More Sales Data; Goldman Sach's Earnings; Novel Solution for CRE; GVA Closes Offices (Tuesday's News & Notes)

There was a flurry of stories related to retail sales data.

The weekly ICSC-Goldman Sachs same-store sales index showed a 0.9 percent week over week decline. Retail Sails analyzed the results.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales increased 0.6 percent from May to June. Year over year, sales fell 9.6 percent. Calculated Risk's put the numbers into context.

The National Retail Federation relased its back-to-school shopping projections. The trade association expects a 7.7 percent drop in total sales during the season. talked to some consultants about the projection. (We previewed the season last week.)

Lastly, Forbes posted an analysis of consumer spending, concluding that there will be no real economic activity until people go shopping again.

Here are some other news and notes on retail and retail real estate from around the Web today.

  • Goldman Sach's earnings report today revealed that commercial real estate remains a concern for banks. Goldman had $700 million in losses on commercial real estate. Updated: Chris Rodriguez from RetailChatr points out that Goldman's losses were actually $1.2 billion once you factor in $500 million in real estate principal investments. The $700 million was on its commercial mortgages.As one analyst put it, "This is the lingering-write-down asset class. There is a fair amount of pain to be had across the industry."
  • According to Bloomberg, Leon Black's Apollo Global Management LLC plans to raise $600 million in a public offering of shares in its only commercial property investment fund. The company, Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc., will be organized as a REIT and will focus on properties in major cities. It is targeting distressed real estate.
  • We posted our weekly news analysis and looked at how commercial real estate lenders are willing to extend and pretend rather than foreclose on troubled assets.
  • John Dizard talks about a novel solution for the commercial property sector in a Financial Times column.
    Alan Weiss, who was a partner in Case Shiller Weiss, the firm that developed the Case Shiller index, believes he and his partners have developed one of the answers to how the property world gets re-equitised. Essentially, they intend to float unlevered real estate investment trusts, specialised initially in multi-family rental housing, that will pay dividends to the public, not interest and principal repayments to the lenders.

    What makes this economic, he says, is that “debt has gotten so expensive that equity is competitive. While equity markets have fallen, they have continued to work while the debt markets have shut down.”

  • Virginia Business reported that GVA Advantis is closing six offices. "The offices, including two in Virginia, are located in Newport News; Northern Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Gulfport, Miss.; and Tallahassee and Panama City, Fla."
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