Store Design Digest

July 8, 2020

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

Plenty of store design and expansion news this week! Designers are certainly earning their keep these days. The first half of the newsletter is focused on store openings, new designs, rebranding, and closures. The second half is focused on commentary on store, hospitality, and office design. It’s a nice mix. Enjoy the newsletter and the rest of the week!

Issue #11

New Wal-Mart Check-Out Experience Requires Architectural and Store Design Adjustments

This is definitely a wow -- look at the architectural and store design lengths to which Walmart went in its new self-checkout store in Fayetteville. The space allocation will blow your mind.

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Amazon Go Grocery Stores Slated for Seattle Area and Washington D.C., Expanding Retail Footprint

Amazon is planning to open cashier-less “Go” grocery stores in Redmond, Wash., and Washington D.C., as part of a broader grocery expansion.

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Walgreens says new small-format store personalizes care, could help in ‘pharmacy deserts’

Walgreens has opened more than 30 small-format pharmacies as part of a pilot.

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Speedway convenience store chain may be sold

The Wall Street Journal reported that Speedway owner Marathon Petroleum was in talks to sell the chain. Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. was named by the paper as a potential buyer.

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Walmart to Turn 160 Store Parking Lots into Drive-In Theaters

Just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, Walmart announced a partnership with Tribeca Enterprises (most notably the purveyors of the film festival of the same name) that’s set to convert 160 store locations into makeshift drive-in movie theaters.

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Crave Hot Dogs eyes expansion, adjusts to coronavirus

Crave Hot Dogs and BBQ is pushing ahead with its expansion in Texas and other states, lowering its franchising fee and making other adjustments to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.

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BurgerFi Aims to Accelerate Growth after $100 Million Merger

Restaurant has eyes on ghost kitchens, nontraditional locations.

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A&W’s Legacy Proves Unbeatable Amid Pandemic

A&W was founded in 1919, making it one of the rare companies to survive the Great Depression, Great Recession, and all the economic downturns in between.

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Whataburger unveils reimagined restaurant design

Fresh off news of its plans for expansion, Whataburger is rolling out a new look for its restaurants and the Business Journal has a first look.

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Dunkin’ closing 450 stores

The doughnut chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts is parting ways with the gas station chain Speedway. In a statement released to the “Today” show, the company said it will close the limited menu Dunkin’ locations at the gas stations by the end of the year.

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Nike plans up to 200 small-format stores, despite 38% revenue drop

In the wake of strong digital growth in the quarter (75%), the retailer announced a new phase of its consumer direct strategy, with three key areas of acceleration: the creation of a "marketplace of the future," the realignment of product categories for a new consumer construct and further investment in digital.

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TGI Fridays becomes Fridays in brand shake-up

Design studio SomeOne has given the American restaurant chain a new identity in the hopes of making it a high street favourite.

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AiFi to Deploy 330 Autonomous Stores by 2021

Since 2019, AiFi's OASIS autonomous store platform is operating in 10 checkout-free stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia

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Hyatt to Expand Thompson Hotels Portfolio in the Southern US

Hyatt announced today the continued growth of the Thompson Hotels brand throughout the Southern United States with deals for two new properties—Thompson Savannah and Thompson Buckhead—expected to open in Georgia in 2021.

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Chipotle expands with first-of-its-kind restaurant in NM

A busy Albuquerque intersection will soon be home to a Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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Save Mart’s newest store opens with health and safety in mind

Grocer’s new location in Redding, Calif., focuses on the community and local brands

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Le Pain Quotidien may reopen in mid-July as Aurify Brands closes deal to acquire more than 40 locations for $3 million

The remaining 58 locations of the bakery-café chain in the U.S. will remain closed permanently

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Little Mistress seeking 15 stores for immediate opening

Little Mistress is seeking an additional 10 to 15 UK stores for immediate opening. CEO and founder Mark Ashton said the fashion group is looking at permanent leases and pop-up stores.

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NYC’s Legendary The Halal Guys Inks Multi-Unit Deal, Fueling Rapid Expansion Across Canada

The beloved American Halal concept is making its Western Canadian debut, bringing five new locations to the Calgary area

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Capriotti's inks deals for 18 units amid COVID-19

The pandemic has not slowed growth at Las Vegas-based Capriotti's Sandwich Shop as it as has signed 18 development agreements since the onset of COVID-19.

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Earth Fare is back in business

A group of investors that purchased four Earth Fare supermarkets in a bankruptcy auction earlier this year plans to open a new store in Christiansburg, Virginia, early next year.

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U.S. Bank plots next retail location for its Charlotte expansion

The bank initially planned 10 branches here by the end of the year — a goal that has since shrunk to two.

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5 key takeaways about the future of Jack in the Box from new CEO Darin Harris

Here’s what we learned about the new leader of Jack in the Box from a Q&A-style interview and company-wide meet and greet.

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How to Re-Design the World for Coronavirus and Beyond

Life isn’t going back to normal. Can we actually make it better?

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How the Pandemic Will Change How Restaurants are Built

Operators across segments are planning smaller locations optimized for off-premise as consumer habits change rapidly.

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Coronavirus and the Future of Retail - 7 Rehab Trends

COVID-19 has sparked the popularization of low-key technologies and the mainstreaming of niche retail trends.

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How Retail Spaces Can Continue Social Distancing Post-COVID

Although economies are slowly beginning to open, it looks as though social distancing is here to stay for a while. How can companies maintain that trend, and what are the design possibilities that may help?

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Rethinking & Re-imagining Retail in Light of COVID-19

The pandemic has affected every industry, and retail has been hit particularly hard. Guests Kathy Craft Rich, industrial practice leader at NELSON Worldwide and Robyn Novak, Retail Practice Leader of FRCH NELSON, talk about what challenges retailers are facing now to keep shoppers safe as well as envisioning how retail design may change in a post-COVID world.

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Will vertical farms become central to food retail and restaurant interiors?

Various forms of vertical-farm infrastructure are being employed in customer-facing contexts across the retail and hospitality industries.

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Grocery Design: Can Salad Bars be Saved?

Grocery stores are doing whatever it takes—including deploying robots—to save their lucrative salad bars from becoming a relic of pre-pandemic shopping.

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Does COVID Mark the End of 'Open Plan' Office Spaces?

As we all know, COVID has completely reshaped how we interact with others in public spaces through social distancing. And these changes can even be seen in the changes in design and layout for businesses that remained open throughout the pandemic.

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The post-Covid design brief for restaurants and offices

Design experts on adapting offices, restaurants and bars for the post-Covid world

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Think differently about indoor space: Modern air conditioning contributes to virus circulation

New York's streets are rapidly converting into spontaneously designed cafes, critical to the economic survival of many restaurants and bars.

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Engineering Firm Designing “Parkettes” to Help Restaurants Open Outside with Spacing Solutions

Arup designs parklets to help Liverpool's restaurants reopen during social distancing measures.

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What Happens to Public Space When Everything Moves Outside

As restaurants and bars dramatically expand their outdoor seating, questions are emerging about who gets to occupy the streets.

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The Effects of Covid-19: Hospitality Edition

Join Andrew Pearson Glass and Charleston Forge in our Hospitality Series for first ever digital panel exploring the changes in the hospitality industry. Miranda Agee, design journalist and director of business development for SMI Construction, will join some of Hospitality’s leading designers for a conversation about the effects of Covid-19 and the changes being made world wide to reopen hotels, restaurants, spas and more.

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Designing a Restaurant for a Socially Distant World

An industry obsessed with guest experience will shape responses in the coming months.

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‘Design is an investment, not an expense’

Ian Johnston Founder- Creative Director at Quinine, in an exclusive interaction with Retail4Growth, talks about bridging the value gap in a redefined retail environment, and the role of store design and technology in enabling this.

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Microsoft Closing Its Stores For One Reason: They Are Bad

Using the COVID-19 crisis as its cover, the company is exiting traditional retailing, a business any number of people didn’t even realize they were in, in the first place.

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