Store Design Digest

May 21, 2020

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

While the nation slowly continues to open up the economy, it may be too late for many national retail and restaurant chains. There is going to be a lot of retail/restaurant space available, and in some great locations. Well capitalized operators will have an opportunity to upgrade their locations. That should lead to a lot of design & construction projects, which can incorporate new concepts related to health & safety, customer experience, buy online and store pick up innovations, and technology. Not that we expect to see a lot of that very soon. The fact is, there are not a lot of well capitalized retailers or restaurants out there looking to spend money right now. But we’ll get there. Stay safe and enjoy the read!

Issue #4

5 ways physical retail can drive revenue, add value in an era of e-commerce

The modern era requires brick-and-mortar stores to evolve with all the latest technologies and innovations if they are to both increase revenue and give the customers what they want.

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With Its 'Super Bowl' On Hold, Retail Finds A Different Way To Get Deals Done

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus and following state and local orders, the International Council of Shopping Centers in March canceled its annual RECon retail convention in Las Vegas. The group postponed its other events through August. But with RECon and other live retail events canceled, retail industry players are adopting new ways to network, generate leads and get deals done in a challenging pandemic environment.

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What Restaurants will actually be like, in a post-COVID19 World

Here’s how Chipotle, Panera, street food vendors, and others envision the new food order, from mirrors on the ceiling to disposable menus.

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Innovating the digital future of retail banking: customers’ needs come first

Spotlights why being led by customers is key to innovating today’s retail banking landscape.

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Starbucks Accelerates Plan to Relocate, Transform Low-Performing Stores

U.S. stores have captured 60-65 percent of prior year comps in the past week.

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Golden Corral revamps dining room formats as Garden Fresh goes under

Garden Fresh Restaurants, parent company of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week after closing all of its 97 restaurants. It will surrender its assets, between $50 million and $100 million, and close permanently.

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Pizza Guys Eyeing Expansion in Southern California

Sacramento-founded pizza restaurant that specializes in fresh, high quality food, is planning to expand beyond their 69 locations and bring their menu to Southern California.

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Slim Chickens Signs Multi-Unit Deal in Cleveland

Slim Chickens announced that its first location in Cleveland will open in Q1 of 2021. The forthcoming restaurant comes out of the brand’s recent six unit franchise agreement in the Cleveland market. This will mark the brand’s first location in the Cleveland market and second location in Ohio.

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Chicken Salad Chick to Open 16th Texas Restaurant

Chicken Salad Chick announced it will be expanding in Texas with its newest restaurant in Katy Cinco Ranch.

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Starbucks to accelerate drive-thru, pickup-only development

As part of Starbuck's post-COVID-19 plan, dubbed "Bridge to the Future," the company will accelerate its pivoting toward developments that cater to on-the go-customers, Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO, said in a letter to partners on Thursday. That will include relocating lower performing stores from low-traffic malls to locations where there can be a drive-thru.

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Bob Mariano launching new Chicago grocery chain

Bob Mariano, the veteran Midwestern supermarket industry executive known for establishing the Mariano’s grocery banner now owned by Kroger, is creating a new chain of urban-focused grocery stores in Chicago, according to a report in Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Senior Vice President of Famous Dave’s, Al Hank, on how the brand’s new smaller footprint gave it a leg-up during the coronavirus pandemic

Famous Dave’s had recently launched a smaller footprint and fast-casual concept, along with new ghost restaurant, which has helped them pivot to a tech-focused future after COVID-19

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Cheesecake Factory sees large unit size as a reopening advantage

Even with social distancing measures, casual-dining company anticipates ‘meaningful sales volumes’

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Schnucks developing natural food concept

Schnucks is launching a new natural food store format called EatWell, according to a company press release. The grocer said it plans to open the first store based on the concept in Columbia, Missouri, this summer​, but did not indicate if it is planning additional locations.

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Stoner's Pizza Joint Signs 3-Unit Franchise Agreement with Existing Franchisee

toner's Pizza Joint, a quick-service pizza franchise, announced Wednesday that it would expand its footprint via a three-unit expansion with existing South Florida franchisee, John Stetson.

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Lidl set to open 100th U.S. store

Next week, hard discount grocer Lidl plans to open its 100th U.S. location in Suwanee, Ga.

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Albertsons sells minority stake to private equity firm for $1.75B

Albertsons has sold 17.5% of its stock to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $1.75 billion, bringing the grocer a cash infusion as it prepares to go public, according to a press release. The transaction is expected to closed June 15.

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Sale-leasebacks can unlock capital for franchisees

Some franchisees that are hungry for capital may be able to tap into equity stored in their real estate via a sale-leaseback transaction.

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McDonald's warns franchisees of potential retrenchment from coronavirus crisis

McDonald’s estimates that it will need tens of millions of dollars to help its franchisees recover from the COVID-19 crisis in which dining rooms were closed across the country.

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J.C. Penney files for bankruptcy

n a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, J.C. Penney said it plans to close approximately 242 stores, 192 of which are slated to close in fiscal year 2020, while an additional 50 are to close in fiscal year 2021.

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Australia's Wesfarmers to shut or rebrand over 100 Target stores in virus slump

Australian retail giant Wesfarmers Ltd (WES.AX) said it will close or rebrand nearly two-thirds of its Target department stores and take one-off charges totalling up to A$650 million ($426 million) as it reels from the coronavirus fallout.

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L Brands to close 250 Victoria's Secret stores

With almost all stores temporarily closed since March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, L Brands said Wednesday that first quarter net sales fell 37% to $1.65 billion from $2.63 billion a year ago. The company will close 250 Victoria's Secret stores it owns in North America "over the next few months," executives said in a call with analysts.

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Sears' survival is in doubt

Sears has been in trouble for years, but the coronavirus pandemic could be the end.

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Pier 1 Imports initiates liquidation phase

Pier 1 Imports is seeking court approval to liquidate stores, once they re-open in the wake of COVID-19, after months of trying to find a buyer.

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Analyst: Nordstrom’s decision to close 16 stores is ‘prudent’

Closing 16 of its full-line stores – around 14% of the total store base – is a significant move by Nordstrom. However, in our view, it is not so much of a step back from physical retail as it is an optimization of the store portfolio.

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Specialty’s Café & Bakery to Permanently Close

Specialty’s Café & Bakery, a more than 50-unit soup, salad, cookie, and sandwich chain, is closing permanently due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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T-Mobile weighs which stores stay closed post-merger

T-Mobile made the decision on March 16 to temporarily close the majority of its company-owned retail stores due to the pandemic.

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Self-Storage Real Estate Acquisitions and Sales: January 2020

Listing of recent deals may indicate rebranding opportunities for service providers.

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Phillips Edison launches re-opening website for tenants

Phillips Edison & Company has created a website to help tenants get going quickly at its 317 centers in the United States.

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EcoEnergy Insights, A Carrier Company ~ Announces SAFE START PROGRAM for Multi-site Retail Operations!

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the economy, our businesses and our daily lives in an unprecedented way. At EcoEnergy Insights, we care and are willing to do our part to assist multi-site retailers in both MAINTAINING DARK STORES OR AS YOU BEGIN STARTING UP RETAIL POST COVID-19 SHUTDOWNS, with our Safe Start Program..

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Brick and mortar retail is not dead, it's an experience, say retailers

Despite the accelerated use of existing and new technologies and tools as COVID-19 forces the world to work remotely, some retailers are confident that brick and mortar will still be standing after the threat of the disease has receded.

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Self-Storage Facility Renovation: A Case Study and Some Sound Owner Advice

Increased competition in the self-storage industry means more choices for customers, but renovation can help keep your facility relevant. Get advice from the owner of Q2 Self Storage in Jeffersontown, Ky., on how to make smart upgrade decisions.

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Dunkin’ adapts as coronavirus-era customers find new uses for the restaurants

Doughnut kits and late-morning treats appeal to guests during pandemic

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Designing Restaurants in a Post-Pandemic World

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of thousands of restaurants and other foodservice operations nationwide, many businesses had to quickly shift gears and figure out if revenues from takeout and delivery would be enough to sustain the company through stay-at-home orders or if it made better financial sense to close completely. Some did both to see which worked.

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What eating in a restaurant may look like during the pandemic

While the country's restaurant industry has proved nimble in finding new ways to stay afloat with dining rooms closed to customers, the announcement in late April from the state of Georgia permitting reopenings sent a slim beam of light through these dark times. Now as more states begin reopening, there's an increased concern over protocols for keeping everyone safe and healthy.

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A new dawn: The reinvention of physical stores

There’s been a lot of speculation about the future of retail when ‘all of this’ is over. There won’t be just one day or month when everything returns to how it was before. There will be a new normal. When we gradually emerge blinking into the sunlight, what will the new shops look like?

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Rethinking large format retail, grocery and prepared food delivery

Is it time to repurpose the large format retail space to accommodate retail, grocery and prepared food online ordering and distribution?

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With Clear Physical Barriers Going Up Everywhere, Is This A Big Moment For Transparent Displays?

It is reasonable to suggest that LG’s transparent OLED displays are products that generate a lot of excitement from potential users, but disillusionment when they find out how much the screens cost (hint – LOTS!).

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Saladworks Partners with REEF Technology

Saladworks announced it has launched a partnership with REEF Technology, a Miami-based company that transforms parking lots and facilities into mobile ecosystems that seamlessly integrate a broad range of businesses.

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New Rules Of Store Design: Balancing Safety With Experiential Retail

As retailers deal with the complexities of reopening brick-and-mortar stores, the safety of both employees and customers is, naturally, a top priority. Associates and customers who may be skittish about returning to stores will need solid reassurance that their in-store shopping experience won’t pose a danger to themselves or others. But COVID-19’s impact on store design will last well beyond the pandemic’s end.

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Covid-19: What long-term changes will it cause for store design?

Post-lockdown shoppers will increasingly choose to use physical stores that make them feel safe, according to new research.

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The future of shopping: fitting rooms, beauty testers face COVID axe

As more retailers reopen stores as some social-distancing restrictions are relaxed and consumer confidence lifts ever so slightly, so-called "high-touch" segments such as beauty and lingerie are facing the biggest health and hygiene challenges.

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Ex-Best Buy heavyweight joins retail agency Outform as VP for strategy and design

Global retail and innovation agency Outform is boosting its senior leadership team with the appointment of ex-Best Buy heavyweight Chris Brandewie, as vice president of strategy and design.

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Michael Thompson to Lead Flagship Facility Services' Integrated Facility Management Operations

Flagship Facility Services has selected Michael Thompson to lead its Integrated Facility Management (IFM) operations as President of IFM. This latest addition to the leadership team underscores Flagship's commitment to providing quality, self-performed IFM services to organizations across the country.

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Centennial Taps 30-Year Industry Exec to Lead New Third-Party Services Division

Centennial, a real estate investment firm with a national portfolio of shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations, announced today it has launched a Third-Party Services Division to deliver property and asset management, leasing and marketing services on behalf of shopping center owners and investors nationwide.

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