The recession and the credit crunch may be easing a bit, according to recent indicators, but there is no doubt we are still on stormy waters. It seems many retail professionals don't think the avalanche of store closings we witnessed in the first half of this year has come to an end. According to participants in Texas A&M University's Retailing Summit, we are seeing a temporary pause, but more closings are almost a given. Especially when we take into account that various sources are predicting flat same-store sales growth this holiday season.
- Forbes reports that Blockbuster closed a $675 million debt offering, which the chain will use to pay outstanding debt. Earlier this year, Blockbuster revealed it would be forced to close up to 960 stores by the end of 2010.
- Speakers at Texas A&M University's annual Retailing Summit warned there would be more store closings to come, according to the Dallas Mornings News.
- For its part, Time offers real estate owners some ideas on how to fill all those empty storefronts.
- The Big Picture found a graphic that illustrates shoppers' changing priorities over the past few years. Back in 2006, American consumers favored computer and apparel stores, as well as restaurants. Today, they are much more likely to visit warehouse stores.
- Calculated Risk points to data that shows warns holiday sales will be flat compared to last year. The AFP reports Deloitte holds the same view.
- One commercial real estate industry insider claims CRE prices may have bottomed out, according to the Square Feet Blog.
- Meanwhile, The Boston Globe reveals that condos at the Natick Collection, part of a General Growth Properties project, are being sold through an auction at discounts of up to 64 percent off the original asking price.
- Our sister publication Supermarket News reports that the Delhaize Group bought most of the assets of South Carolina-based supermarket chain Bi-Lo for $425 million.
- And Street.com speculates that Toys "R" Us might be taken public again.
- An IPO move might make sense, given that one of Toys "R" Us' owners, Vornado Realty, is getting ready to buy some real estate assets on the cheap, according to The Real Deal.