Retailer Coldwater Creek Files For Bankruptcy

Women’s clothing chain Coldwater Creek has filed for bankruptcy and plans to liquidate its operations.

The Idaho retailer — which has Pittsburgh-area stores in Ross, Monroeville, Mt. Lebanon, Cranberry, Grove City and Erie —announced that it plans to start liquidation sales in early May. The company’s most recent quarterly report listed 343 traditional stores, 36 factory stores and 7 spas.

Coldwater Creek said it has been reviewing its options for the past six months and considered many options, including a sale of the company. But the company wasn’t able to find a buyer or a source of enough capital to turn the business around.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/04/11/Coldwater-Creek-files-for-bankruptcy/stories/201404110175#ixzz2ygqJfoxg

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Jewelcor Wants To Extend Wilkes-Barre’s Coal Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — What the city can’t do, the owners of the Jewelcor property want to with the extension of Coal Street for development.

Plans are to continue the street west at the intersection with Wilkes-Barre Boulevard by constructing a five-lane roadway, said Joe Lakowski, project manager with Jewelcor Inc.

“We have two potential companies that want to go on the corners,” Lakowski said Friday.

Jewelcor president and chief executive officer Seymour Holtzman and his wife, Evelyn, who own the property, are seeking a construction easement to build the roadway on city property. The easement is listed on the agenda for City Council’s work session Tuesday night.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1304638/Jewelcor-wants-to-extend-W-Bs-Coal-St.

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Acme Parent Company Buys Safeway for $9 Billion

Acme Markets’ corporate parent, the Albertsons grocery-store chain, on Thursday purchased Safeway Inc., for about $9 billion.

Albertsons is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus, a New York-based private-equity firm. Other investors included Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty L.P., and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

With the purchase of Safeway, the group will now control about 2,400 grocery stores, making it one of the largest chains in the country.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140307_Acme_parent_company_buys_Albertsons_for__9B.html#yfZ07Jksrr6jsbWd.99

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Boscov: Steamtown Mall Nearing Foreclosure

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Mall at Steamtown is on the verge of foreclosure, department store magnate Al Boscov disclosed to The Times-Tribune on Wednesday.

The mall ownership group, Steamtown Mall Partners LP, recently defaulted on a lump sum mortgage payment and a property foreclosure action is expected to be filed by Friday in Lackawanna County Court, Boscov told the newspaper’s editorial board.

The mall will continue to operate and shoppers should notice no difference at the Lackawanna Avenue retail complex during foreclosure, he said. All of the mall’s tenants but one, a store whose lease was up, have decided to stay.

Reiterating his personal commitment to the mall and to downtown Scranton, Boscov, chairman and chief executive of Boscov’s department store, said the mall’s ownership believes the foreclosure process will help the property emerge as a financially healthier operation.

Read more:  http://citizensvoice.com/news/boscov-steamtown-mall-nearing-foreclosure-1.1645780

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RadioShack Corp. To Close 1,100 Stores, Company Reports

English: A Radio Shack store in the Plaza Cara...

English: A Radio Shack store in the Plaza Caracol shopping center on Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascensio in the city of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RadioShack Corp. said it plans to close up to 1,100 stores in the U.S. and reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season.

Its stock tumbled 24 percent in premarket trading today and was down 11 percent at 2.42 after opening on the New York Stock Exchange.

CEO Joseph Magnacca said in statement that the store closings would leave RadioShack with more than 4,000 U.S. stores, including more than 900 dealer franchise locations. The company didn’t immediately identify which stores will be closed or how many jobs would be affected.

There are several stores in the Lehigh Valley, including stores within a mile of each other in Palmer Township.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/03/radioshack_to_close_1100_store.html

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Macy’s Exits As Lead Sponsor Of Pittsburgh’s Holiday Parade

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Department store operator Macy’s has pulled out as lead sponsor of Pittsburgh’s holiday parade kicking off the Christmas season, ending a 32-year relationship with the event.

The change was announced this morning by WPXI-TV, which said it is seeking a new sponsor to help support the event.

“We will do everything in our power to keep this parade alive, and we fully expect to,” said Ray Carter, vice president and general manager of the station, in a prepared statement.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/27/Macy-s-exits-as-lead-sponsor-of-Pittsburgh-s-holiday-parade/stories/201402270254#ixzz2uYsJr8AQ

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Drexel, Amtrak, Brandywine Weigh Giant Development Plans

English: 30th Street Station In Philadelphia. ...

English: 30th Street Station In Philadelphia. Roughly speaking, the center of commuting in Philly, the former center of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Philly’s main Amtrak station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Officials at Drexel University, Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust and other city and West Philly institutions have been sitting down with developers in recent days to review proposals to build over the tracks at 30th Street Station and link the grandiose proposed Drexel Innovation Neighborhood and its high-rise, Rockefeller Center-like “Superblock” at 33rd and Market — whose 6.5 milllion sq ft, by itself, would be more than four times larger than the proposed new Comcast office tower — and other new Drexel-area construction to Center City, highways, the airport, Penn, and, you know, the rest of the world.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Drexel-Amtrak-Brandywine-weighing-giant-West-Philly-redevelopment.html#cKEU5LqSCK8zdcLb.99

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Go Away Joe Cool: CVS To Stop Selling Cigarettes

English: Used in CVS/pharmacy to convey brand ...

English: Used in CVS/pharmacy to convey brand identity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pharmacy chain CVS announced this morning that it will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7,600 stories nationwide later this year.

The sales will stop Oct. 1 and will cost the company an estimated $2 billion in revenue, but many believe it could be a turning point in retail.

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

Merlo continued, “As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care through our pharmacists and nurse practitioners.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Go_away_Joe_Cool_CVS_wont_sell_smokes_anymore.html#FA1FbQtbvhW28Awr.99

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South Hills Village Mall To Get Major Makeover

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

South Hills Village mall will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation as part of its owner’s plan to spruce up some of its shopping centers — to the tune of $3 billion — through 2016, an official said.

“We’re very focused on making our malls completely up-to-date and with the latest customer amenities, and giving our customers the best experience in which to shop and dine and be entertained,” Les Morris, spokesman for Simon Property Group Inc., said on Thursday.

The recession hurt shopping centers nationwide, so retail property owners have been upgrading malls rather than building more of them, said Jesse Tron, spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers in New York.

“I think 2014 will remain more about redevelopment, as opposed to new development,” he said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5505569-74/mall-renovation-hills#ixzz2rzxz0IyU
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Wilkes-Barre Looking To Develop Downtown Sites

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city is shopping its downtown properties cleared during emergency demolition and sweetening the offer with the prospect of tax exemptions associated with a Keystone Opportunity Zone.

The city condemned its vacant structures last October that were in danger of collapse and entered a $194,861 contract to tear them down while leaving stand two other privately owned buildings located in the middle of the cluster.

Earlier this week, the city put out a request for proposals for development of the properties at 69, 71, 73-75 S. Main St. with a March 6 response deadline. The city would like to see multistory, mixed-use development on the site to include ground-floor specialty retail shops and restaurants and office or residential space above, similar to the University Corners property across the street.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1158435/City-looking-to-develop-sites

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Owen J Robert SD Loses $2 Million A Year Under Lowered Coventry Mall Tax Assessment

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SOUTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, PA— The Owen J. Roberts School Board unanimously approved a real estate tax appeal settlement with Coventry Retail, LP, that lowers the assessed value of the Coventry Mall from $98 million in 2012 to $23.2 million in 2014.

The reassessment will equate to a loss of about $2 million a year in property tax revenues to the district.

In addition to the revenue loss, the agreement is retroactive to 2012, so the district will have to repay mall owners $1,619,799 of taxes paid in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In accordance with the agreement, $650,000 of that will be paid in cash within 60 days, according to attorney David L. Allebach Jr., who represented the board on this matter. The remaining funds will be credited to the mall against future taxes,

District officials had anticipated that cost and have reserved the full $1.6 million, according to district Chief Financial Officer Jaclin Krumrine. Therefore, the district has the $650,000 on hand to pay back the mall owner. The remaining nearly $1 million will help balance the 2014-15 budget to make up for the tax credit the mall will receive during that fiscal year.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20140129/ojr-loses-2m-a-year-under-lowered-coventry-mall-tax-assessment

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Dingy LaGuardia Airport To Undergo $3.6 Billion Makeover

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK — Dark, dingy, cramped and sad. These are some of the ways travelers describe LaGuardia Airport, a bustling hub often ranked in customer satisfaction surveys as the worst in America.

“It does not represent what people think of when they think of New York and Broadway shows and glamour. It’s not very pretty,” said Layla House, a sales manager for a medical supply company who travels from her home in Bullard, Texas, to New York at least six times a year.

That’s about to change.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the state is taking control of an ambitious $3.6 billion construction project that envisions a new central terminal at LaGuardia, with vast open spaces, restaurants, shopping plazas, new parking garages, free Wi-Fi and other amenities now common in other airports. Cuomo wants to develop a plan to upgrade cargo operations at nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5448305-74/laguardia-york-airport#ixzz2qxotiKau
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J.C. Penney Closing 33 Stores – 2 In Philadelphia Suburbs

English: JCPenney store at the Holiday Village...

English: JCPenney store at the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana, taken March 4, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Struggling department-store operator J.C. Penney Co. announced it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores – including its stores in Exton and Burlington – as it tries to get back on the path to profitability.

The news raises concerns that Penney’s holiday season sales were not what the company hoped for and that the chain needs to do even more to recover from a turnaround plan that has had disastrous results.

J.C. Penney said earlier this month said it was pleased with its holiday results but declined to give sales figures, raising worries among Wall Street analysts about how the season actually fared.

Penney has 116,000 staffers and operates more than 1,100 stores.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140116_Penney_closing_33_stores_-_2_in_Phila__suburbs.html#uJtvJ5BOgUjA4UKO.99

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Nonprofit Group Aims To Spotlight Only Dairy In Pittsburgh, Bring Business To Carrick

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Colteryahn Dairy in Carrick is the only remaining dairy in Pittsburgh — a fact not known to many, an economic development official said.

“It’s easy to drive by without noticing,” said Kathleen Keating, a project manager at Economic Development South.

The nonprofit group is spearheading an effort to establish the Carrick Dairy District to spotlight the dairy on Brownsville Road and attract other businesses, such as ice cream and chocolate shops, that would complement the dairy.

At a community meeting on Tuesday, Economic Development South, which has been working with neighbors, business owners and city representatives on the plan for about a year, will show revised architectural renderings of the proposed dairy district and hear feedback about what people want to see in the district.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5395052-74/dairy-district-carrick#ixzz2qJGcRr6n
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Neiman Marcus Is Latest Victim Of Security Breach

NEW YORK—Luxury merchant Neiman Marcus confirmed Saturday that thieves may have stolen customers’ credit and debit card information and made unauthorized charges over the holiday season, becoming the second retailer in recent weeks to announce it had fallen victim to a cyber-security attack.

The hacking, coming weeks after Target Corp. revealed its own breach, underscores the increasing challenges that merchants have in thwarting security breaches.

Ginger Reeder, spokeswoman for Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group Ltd., said in an email Saturday that the retailer had been notified in mid-December by its credit card processor about potentially unauthorized payment activity following customer purchases at stores. On Jan. 1, a forensics firm confirmed evidence that the upscale retailer was a victim of a criminal cyber-security intrusion and that some customers’ cards were possibly compromised as a result.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/nation-world/ci_24891807/neiman-marcus-is-victim-cyber-security-attack

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In Search Of Progress, Downtown Wilkes-Barre Evolves

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA —In South Main Street’s first block, several storefronts are empty on the east side and recent demolitions on the other side have a dress shop waiting to reopen and a jewelry store working to re-establish itself.

Further down, the building that houses a longtime retailer has been sold and the former Bartikowsky’s building is expected to be soon owned by Wilkes University.

Changes have come to South Main Street — the city’s main retail artery — but sustained progress has remained elusive.

Jim Bellezza, owner of Bell Furniture at 95 S. Main St., purchased the building that houses the Outlet Army Navy Store at 113 S. Main St. for $159,000 on Jan. 3. An empty lot separates the two buildings and Bellezza plans to renovate the building and expand his business.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1112993/In-search-of-progress-Downtown-W-B-evolves

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Macy’s To Cut 2,500 Jobs, Close Stores

Macy's logo

Macy’s logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Macy’s Inc. is cutting 2,500 jobs as part of a reorganization to sustain its profitability.

The announcement comes on the heels of a strong holiday shopping season for the department store chain.

Macy’s said Wednesday that it will reassign or transfer some workers and add some positions, leaving its workforce level at about 175,000.

The Cincinnati-based company plans to close five stores and open eight others, leaving it with 844 stores nationwide once the changes are complete.

Read more: http://www.inyork.com/community/ci_24868130/macys-cut-2-500-jobs?source=rss

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Franklin Mills Reinvents Itself As A More Conventional Mall

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A sky-high crane dangles over a corner of Franklin Mills Mall these days, but it is more than a towering construction tool: It is a symbol of how necessity is the mother of reinvention at this once-legendary shopping mall.

A Walmart Supercenter is taking shape at the once-pioneering complex, which opened nearly 25 years ago with theme-park anticipation as among the first outlet malls, and the outright largest, ever built. The splashy development, unveiled in 1989, was a gamble befitting its locale, a onetime Northeast Philadelphia racetrack. And early on, its unmatched offerings paid off with packed corridors.

The mall flaunted a 1.2-mile-long, zigzag-shaped concourse, and more than 200 stores hawking discount designer goods, at a time when such wares were available only at out-of-the-way old-factory outlets. Its 1.7 million square feet of bargain buys, right off I-95, was a tourist draw and local sensation.

But the megamall’s early monopoly on outlet shopping has come to an end, forcing Franklin Mills to alter its once-irresistible identity. The Walmart is one of many tenants that now make the monolith, well, a bit more ordinary. And this is by design.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131226_Franklin_Malls_reinvents_itself_as_a_more_conventional_mall.html#B6GQUXeWYThVsWmy.99

At Sheetz, Gas Is Secondary To Food Sales

Sheetz located in Frostburg, Maryland

Sheetz located in Frostburg, Maryland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gasoline may bring them in the door, but everything about a Sheetz store is geared toward filling customers’ bellies after they top off their tanks.

“We look at ourselves as primarily a purveyor of food,” Stan Sheetz, chairman of Altoona-based gas-and-convenience store chain Sheetz Inc., said this month during a tour of one of his company’s stores in Blairsville.

Sheetz, who was CEO from 1995 until October and oversaw growth from 195 stores when he took the helm to more than 460 today, waved a hand across the expanse of the store, pointing to shelves stocked with snacks, coolers full of drinks, and the kitchen where workers prepare made-to-order sandwiches, coffee drinks and other food.

Nearly everything sold inside a Sheetz store can be consumed within minutes of walking out the door.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5270418-74/sheetz-stores-convenience#ixzz2oPartSJi
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No Lack Of Ideas For Steamtown Mall’s Future

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Betty Lou and Larry Stevens carried bags of heavily discounted merchandise out of the closing Bon-Ton store, the Moosic residents hoped Ikea will take its place at the Mall at Steamtown.

The couple currently drives to Philadelphia’s branch of the Swedish store when they need furniture and thought Ikea could provide a major draw to the downtown Scranton mall.

“I think people would come to Steamtown for Ikea,” Mrs. Stevens said.

John Topa, the mall’s director of marketing and specialty leasing, told The Times-Tribune last week mall officials have a replacement lined up for the departing anchor store that would revitalize the downtown shopping center.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/no-lack-of-ideas-for-mall-s-future-1.1605656