Fitch: US CMBS Retail Will Be Steady Amid Macy's, Other Closures

The following is from Fitch Ratings on September 23:

The CMBS retail sector will continue its slow, steady recovery, despite recent store closure announcements, Fitch Ratings says.

We expect the recovery to go on as vacancies remain low, rents have modestly risen and net absorption has been on the rise.

Macy's announcement last month that it would close approximately 100 of its full-line stores (15 percent of its current 675 full-line locations) was only one of a number of recent closure announcements from retailers. This week, Kmart announced the closing of 64 stores. Aeropostale, which filed Chapter 11 in May, will close approximately 550 stores. Finish Line is slated to close 150 stores over the next 48 months and Office Depot announced 300 store closings over the next three years. Anchor-tenant closures, such as Macy's, could have a further negative impact on malls if the loss of Macy's triggers co-tenancy clauses with other tenants.

However, regional mall performance has trended slightly better recently. Regional mall vacancy saw a slight increase in second-quarter 2016, ending the quarter at 7.9 percent, up 10 bps from the previous quarter. Mall rents rose another 0.5 percent, ending the quarter at $41.98 per square foot. Net absorption (a measure of occupancy) rose in the second quarter, though the levels of space absorbed remain low by historical standards. Reis data says new completions for neighborhood and community center spaces declined during the quarter -- the lowest level of quarterly completions since second-quarter 2013. Vacancy for neighborhood and community centers experienced a modest decline of 10 bps to 9.9 percent while rents rose 0.4 percent to $20.28 per square foot.

Consumer confidence remains strong and, despite weaker-than-expected retail sales in July, most forecasters expect consumer spending to strengthen throughout the rest of 2016. Malls have also benefitted from the rise in nontraditional tenants. Restaurants and service providers (nail and hair salons, spas and health clinics, among others) continue to see strong growth and have been leasing space in growing numbers.

The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article can be accessed at fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings.

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  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Gilt and Sarah Jessica Parker Unveil SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal Collection for Spring

    Sarah Jessica Parker, in partnership with Gilt, kicked off the exclusive launch of SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal, Gilt’s first foray into bridal ready-to-wear that would have Carrie Bradshaw swooning.

    The collection includes dresses, skirts, bodysuits and other pieces, ranging in price from $295 to $2,395 and from sizes 0 to 14.

    "Collaborating with Gilt on my first bridal ready-to-wear collection was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," said Sarah Jessica Parker. "The team there is brilliant and allowed me to be imaginative and take risks as I was designing for the non-traditional bride. It has been quite fun to play around with colors, fabrics and details to create unique pieces for all kinds of brides." The collection, comprised of ten styles, is inspired by Parker's vision of a modern, non-traditional bride, and is designed to dress a woman for a variety of wedding milestone moments; from her bridal shower through her wedding reception. Styles offered are a unique mix of classic dresses and gowns, modern bodysuits, full skirts, and a jumpsuit. The color palette includes traditional bridal white, sleek black, plus pops of blush, poppy, light gray and blue.

    Designed in collaboration with Gilt, the collection was produced in New York City utilizing fabrics like cashmere and stretch crepe sourced from Spain, Italy and France.

    The pieces all feature carefully curated details like elegant bows, sophisticated cutouts, feathers, intricate embroidery and beautiful hand-stitched beading. 

    The actress and style icon is no stranger to chic bridal wear. Carrie Badshaw, famously played by Parker, took part in an elaborate bridal photo shoot in Sex and the City: The Movie. The shoot featured gowns from designers like Christian Lacroix and Lanvin. Parker famously wore a black wedding gown for her own wedding to Matthew Broderick in 1997.

    "Not only is Sarah Jessica Parker's style known around the world, her point of view is one-of-a-kind," says Tom Ott, Chief Merchant of Gilt. "Sarah Jessica brings her impeccable taste and fashion sensibility to life in this collection. We think our customers will be delighted with the offering which is stylish and well-priced in the bridal category."

    As part of the bridal launch, Gilt will also offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear line, each of which are complementary to the bridal collection. 

    To correspond with the bridal collection launch, Gilt City will present offers from some of Sarah Jessica Parker's favorite places in New York City.

    The offers were each chosen as a way to help brides plan for and celebrate the big day with highlights including, Leather Spa, Lars Nord Studio Tailoring, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, among others.

    More Information:

  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Tea Forté Introduces ‘Matcha’ Collection

    Convenience meets tradition in Tea Forté’s new Ceremonial Matcha Bowl Set and the Matcha Single Steeps.

    The company said its spring harvested, shade grown, stone ground, organic matcha tea is best served in a centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony called chanoyu: a preparation technique known for its centering meditative qualities.

    "The launch of Tea Forté's Matcha collection represents our continued commitment to wellness and cultivating all the potential mental and physical health benefits of tea," says Tea Forté CEO Michael Gebrael. "In addition to our high quality Pure Matcha, we've also blended four distinct flavored Matcha varieties. Prepackaged in pouches measured out for a single serving, our Single Steeps Matcha is ideal for the office, travel, or to keep with you for a boost anytime."

    Tea Forté noted its handcrafted ceremonial tea bowl, handmade bamboo whisk and measuring ladle “encourages serene enjoyment of our premium Kosher, gluten-free and vegan matcha blends.” These include: Pure Matcha, Chocolate Matcha, Coconut Matcha, Ginger Matcha, and Chai Matcha.

    According to a release, in addition to its distinctive taste, matcha is prized for its health benefits. Steeped green tea contains only the antioxidants that can be extracted in water, while with matcha, the whole leaf is consumed.

    Available now in select stores and online at teaforte.com.




Expedia.com has released a year-end look at U.S. traveler behavior and trends for 2017, analyzing data to identify the most in-demand destinations, hotels, activities and more.

Among other insights, the roundup revealed:

  1. Labor Day was the busiest weekend for car rental
  2. Disney Theme Parks topped the list of things to do
  3. The average hotel stay was two nights
  4. Top destinations based on 2017 air travel included major global cities like New York, London and Bangkok
  5. Popular tourist destinations included Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas