On Saturday, Ann Taylor pulled up stakes at the Mall of Acadiana. “We have a brand new retailer that is going to require at least 14,000 square feet of space, and we need the location,” says Brian Lutz, regional marketing specialist for CBL & Associates Properties, the mall’s owner. “In negotiating with Ann Taylor, instead of relocating, they decided to pull out.”
Lutz declined to name the new retailer. “They’re still going over the fine print, and the deal is not fully executed yet, so I cannot release the name,” he says.
The mall representative says he isn’t authorized to discuss the sales performance of the Ann Taylor store, which was housed in the Macy’s wing across from Banana Republic.
A message left at Ann Taylor’s corporate headquarters in New York was not immediately returned. It remains unclear whether the company will reopen the store at a new site in Lafayette.
Like most national retailers, Ann Taylor Stores Corp., which has an Ann Taylor LOFT store on Camellia Boulevard in River Ranch, is experiencing a decline in sales. On March 12 the company reported that net sales for fiscal year 2009 were $1.8 billion, compared with net sales of $2.2 billion in 2008. Sales at Ann Taylor were $456.6 million in 2009, compared with $689.2 million in 2008. At LOFT, net sales were $939.9 million in 2009, versus $1.09 billion in 2008.
Comparable store sales for fiscal 2009 fell 17.8 percent, with a 30 percent decline at Ann Taylor and a 12.7 drop at LOFT. The company, which also has factory stores, last year opened nine LOFTs, one Ann Taylor Factory store and four LOFT Outlets. It closed 18 Ann Taylors, 24 LOFTs and converted 11 Ann Taylors to LOFT. The total store count at the end of the fiscal year was 907.
Lutz was willing to comment on the Mall of Acadiana’s performance, noting that it ranks among the top performers at CBL’s 88 malls. For that reason, CBL is reinvesting in the south Lafayette property. A major re-merchandising of the mall will be taking place over the next nine months, he says. Already, Baby Gap moved from the food court area to the old Kirkland’s spot in the Macy’s wing.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.
How the U.S. has gotten itself into another fine mess
The Heymann Center was transformed into a culinary adventure in mid-June for the EatLafayette kick-off event, A Taste of Lafayette, and for the third consecutive year, a sellout crowd filled the Cajundome Convention Center June 19 to hear LEDA chief Gregg Gothreaux’s State of the Economy report.
A look at recent hirings, promotions and other announcements from Acadiana's business community.