Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hobby Lobby to Open 5 California Stores

Hobby Lobby with 489 stores in 40 states will be opening 5 stores in California.  It appears that at least 4 of the stores will be opening this year.  

Hobby Lobby specializes in arts and crafts, picture framing, party supplies, cards, holiday supplies, and home accessories.  Leases for the company are best suited for second generation space as they are very rent sensitive.  Given the amount of available box space considering the economic events of the last few years, I imagine they are finding many more opportunities in the marketplace.

Some information used from The Press Enterprise. 

JCPenney & Nordstrom Rack Coming to Willow Grove Park Mall

JCPenney and Nordstrom Rack will be taking portions of the former Strawbridge's at the Willow Grove Park Mall (Willow Grove, PA).  The vacant Strawbridge's has sat empty since 2006.  JCPenney will total 114,000 square feet on two floors.

Prior to the economy downturn, I personally noticed JCPenney on a number of proposed shopping center site plans.  Unfortunately, none of those stores came to fruition in the Philadelphia DMA.  So, after a few years of being dormant, JCPenney is moving forward with a very high profile location in one of the top Philadelphia markets.

Thanks to

Dick's Goes to Staten Island

From, Dick's opened it's first Staten Island and New York City store on Friday.  The store is about 36,000 square feet and will shed the Hunting and Biking Departments because it is smaller than the normal prototype.  Dick's hopes to add those departments in the future. Article

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Target Doing Grocery

As we all know in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, Target is expanding its grocery format at many of its stores.  

In St. Louis, Target is also making the move to convert stores.  Adding the expanded grocery ("PFresh") is not to be confused with the SuperTarget format, which is substantially bigger.  However, I know it's causing the Philadelphia area grocers and likely many around the country to take serious notice.  

The stat that caught my eye in the blog post highlighted below was Target plans to remodel 380 stores around the country this year.  So, based on news reports it appears Target's store expansion seems to primarily be headed to Canada, but their spending significant dollars domestically to update their stores with grocery items.  

For more information on the grocery industry see David Goodman's blog: Running with Equity Retail Blog Post

Kansas & Cabela's

Cabela's is coming to Kansas in the Spring of 2012.  Site work has begun on their new 80,000 SF location in Wichita.  

According to the Wichita Eagle (See article below), the new store is expected to attract between 800,000 and 1,000,000 million visitors each year.

The company is utilizing smaller prototypes to get closer to the more populated areas as opposed to the larger stores that they have historically built in more remote areas.  Their larger stores have gotten close to 200,000 square feet.  Based on my personal experience with the company, the larger stores draw from a very wide trade area, so the company is wisely placing the new stores so as not to impact existing locations.

The Wichita Eagle Article

Shoe Carnival Into Montana

Shoe Carnival is entering Montana with its first store.  One is already open in Wyoming and there are more to come in the north and west.  The company is up to 314 stores in 30 states.

The Montana store is responsible for 25 new jobs.

Shoe Carnival is currently operating in western and central Pennsylvania.  My partner, Brian Wherty, and I in cooperation with Joe Spagnola from LMS Commercial Real Estate (Lancaster, PA) have analyzed the southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey market at the direction of Shoe Carnival as a possible area of future expansion.

Billings Gazette Article

Saturday, July 23, 2011

IKEA to Open First Colorado Store

IKEA will open its first Colorado store on July 27.  The store is in Centennial and is 415,000 SF.  It is the 38th in the United States and the 324th in the world.  
Denver Business Journal Article

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Signs of Walmart Express

There will soon be six drug store sized Walmart Express stores in the country.

Genty, AR
Prairie Grove, AR
Albemarle, NC
Midway, NC
Ridgefield, NC
Chicago, IL

The Walmart Express concept allows the discount giant to enter markets where they can't otherwise open a larger store.  Thus far, Express stores appear to be carrying merchandise that is specific to the respective town or neighborhood.  In Midway, since there is already a pharmacy, then they won't carry those products, but they will be heavy on the grocery items.  Most will have a pharmacy and some may sell gasoline.

The company will focus on Arkansas, North Carolina and Chicago, planning to open 15 to 20 stores by the end of their fiscal year in January 2012.  Walmart sees a potential of opening approximately 350 per year if they get the prototypes right for both the urban and rural markets.

Information for the above gathered from and

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cabela's Opening Second Canadian Store

As reported in the Edmonton Journal, Cabela's will open in Edmonton on August 4.  This area already boasts a strong customer following for the company.

The only other Canadian store is in Winnipeg, but spokesman John Castillo said Cabela’s (CAB:NYSE) plans to expand across Canada, starting in Edmonton and Saskatoon next spring.  

With its 70,000-square-foot store, Cabela’s will go head-to-head with Canadian outdoors-merchandise rivals Wholesale Sports in Edmonton and U.S. competitor Bass Pro Shops, which opened a larger 150,000-square-foot store just north of Calgary in 2009.  Besides its brick-and-mortar retail stores, Cabela’s sells products online and by catalogue. The company calls itself the world’s largest direct-marketer of outdoor-lifestyle merchandise.  

The company boasts a very serious customer following with the average visitor driving up to 150 miles to shop at the store.

The Edmonton store has hired 210 employees and is still looking for more workers.
Edmonton Journal Article

Borders is Done....

Borders will likely face a sale to liquidators after the last interested party declined to bid on the failed retailer.  

Liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC were made the opening bidders for the auction. The deadline for bids passed on 7/17 without any offers.

12 stores are in the Philadelphia region.

Bloomberg Article

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

hhgregg...10 More in South Florida

10 more hhgregg stores have opened in south Florida bringing the state's total stores to 33.  

The store openings created approximately 600 new jobs.

Market Watch Article

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dinner at a Movie?

While on tour last week with one of my clients in southeastern Pennsylvania, we took a tour of the new Movie Tavern in Providence Town Center in Collegeville.  The movie theater had their soft opening and was preparing for the latest Harry Potter release and grand opening on Thursday night.

The concept of having dinner and drinks either before or during a movie is definitely intriguing and looks fun.  The logistics of pulling it all off was impressive.  My wife and I will have to give it a try, but first we need a sitter.  Any volunteers?...

Kudos to the owner, Brandolini Companies, as they work their way through a bad economy and continue to add new tenants to this massive project.  

Other tenants in the project include Wegmans, Best Buy, Michael's, L.A. Fitness, HomeGoods, Staples, and Raymour & Flanigan.

See Daily Local News for the rest of the article.

Five Below, Five in Detroit

The Philadelphia based retailer which started in 2002 will open 5 locations in Detroit.  It appears Five Below is up to 140 stores in 13 states.

See the rest of the article at

Target Going to Work in Canada

Walmart Canada Corp. has the most to lose when Target Corp. begins opening stores in Canada, according to the latest research on consumer loyalty.

Target announced the first 105 proposed store leases that it was acquiring from Zellers.

Earlier this year it paid $1.8-billion to Zellers owner Richard Baker for up to 220 leasehold interests of Zellers locations. Walmart signed a deal to acquire leases at up to 39 sites now operated by Zellers from Target Canada.Target announced the first 105 proposed store leases that it was acquiring from Zellers.

That Target has managed to achieve such brand resonance in Canada two years before opening and without any mass communication efforts is a remarkable feat said Mr. Satov founder of the Toronto consulting firm Satov Consultants.

Target’s status as a potential grocery player is uncertain in Canada and hinges, initially at least, on leasing restrictions in the malls where Zellers operates. Many of those malls are already anchored by another full grocery store.

The above was reported on

Monday, July 11, 2011

hhgregg Creating 700 New Chicago Area Jobs

hhgregg, Inc., a specialty retailer of consumer electronics, has announced that it will fill approximately 700 positions for 14 new stores scheduled to open in the Chicago area in fall 2011 as reported on istockanalyst.comtracking

Article Link

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Big Lots Getting Bigger

Shopping Center Business reported that Big Lots, which offers an extensive assortment of brand-name products, including home furnishings, seasonal items, housewares, toys and gifts at closeout prices, is opening a “lot” more stores in 2011, continuing a big push in new store growth from last year.

Big Lots operates more than 1,400 retail stores serving 48 states, and is heavily concentrated in four states: Ohio, Florida, Texas and California. 

This year, Big Lots intends to open 90 stores throughout the country, focusing specifically on the Northeast and East Coast, as well as the Northwest and West Coast, with some stores sprinkled throughout the Midwest.

The stores themselves are, ideally, 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot facilities (although there are Big Lots stores from 15,000 to 60,000 square feet) in strip centers or freestanding stores on major traffic arteries, serving trade areas of 50,000 with a median income of $35,000 to $90,000.

The company has two different store concepts and aims to keep its stores clean and bright with well-stocked departments. Traditional stores are typically housed in secondary space, such as a former Walmart or grocery store. Then there are “A-store” locations, primarily in the best strip shopping centers in the market. Co-tenants in a traditional center will primarily be regional players, while the A-store co-tenants are usually retailers like Target, Best Buy and Old Navy.

So what makes Big Lots so attractive to landlords? “We are investment-grade credit and, to my knowledge, we’ve never missed a rent payment,” says Chuck Haubiel, vice president, legal and real estate for the company. “And in these days and times, I think that’s a very attractive thing.”

Shopping Center Business Article

1,000th Dress for Less Store

Congratulations Ross Dress for Less!

Ross Stores will celebrate on July 16 the opening of its 1,000th Dress for Less store in North Pleasant Hill, Calif. Article

Did You Know So Many People Like to Hunt?

Ellen Gibson (AP) recently wrote for

Retailers like Trader Joe's, DSW, T.J. Maxx, Costco, BJ's, and Dollar Tree lure you in to buy one thing, but then count on the impulse buy for unexpected treasures.  

Goodies at Trader Joe's aren't on most grocery lists, but they're eye-catching enough to tempt shoppers into an impulse buy. At a time when families are watching dollars and the Web makes discount-hunting easy, unexpected treasures are an increasingly important strategy for stores.

So shoppers may go into T.J. Maxx or a DSW shoe store looking for a bargain on something they need but end up splurging on irresistible finds, from dirt-cheap Ray-Bans to half-priced Puma sneakers.

Costco has been using the term "treasure hunt" for years to explain why up to a fifth of its stock is limited-quantity items that are in the store for as little as a week. Sometimes it's seasonal merchandise, often it's surprisingly trendy.

The quick turnover of merchandise creates a sense of urgency: If you don't buy it today, it probably won't be here tomorrow. When the economy tanked, TJX began cycling inventory through the store faster than ever before. A rapidly changing assortment is the top driver of traffic, especially when stores are competing with the Internet.

Superstores like Kmart and Walmart are getting stung by online competition. Any mass-market product — think Jif peanut butter or Hanes T-shirts — can be comparison-priced online, and people tend to buy from the cheapest source. Increasingly, that's or another Web retailer. Article

Petsmart & Petco Not Feeling the Heat from Discounters

The Wall Street Transcript, which publishes its Pets and Vets Report, recently interviewed Joan Storms, CFA.  She is a sell-side Equity Analyst with 16 years experience covering specialty hardline retail companies. She has been at Wedbush Securities since 1999.  During the interview she provided the following information.
The industry is highly fragmented. You have PetSmart (PETM) and PETCO, the largest specialty retailers in the U.S., which combined are probably about 20% of the market. Those companies have very good returns, so it has been an attractive area for the discounters to want to try to exploit and expand the category because it is largely consumable and it is a traffic driver. There are a lot of players in the pet market, including specialty pet stores and mega retailers, and even grocery stores, who have different levels of participation in the pet sector. Overall, though, the big retail players are PetSmart and PETCO.

The real competition is from other specialty stores. It is a highly fragmented marketplace. The market share opportunity has really expanded for the larger retailers because a lot of the independents went out of business during the recession. 

It was a few years ago when there was a lot of talk about increased competition from mass merchants like Target (TGT), which announced they were going to expand their pet business. And Wal-Mart (WMT) was getting some access, but still very limited access, to some of the higher nutrition content food. People thought this was going to be a big deal, but it really has not had much of an impact on the specialty retail sector at all. If you look at Wal-Mart, most of the pet food is actually their own private label brands, although they do carry a very limited number of higher-nutrition-content SKUs that are gaining in popularity. Overall, they carry a very small assortment and there is no service. Pet owners want to know what kind of food to buy or what kind of medicines, which really requires knowledgeable customer service. And that's one thing that PetSmart has done a phenomenal job with. They train their associates about pet foods, medicines and other products.

The Wall Street Transcript Article

Saturday, July 2, 2011

BJ's Goes Private

As reported in the, BJ’s Wholesale Club has agreed to be sold to Leonard Green & Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, and go private in a deal worth $2.8 billion. Article Link