Chain Store Age names newest members to SPECS ‘Ambassadors Club’
In 2016, Chain Store Age unveiled its first-ever SPECS Ambassadors Club, created to recognize selected retail executives who have made significant contributions to the industry and to SPECS. Produced by CSA, SPECS is attended by retail and food-service executives who plan, design, build, and maintain stores and restaurants nationwide.
Now in its second year, the SPECS Ambassadors Club members will provide guidance on overall programming for SPECS/2018, as well as serve as ambassadors to the event and participate in conference marketing efforts.
Following is a listing of the SPECS/2018 Ambassadors Club.
• Bruce Brock, director of real estate, Hungry Howie’s Pizza & Subs
• Bill Chaff, VP, real estate & construction, bd’s Mongolian Grill and Flat Top Grill
• Sara Craven, former corporate design & construction regional director, Avis Budget Group
• Dan Garneau, site development manager, Kum & Go
• Lindsey Garza, director, health & wellness innovations, Wal-Mart Stores
• Eric Johnson, director of store planning, Brookshire Brothers Inc.
• Alan Norton, senior manager, health and wellness innovations, design & formats, Wal-Mart Stores
• Doug Pellock, VP, construction and purchasing, Marcus Theatres
• David Shotwell, senior director of construction and facilities, Cook Out Restaurants
• Kent Swank, senior director construction, The Home Depot
• Parke Wellman, DVP, store design, construction, visual merchandising, Helzberg Diamonds
Now in its 54th year, SPECS will host its 2018 conference in Dallas, at the Gaylord Texan, March 18-20. The event will focus on what’s next, and what is shaping the future of physical retail.
Specialty retailer sets sights on new market
The Tile Shop is entering the most populous metropolitan market in Texas
The specialty retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles has opened its first store in the Houston market, in the suburb of Webster. Throughout 2017, The Tile Shop will open several other stores in the greater Houston area, including a second location in mid-August, in Sugar Land. With the two Houston openings, the retailer will have a total of 132 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia,
“Houston is one of the nation’s most robust cities, and we believe Houstonians interested in interior design projects will be drawn to our industry-leading selection of premium products complemented by a unique in-store experience,” said Chris Homeister, CEO and president, The Tile Shop. To read a Q&A with Homeister, click here.
Similar to The Tile Shop’s other stores nationwide, the Houston location has more than 50 fully decorated, room-size displays providing design inspiration for homeowners, designers and trade professionals alike. It also features an easy-to-use collaborative platform, called Design Studio, where customers can create customized 3D design renderings to scale.
Target expanding its college store footprint
Target is hitting the books.
The discounter opened four small-format stores on or near college campuses in July, including one in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (University of North Carolina), Los Angeles (University of Southern California), Irvine, California (University of California) and Cincinnati (University of Cincinnati). Three more locations are set to debut this fall. (Click here to take a look inside one of Target's small-format campus stores.)
According to Target, food, especially grab-and-go lunch and snack items, tops the list of what college students shop for the most. Essentials like toothpaste, toothbrushes and body wash are big too, along with dorm décor and apparel. And quick stops for school supplies and tech accessories are popular.
"Going off to college is a new life stage — students are making their own shopping decisions for the first time,” said Mark Schindele, senior VP, Target Properties. “We want to help make students’ experiences fun and easy, serve up products and services they’ll love and show them the best that Target has to offer, so they become lifelong guests.”
The new college stores of part of Target's plan to open nearly 30 new small-format stores by the end of 2017, doubling its presence in dense urban and suburban markets and on college campuses. Currently, the retailer operates 45 small-format stores nationwide. It will operate more than 130 of them by the end of 2019.