REAL ESTATE

A&G Realty to dispose of 1,100 RadioShack stores

BY Michael Fickes

Following RadioShack’s surprise announcement that it will close 1,100 stores in an attempt to staunch the flow of red ink, the company has retained Melville, N.Y.-based A&G Realty Partners to manage the disposition.

“In the coming weeks we’ll be working with our landlords to find an efficient and cost-effective means to exit these unprofitable locations, and as such, we’ve engaged A&G Realty to assist us in this process,” said John W. Feray, RadioShack’s CFO, during a March 4 earnings conference call.

What will A&G Realty do? “We expect this may involve a negotiated lease termination payment in some cases,” continued Feray.

While lease termination payments may require relatively large cash outlays, Feray went on to say that those costs would be more than offset by cash generated from the liquidation of the inventory in those stores when they closed.

“Overall, we expect this to provide a benefit to liquidity,” Feray said.

While company officials speaking on the earnings conference call expressed optimism that the store closures and other cost containment efforts would turn the company around, many in the media weren’t buying it.

The headline in The Atlantic magazine read: “RadioShack is Doomed.” The Economist magazine’s blog trumpeted: “Dead brand walking.” The headline in Forbes said: “Will 1,100 Stores Closures Save RadioShack? Probably Not.”

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REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom to open second location in greater Austin market

BY Staff Writer

Seattle — Nordstrom announced plans to open a full-line store at The Domain in Austin, Texas. The two-level, approximately 123,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2016 and will be the company’s second full-line store serving the greater Austin area. The Domain is owned and operated by Endeavor Real Estate Group.

"We are thrilled to have Nordstrom joining the existing tenant base at The Domain. Their presence will reinforce The Domain’s position as the premier outdoor shopping destination in the State of Texas," said Ben Bufkin, principal, Endeavor Real Estate Group. "Given the Nordstrom commitment to first class customer service and quality merchandise, they are the perfect anchor for the next phase of The Domain."

Nordstrom will anchor the third phase of The Domain’s expansion. When completed, the 304-acre development is expected to include 1.8 million sq.-ft. of retail space, 5,000 residential units, 3.5 million sq.-ft. of office space and 800 hotel rooms. Nordstrom currently operates three stores in the Austin area including a full-line store at Barton Creek Square and a Nordstrom Rack at Gateway Center and at Sunset Valley.

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REAL ESTATE

Kroger plans North Texas expansion, store refresh

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – Within the next 24 months, Kroger will build six new stores and expand three locations, along with opening multiple fuel centers and remodeling existing properties in the North Texas area. Kroger has already begun a store refresh program in the region that includes lower prices on thousands of popular food and household items, along with a renewed emphasis on shopping experience, fuel discounts, local products and community relations.

Through the new investment, Kroger has lowered prices on items customers purchase most frequently, ranging from fruits and vegetables to grocery and household staples. National and private label brands are included in the price reduction.

In response to customer feedback, Kroger has installed new technology that allows stores to deliver a faster checkout experience. Kroger is striving to have more registers open, especially during peak shopping times, to keep shoppers’ wait time to a minimum.

"We’re a strong brand and company but we’ve achieved that status because we’re always looking for improvement opportunities. Kroger currently serves 662,000 households every week in the North Texas market with 86 locations and we continue to expand those numbers," said Bill Breetz, president of Kroger Southwest. "We know that price is important to every customer, and at times, can be a deciding factor where to shop. With our Refresh initiative, we’re making a multi-million dollar investment to reduce prices across the store and reengaging our employees to offer highly-satisfied customer service."

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