Despite widespread troubles in the U.S. real estate market, mall developer Simon Property Group Inc. bolstered both earnings and revenues in the second quarter. Net income available to common shareholders jumped 27.8 percent to $76.6 million, or 34 cents a share, from $59.9 million, or 27 cents a year ago. Sales for the three months ended June 30 rose 7.8 percent to $922.9 million from $855.9 million. Funds from operations, a key yardstick for real estate investment trusts such as Simon, rose 14.7 percent to $427.9 million. Still, Simon is feeling the ripples of the troubled times for retailers. “Square footage lost to bankruptcy for the first six months of 2008 totaled 151,000 square feet as compared to 30,000 square feet during the first six months of 2007,” said David Simon, chief executive officer, on a conference call with Wall Street. Steve & Barry’s, which filed for Chapter 11 this month and has 276 stores across 39 states, is just one of the chains to suffer from a financial squeeze. Others, such as Boscov’s and Mervyns, appear to be fighting for survival. Most of the Steve & Barry’s stores in the Simon portfolio are relatively small and the company said it is talking to Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off 5th, the A.J. Wright division of The TJX Cos. and others about filling those spaces. And Simon says those brands aren’t alone. Despite the tough times, the real estate firm singled out a number of names looking to grow their footprints, including Forever 21, Sephora, Apple, Coach, Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and the Liz Claiborne Inc. brands that operate as stand-alone stores such as Lucky Jeans, Kate Spade and Juicy Couture. Simon’s earnings for the first half inched up 3.9 percent to $164.5 million, or 73 cents a share, on a 6.5 percent rise in revenues to $1.82 billion.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)