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I read somewhere that the biggest clue for where a company will locate is where the CEO lives...

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On 1/29/2020 at 5:31 PM, Columbo said:

^ A bit more about this from Business First.  A link to the Wall Street Journal report that broke this news is at the article link below:

 

Wexner in discussions to step away from L Brands, possibly sell Victoria's Secret, according to report

 

L Brands Inc. CEO Les Wexner is in discussions to step aside from his retail empire and is exploring options for Victoria's Secret, the Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning.  The newspaper, which cites "people familiar with the matter," said discussions are ongoing and could result in a full or partial sale of Victoria’s Secret.

( . . . )

L Brands reported net sales of $3.906 billion for the nine weeks ending Jan. 4, compared with $4.072 billion during the same stretch in the 2018 holiday season.  Comparable sales at Victoria's Secret dropped 12%, while Bath & Body Works rose 9%, leading to an overall 3% increase in sales at stores open at least a year.  For the full year, Victoria's Secret same-store sales were down 8% while Bath & Body Works went up 9%, translating to an overall 2% decrease in same-store sales for the year.  L Brands' overall sales were down to $12.113 billion compared with $12.457 billion the previous year.

 

Wexner is 82 years old and has run the business for nearly 60 years.  He could continue in his role as chairman, one of the people told the Wall Street Journal.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/01/29/wexner-in-discussions-to-step-away-from-l-brands.html

This is a huge thing, and could be bad for Columbus. I'm sure if any of you know anyone that works there, you've heard this is happening pretty fast.

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4 minutes ago, CMHOhio said:

Hopefully the news of Macy's closing their Cincinnati headquarters isn't a harbinger of things to come with L Brands and Victoria's Secret:

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/04/macys-closing-cincinnati-headquarters.html

Time will tell, but I definitely see VS getting sold off, it's under performing and it's reputation/image has become a liability and hassle in today's PC business, #metoo, etc.......climate.  As for L Brands, I don't see this going anywhere, it's staying.  I think the coming year(s) will be a time of transformation for the whole company though with Wexner bowing out.  I mean, it's not like this is all that ground breaking, he's the oldest CEO of a fortune 500 company, this was inevitable, so there's going to be adjustments and re-alignments with new leadership.  I'd like to see him focus more on his philanthropy/legacy projects in his "retirement" and final years, even more so than he already has done.  He's got the money to get things done, and a love for Columbus/central Ohio like no other.  I mean he is the richest guy in Ohio haha

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22 hours ago, cbussoccer said:

Wow....that sucks for Cincinnati. 

Fortunately most of the jobs will be moving to a corporate office in a suburb of Cincy instead of being terminated or lost to NYC. The Mason call center will also be adding hundreds of new jobs due to the Tempe Arizona location closing. I think the biggest blow is losing a Fortune 500 headquarter status even though it really hasn’t been the true headquarters for a number of years due to all of the higher ups being located outside of Cincy. 

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6 minutes ago, Ucgrad2015 said:

Fortunately most of the jobs will be moving to a corporate office in a suburb of Cincy instead of being terminated or lost to NYC. The Mason call center will also be adding hundreds of new jobs due to the Tempe Arizona location closing. I think the biggest blow is losing a Fortune 500 headquarter status even though it really hasn’t been the true headquarters for a number of years due to all of the higher ups being located outside of Cincy. 

 

Is there a source for the number of corporate jobs being cut vs. corporate jobs moving to NYC vs. corporate jobs moving to the suburbs? I haven't seen any specifics in the few articles I've read. All I've seen is that they are closing the downtown HQ which housed over 500 employees. 

 

While adding call center jobs is certainly not a bad thing, I would never want to trade corporate jobs for call center jobs. That's a big loss. 

 

Losing that Fortune 500 HQ status is definitely a big blow from a city branding perspective, especially when the company is as recognizable as Macy's. It's certainly been a while since Cincinnati was the true HQ of the company, but that fact was always swept under the rug when Cincinnati was claiming it as their own, and I don't blame them. 

 

Anytime a company cuts 2,000 workers 100 stores, it doesn't bode well for their future. Department stores have been struggling for a while now and Macy's is certainly fighting an uphill battle. Hopefully, for the good of their employees, they can figure it out. I also hope that very few of the 500 HQ employees in Cincinnati actually end up losing their job. Losing your job sucks and I would never wish that upon anyone. 

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Columbus' newest public company makes its stock market debut

 

Central Ohio added its 28th publicly traded company Monday as Vertiv Holdings Co. debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.  Shares of the data center and IT infrastructure spinout from Emerson Electric Co. were trading around $13 by midday under the ticker VRT, according to a stock profile.

 

Columbus-based Vertiv went public by merging into GS Acquisition Holdings Corp., a holding company created by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and David Cote, former CEO and executive chairman of Honeywell.  Cote becomes executive chairman.

 

Vertiv sells IT infrastructure offerings for data centers, communication networks and other large-scale IT facilities.  Acquisitions last year added power distribution units and evaporative cooling systems for the racks of servers in data centers.  Customers include AT&T, Amazon Web Services, IBM and Verizon.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/10/columbus-newest-public-company-makes-its-stock.html

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Amazon opens its latest Central Ohio fulfillment center

 

Amazon.com Inc. is up and running at its latest fulfillment center in Central Ohio.  The e-commerce giant officially opened its West Jefferson fulfillment center, dubbed CMH4, on Feb. 9.  The center will be one of the largest employers in Madison County, promising 1,500 picking jobs, and already has hired several hundred workers.  It's located at 1550 W. Main Street in the Park 70 at West Jefferson development.

 

Duke Realty developed the 855,000-square-foot building which Stag Industrial bought for $95.5 million, or $112 per square foot, last June.  That deal was one of the largest commercial real estate transactions in the market in 2019.

 

Amazon's two main sorting centers in the area are in Etna and Obetz, and they combine for 4,500 jobs, well above the company's initial commitment of 2,000 in Central Ohio.  Amazon invested $200 million to open them.  The company also operates a third, smaller warehouse center in the region. ... Those are in addition to data centers built in Central Ohio by its technology affiliate, Amazon Web Services.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/11/amazon-opens-its-latestcentral-ohio-fulfillment.html

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3 hours ago, Columbo said:

Columbus' newest public company makes its stock market debut

 

Central Ohio added its 28th publicly traded company Monday as Vertiv Holdings Co. debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.  Shares of the data center and IT infrastructure spinout from Emerson Electric Co. were trading around $13 by midday under the ticker VRT, according to a stock profile.

 

Columbus-based Vertiv went public by merging into GS Acquisition Holdings Corp., a holding company created by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and David Cote, former CEO and executive chairman of Honeywell.  Cote becomes executive chairman.

 

Vertiv sells IT infrastructure offerings for data centers, communication networks and other large-scale IT facilities.  Acquisitions last year added power distribution units and evaporative cooling systems for the racks of servers in data centers.  Customers include AT&T, Amazon Web Services, IBM and Verizon.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/10/columbus-newest-public-company-makes-its-stock.html

 

More about Vertiv from Business First - unfortunately this one is only fully readable for subscribers.  But here's a brief synopsis:

 

Data center construction boom has this Columbus IT supplier 'jazzed' as it goes public

 

Central Ohio's newest publicly traded company actually has been here more than five decades, but the rapid pace of data center construction in the region and globally has it "jazzed" about its future.  Vertiv Holdings Co., based in far north Columbus, started trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.  Founded as Liebert Corp. in 1965, the IT infrastructure supplier traded publicly for six years until St. Louis-based Emerson Electric Co. acquired it in 1987, spinning it back out four years ago.

 

The company's roots were the equipment that protects computers from heat and power surges.  Today it makes a wide range of cooling and other IT infrastructure offerings for data centers, communication networks and other large computing facilities. ... Amazon, Google, Facebook, local Fortune 500 companies and a number of independent cloud computing providers are spending billions building data centers in the Central Ohio region, largely clustered along the northern outerbelt, especially New Albany.

 

Besides its headquarters at 1050 Dearborn Drive off the northern rim of I-270, Vertiv has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Delaware and southern Ohio's Ironton, plus a Westerville sales and service office.  About 1,260 of more than 19,000 employees worldwide are in Central Ohio.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/11/data-center-construction-boom-has-thiscolumbus-it.html

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And speaking of Central Ohio's data center construction boom...

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Facebook announces fourth, fifth buildings at New Albany data farm

 

Facebook Inc. announced it will build its fourth and fifth data centers in New Albany, bringing total investment to more than $1 billion, as digital traffic started flowing through the first one.  The full campus would create about 150 jobs, between technical, engineering, administrative and vendor positions.  And each building at peak construction has some 1,200 workers on site, for a total of $78 million in wages, the company said.

 

New Albany has landed a trifecta of Silicon Valley data farms over the past 2 1/2 years: Facebook, Amazon Web Services and Google Inc. – all in various stages of construction and possible expansion.  New Albany's IT cluster in its business park has attracted nearly $4 billion in private investment, including data centers for AEP Ohio, Nationwide and Discover Financial.

 

The first two buildings – each 450,000 square feet – are connected by 75,000 square feet of administrative offices in an "H" shape.  A third is under construction.  When the fourth and fifth are complete, the buildings will total 2.5 million square feet.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/07/facebook-announces-fourth-fifth-buildings-at-new.html

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Victoria's Secret is being sold off to Sycamore Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm:

 

https://www.dispatch.com/business/20200220/l-brands-to-sell-victoriarsquos-secret-to-private-equity-firm

 

Overall, not unexpected and likely not the worst thing to happen given the circumstances. Both companies have already done business together with Wexner's first retail venture, The Limited. L Brands will maintain a minority ownership in the company (45%). 

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3 hours ago, CMHOhio said:

Victoria's Secret is being sold off to Sycamore Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm:

 

https://www.dispatch.com/business/20200220/l-brands-to-sell-victoriarsquos-secret-to-private-equity-firm

 

Overall, not unexpected and likely not the worst thing to happen given the circumstances. Both companies have already done business together with Wexner's first retail venture, The Limited. L Brands will maintain a minority ownership in the company (45%). 

 

More about the buyer of Victoria's Secret from Business First:

 

Who is Sycamore Partners? Meet the buyer of Victoria's Secret

 

Victoria's Secret's future owner has a track record of turning around struggling companies and a history of interest in Central Ohio's retail scene.  Manhattan-based Sycamore Partners LLC is a private equity firm with $10 billion in assets under management and a history of investing in consumer and retail brands, among them Belk, Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic, Staples, Talbots and Torrid.

 

Sycamore will pay $525 million for a 55% stake in Victoria's Secret.  The chain has a "total enterprise value" of $1.1 billion, the companies said.  Wexner is also stepping down from the CEO role at L Brands alongside the sale.

 

Sycamore Partners is familiar with the Columbus retail industry, and L Brands specifically.  It acquired the intellectual property of Limited Stores LLC for a reported $25.75 million after the former Columbus-based L Brands spinout declared bankruptcy at the start of 2017.  The firm also courted another L Brands spinout, Express Inc., from 2014 to 2015.  Sycamore went so far as to grow its stake in the company to 9.9% before ending its purchase plan. 

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/20/who-is-sycamore-partners-meet-the-buyer-of.html

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^ Just as big of a headline as the Victoria's Secret brand being sold is the news that Les Wexner - 82-year-old company founder of L Brands - will be stepping down as CEO and chairman of the company.  Below is are exact details from the Business First article at the link:

 

"Wexner will be stepping down from his role as CEO and chairman of the company and will take on a much more passive role as chairman emeritus.  In his place, Bath & Body Works COO Andrew Meslow has been promoted to CEO of Bath & Body Works and will become CEO of L Brands once the Victoria's Secret deal closes."

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/20/les-wexner-now-is-the-right-time-to-pass-the-reins.html

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9 minutes ago, Columbo said:

^ Just as big of a headline as the Victoria's Secret brand being sold is the news that Les Wexner - 82-year-old company founder of L Brands - will be stepping down as CEO and chairman of the company.  Below is are exact details from the Business First article at the link:

 

"Wexner will be stepping down from his role as CEO and chairman of the company and will take on a much more passive role as chairman emeritus.  In his place, Bath & Body Works COO Andrew Meslow has been promoted to CEO of Bath & Body Works and will become CEO of L Brands once the Victoria's Secret deal closes."

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/20/les-wexner-now-is-the-right-time-to-pass-the-reins.html

 

Indeed. It appears Mr. Meslow has been with the company for quite some time and currently resides in New Albany. Wexner staying as Chairman Emeritus can also be taken as a good sign of their continuing commitment to the region.

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^^ That previous Business First article I posted was more about the farewell e-mail Wexner sent to all L Brands employees.  Below is the main Business First article about the Victoria's Secret sale and Wexner stepping down from the L Brands CEO position:

 

Les Wexner stepping down from L Brands, selling majority stake in Victoria's Secret

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/02/20/les-wexner-stepping-down-from-l-brands-selling.html

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Anchor Hocking parent company moving out of downtown Columbus 

 

The Oneida Group is on the move again.  The Anchor Hocking parent company, which markets tabletop and food preparation products, is moving its headquarters to 13,000 square feet of space in the 1600 Dublin Road building - located about two miles northwest of downtown.  The company has been based at 200 Civic Center Drive in Downtown Columbus since 2017, making this its second move in three years.  It was previously headquartered in Lancaster.

 

The Oneida Group is one of the largest employers in Central Ohio with 665 employees across the region, according to Columbus Business First research.  Thirty-six corporate employees are making the move into the new office space.

 

With this lease, the 211,143-square-foot office complex at 1600 Dublin has landed three headquarters in four months.  TeamDynamix Solutions LLC, which makes subscription project-management software for universities, recently moved its headquarters to 10,000 square feet of space there and Zipline Logistics will move to 16,000 square feet in that building in December.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/03/10/anchor-hocking-parent-company-moving-out-of.html

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L Brands names Cleveland woman to replace Wexner as chairman

 

L Brands, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, has picked a woman to lead its board as the company seeks to move past allegations of misconduct and a misogynistic culture.  Sarah Nash, currently the CEO and chairwoman of Cleveland-based Novagard Solutions, will take over for founder Leslie H. Wexner, the retailer said Thursday.

 

Wexner announced he was giving up the seat last month after New York private equity firm Sycamore Partners bought a 55% stake in the lingerie company from L Brands for $525 million.

 

Nash joined the Columbus-based retailer’s board in 2019, the same year the company was hit by scandals and a deepening sales slump that has taken a bite out of its shares.  She will take over for Wexner when the sale closes, which should be this spring.

 

MORE:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/business/20200312/l-brands-names-cleveland-woman-to-replace-wexner-as-chairman

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