Thursday, October 17, 2013

The 10th Anniversary Halloween Issue

We’ve been taking a ten-year look back recently – our latest KeyPoint Reports contain ten-year historical sections. Along those lines, it’s been ten years since I put together the first Halloween retail spending piece for these pages, based on the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (now called the Halloween Consumer Spending Survey) – which was first released in 2003. Back then I began this way: “I was born on Halloween (insert joke here), and when I was four or five, I had a vague idea that the holiday festivities had some-thing to do with my birthday. But back then, in the early 60's (insert age joke here), Halloween wasn't as big a deal as it is today. What would my five-year-old self make of the major event that Halloween has become: one of the major retail shopping periods in the calendar, second only to Christmas in dollars spent on decorating and celebrating?”

A decade later, our fascination with Halloween continues. Halloween is about embracing fears. We’re frightened by people who are badly flawed, or simply bad (or breaking bad). We follow the walking dead, we’re puzzled by child-stars-turned-sex-symbols, and we seek to understand lone shooters and ruthless bombers. And so we slip on a mask or costume, light a candle in a pumpkin, and bring some light to the autumn dark.

In the midst of a federal shutdown and yet another looming financial abyss, we also embrace our economic fear:  over 86% of people who will celebrate Halloween say they’re cutting back on overall spending because of the economy. But that’s not to say the October spending spree won’t still be robust: in 2003, when the NRF first began tracking Halloween spending, the total was $3 billion; this year they expect it to be nearly $7 billion. Below, more projected facts and figures for Halloween 2013 - and since, as we all know, Halloween is merely a precursor for the Holiday selling season, a couple of early predictions for Holiday retail sales.

Happy Halloween + Happy Holidays = Happy Retailers.
Chris Cardoni, Marketing Manager

Ghouls and Ghosts Galore, 158 Million People to Celebrate Halloween This Year, According to NRF - National Retail Federation:

Company News

New Employees: Debra Sheehan joined the Accounting Department in the Burlington, MA office as an A/P Data Entry Clerk. Debra's previous position was at Central Bank in Somerville, MA. John Whalen joined the Burlington, MA office as a Property Manager. John worked previously at Edens. John Matyjas joined the Burlington, MA office as a Property Accountant. John's most recent experience was at The Hamilton Company in Boston, MA. Denisse Hernandez joined the Boston office as an Assistant Property Manager. Denisse has prior property management experience at Tishman Speyer Properties...Promotions: Maryann Atherton has been promoted to Property Accountant in the Burlington, MA office. Maryann began her KPP career in the Research Department, and has been working as an Accounts Payable Data Entry Clerk. Jackie Fabi has been promoted to Senior Property Manager. Jackie had been a Property Manager, and has been at KPP for four years...New Business: The Leasing Team is now leasing 1819-1829 Centre Street, a property in West Roxbury, MA with 2,985 square feet of available, subdividable space. VP of Leasing Don Mace is handling the assignment. The Leasing Team is also leasing Eastway Plaza on Centre Street in Brockton, MA and CVS Plaza at 790 Chief Justice Highway in Cohasset, MA. Michael Branton is handling these assignments.

National Retail News

September comparable-store sales posted a year-over-year gain of 4.5% based on the International Council of Shopping Center’s tally of 12 retail chains. Apparel demand was exceedingly weak in September—sales declined by 1.8%, which was the largest sector decline since August 2009. L Brands (Limited) was up 1.0%, Gap was down 3.0%, Rite Aid was up 1.9%, Walgreen’s rose 7.4%, and Costco gained 4.0%. See our sales report below.

Accelerating Retail News

WS Development paid $45 million for Hyde Park Village, a retail complex in Tampa, FL from Vornado. Last year, WS Development expanded beyond New England when it acquired Highland Village in Jackson, MS and Hilldale Shopping Center in Madison, WI...The Container Store filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public stock offering. The retailer, which operates 62 stores in 22 states, sees potential for as many as 300 US locations...Ascena Retail Group plans to open approximately 180 to 190 stores and close 115 to 125 stores, ending the fiscal year with approximately 3,925 Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines stores in operation....Topshop plans to open more than 150 new franchise stores around the world over the next year, including 28 Topshop stores in Nordstrom stores in the US. The expansion will take Topshop clothing to major US cities such as San Diego, Houston and Washington, DC for the first time. Topshop is also in talks about opening up to five more wholly-owned stores in the US. It currently has flagship stores in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles...Year-to-date, ULTA Beauty has opened six new stores in malls, and is scheduled to open an additional six stores prior to year-end, bringing Ulta's total mall store count to 43. ULTA operates 609 retail stores across 46 states...Roy Rogers Restaurants has struck a strategic alliance with Franchise Dynamics to fuel a 100-unit franchise increase over the next 5 years. Roy Rogers operates 21 corporate and 29 franchise locations in the Mid-Atlantic region...Saks Inc. will open seven new Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores in 2014. The stores will range from 25,000 to 28,000 s/f. and will be modeled in Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th luxury-in-a-loft store design. Saks currently operates 70 Saks Off 5th stores...Dick’s Sporting Goods plans to grow its store base to over 800 namesake stores by the end of fiscal 2017, an increase of approximately 300 stores from the 518 stores it operated at the end of fiscal 2012. The chain will also continue to remodel existing stores, and will grow its new Field & Stream concept to approximately 55 locations by the end of fiscal 2017...Kohl's Department Stores opened three new locations, bringing the company's store count to 1,158 US stores. New stores include Hyannis, MA, Keene, NH, and Michigan City, IN. With these locations, Kohl's has opened 12 new stores in 2013...Yogurtland announced the opening of its 250th location, in Encinitas, CA.  Earlier this year, Yogurtland expanded into New York and Boston, and has locations in the US, Australia, Guam, Mexico, and Venezuela with more than 100 locations scheduled to open over the next six months...J.C. Penney launched Disney branded shops inside 565 Penney stores this month. The shops offer toys, collectibles and children's apparel showcasing various Disney characters. Shops ranges in size from 800 to 1,100 s/f...Dollar General Corp. has opened its 11,000 store, making it the retailer with the most US stores. Dollar General anticipates opening 650 new stores in 2013...Jamba Inc. plans domestic and international openings of 60 to 80 new Jamba Juice stores, and up to 1,000 new JambaGo installations.  

Decelerating Retail News

The Bollard Group, a Boston venture capital firm, is selling its strip mall portfolios in Massachusetts and New Jersey. MA centers include the Micro Center mall on Memorial Drive in Cambridge which also has a Starbucks and Sleepy’s, Vinnin Square in Swampscott which is anchored by Marshalls, Meadow Plaza in Westborough, home to Mill Stores, and the National Wholesale Liquidators strip center on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester. Real estate sources say the deal could fetch as much as $200 million as the company seeks to cash in on their retail real estate holdings...Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has filed for bankruptcy protection in US Bankruptcy Court. It plans to sell itself through the bankruptcy auction process to Los Angeles-based Yucaipa Cos. Fresh & Easy, a division of England-based Tesco, previously said it would sell about 150 of its 200 locations to Yucapia, and loan Yucapia about $120 million as part of its agreement to exit the US.

New England Retail News

Texas bar-and-restaurant chain Bar Louie will open a restaurant inside a Marriott Residence Inn under construction in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. The chain already operates a restaurant inside Patriot Place at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. Bar Louie has more than 70 US locations...Whole Foods Market Inc. opened a new store in Arlington, MA. With the opening of the Arlington store, Whole Foods will have converted all six former Johnnie’s Foodmaster locations into Whole Foods stores. The other five are in Brookline, South Weymouth, Melrose, Charlestown, and Somerville. Arlington will be the 28th Whole Foods Market store in MA...Keurig will open a store at Burlington (MA) Mall in November, the brand’s first retail venture. Keurig’s parent is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. Although based in Vermont, the company has major research and development centers located a short distance from Burlington Mall. Shoppers will be able to interact with Keurig brewers and beverages from Keurig K-Cup, KeurigVue, and Keurig Rivo systems...City Sports, which recently opened a store in Boston’s Financial District, not far from an existing store, plans a new store in the Fenway area, as well as two new stores in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, and one in Rockville, Md...Kohl’s opened a new 54,800 s/f store in Hyannis, MA , the 25th Kohl’s in Massachusetts. Kohl’s has 1,160 stores in 49 states....Tractor Supply Co. opened a store in Morrisville, VT, the company's seventh VT store.Tractor Supply operates 1,234 stores across the country...Weylu’s, the long-closed, palatial hilltop restaurant on Route 1 in Saugus, has been sold for $4 million, less than half of the asking price. The Rocco DiNanno Group got the 9-acre site for 63% off the list price of $10.7 million. The Weylu’s parcel is assessed at $3.37 million. The sprawling, three-story, 60,000 s/f restaurant ran into trouble when the recession hit in the early 1990s. Weylu’s was shuttered in 1998, after a bankruptcy court ordered its liquidation...Joe’s American Bar and Grill and Papa Razzi in Hanover, the last two MA locations in the restaurant empire built by Sarkis Restaurant Group – formerly Back Bay Restaurant Group –will close this month...iParty's 28 stores in Massachusetts have officially transitioned to the Party City brand name and will offer a larger selection of party supplies, decorations and costumes...Trader Joe’s opened a new a 12,000 s/f store in the Hingham Shipyard complex in Hingham, MA...Foxwoods Resort Casino is reportedly building a 300,000 s/f retail center in partnership with Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. that will feature more than 80 retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein and Nike.The retail center is expected to open in late 2014 or early 2015, depending on weather...Hardee's plans to open 200 restaurants in the Northeast region in the next five years – the first for the fast-food burger chain since Hardee's shut down and retreated from the region in the 1990s. Restaurants are expected to open in New Jersey and New York within the next 12 to 18 months, followed by Connecticut and Massachusetts...North End restaurant Piccolo Venezia has shut its doors after 32 years...The Purple Shamrock, the Faneuil Hall pub that closed its doors last September after more than 30 years in business, is set to become a Panera Bread. Meanwhile, the Purple Shamrock has reportedly been looking for a new place to open...Drybar, the blow-dry salon chain, is opening stores in Boston’s Back Bay and in Chestnut Hill. Drybar’s move to Boston was motivated by inquiries from Boston fans of the stores through social media.

September Retail Sales Report

Notes: figures gathered from individual company websites, press releases, and Federal filings.  Not all companies report all figures; results not reported will be marked “n/r”. Quarterly results will be updated when available; quarterly figures are shown in italics. Figures from companies not calculated to one decimal point automatically received an ending digit of 0. 

Commerce Department Monthly Sales

Due to the shutdown of the Federal Government, Commerce Department retail sales information is not currently available.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce -

Treasury Yields

Treasury Yield Sources:;

Consumer Confidence Index

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased slightly in August, decreased in September. The Index now stands at 79.7 (1985=100), down from 81.8 in August. The Present Situation Index grew to 73.2 from 70.9. The Expectations Index fell to 84.1 from 89.0 last month.

Source: The Conference Board -

Purchasing Managers Index

Manufacturing expanded in September as the PMI™ registered 56.2 percent, an increase of 0.5 percentage point when compared to August's reading of 55.7 percent. September's reading reflects the highest overall PMI™ reading in 2013. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

Source: Institute for Supply Management - Manufacturing Report on Business -