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Leveraging technology to improve building operations
FMLink
With property managers increasingly being asked to do more with less, new technologies are lightening the workload by helping to streamline operations, increase efficiency and boost tenant satisfaction. Over the past few years, the industry has benefitted greatly from the rapid advancements in smartphone technology, monitoring systems and data analytics, in particular. New products are making basic property management tasks, from procurement to tenant relations, faster, easier and more efficient.
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Online revenue expected to increase 17 percent
FierceRetail
Online revenue is expected to increase by 17 percent in 2015, according to 72 percent of e-commerce companies surveyed by eBay Enterprise. Looking at more than 1,000 online retailers, with revenues of $3 million to $250 million, 75 percent of respondents noted a positive outlook on retail for the coming year.
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4 trends that are disrupting consumer behavior
Retailing Today
Every brand wants to meet the needs, desires and expectations of today's consumers. With the explosion of new technologies in the retail space, shoppers have instant access to vast amounts of information dictating every purchasing decision. For retailers to adapt, it's important for them to first identify the behavioral trends that are gaining momentum in the industry.
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Alfred Taubman, inventor of indoor shopping malls, dies at 91
TIME
Alfred Taubman, a real estate developer who invented the concept of indoor suburban shopping malls, has died at 91. His son, Robert Taubman, the chairman of his father’s company, shared the news on April 17. "He was so proud of what this wonderful company he founded 65 years ago has accomplished," Robert Taubman said in a message to the company's employees.
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Target's hasty exit from Canada leaves anger behind
The New York Times
Target's exodus from Canada has left gaping holes at some of the most prominent shopping centers across the country, the biggest symbol of an exceptional period of retailing turmoil. As Target Canada closed the last of its 133 stores this month — completing the parent company's hasty retreat from its first international expansion, a move that prompted a $4.5 billion write-down — many landlords were left holding properties whose fates are uncertain.
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CVS campaign urges shoppers to fill their bags
Retailing Today
CVS wants customers to fill their bags, so the drugstore chain is kicking off a "Fill Your Bag" promotional event in all of its 7,800 stores. To participate, members of the ExtraCare program can scan their cards at the ExtraCare Coupon Center from April 26 to May 23 to receive a 30 percent off coupon each week, with a limit of one coupon per week. Customers who participate in store will receive a reusable shopping bag that is free with purchase.
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Why you should focus on necessities instead of amenities for your facility
Facility Dude
The choice of whether to repair, replace or update can be a difficult and sensitive one. Administrators may be keen to upgrade their existing facilities with new amenities that are attractive to the tenants or potential clients. However, one important job of the facility manager is to temper these goals to ensure that essential maintenance and repair activities are covered first.
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Retailers' slower-moving inventory is tying up cash longer
Forbes
After several years of turning over inventory more quickly, U.S. retailers are experiencing slower-moving stock, according to preliminary data from Sageworks, a financial information company. The trend, combined with receivables that are aging at a slightly faster rate than are payables, paints a picture of retailers’ cash being tied up about 12 percent longer than it was two years ago, Sageworks' financial statement analysis shows.
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High-rise restrooms hold energy saving opportunities
Energy Manager Today
Understanding the schedule for hot water, exhaust fans and lighting systems and matching system operation to building occupancy is the first step toward improving energy efficiency in commercial restrooms. Restrooms in high-rise commercial buildings are often overlooked when it comes to energy savings, but there are a number of opportunities to reduce the energy used in these spaces.
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McDonald's closing hundreds of restaurants as sales slide
The Associated Press via WBZ-TV
McDonald's plans to unwrap a plan next month that it says will help turn around sales declines around the world. CEO Steve Easterbrook, who stepped into the role just last month, said recently the company will share "initial details" of the plan May 4. "I think there is a hunger and an interest in our business to embrace change," Easterbrook said during a conference call. While McDonald's has been "phenomenally successful" for decades, he said that has also made the company conservative.
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Tips to dealing with spring flooding and water damage
CleanLink
As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers, but these same showers may also leave behind something else — water damage. Floods are the number one natural disaster in the U.S. Plumbing failures are also a common cause of water damage and loss. Property owners must act quickly in the event of flooding of any kind to prevent extensive damages to their home or business.
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Home Depot to remove toxic chemical from vinyl flooring
CNN Money
Home Depot will be the first major retailer to remove a chemical from vinyl flooring that's considered dangerous to children. There are no federal laws or rules prohibiting the group of chemicals known as phthalates from vinyl flooring. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission does limit phthalates to less than 0.1 percent of the material used in toys and kids' products.
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Traditional retailers catch up to online-only names
CNBC
The tide is starting to turn for bricks-and-mortar retailers. Long the digital laggard to online-only shops, traditional stores are beginning to capitalize on their robust physical footprints — namely, by using them as souped-up distribution networks — as they continue to make their Web and mobile operations easier for shoppers to use.
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5 ways to know what's up with your elevator maintenance
Facility Dude
Elevators are a common fixture in nearly every office building across the country. Larger facilities, from commercial offices to hospitals, use them hundreds of times a day, most of the time without even really thinking about it.
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Facilities management disaster recovery and business community
iOffice
You don't want to have a business disaster. However, it's better to be prepared. Whether it's a fire, a flood, or another disaster that interrupts or closes your business for a time, you need to have tools that allow you to bounce back from disaster and plan for the future.
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Do department stores have a future?
Fashionista
In March, Vince CEO Jill Granoff had the pleasure of presenting the results of the elevated-basics brand's first fiscal year as a public company. Overall sales were up 18.1 percent to $340.4 million (from $288.2 million in 2013). Direct-to-consumer sales — aka clothes bought in Vince's own stores — were up 40 percent. What's more, gross profits were up 25.4 percent to $166.8 million (from $133 million in 2013).
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Price consistency vs. discounts: Who needs what?
Forbes
The U.S. retail industry has been on a roller coaster ride over the past couple of years due to a pullback in consumer spending amid an uncertain retail environment. There has been a notable change in buyers' spending patterns, as they have exhibited an inclination toward saving money rather than impulse purchases. They have even been cautious with their spending on non-discretionary needs. This change has impacted growth for all the retailers across the industry, but not equally.
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Earth Day: Apple turns stores green, pledges to clean up manufacturing processes
The Independent
Apple has turned the logos on its stores green for Earth Day, committing at the same time to clean up its supply chain. All Apple Stores in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and the U.S. are now fully powered by renewable energy, and so are 87 percent of its worldwide operations. But the company is now pledging to work towards cleaning up its manufacturing processes and its suppliers.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Yvette Craig, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2641   
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