malls are lowing thermostats and cutting store hours as they try to ride out the recession, industry managers say. Beginning Sunday, the Westfield Group is cutting shopping hours at all five of its Illinois malls by opening 30 minutes later and closing 30 minutes earlier. Other malls are turning down the heat, delaying when escalators turn on, changing to more energy-efficient light bulbs and making plans to cut back on water for outside plants this summer. More

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All Virgin Megastores in U.S. to Close By Summer
from The Associated Press
After nearly two decades of rocking the music world with a mix of brash stunts and splashy CD releases, the remaining six Virgin Megastores in the United States will shut their doors this summer in another blow to recorded music. The hipster shops received their branding from billionaire founder Sir Richard Branson and remained profitable, but the real estate firms that own the U.S. chain determined they could command higher rent from new tenants. More

Rough Start to Fiscal '09 for Abercrombie
from The Associated Press via Forbes
Teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said its same-store sales plunged 30 percent in February due to much weaker results at all its chains. The decline was steeper than the 19.8 percent decline analysts had anticipated, according to a Thomson Reuters survey. Same-store sales, or sales at locations open at least one year, are considered a critical measure of retailer health because they evaluate performance at older stores instead of newly opened ones. More

William Scotsman Inc.

How to Get Green Goods Flying Off the Shelves
from GreenBiz
Major retailers, such as Target, Office Depot and Home Depot, report strong sales in green goods through the recession and studies indicate consumers’ commitment to buying environmentally friendly products has not fallen off. Yet even as green product sales continue to thrive, industry insiders say, retailers need to tweak their message to emphasize quality and value in addition to the environmental attributes. More

Albertsons to Close Nine Supermarkets
from Los Angeles Times
The slowing economy is spawning store closures and layoffs in Southern California's typically solid grocery industry. Albertsons will shut the first four of nine stores closing between now and April 9. About a dozen workers are losing their jobs, and the chain is working to reassign hundreds more to other stores. More

American Project & Repair

Construction Materials Beyond Recycled
from Chain Leader magazine
In 2000, Denver-based Chipotle launched a new menu strategy, one that encompassed eco-friendly foods such as grass-fed beef. Two years later, the 800-unit fast-casual Mexican concept put its money where its mouth is, opening two "green" restaurants in Austin, Texas. Both included enough sustainable features, from low-toxin paints and sealants to efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures, to be certified green by the city of Austin. More

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Prince and Target: A Match Made in Discount Heaven
from Time magazine
When you think of Prince, do you expect to get more and pay less? Probably not, but that hasn't prevented Target, the 1,677-store discount chain, from striking a deal with his royal funkiness to be the exclusive retail outlet for Prince's new three-disc set. More

Large Landlords are Leveraging Their Portfolios to Cut Costs
from Shopping Centers Today
Landlords have borrowed something from the tenant playbook, it seems. If a large chain can use its economies of scale to squeeze a lower price from vendors, surely a mall owner can too — and some have in fact begun doing so. As the industry consolidates, ever-larger shopping center owners can translate their bulk into operating efficiencies they can use to great advantage. More

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