REAL ESTATE

Best Buy opens first 24-hour store in New York City

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Best Buy Co. said Wednesday it will open its first 24-hour retail location in New York City’s Union Square.

Opening Nov. 13, the 48,000-sq.-ft. store will be located on the corner of 14th Street and 4th Avenue, in the heart of downtown Manhattan’s Union Square.

The company said the expanded hours will provide a much-needed resource for the downtown Manhattan community, including students from nearby universities and many people with nontraditional schedules.

“Today’s consumers have hectic lifestyles that don’t always conform to traditional retail hours,” said Brian Dunn, CEO, Best Buy. “New York has long been known as the city that never sleeps, making Manhattan the perfect location for our first 24-hour store.”

The new location will provide around-the-clock in-store service and support to customers, including Geek Squad services and in-store pick-up of items purchased via online or phone channels.

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REAL ESTATE

Hhgregg expands in Tampa area

BY CSA STAFF

Indianapolis Appliance and electronics retailer Hhgregg plans to open six new stores in the Tampa, Fla., area on Thursday.

The new stores are located in Hillsborough, Sarasota, Clearwater, Bradenton, Brooksville and Brandon.

With these openings, the company will operate 20 stores in Florida.

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Report: Shopping center vacancy rate hits 17-year high

BY CSA STAFF

New York City The vacancy rate at U.S. strip malls reached a 17-year high in the third quarter and mall vacancy was the highest in at least 10 years, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.

The downturn in the U.S. economy, slow consumer spending and the U.S. housing bust severely hurt new retail properties, 30% of which were completed with less than 50% occupied, Reis said in a report released on Thursday.

“Our outlook for retail properties as a whole is bleak,” said Victor Calanog, Reis director of research. “Until we see stabilization and recovery take root in both consumer spending and business spending and hiring, we do not foresee a recovery in the retail sector until late 2012 at the earliest.”

The third-quarter vacancy rate at U.S. strip malls, which include local shopping and big-box centers, rose 0.3% points from the second quarter to 10.3%, the highest since 1992, Reis said.

Asking rent at strip malls slid 0.3% from the second quarter to $19.22 per square foot and are down 1.9% from the prior year.

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