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Sears joins retail's real estate push
The Globe and Mail
Struggling to make sales gains, more retailers are looking to bolster their bottom lines by milking the land beneath them. Sears Canada Inc. plans to build a $1 billion office and condominium tower complex on 3.6 hectares of property it owns in Burnaby, B.C., part of a wider strategy among merchants to try to cash in on healthy real estate values in an increasingly competitive retail market. It joins a growing group of retailers rushing to unlock the value of their properties during a time when real estate values remain strong.
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Gap's going global
San Francisco Business Times
Gap Inc. is on a global retail spree. As part of an accelerated global expansion plan, the San Francisco-based retailer has inked deals with existing franchise partners in Paraguay and Hungary to open new stores.
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Target wins award for vinyl composition tile recycling
Green Retail Decision
Target has been named Flooring Recycler of the Year by Armstrong World Industries for recycling vinyl composition tile materials during demolition projects. Target, which began implementing the recycling of VCT material in 2011 in conjunction with the Armstrong VCT Recycling Program, reclaimed more than 1.2 million pounds of VCT from its stores in the United States in 2012.
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Omnichannel retail will lead to smaller, showier stores,
RECon attendees told

ICSC
The rise of omnichannel retailing — in which mobile, online and in-store experiences complement rather than compete with one another — will lead to smaller but showier stores in coming years, said Vincent Corno, Saks Inc.'s senior vice president of real estate, at RECon. Saks, which operates 42 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 66 Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores and Saks.com, is investing $100 million over the next five years to establish an omnichannel sales platform and "tear down the old silos" separating e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales, Corno said.
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Current challenges in organized retail crime
National Retail Federation
The variety of issues that retail loss prevention professionals face range from shoplifting to return fraud, but no issue has grown as significantly in the past few years as organized retail crime. This is shown in the results of NRF's ninth annual ORC survey, which found for the third consecutive year that 90 percent of retail LP executives said they have been victims of ORC gangs. What's more disturbing? Another 8 in 10 agree that ORC has increased over the same span of time.
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Sears to transform some shuttered stores into data centers
Chicago Tribune
Sears Holdings Corp. has hatched a plan to transform some of its shuttered stores into data centers. The Hoffman Estates-based company said the plan is part of its broader effort to redevelop an undisclosed number of Sears and Kmart locations. In March, Sears launched a new business unit, Ubiquity Critical Environments, helmed by former Chicago Microsoft executive Sean Farney, to oversee the new strategy.
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Tool will help facility managers assess blackout risks
Energy Manager Today
Atmospheric and Environmental Research has formed a strategic alliance with The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company to create a service that will help facilities assess and manage the risk of energy blackouts. Electrical blackouts in the U.S. cost businesses and consumers more than $100 billion annually, according to AER, which says the market lacks a widely available and dependable tool to calculate the financial consequences of power outages.
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Simon Property ups sustainability tech to lure tenants, shoppers
GreenBiz
As e-commerce siphons an ever-larger portion of retail sales, what keeps businesses and consumers congregating at shopping malls? For Simon Property Group, the largest real estate company in the world with approximately 326 retail properties in North America and Asia, at least part of the answer is tied its innovative sustainability agenda.
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Shining the light on dark store management
By Kevin Smith
For some of you who maintain small portfolios for landscaping, say under 100 sites, you will often select one supplier to deliver landscaping services for all of your properties. However, for the majority of you that maintain hundreds of sites or in some cases thousands, it is common to select multiple service partners to deliver the required services. So what are some of the best-in-class award strategies that some of your competitors utilize?
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Dollar General, P&G team up to honor everyday heroes
Retailing Today
Dollar General is partnering with Procter & Gamble to celebrate soldiers who make a difference in their communities after returning from service, as part of its Every Day Heroes program. The company will feature decorated veteran Sparky Edwards in its national campaign. "Sparky exemplifies the Dollar General Every Day Hero, not just through his bravery and military service, but through his commitment to community," said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s EVP and CMO.
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Rue21 agrees to be acquired by Apax in $1.1 billion deal
Bloomberg
Rue21 Inc., the operator of more than 900 teen apparel shops, agreed to be bought by private-equity firm Apax Partners in a $1.1 billion deal. The purchase price of $42 a share will be paid in cash, the companies said today in a statement. That represents a 23 percent premium to Rue21's closing price in New York yesterday. The deal has been approved by Rue21's board and the company has 40 days to find a superior offer.
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Risky innovation: Will Starbucks' leap of faith pay off?
Fast Company
With 18,000 stores and 200,000 employees, rolling out any program at Starbucks — whether for a coffee flavor, an app, or a daily deal — is going to be risky, considering the employee training and consumer marketing involved. But the company seems almost to court risk in its willingness to move fast and push through innovation at scale, especially in the digital arena.
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Recent acquisitions bolster Ascena's Q3 results
Retailing Today
Lower-than-expected foot traffic driven in part by unseasonably cold weather was not enough to negatively impact Ascena Retail Group’s net sales for the third quarter ended April 27, which were bolstered by the recently acquired Lane Bryant and Catherines businesses. The company reported net sales for the quarter of $1.1 billion, an increase of 46% from $783 million in the prior year's third quarter.
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Retailers sales rise steadily, in line with forecasts
Reuters
Major retail chains including Costco Wholesale Corp. and Victoria's Secret reported sales increases for May that were generally in line with Wall Street's expectations, suggesting consumer spending continues to improve moderately. Costco said sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 5 percent last month, coming in slightly below Wall Street forecasts because of lower gasoline prices. Fresh food and tools for home repair were stand out categories, Costco said.
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Nordstrom vows to push 'fragile' customer service reputation in Canada
The Financial Post
Amazing service and an unrivaled selection of great shoes — that is what the Nordstrom experience will bring to Canada, its president vowed Wednesday. The tony department store retailer which started as a Seattle shoe store in 1901 is laying the foundation to open its first Canadian store in Calgary in the fall of 2014, sending a recruiter into the market early to look for exceptional retail talent and talk to local schools about the company's reputation for above-average customer solicitude.
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Golf Mill Shopping Center up for sale
Chicago Tribune
A family-owned shopping center — one that many consider a focal point of Niles since its doors first opened to patrons more than a half-century ago — is now up for sale. Real estate firm CBRE made the announcement at a recent shopping center industry convention in Las Vegas that Golf Mill Shopping Center is looking for a new owner, said George Good, executive vice president for CBRE's capital markets group.
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Staples Canada celebrates commitment to sustainability
PR Newswire
Staples Canada, leader in office supplies and Canada's largest online retailer, announced their sustainability achievements for the first quarter of 2013. The company started the year with an expanded focus on sustainability and has made significant progress in recycling, reducing energy consumption and expanding its assortment of sustainable products. Staples Canada's sustainability programs are part of the company's long-term commitment to growing the business in a sustainable manner, and reducing its impact on the environment.
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Ecommerce: Retail friend or foe?
Forbes
The Internet, has it turned out to be friend or foe of retail? Does it make merchants laugh or cry? Well, we suppose that depends upon the category in which you compete. If you're a bookshop, you're probably not laughing that much. If you used to be in the bricks-and-mortar movie rental business (not to presume, but we pretty much figure we got the tense right there) you’re probably all cried out. Apparel retailers seem to have made peace with online, but what about grocery stores? Everyone needs to buy groceries. The reality is that the majority of consumers still buy groceries at brick-and-mortar locations.
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