REAL ESTATE

Best Buy to sublet store space to smaller retailers

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Elaborating on previously announced plans to downsize its brick-and-mortar footprint, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said this week that the electronics retailer is launching plans to wall off parts of its big-box stores and sublease the space to smaller retailers, such as grocers, beauty supply stores, home furnishing outlets and others.

According to a Thursday report in the Los Angeles Times, Dunn said at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting that the chain can “reduce our overall square footage while actually increasing our presence. It’s an opportunity to capture cost savings and get ourselves ‘right size,’" he said.

According to the report, Best Buy hopes to lease out between 4,000 sq. ft. and 15,000 sq. ft. at its 46 stores in Southern California. Prospective tenants might include Trader Joe’s or Sephora, according to local brokers.

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REAL ESTATE

Staples unveils plans for smaller stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Framingham, Mass. — Staples has revealed plans to shrink its overall store footprint and grow its break rooms as a means to lower costs and increase sales productivity.

In a presentation to analysts at a Jefferies & Co. conference in New York City on Wednesday, Staples U.S. president Demos Pareros said new stores will be about 15,500 sq. ft. to 16,000 sq. ft., down from the current prototype of 18,000 sq. ft. and the 2000 prototype of 24,000 sq. ft.

Jefferies analysts reported from the conference that while Staples has been closing struggling stores, they don’t believe mass closures are on the horizon. The analysts said Staples managers said they can recoup 50% or more of sales lost when a store closes because customers will instead buy online or go to another Staples store nearby. The analysts also said Staples plans to offer more tablet computers and, in hopes of improving sales productivity, expand its break rooms.

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REAL ESTATE

Wisconsin to gain new Walmart, Macy’s and Target

BY Staff Writer

Milwaukee — A Wednesday report by the The Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee said that the Village of Greendale (Wis.) has approved a Walmart and garnered one of several approvals needed for a Macy’s at the village’s board meeting held Tuesday.

The board approved rezoning, a special use permit and other plans needed for a 92,000-sq.-ft. Walmart slated to include a pharmacy and grocery with two out-lots for future developments.

Gatlin Development Co., the company that’s developing the store for Wal-Mart Stores, didn’t give an estimated groundbreaking date, but Scott Satula, village director of inspection services, expects it to be soon, he said.

The village also approved exterior changes at Southridge Mall for the addition of a Macy’s department store. Macy’s still needs approval for interior changes, Satula said.

In related news, the Brookfield (Wis.) Common Council unanimously approved a rezoning request and site plan Tuesday for a 140,000-sq.-ft. Target store, Quebecor World a second-to-last step before final approval.

The store is part of a larger plan for a retail strip proposed by Ryan Cos. US, of Minneapolis, which could eventually include a restaurant, junior anchor tenant, bank and other retail stores.

The addition of a big-box retailer caused some concern among the city council and residents, and the council asked for several changes to the original plan from Ryan Cos., including greater architectural detail and landscaping enhancements. The requested changes were included in the approved site plan, according to Dan Ertl, director of community development.

Groundbreaking on the Target store is slated for Aug. 31, with store opening projected for October 2012.

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