Consumers haven't increased their use of layaway plans this year, despite incentives from retailers including Kmart, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us, but the programs are proving important to a certain group of shoppers. Layaway users tend to share several common characteristics, including lower incomes and a higher level of optimism about the economy, according to NRF and BIGInsight.
The REIT industry is in great shape after the tremendous downturn of 2008 and 2009, Ed Walter, president and CEO of Host Hotels & Resorts, said at REITWorld 2012: NAREIT's Annual Convention for All Things REIT. Walter was also installed as NAREIT chair at the convention. "Across the board, the fundamentals in our industry all look good. I think as companies and as an industry, we're very well-positioned for success."
Jennifer Shasky Calvery, head of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said she is looking into the agency's priorities, particularly information that financial institutions report. The goal is to better detect illicit finance. "We're looking forward to getting everyone in the room and understanding this better," she said.
Demographics will be a dominant trend in the health care real estate industry, says Debra Cafaro, chairman, president and CEO of Ventas, in an interview at REITWorld 2012. The 85-and-older segment of the U.S. population is growing fast, she says. "There we see our medical building and outpatient setting really serving that population."
Retail Opportunity Investments has acquired a National City, Calif., retail center for $21.55 million. Pacific Castle was the seller of the 73,025-square-foot shopping center, which is anchored by Big Lots, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Seafood City.