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It's going to be slow growing for Big Orange.
coca-cola matt fanoe home depot mike laferle corenet global atlanta seminar jw marriott buckhead value creation
That's the word from The Home Depot's  Mike LaFerle (on right, next to Coke's  Matt Fanoe), who told members of CoreNet Global's Atlanta chapter last week that the  home improvement retailer won't be opening many new stores in the coming years. Instead, it will be grooming what it has and  creating capital  out of the stores it owns. ?My team is measured on…value creation,? Mike says, which translates to  lease restructures, store closures, and selling excess CRE. Mike was part of a panel of corporate CRE execs who discussed the role of CRE in today's economic environment during CoreNet's event at the JW Marriott in Buckhead. ?As most of you know, the US is pretty well saturated from a home improvement standpoint,? he says. It's quite a change from the early 2000s, when Home Depot rapidly opened stores for the sake of growth. ?We made some deals that in hindsight we would have never done…just because we needed the growth,? he says.
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Sony Ericsson's Brian Levy says the mobile telecom company needs flexibility with its CRE portfolio, especially given the rapid change in smartphone technology. ?We have to be able to react on a dime,? he says, adding that the company needed to adjust its real estate holdings with only three months of advanced notice (particularly for research and development) in preparation for its Playstation smartphone. Brian noted that the Google-Motorola merger is ?scary? to Sony Ericsson. ?When the contracts are up [with Google], does that mean Motorola is going to produce the next Android smart phone?? And Brian tells us that Steve Jobs' resignation as head of Apple does potentially open a  window of opportunity for competitors to grab marketshare away from the king of smartphones.
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We ran into Buzz Anderson at CoreNet. Buzz had been the face of Cox Communications' CRE department for years. But for the past year, he's been  heading up global CRE  for Fiserv. Buzz tells us that he's especially busy in Orlando, where the software company just  leased 130k SF in Lake Mary as part of a corporate consolidation.