Walmart is continuing to make executive changes as it works to integrate physical and digital operations, according to an internal memo. The retailer is merging its e-commerce and greater US finance teams, as well as its supply chain groups, with Greg Smith set to lead the newly integrated supply chain team.
Statements from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard suggest a quarter-point interest-rate decrease will occur this month. Bullard has emphasized the move should be seen as recalibration, rather than the first in a series of cuts.
J.C. Penney has not sought out advisers to help the retailer look at restructuring or bankruptcy options, the company said Friday. An earlier report had indicated Penney's had plans to explore options for restructuring debt.
High rents have been a problem for retailers, with Barneys New York's decision to hire restructuring experts serving as one illustration -- according to a source, the landlord raised the annual rent on its Madison Avenue store location to $27.9 million up from $16.2 million. Retailers argue that rents are higher today than pre-recession levels in many markets, while landlords say that even when they offer lower rents retailers are still scaling back their brick-and-mortar footprints.
Several REITs have tapped the commercial paper market for a low-cost source of liquidity. Total borrowing under these programs remains modest, at $2.3 billion, compared to over $60 billion of long-term debt for REITs with CP programs, and $525 billion total long-term debt of all REITs. REITs have extended overall debt maturities and reduced leverage over the past decade, and access the commercial paper market from a position of balance sheet strength.
KBS REIT III has sold an office portfolio for $1.2 billion. The 11-asset portfolio is located in several states including California, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia.
JBG Smith has plans to build an additional 1,000 housing units at its 36-acre RiverHouse residential community in northern Virginia's National Landing submarket, close to where Amazon is establishing its second headquarters. The plans, which must be approved by Arlington County, Va., call for townhouse units and multifamily buildings.
Prologis' latest acquisition -- the pending purchase of public non-traded REIT Industrial Property Trust for nearly $4 billion -- begs the question of how strong its appetite is for mergers and acquisitions. The REIT says it will continue to acquire industrial portfolios, but CEO Hamid Moghadam acknowledges that the availability of high-quality industrial portfolios is "dwindling."
Changing consumer behaviors and preferences are affecting the retail REIT space, with CBL Properties responding in kind, according to CEO Stephen Lebovitz. The REIT is redeveloping malls in South Carolina and Missouri to add bowling and amusement features, he says.
Lexington Realty Trust has sold the Trizetto headquarters in the Denver area for $61.25 million. Buyer information was not entirely revealed.
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