October 23rd 2006

In This Issue

Plateauing: Redefining Success at Work - Part 3 (final)

Economic Snapshot


Economic Notes:



Gross Taxable Retail Sales – June 2006

  • The “Top Ten” represent almost 60% of the market.
  • The “Top Five” represent almost 30% of all sales.
  • State-wide June increases for “major cities” was 15.2%
  • The “Top 10%” gainers include:
    1. South Jordan +95.6%%
    2. Lehi +53.1%
    3. Vernal +43.9%
    4. Tooele City +39.8%
    5. Lindon +35.8%

June 06 Retail Sales – Top 20 Cities (Large Monthly Filers Only)

June 2006 Rank (05) CityApril 2006 (000) % Change 06/05Mkt Share June 06 (% of Total)
1 (1)Salt Lake City$363,958+6.1% 10.7%
2(3) Orem$151,186+19. 4%4.5%
3(4)West Valley$148,881+17.8% 4.4%
4(2) Sandy$146,868+12 .6%4.3%
5(6) Murray$139,124+1 2.8%4.1%
6 (5)St George$133,672+7.2% 3.9%
7(8)South Salt Lake$133,128+21.4% 3.9%
8(10) Ogden$95,52012.3 %2.8%
9(7)West Jordan$94,910+6.6% 2.8%
10(9) Layton$94,872+9.4 %2.8%
12 (14) Logan$54,138+10. 0%1.6%
13 (12)American Fork$53,221+6.9% 1.3%
14(13) Riverdale$51,430+ 3.8% 1.5%
15 (16) Midvale$45,111- 23.7%1.3%
16(18) Vernal$43,970+43. 9%1.3%
17(15)Cedar City$42,674+16.9% 1.3%
18(17) Draper$39,226+12. 0%1.2%
19(19) Taylorsville$35,249 +18.7%1.0%
20(20) Bountiful$29,291+7 .5%0.9%

This Weeks Leads:

  • Harkins Theatres
  • Harkins Amusement Enterprises trades as Harkins Theatres. The 26-unit operates locations throughout AZ, CA, CO, OK and TX. The movie theatres occupy spaces of 59,000 sq.ft. to 85,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations, malls, entertainment, lifestyle and power centers. Growth opportunities are sought throughout the existing markets during the coming 18 months. Typical leases run 15 years. Preferred cotenants include Barnes & Noble, Borders and PF Chang’s. Preferred demographics include a population of 150,000 within five miles earning $50,000 as the average household income. A land area of 10 to 14 acres is required. For details, contact: Mike Bowers Harkins Theatres 7511 East McDonald Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85250 480-627-7777, Fax 480-627-7808 Website: www.harkinstheatres.com
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. trades as Eddie Bauer at 450 locations nationwide and in Canada. The apparel stores occupy spaces 5,000 sq.ft. to 6,000 sq.ft. in malls, lifestyle centers and urban/downtown areas. Plans call for 20 openings nationwide and in Canada during the coming 18 months. The company also trades as Eddie Bauer Outlet The stores occupy spaces of 6,500 sq.ft. to 8,500 sq.ft. in outlet centers. Plans call for nine openings nationwide during the coming 18 months. For more information, contact: Mark Comstock Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. PO Box 97000 Redmond, WA 98073-9700 425-755-6390 Fax 425-755-7650 Email: eb.realestate@eddiebauer.com
  • Hot Topic
  • Hot Topic, Inc. trades as Hot Topic at 663 locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The stores, selling apparel, accessories, gifts and music targeted at teenagers 12 to 22, occupy spaces of 1,500 sq.ft. to 1,800 sq.ft. in lifestyle centers and malls. Plans call for 40 openings nationwide and in Puerto Rico during the coming 18 months. Typical leases run 10 years with options. The company also trades as Torrid at 120 locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The stores, selling apparel sizes 12 to 26, along with accessories and shoes, occupy spaces of 2,400 sq.ft. to 2,500 sq.ft. in lifestyle centers and malls. Plans call for 10 openings nationwide during the coming 18 months. For more information, contact: John Neppl Hot Topic, Inc. 18305 East San Jose Avenue City of Industry, CA 91748 626-839-4681 Ext. 2792 Fax 626-581-1093 Email: jneppl@hottopic.com Websites: www.hottopic.com or www.torrid.com.
  • GNC
  • General Nutrition Centers trades as GNC. The 5,000-unit chain operates locations nationwide and internationally. The stores, selling health foods, vitamins and minerals supplements, occupy spaces of 900 sq.ft. to 1,200 sq.ft. in malls, specialty centers and downtown areas. Growth opportunities are sought nationwide and internationally during the coming 18 months. Typical leases run five to 10 years. A vanilla shell is required. Preferred demographics include a population of 35,000 within two miles. For details, contact: Sharon Knox General Nutrition Centers 300 Sixth Avenue, 7th Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-288-4600, Fax 412-288-2076 Web site: www.gnc.com
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Euromarket Design, Inc. trades as Crate and Barrel at 100 locations nationwide.
  • The stores, selling contemporary furniture and housewares, occupy spaces of 12,000 sq.ft. to 40,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations, malls and specialty centers.
  • Growth opportunities are sought nationwide during the coming 18 months.
  • Typical leases run 10 to 15 years with options.
  • For more information, contact:
    • Peter Rusnak
    • Euromarket Design, Inc.
    • 1250 Techny Road
    • Northbrook, IL 60062
    • 847-234-6433, Fax 847-272-6841
    • Email: croti@crateandbarrel.com
    • Website: www.crateandbarrel.com.
  • Bavarian Soft Pretzels, Pretzel Gourmet and Treat Zone.
  • J & J Restaurant Group, LLC trades as Bavarian Soft Pretzels, Pretzel Gourmet and Treat Zone.
  • The snack shops, selling gourmet pretzels, occupy spaces of 150 sq.ft. to 600 sq.ft. in malls and entertainment and outlet centers.
  • Plans call for four openings throughout NJ, NY, OH and PA during the coming 18 months. A vanilla shell is required.
  • Typical leases run five years. Auntie Anne’s and Pretzel Time are cited as competition.
  • For more information, contact
    • Gavin Mutter,
    • J & J Restaurant Group, LLC,
    • 505 West Roseville Road,
    • Lancaster,
    • PA 17601;
    • 717-299-0968,
    • Fax 717-299-1476;
    • Email: gmutter@jjsnack.com.

Instant Messaging Gives Brokers An Edge

Forget those up-to-the-minute football scores or text messages from your brother. A growing number of brokers working in the New York metropolitan offices of CB Richard Ellis are using their mobile wireless devices to retrieve up-to-the-minute market data that could mean the difference between winning and losing a deal. The alerts are generated automatically based on criteria set by the brokers. For instance, a broker might request that news about a major corporate client be sent to his BlackBerry, PDA or cell phone. Another might ask to be notified immediately about new commercial real estate listings in the Park Avenue submarket. When a deal is under way, all participating brokers receive updates on the status of the transaction. One goal is to begin using more unique data and metrics generated by brokers. The idea is to supplement outside data with on-the-ground reporting from the brokers who know the market and each individual asset.

Source: The National Real Estate Investor

Kohl’s vs. JCPenney: A Store-Opening Contest to Capture the Middle Market

On Oct. 5, Kohl’s Corp. opened 65 new stores. The following day, J.C. Penney Co. opened 20 new locations of its own. In both cases, the moves represented company records for the largest one-day rollout. And it underscored the fact that the two chains are waging a pitched battle to control the mid- priced department store segment.

Both retailers are also redesigning stores with an emphasis on fashion displays, ease of navigation and more customer service. Retail industry analysts say that the fight between the two chains is about luring back fashion conscious consumers from boutique specialty stores.

Given the state of the department-store business, neither chain can rely on growth in same- store sales—expansion is essential, says Love Goel, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based retail investment firm Growth Ventures Group and former COO of Federated Department Stores, Inc. “The department store business is dying and what you have to do in a dying business is get scale to be profitable,” he says. “They cannot stand still because they will die.”

By 2010, Kohl’s plans to increase its store count to 1,200 from 817 and reach $24 billion in sales, up from a projected $14.2 billion this year. The October openings included locations in Boston, Tampa, Dayton, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. JCPenney, on the other hand, expects to add about 50 stores a year through 2009 to reach its target of 1,191. The store will have about $19.1 billion in sales this year.

The expansion plans seem to sit well with investors. Shares in both companies chalked up 52- week highs last week: Kohl’s hit $70.47 on Oct. 12 and JCPenney reached $73.30 on Oct. 13.

Morningstar analyst Kimberly Picciola says Kohl’s has an advantage over JCPenney, because Kohl’s has been in expansion mode for longer and has a greater track record in operating standalone stores—a format JCPenney is still working to master.

Going forward, 90 percent of JCPenney’s new stores will be those in the 100,000-square-foot, single-level, off-mall format. Kohl’s, meanwhile, is looking for more urban locations.

Both chains are also trying to make store designs trendier. Kohl’s new design features glass entrances with fashion displays highlighting seasonal merchandise. The retailer also opened a New York design office last week that will track the latest trends from the runway.

In August, Kohl’s also signed an exclusive licensing agreement with designer Vera Wang for a line of apparel and lifestyle products. This month, JCPenney entered a similar venture with Liz Claiborne.

“Kohl’s certainly hopes that more emphasis on fashion will bring in younger customers, as well as those customers who buy their apparel at JCPenney and maybe even at Macy’s,” says Kurt Barnard, president of Nutley, N.J.-based Barnard Retail Forecasting. “It will be a very interesting face-off.”

Source: Retail Traffic Online


June '06 Retail Sales - Lots of Ranking changes!

Plateauing: Redefining Success at Work - Part 3

  • Plateauing: Redefining Success at Work - Part 3 (final)
  • Fewer Promotions, Fewer Pensions

    Disappearing Flex Time

    It's not clear how managers in organizations might react to employees who redefine their positions as jobs rather than as vocations or callings. "They could worry that people simply decide to 'work to rule,' -- i.e., do exactly what is specified and nothing more," says Rothbard. "Companies are terrified of that happening: They know things will break down at that point because you can't specify everything that has to be done in a particular job. But I think if employees' identities are still tied up in their jobs, this won't happen."

    Another consideration is how to continue to motivate people if none of the traditional rewards are available -- such as a promotion or a bigger office. "A company may, in fact, want employees to have other sources of fulfillment, and so will try to build in things that matter to them," says Rothbard. That could include flex time, job sharing, job sabbaticals or the sponsorship of charity events that are meaningful to employees.

    Some people question the sincerity of programs like flex time or sabbaticals that let people pursue interests outside of work. "I don't think companies are paying a lot of attention to people's passions. There are programs to address this but, frankly, it doesn't happen that much," says Kaplan, who notes that companies will try to institute flex time benefits during times of economic growth, but "the minute the crunch happens, then all those programs go away." And even when companies implement such procedures as flex time or job sharing, adds Barsade, "it doesn't really address the bigger issues of the tremendous amount of work people these days are expected to do on the job."

    One of those bigger issues relates to work/life balance and job commitment. McGrath recently taught an executive education course for women in the middle management ranks of a pharmaceutical company to explore "ways to build relationships with, and support each other, as they attempted to take on the next level of responsibility. It's because the companies were finding that women were not willing to step into the high-potential pool of employees" for a number of different reasons, including in some cases, wanting to make sure they had time for their families. "These women were at the vice president level. They weren't lacking in ambition and they wanted to make a difference in their jobs. It was just a question of, 'How much more responsibility can I take on?'"

    Rothbard continues to find it ironic that employees who want to "opt out" of their jobs for a short time get less pushback than women who want flex time "so that they can pick up their children from school at 4:30 instead of 5:30 every day." Rothbard cites Arlie Hochschild's book The Time Bind, which notes the exceptions available to high-potential men who want to take a sabbatical and travel around the world. In one chapter, Hochschild relates how two men had asked their supervisor for time off to do underwater photography of coral reefs. The supervisor granted them an educational leave to pursue their project. Why, the author asks, can't the company offer flexible schedules to parents who want to pick up their children early from daycare?

    Rothbard also points to research on the phenomenon of "multiple roles, and the fact that there are physical as well as psychological benefits to people" who have more than one area in their lives that engages them and requires their attention. An example would be a woman who has responsibilities both at her job and with her family at home. The research discusses "the buffer hypothesis, which says that if something goes wrong in one area, you then have another area that buffers you," says Rothbard. "In other words, work/family roles enrich, rather than deplete, each other."

    Stress in the workplace, many experts have noted, can be intensified by technological advancements that make it harder for people to ever totally disconnect from their jobs at appropriate moments, like vacations. As McGrath notes, "there are no boundaries around employees' time. They are always available." McGrath has worked as a coach in five large corporations over the past year and at all of them, she observed workloads that were, in her opinion, unmanageable. Some employees, she says, react by trying to set strict limits on their accessibility -- for example, not answering their Blackberry from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. "They have come to some sort of peace with the fact that they will never get everything done and keep everyone happy."

    Source: McKinsey& Co.

  • Economic Snapshot
  • Economic Snapshot – Three Months FY2006-2007

    • Sales and Use Taxes +6.5%
    • Corporate Franchise Taxes +42.7%
    • Individual Income Taxes +14.4%
    • Individual Income Taxes: Withholding +14.4%
    • Severance Taxes +34.5%
    • Mineral Taxes: Withholding +29.7%
    • Uniform School Total +7.6%
    • Motor Fuel Taxes -5.1%

    Source: Utah State Tax Commission, 10/20/06

  • Grants:
  • Free Money!

    You may come across hucksters in the media claiming that a vast sea of free money exists for anyone, just for the asking.

    But they are misrepresenting the truth. Grants from the government and foundations are typically made to 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations, not individuals or for-profit businesses.

    Thus, if you are interested in obtaining grant funds, the first step is to set up a nonprofit corporation in your state and apply for tax-exempt status from the IRS.

    Should you be trying to start a small business, it is more useful to look for low-cost loans that may be available from the SBA and local/state economic development departments than to seek grants.

    Gang Resistance Training!

    • Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program
    • POSTED: 10/12/2006
    • FUNDING SOURCE: Dept. of Justice
    • ELIGIBILITY: Law enforcement agencies
    • $ AVAILABLE: N.A.
    • MAX GRANT SIZE: $150,000
    • DEADLINE: 12/14/06
    • CONTACT INFORMATION: 202-616-6500
    • DESCRIPTION: Grants to conduct training for the G.R.E.A.T. program, which strives to improve gang prevention in local communities.

  • Economic Notes:
    • Risk of Recession

    • The Moody’s Economy.com probability of recession rose in September to 22.6% from August’s downwardly revised 18.7%. Inversion of the yield curve is the main factor causing the rapid deterioration in recession risks in the past three months. Stabilization in consumer confidence is and improvements in equity markets are limiting the increase in recession risks. The chance of the economy being in recession in six months is clearly rising, although remains relatively modest.
    • Global Business Confidence

    • Global business confidence has taken on a slightly brighter hue in recent weeks, rising a bit in mid-October. Sentiment has held more or less steady since late August after falling sharply this summer. While confidence is firmer across the globe and most industries, it remains near levels consistent with a global economy that is growing below its potential. Confidence remains strongest in South America, followed by North America, Asia, and finally Europe. The recently better sentiment is due to a measurable improvement in sales. Pricing pressures remain elevated, but have abated substantially since peaking in the summer.
    • NAHB Housing Market Index

    • Homebuilder optimism increased 1 point to 31 in October, reversing eight consecutive monthly declines.
    • Treasury International Capital Flows

    • Net capital inflows totaled $116.8 billion in August, the strongest showing on record. This was more than twice the amount expected by the market and marked a robust rebound from a weak July. Net purchases of Treasuries led the way with an inflow of $46.3 billion during the month.
    • Chain Store Sales

    • Chain store sales rose 0.6% in the week ending October 14, its second consecutive modest gain, according to the ICSC. Year-over-year growth inched up to 3.9%. Low gasoline prices and colder than normal weather remained supports to sales.
    • MBA Mortgage Applications Survey

    • Mortgage demand decreased 2.2% in the week ending October 13. The decline was solely concentrated in refinance applications, which decreased 5.3%. Purchase applications increased 0.4%.
    • Oil and Gas Inventories

    • Crude oil inventories surged by 5.1 million barrels for the week ending October 13, according to the Energy Information Administration, well above the 1.3 million barrel build expected. A sharp moderation in refinery activity is to blame. As a result, gasoline inventories plunged by up to 5.2 million barrels for the week, and distillates plummeted by 4 million barrels, both well over expectations. This is a bullish report, and will support prices above $59
    • OPEC

    • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met Oct. 19 in Qatar amid promises to cut production by a million barrels per day beginning Nov. 1, with possible additional cuts in second quarter 2007. OPEC ostensibly is cutting production to keep prices up, but Venezuela probably had to cut production anyway because of infrastructure maintenance problems. With new oil finds being developed in the Gulf of Mexico, the African seaboard and elsewhere, the world is not nearly as dependent on OPEC as it once was and prices should continue to fall slowly.
    • PPI

    • Producer prices for finished goods fell by 1.3% in September due to a rapid decline in energy prices. Excluding food and energy products, core prices for finished goods rose by 0.6%, which is the largest monthly increase this year. At earlier stages of processing, falling prices for energy products led to declines in producer prices for intermediate and crude goods as well.
    • Consumer Price Index

    • The seasonally-adjusted consumer price index fell 0.5% in September, after a 0.2% increase in August. A big drop in energy prices pushed the overall index lower. The core index, excluding food and energy prices, rose 0.2% in September; this was the third straight month with a 0.2% increase, following four consecutive 0.3% monthly increases in the core CPI. Over the past year core CPI inflation has run at a 2.9% pace. The drop in headline inflation was much larger than the consensus, while the increase in the core CPI was equal to the consensus.
    • New Residential Construction (C20)

    • Housing starts increased 5.9% to 1.772 million units in September. Housing permits decreased 6.3% during the month.

    Source: Economy.com

  • "Problem-solving" is not planning, and "Planning" is not the same as "problem- solving"

    Effective planning can not be done without addressing the problems that are critical.

    Not all problems deserve attention.

    Some just go away.


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