Monday, November 3, 2008

Bad news (for now) on the retail front

Nationally: as expected, Circuit City decided to close 155 stores by the holidays, including 13 in Chicagoland. It's been the talk for a long time now, as they are getting clobbered by Best Buy. FWIW, my local Best Buy does not look too busy either. But I really like the store. I dont; have a Circuit City near me so I do not keep on their doings much.

Locally: Crain's reports that two of the three anchor tenant's at the old Carson Pirie Scott store, Fox & Obel and Billabong, are pulling out of the deal. I don't have any details or inside information. I'm guessing there were letters of intent and negotiations terminated. Short term, this is not great news, as retailers are retrenching and trying to open in only the hottest or most proven areas. As a long term play this may not be so bad. State Street has had some notable defections and I wonder if a different tenant mix would be good overall.

Chicago politics and dirt: ex-alderman and Chicago political bigshot Ed Vrdolyak is apparently planning to plead guilty to a kickback scheme involving the former Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine building in the Gold Coast. No pol is safe with Patrick Fitzgerald in town, although an excellent John Kass wonders about his tenure under an Obama administration.

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