KOHL'S PLANS 17 PERCENT GROWTH; WAL-MART TO ADD MOST STORES

Wal-Mart plans to open or relocate 355 stores, including Sam's Clubs, this year — a growth rate of 10 percent. But the biggest percentage growth will be at Kohl's, with 95 new stores planned, for a 17 percent growth rate. Costco plans the least growth, with expectations for 20 new stores, or a 6 percent gain.

HISPANICS LOVE WAL-MART

Wal-Mart is far and away the favorite store of Hispanic shoppers, according to a survey by NOP World, a market research unit of United Business Media. Thirty-six percent of those polled named Wal-Mart their favorite, with JCPenney, Sears and Target all a distance second at 4 percent each. No single Hispanic mart made the top of the list, but 5 percent of respondents named a local shop that caters to that community as their favorite. Factors Hispanic shoppers rank as important in choosing a store include:

Low Prices: 77%

Convenient Location: 72%

Relevant Products: 52%

Spanish-speaking Employees: 54%

Range of Merchandise: 71%

Payment Options: 47%

Spanish Signage: 47%

Local Hispanic Owner: 34%

Spanish Packaging: 43%

Source: NOP World/United Business

PROM PROFITS

It's spring again, when a young man or young woman's fancy turns to thoughts of Prom. For them, it's an evening of sentiment, romance and dancing. For retailers, it's a time of profits. On average, parents and teens can expect a $379 price tag for the big events, says Garry Butcher, Macerich Co. vice president of marketing and consumer research, which, along with August Partners, surveyed 1,000 teens. About 37 percent of respondents plan to attend Prom this year; 44 percent do not plan to attend, while 19 percent are undecided. Girls are somewhat more likely to go to the prom than guys (40 percent versus 33 percent, respectively).

FEMALE EXPECTED SPENDING MALE EXPECTED SPENDING
Prom Dress $189.91 Prom Outfit $152.45
Personal Look 59.30 Ticket, Dinner, Transportation 303.10
Shoes & Accessories (Hair, Makeup, Etc) 67.40
Total 316.61 Total 455.55
Source: Macerich Co./August Partners

THE BIERI REPORT: BOSTON

BOSTON FOOT TRAFFIC
SHOPPING CENTER RANKING
Arsenal Mall C
Atrium Mall C
Burlington Mall B+
Cambridgeshire Galleria B-
Copley Place A
Emerald Square B-
Faneuil Hall B+
Hanover Mall C+
Liberty Tree Mall C
Mashpee Commons C+
Natick Mall B+
Northshore Mall B+
Pheasant Lane Mall B+
Solomon Pond Mall B-
South Shore Plaza B+
Square One Mall C
The Mall at Chestnut Hill C
The Mall at Rockingham Park B-
The Shops at the Prudential Center A
Wrentham Village Outlets A

Boston's urban core, encompassing the picturesque Back Bay area, is a very strong and upscale retail environment with high pedestrian traffic. Newbury Street is one of the most popular luxury-shopping thoroughfares in America. Boylston Road, parallel to Newbury Street, is the site of The Shops at Prudential Center connected to Copley Place — two of the most successful urban projects in the nation. Downtown Crossing offers a more discount-oriented tenant mix. Faneuil Hall, one of the first festival retail centers, and adjoining financial structures in the area offer more restaurants than fashion. A new connection to south Boston created by the Big Dig completion, however, will spawn a more comprehensive range of retail opportunities.

The Boston region has a radiating base of many standout suburban centers, especially west of the city in the wealthy communities along Route 9. The Mall at Chestnut Hill and sister center Atrium Mall both perform at solid levels. Further out, a soon-to-be-added Nordstrom will make Natick Mall one of the strongest suburban centers. Northshore Mall, Burlington Mall and South Shore Plaza all are doing very well. Derby Street Shoppes, a new open-air development, is luring some of the higher-end customers from South Shore Plaza. Wrentham Village Outlets is one of the strongest outlet centers in the country. Solomon Pond Mall and Emerald Square both are suburban centers showing good strength. Hanover Mall will benefit from an expansion. All challenged to some extent are Liberty Tree Mall, Square One Mall and Arsenal Mall.

Boston has a wonderful mix of residents, tourists and students to keep shopping districts thriving. For example, Cambridgeshire Galleria does quite well. Despite being an urban center without strong anchors, it enjoys constant traffic from students at nearby Harvard and MIT.

The information presented for traffic estimates and regional malls is gained from a variety of sources used in developing the Bieri Market Reports. These sources are public and private, and may even include the developers themselves. When traffic counts are not available, grades are determined by reviewing sales of anchor stores and specialty tenants within a subject project, and then comparing those with like projects.

BOOMING FIFTIES

AVERAGE BASE RENT FOR SELECTED REITS

Taubman Centers' properties top the list of expensive rents at $42.12 a square foot on average, compared with No. 8, PREIT, where the average rent is $23.28 per square foot.

$42.12
Taubman Centers

$33.62
General Growth Properties

$33.50
Simon Property Group

$33.03
Macerich Co.

$31.67
Mills Corp.

$25.60
CBL & Associates

$24.71
Glimcher Realty Group

$23.28
Pennsylvania REIT

Source: Prudential Equity Group LLC

With the aging of the Baby Boomers, seniors are expected to have greater influence on how we shop. Yet advertisers and retailers have been slow to capitalize on this. Although people 50 and over control 80 percent of the financial assets in this country, only 10 percent of ad messages are directed at them. Here are some figures from a recent study done by ACNielsen

By 2020 35% of the U.S. population will be 50 and over

Individuals 50 and over own 80% of discretionary income

and 50% of U.S. financial assets

Yet, they only receive 10% of ad messages

People 55 and over make up 47% of sales in the drug store channel

By 2030 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 and over compared with 13 percent in 2000

People 55 and over make up 33% of dollar store chain sales

Seniors make more trips to traditional retail channels, but also spend less per trip. While the average household spends $42 per trip to mass merchandisers, seniors spend: $38

For the average family, Sunday is the busiest day of the week for grocery shopping For people over 65, Friday is the busiest day of the week for grocery shopping

Source: ACNielsen

SLOW AND STEADY

The following are total U.S. retail and food service sales for each month from June 2001 to February 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite fluctuations, the trend shows an improvement in the growth of the U.S. economy during the past year.