Best Buy customers spent on appliances, tablets and wearable gadgets in the first quarter, fueling sales and earnings growth that beat forecasts. CEO Hubert Joly will step down next month and Chief Financial Officer Corie Barry ascends to the CEO post.
Bath & Body Works will renovate 175 stores, open 46 new ones and shutter 24 locations this year, parent L Brands said during its earnings report. The retailer booked a 13% jump in first-quarter same-store sales, which includes digital channels.
Teen apparel retailer Rue21 is using predictive analytics to help manage merchandising and pricing decisions to avoid the costs associated with underperforming goods. Rue21 works with tech firm First Insight to survey customers and gain feedback on the potential popularity of prospective new items, and the results are part of the data mix that's used to make decisions on prices and selection.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has called on the House Financial Services Committee to raise the federal borrowing limit before late summer, to enable the Treasury Department to continue meeting its payment obligations to bondholders and other benefit recipients. Mnuchin told the committee he considered a default unlikely and expressed confidence that Congress would cooperate, saying "from my meetings with senior leadership, everyone understands this issue, and I hope we never get to the point late summer where we're even talking about these things."
Colony Capital recently acquired Abraaj Group's private equity platform in Latin America and has renamed it Colony Latam Partners, keeping senior management intact. The business expects to invest $5 billion in the region.
Welltower has closed on a previously announced acquisition of 55 medical office buildings for $1.25 billion. CNL Healthcare Properties was the seller of the portfolio, which includes 3.3 million square feet of space in 16 states.
Alexander & Baldwin has closed on its off-market acquisition of a 135,000-acre Waikoloa Beach Resort retail center in Hawaii for $90 million. Called Queens' MarketPlace, the center is anchored by the 24,000-square-foot Island Gourmet Market and offers shopping, dining and entertainment.
Kimco Realty Corp. is focused on providing social programs for its employees that range from financial rewards for healthy living to college scholarships. These programs, along with what Kimco's Vice President of Human Resources Leah Landro calls a "positive and collaborative culture," have earned Kimco its Great Place to Work certification.
Ryman Hospitality Properties, which launched as a REIT in 2012, has carved out a niche by targeting the "26,000 large groups" that hold conventions throughout the year, according to Colin Reed, chairman and CEO. At the same time, with its various holdings in the city, the REIT has become involved in Nashville's music scene.
Cities' sizes are fluctuating, with the three largest -- New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago -- shrinking last year, according to the US Census Bureau. Some cities in the Southwest are growing, with Fort Worth, Texas, surpassing San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio.
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