Wednesday, December 19, 2018

These Retail Trends May Not Make It Through 2019

This author believes fast fashion and grocery delivery are the biggest retail trends that will come to an end next year.  I would love to get your opinion.  By Kelsi Maree Borland | December 07, 2018

The retail industry is rapidly evolving, and trends that were once mainstays have been dying out. This has manifested as major store closures in the last couple of years, and unfortunately, we aren’t out of the dark yet. In 2019, expect fast fashion brands like H&M and Forever 21 to start to show signs of trouble, according to Sean Slater of Retail Design Collaborative.

Fast fashion isn’t the only retail trend that Slater expects to end next year. Grocery delivery efforts, he says, are also on their way out—despite the recent surge in attention. “Curbside pick-up has been a start and stop process over the last few years. We have seen a ton of investment from Walmart, Kroger and Target into this idea, but I think that we are going to have another downturn in the importance of that,” he explains. “This year, there have been a huge capital investment into curbside pick-up, but I think that those investments will go on pause. It is going to be much more about the in-store satisfaction and much less about how fast you can pick up a bag of groceries.”

To read the rest of the article, click here...

Amazon Fresh Future in Doubt?

Some Amazon Fresh customers are slamming the grocery-delivery service over disappearing and ruined orders, and it raises questions about its future., Dennis Green.

Some customers are saying that Amazon Fresh is growing rotten.

The online grocery-delivery service has undergone many changes in the past year, and it's racking up poor customer reviews as its future — and its place within the Amazon Prime ecosystem — is increasingly being questioned.

Business Insider spoke with more than a dozen Amazon Fresh customers who said they had experienced issues with the service in places like Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. These customers complained of poor-quality and even spoiled produce, orders being packed incorrectly or illogically, canceled or late deliveries, and regularly missing items.

To read more of this article, click here...

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Dramatic 10% Increase in Top Retailer Foot Traffic (foot traffic analytics platform) just released its initial ‘Retail Index’ measuring foot traffic at over 24,000 major retail brands and shopping centers across the United States, comparing the Black Friday weekend in 2018 vs Black Friday weekend visits for 2017.

Key takeaways for the Black Friday weekend 2018 shopping period include:

  • Overall foot traffic increased 10.1% year over year at the top 30 retailers, as compared to 2017. 
  • The top 3 retailers in the Retail Index for the Thanksgiving weekend 2018 were Hobby Lobby, Ulta Beauty, and T.J. Maxx, each delivering a 26% increase in foot traffic. 
  • As a category, mass merchants like Walmart and Target showed the largest lift in traffic, at 12% year over year increase compared to 2017.
To read more key takeaways, click here...

Monday, November 26, 2018

Mall Doctors: Filling Vacant Retail with Medical Office


As health care systems consolidate and consumers expect easier access to medical care, empty storefronts and abandoned shopping malls are increasingly transforming into health care hubs.

CVS now operates more than 1,100 MinuteClinics within its pharmacies as well as some Target stores, and recently bought the insurance company Aetna, further shifting its role from simply a drugstore to a health care provider. According to Eric Johnson, national director of Transwestern, who spoke at CRE.Converge 2018 in Washington, D.C., 20 percent growth in these “quick clinics” is expected over the next five years.

With the recent announcement of Sears filing for bankruptcy, significant square footage will be available to be retrofitted for medical use. Empty retail space can be and is often be used for “urgent care, freestanding emergency departments, wellness centers, primary care clinics, pediatric clinics, women’s clinics, dermatology, eye care, and plastic surgery,” Johnson explained. “Larger stores can house multispecialty clinics, or combine with pharmacy, imaging and ancillary services to provide more convenience to the consumer.” Some sites are even offering outpatient surgery rather than just diagnostic services or considering micro hospitals.

Some medical facilities have long been anchored in retail space, such as dialysis, post-acute rehabilitation and behavioral health services. These services typically serve uninsured patients.

One model of the transformation of retail to medical is Duke Health’s creation of an outpatient health center in a former 180,000-square-foot Macy’s in Durham, North Carolina’s 900,000-square-foot Northgate Mall. “The site had an excellent location and visibility,” explained Tony Ruggeri, co-managing director of ATR & Associates, Inc. What was once a department store now houses internal medicine, primary care, urgent care, women’s care, pediatric care, outpatient surgery, orthopedics and cardiac care.

In Houston, bookseller Barnes & Noble closed three stores, and the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic took the opportunity to consolidate 10 different physician groups that were scattered across the city, adding pharmacy and imaging, into one 20,000-square-foot block of retail space.

The primary case study of the session was the build-out of a new Vanderbilt Health campus in what was an unsightly mall in Nashville, Tennessee, that residents remembered fondly but now avoided visiting. “When we took on the 100 Oaks Mall project, everyone said, ‘What were they thinking?’ recalled Ruggeri. “It was an enormous site – the mall ran 2,000 linear feet, from JC Penney to what used to be a Woolco.” The 18,400 square feet included two levels of retail with some three-level areas and an adjacent five-story office tower, set on 56 acres.

“It was a great location,” Ruggeri explained, “visible to 135,000 cars daily on I-65. It’s right across the interstate from the highest-income part of Nashville. And it had ground-level retailers with strong sales. It was the second and third levels and the office space that was dying.” There was also a shortage of restaurants nearby and serious problems with the traffic patterns going in and out of the mall area.

When Vanderbilt University Medical Center expressed interest in using the former mall space as medical suites, the developer had to take an environment no one even wanted to shop in and make it a modern and attractive health care center. Where stores used to be there were clinics, with a central waiting area in the open area in the middle. The buildout took less than two years, whereas constructing a medical facility from scratch typically takes five to seven. Rebranding the site simply meant dropping “mall” from the name and calling it Vanderbilt Health’s 100 Oaks campus. Soon, patients and doctors alike were choosing 100 Oaks over the main campus because of convenience. Vanderbilt reached its projected 2013 patient count at the new site by December 2011. The retailers that remain on the property are thriving, as are the four restaurants that were built on the grounds.

While licensing, zoning and other specific requirements must be met to enable a medical facility to be built in what was formerly a retail space, the benefits and opportunities of expanding high-quality health care more broadly into communities seem to far outweigh the potential obstacles.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Pop-ups Rule the Retail!

Why Halloween pop-ups suddenly possess so many dead retail spaces

This Washington Post article by Taylor Telford reports on how  Americans will drop about $9 billion in celebration of Halloween this year. Halloween's craziness and camp are fun precisely because they are temporary — and so are the stores that sell it to us.

Halloween pop-up stores benefit from people’s last-minute shopping tendencies and the flaws of online shopping, such as poor-fitting costumes and unreliable delivery, while landlords with dead retail space benefit from pop-ups' need for instant store fronts. It’s a win for landlords, who get a tenant that will pay higher rent for just two or three months of occupancy.

To read more on this article, click here...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Quick-Serve Brands Performing in the Drive Thru

The 2018 QSR Drive-Thru Study

This recent article from QSR Magazine discusses how pressures on drive-thru performance, particularly speed of service and accuracy, have become ever more intense. The continuing importance of the outdoor lane is clashing with the fact that as traffic increases in the drive thru, service times are slowing down. 

To read the full article, click here...

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

STORES Magazine - 2018 Top 100 Retailers & Trend Breakdown

STORES' 2018 annual snapshot of the top 100 Retailers shows great stability, given the list has remained remarkably similar over the past couple of years.  This yearly list and trend analysis discusses some of the reasons why top-ranked, long-term retailers have remained in that position, including modernization and reinvigoration of their retailing strategies, and shows that despite all reports about changes in retail, movement is gradual. There are some good analyses here worth reading, regarding omnichannel marketing, bricks-and-mortar strategies and growth enhancement moves by the big companies. 

Read more here…

Friday, September 21, 2018

As Others Retrench, Discount Chains Grow

      Ross Dress For Less discount store

This article offers a handful of nuggets that break down why discounters are finding success against online shopping.  
  • Ross's average item price is only $10
  • 98% of Ross's goods are under $30
  • Online retail has trouble offering these prices for top brands and still making money
  • Ross and others buy excess inventory from top brands
  • Ross ships the inventory to stores or keeps it in warehouses to rotate through stores
  • Discounters appeal both to people who "need a bargain" & those who "want a bargain"
  • Both types of discount shoppers enjoy the "treasure-hunt" experience
  • Online retail has had a rough time replicating that experience
Discounters, also known as off-price sellers, keep expanding their physical footprints, even as Americans shop more online and most brick-and-mortar retailers pour cash into their digital operations. During an era of disruption, these companies have proved resilient and durable against competition from Amazon. For more on this trend, please see the CNN article. Article

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

NEW STORES - December'17-July'18

Please note, this list was compiled using a Google Alert for "new stores".  The list is not guaranteed to be complete, but serves as a reference for the retail real estate community.  My hope is that it will be useful to you in some form or fashion. At the least, it can serve as a sign of the activity in the market or spur ideas when leasing properties.  

If my colleagues and I can be of service, please don't hesitate to contact me at 484-417-2208.  I can also be found on Instagram and Twitter (@RobSamtmann).  Thank you.

Friday, August 31, 2018

End Tables, Ottomans...and Wine Bars?

Furniture Retailers Go to New Lengths to Draw Buyers, Support Mall Expansions, Luring Customers With Exotic Wildlife, Wine Bars

CoStar News: August 28, 2018 | Rob Smith

Bob's Discount Furniture

Bob's Discount Furniture is among the furniture retailers expanding across the country, taking space in malls and shopping centers.

A Gallery Furniture store in Houston features an indoor playground, exotic birds and a Capuchin Monkey enclosure. Some Jordan’s Furniture stores in Massachusetts have ropes courses and IMAX theaters. City Furniture in Florida opened a cafĂ© and wine bar. And that's not all furniture retailers are doing to lure entertainment-loving millennial shoppers and support their expansions in malls and big-box stores. 

Other furniture retailers offer ice cream shops, pizza parlors and play areas for kids’ birthday parties. Many are using augmented and virtual reality so customers can visualize how a piece of furniture fits and looks in their homes...

"People are now making an experience out of furniture shopping," Moore said. "The forward-thinking furniture retailers who are innovative will survive."...

Those regional and local retailers are increasingly anchoring shopping centers and occupying former mid-sized big-box stores, giving real estate property owners and developers fresh options to fill space, Moore said.

"You used to see furniture stores clustered together in a so-called furniture row," Moore said. "Now you’re seeing them go into retail centers. Landlords are receptive to it. It creates more traffic, and a lot of that is impulse traffic."...

As industry trade publication Furniture Today reports, Walker Furniture will open a 65,000-square-foot superstore in Las Vegas next month and a 150,000-square-foot showroom next year. The RoomPlace will open three furniture stores in regional malls in Illinois and Ohio next year. One of those will be in an abandoned Sears department store.

Online furniture company Wayfair, based in Kentucky, is opening a 20,000-square-foot outlet, its first brick-and-mortar location. Houston’s Furniture Town will open a 40,000-square-foot store in a shopping center over Labor Day weekend, with plans for three more stores next year. 

Japan-based furniture retailer Aki-Home -- known as the Ikea of Japan -- said earlier this year it wanted to build 100 stores across the country. Bob’s Discount Furniture said it will open five more Southern California stores by Labor Day weekend, giving it 12 in the state and more than 100 overall. The stores are between 25,000 and 42,000 square feet.

The rise of e-commerce and the maturation of millennials --those between the ages of 22 and 37 -- are having "enormous impact" on the traditional furniture business, said Bill McLoughlin, Furniture Today’s editor-in-chief. The estimated 73 million millennials in the U.S. will surpass baby boomers next year as America’s largest generation, according to think tank Pew Research Center.

"The last huge growth spurt of retail furniture operations was the baby boom generation," McLoughlin said. "Now you have an even bigger demographic wave coming on. They’re going to drive the business for years to come."

E-commerce now accounts for 17 percent of all furniture sales, McLoughlin said, up from 12 percent two years ago. Even when a purchase is made online, the buyer typically visits a furniture store to check out the item before buying, analysts say.

Moore recalls moving into his first apartment with tattered furniture from his parents. That doesn’t happen as much anymore, he said.

Your grandma's or parents' furniture just doesn't cut it anymore," he said, adding that the millennial demographic is fundamentally altering the retail landscape for everything from furniture to apparel. "You want to sit on a sofa, feel textures and visualize what it will look like. You may research online but you're going to the store to buy."

Monday, August 27, 2018

Healthcare Real Estate Is Being Pulled In Multiple Directions

Matthew Rothstein’s article in Bisnow East Coast, on how healthcare is changing rapidly as an industry, brings up some interesting points on how the traditional model of decentralized primary care providers, specialist networks and inpatient hospitals has become obsolete. He points out that the current drive to make access to healthcare a simple, short trip for patients who may not have the time or ability to drive long distances is prompting healthcare providers to expand real estate footprints in an effort to keep up with the changing needs of America’s population.

To read more about the changes in healthcare real estate, click here:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What’s in YOUR State? (The 50 states of retail development)

ICSC’s recent article on retail developments in each state details how developers are moving dirt across the country: building new retail and mixed-use centers and renovating and rehabbing existing properties. Here’s the view from 30,000 feet….

Monday, July 30, 2018

Fast Casual Traffic Only Segment to Grow in Last 5 Years

Even though much of the U.S. restaurant industry continues to struggle with sluggish customer visits, the fast casual channel continues to grow. This July 2018 QSR article discusses how visits to fast casual restaurants have grown 6 percent annually over the last five years, stemming in large part from store openings, and how fast casual units have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7 percent over the last five years. Read more here... 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Restaurant Chain Growth

This article shows a brief, but good list of restaurant chains with both size (in number of units) and momentum in growth.  

Three are from the Coffee-Snack segment.  Two are from Chicken and there is one from C-Store, Pizza, and Limited Service/Mexican.  

Note, many, but not all, of the expanding chains rely on franchising.  

We're proud to represent Starbucks, who topped the new unit chart at 651 in 2017.  

I hope you enjoy the article.  

Nations Restaurant News Article

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Amazon Go Possibly Opening in San Francisco

Whether Amazon opens the store or not, I thought this article provided good insight into the Amazon Go concept. 

Retail Dive Article

Monday, April 30, 2018

Giant Spending $70 Million on Pennsylvania Expansion, Renovations & Fueling Stations

See the following article detailing the following for Giant:

6 new stores
2 remodels of existing stores
5 new fueling stations

The Produce News Article

Saturday, April 7, 2018

New Pet Supplies Plus Store

Say hello to the new Pet Supplies Plus store in Woodlyn, Pennsylvania. Special thanks to Pet Supplies Plus, the Morello's, & the owner of the center, Raymour & Flanigan. Brian Wherty and I were happy to be a part of the process.