Retail Sector to See More Closings in 2010; More Pain for Owners (Monday's News & Notes)

As we head into the all-important November/December shopping season, the stakes are getting high for everyone involved. Some retailers are working on holiday sales strategies that will protect them from taking huge hits on prices, while others are mulling over further store closings. The retail industry's performance in the next two months will help determine how much more pain retail property owners will experience before the commercial real estate sector begins to recover.

  • Developers Diversified Realty announcing a changing of guard at the top. The shopping center REIT appointed Daniel B. Hurwitz as successor to Scott A. Wolstein in the role of company president and CEO. Wolstein will stay on as chairman. The change will take place January 1.
  • A resourceful shopping center developer in Petaluma, Calif. offered to pre-pay a sales tax to the city, provided his project received speedy approval, according to Petaluma 360.
  • There was some good news from the retail sector, as The New York Post reported that private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners made a nice profit on its investment in upscale grocer Whole Foods.
  • The New York Post also notes that executives from Dunkin' Brands have made efforts to improve the company's relationship with its franchisees, which has been strained by too many lawsuits in recent years.
  • Meanwhile, many retailers are focused on the upcoming holiday shopping season. A great number plan to avoid the huge markdowns seen last year by ordering less inventory, according to CNN Money.
  • On the down side, The Wall Street Journal reveals that book seller Borders Group plans to close 200 Waldenbooks stores early next year.
  • An uptick in store closings might put additional pressure on retail real estate values. In fact, the commercial real estate sector might be in for more pain in 2010, warns GE Capital CEO Ronald Pressman, unless the sector is buoyed by job growth or government intervention.
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