REAL ESTATE

American Girl to open in St. Louis area

BY Staff Writer

Middleton, Wis. — American Girl, a division of Mattel, will open a store at Chesterfield Mall, in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Mo.

The 10,850-sq-.ft. American Girl store is slated to open in spring 2012.

"The American Girl store is a welcome addition to our great lineup of retailers at Chesterfield Mall," said Howard Grody, senior VP leasing for CBL & Associates Properties. "American Girl is very selective when choosing retail locations and by deciding on Chesterfield Mall as its St. Louis destination of choice, it sends a clear message to the community.”

American Girl opened its first store, American Girl Place, in Chicago, in 1998. Two more flagship stores, American Girl Place New York on Fifth Avenue and American Girl Place Los Angeles at The Grove, opened in 2003 and 2006 respectively. Additional retail stores opened in Atlanta and Dallas in 2007, in Boston and Mall of America in Minneapolis in 2008, Denver and Kansas City in 2010, and Washington D.C., and Seattle in 2011.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap details growth strategy; will test Piperlime store

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Gap reaffirmed the company’s commitment to reducing square footage at home while aggressively growing its online revenue and international presence during a presentation to investors in New York City. Gap also revealed that it will explore a brick-and-mortar store for its online-only Piperlime division next year.

Gap said it is on track to its goal of a 10% reduction in overall store square footage (as compared with 2007) in North America by the end of fiscal 2012. Gap’s namesake brand will cut its square footage 34% overall (compared with 2007 levels), resulting in 700 U.S. and Canada Gap stores and 250 Gap Outlet stores at the end of 2013.

The plan for Old Navy is to have roughly the same number of stores in North America, but with a smaller footprint, The chain expects to potentially remove another 1 million sq. ft. by fiscal year end 2013.

The company is growing its new athletic apparel brand, Athleta. The division is on target to have opened 10 stores in North America by the end of fiscal year 2011, and 50 locations by the end of fiscal 2013,

Gap’s e-commerce sales were up 19% in the first half of the year. The retailer expects the direct division to hit $1.5 billion in revenue by yearend, and to reach $2 billion in revenue and operating income of $500 million by the end of fiscal 2014.

On the international front, Gap will debut Old Navy abroad within 18 months, opening in Japan. It plans to nearly triple the number of Gap stores in greater China from roughly 15 by yearend to about 45 by the end of 2012. The first Gap flagship in Hong Kong is set to open in a matter of weeks on Queen’s Road, as is the company’s first Banana Republic flagship in Paris later this year.

Gap International president Stephen Sunnucks said the company’s new stores are performing well in China and Italy, and the franchise business experienced 48% revenue growth in the first half of fiscal 2011. The company expects to double its franchise stores to about 400, by the end of fiscal 2014.

The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2011 full year earnings per share guidance of $1.40 to $1.50.

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REAL ESTATE

JLL to manage Heritage Mall

BY Staff Writer

Albany, Ore. — Atlanta-based Jones Lang LaSalle said Tuesday it has been named as the property and leasing manager for Heritage Mall, a 407,354-sq.-ft. regional shopping center located in Albany, Ore.

Located at the heart of Albany’s retail district, Heritage Mall is the dominant regional center in its primary trade area. The shopping center houses more than 60 retailers and restaurants and is anchored by Target (whose regional distribution center is also in Albany), Sears, Ross Dress for Less and Old Navy. The property’s 2006 remerchandising operation modernized and expanded the space to attract apparel, home furnishing and food tenants, such as Carinos Italian Grill, rue21, Kay Jewelers, Maurices, GameStop and Sally Beauty Supply.

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