Wal-Mart Under Pressure

Amazon has recently added groceries to its vast list of items available on the retail giant’s website, much to Wal-Mart’s chagrin. Wal-Mart has experienced a sales decline this past quarter, marking the fifth quarter in a row with negative growth. Investment bank Goldman Sachs downgraded their signal on Wal-Mart stock from buy to hold. Pessimistic projections from industry experts are mounting. However, Wal-Mart has remained steadfast in their optimism. To the critics, they retort that online sales have seen a 25% increase over the previous two quarters. On top of that, they’re expanding their new “neighborhood markets” by 300 stores nationwide in an attempt to woo some of their lost customer base who turn to Amazon or Dollar Tree for the lowest prices. It’s important to keep in mind however that Wal-Mart is still clearing $469 billion in sales annually, and isn’t likely to easily succumb to pressure.


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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