Store Design Digest

June 10, 2020

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

This week we have an information-filled newsletter. From business deals, to mergers being called-off, to new store designs being rolled out. On top of that, there are several about how the pandemic is impacting store design. There is plenty of overlap between some articles, but we thought it would be good to include the varying perspectives.

We hope you find this news digest beneficial. Hopefully, our spending hours researching and reading articles (and pulling the best ones together) will save you time and effort and help you do your job better. Please let me know if you have any related press releases or news, or if you run across any great articles which you think ought to be included.

Enjoy this issue and have a great rest of the week!

Issue #7

Starbucks’ U.S. Store Portfolio to Undergo Major Transformation

During the next 18 months, the coffee giant plans to accelerate the expansion of convenience-led stores formats such as drive-thru, mobile order only, pickup and curbside pickup. It also plans to relocate stores from low-traffic malls to new locations that combine the store experience with drive-thrus.

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Starbucks will Accelerate New Mobile-Focused ‘Pickup’ Store Concept Rollout Due to Pandemic

The Seattle coffee giant is speeding up plans to roll out its new store concept designed for customers who order ahead with the Starbucks app.

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Starbucks CEO Sees Dwindling Real Estate Prices as a Chance to Build More Small City Stores

Starbucks CEO sees dwindling real estate prices as a chance to build more small city stores: “We think there are a lot of real estate opportunities for us to capture”.

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Starbucks to Close Up to 200 Canadian Stores

The move could mean 17 per cent of the companies 1,175 Canadian coffee shops shutting its doors in the next 18 month.

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Simon Pulls Out of $3.6B Taubman Deal

Simon Property Group, Inc. on Wednesday said it terminated its Feb. 9 agreement to merge with rival mall developer Taubman Centers Inc. The deal for Simon to acquire an 80% ownership interest in The Taubman Realty Group Limited Partnership, including all of Taubman common stock, for about $3.6 billion, was originally expected to close about now.

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Stop & Shop and King Kullen Call Off Merger

“A joint decision was made not to proceed with the acquisition because of significant, unforeseen changes in the marketplace that have emerged since the agreement was signed in December 2018, largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the companies said in an announcement.

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BurgerFi to Merge with Blank-Check Investor, Go Public

The two parties expect a definitive agreement by the end of June with a closing expected during Q3 2020. The transaction will be subject to approval from both company boards, regulators and shareholders, among other customary conditions.

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Reuters: Sycamore in Talks to Buy J.C. Penney

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners is in early talks to take J.C. Penney out of bankruptcy if the retailer’s negotiations with its creditors fail, reported Reuters.

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Welch Acquires Excel Display And Packaging

Excel Display and Packaging, a supplier of retail packaging, displays, and food packaging along with digital print capabilities, has been acquired by Indiana-based company Welch Packaging.

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Parent Company of Kay’s Jewelers, Zales, Jared to Close about 400 Stores this Year

Signet Jewelers Ltd. said that at least 150 stores in North America and 80 stores in the U.K. will not reopen after going dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also plans to permanently close at least another 150 locations by the end of the year. (Currently, Signet operates approximately 3,200 stores globally primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples, Piercing Pagoda,)

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Report: 20,000+ Stores will Close in 2020, Mostly in Malls

A new report from Coresight Research predicts that 20,000 to 25,000 stores will close in the United States this year. An earlier, pre-pandemic estimate from the company projected only about 15,000 closures.

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Covid19 Hotel Development Analysis: Hyatt Hotels Corporation

In an exclusive report, TOPHOTELNEWS analyses how Hyatt and its hotel development pipeline have been affected by Covid19.

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FreshCo Expansion, Announcing First Two Alberta Locations and Four New Manitoba Locations

With this announcement, the Company has now confirmed 28 of approximately 65 locations in Western Canada. In fiscal 2018, the Company announced plans to convert approximately 25% of its underperforming Safeway and Sobeys locations to FreshCo over a five-year period.

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Rooms to Go Displays their “Store of the Future”

Regarded by Rooms To Go as “The Store of the Future,” the Pieper O’Brien Herr Architects design team reimagined this furniture store with eye-catching architectural features such as perforated aluminum rain screens, floor-to-ceiling display windows, and dramatic lighting and signage.

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Old Meets New in NatWest Rebrand

The rebrand forms part of a series of major changes taking place within RBS Group: the group recently announced plans to sell off 300 branches of RBS in England and Wales and RBS is now known as the Royal Bank of Scotland north of the border. Futurebrand has created a new identity for Royal Bank of Scotland which retains its logo and typeface but uses a pattern based on tweed and tartan to emphasise its Scottish roots.

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Anko: Intriguing New-Format Kmart Store Being Trialled in the US

Kmart has been quietly testing a new store design in the US under a completely different name, and it provides a big clue to Kmart’s future.

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Restaurants & Hospitality: Proposed Chick-fil-A in Midtown Faces Design Pushback

Restaurants & Hospitality: Proposed Chick-fil-A in Midtown Faces Design Pushback

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O2 ‘Future Stores’ across Northern Ireland Open

O2 will use virtual queuing technology and new store design to safely open its shops in Northern Ireland to customers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Curtis Lumber Continues Upstate Expansion, Building Bigger Schodack Store

The lumber dealer, which works closely with contractors and do-it-yourself home remodelers, now operates 22 locations across upstate New York and Vermont.

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CNBC Interview on Re-Opening Chain Stores and Repairing Damage from Riots

Rob Almond and his team are playing an important role in reopening major businesses that were closed due to the pandemic. They have also been helping their clients, including Party City and Five Below, respond to the damage caused by riots across the country.

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Unique Store Fixtures takes Gold for KitKat Store Design

Unique Store Fixtures is savoring the sweet taste of victory for its work on KitKat Chocolatory’s first permanent North American retail store. The custom millwork shop was awarded gold for the global A’ Design Award in the 2019-2020 Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category.

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Metro Detroit Restaurants Make Updates and Improvements During Pandemic Downtime

From a new coat of paint to a complete rebranding, business owners have been keeping busy while their dining rooms are closed

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AIA Releases Retail Store and Office 3D Models for Reducing Risk of COVID-19

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is releasing strategies and 3D models today for retail stores and office spaces that can help employers and businesses reopen more safely during the pandemic.

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Pivot to Prosper ~ Beyond the Pandemic

These pivots from business-as-usual to financially solvent business models are focused not on core competencies, but related offerings in alliance with the needs presented by the pandemic.

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Six Grocery and Warehouse Design Trends because of COVID-19

COVID-19 is forcing grocery and warehouse companies to change their design to potentially stem the flow of the virus while keeping operations moving.

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Re-Designing Social Spaces for COVID-19 - RSSD Competition

Registration for the competition is now open.

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How the Pandemic could Fundamentally Alter Store Layouts

Backrooms will grow to fill online orders and retail floors will become smaller and more focused on shopper experiences, according to one branding and design expert.

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How the Coronavirus will Shape Retail Design

Tate Fisher, founder and CEO of North Kansas City-based Katalyst Group, shares the potential influences.

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Looking at the Post-Pandemic In-Store Experience

Lessons in adaptation and flexibility help retailers stay safe and profitable.

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How Sustainability-Linked Loans could Affect Retail Design

There are an increasing number of businesses exploring how they can link access to capital to their sustainability programs.

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How To Maximise Conversions In Your Retail Store

Getting people into your store is one thing but converting them from visitors into paying customers is quite another. Just as the volume of traffic to your website is proportional to the potential money that you can make, so too is the footfall of your store proportional to the potential sales you can make in-store.

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Invisible Safety Barriers: A Modern Design Approach Emerging During A Crisis

Today amid the world health crisis that has been witnessed, it was mandatory to find urgent guidelines and safety measures for the citizens. Therefore, new regulations were implemented using the concept of signage to help ‘draw the line’ of safety and as a result, the approach of ‘invisible safety barriers’ was introduced.

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4 Important Steps to Reopening Retail

Brick-and-mortar retail chains face the daunting task of reopening on a massive scale. An estimated 630,000 stores were closed during the pandemic, along with gyms, restaurants and other businesses. These closed businesses now have to reopen in a relatively short time period, on an unpredictable schedule, and in compliance with strict health and safety regulations that vary by state and even by city. This will be one of the largest logistics projects attempted in any industry, and it needs to be done perfectly to ensure the safety of employees and local communities.

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Design Details Stall Sidewalk Cafe Plans

Evanston's Design and Project Review Committee this afternoon turned down or delayed six of the eight requests it reviewed for sidewalk cafes.

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New Study Finds that 61% of Consumers Are Still Delaying Brick-and-Mortar Retail for Fear of Getting Sick

Ipsos Mystery Shoppers conducted in-store visits of over 5700 retailers across the U.S. and learned which brands are successfully implementing health and safety measures and which ones are not.

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