REAL ESTATE

Cheesecake Factory, Swarovski, Ann Taylor to open at Mall at Short Hills

BY Staff Writer

Short Hills, N.J. — The Mall at Short Hills, in Short Hills, N.J., announced that The Cheesecake Factory, Reed Krakoff and Swarovski will open this summer, and Ann Taylor will debut a new concept store.

Opening in July is The Cheesecake Factory, and women’s fashion retailer Reed Krakoff will open in early August, the boutique’s first in New Jersey and fourth in the world. Swarovski will open a new boutique under its Crystal Forest retail design concept, its first in New Jersey.

This summer will also see the opening of Ann Taylor’s brand new concept store, replacing the current location on the lower level near Macy’s. This new concept store, the first to debut in New Jersey, is an extension of the brand’s rejuvenation and features a runway of mannequins down the middle of the store.

The Mall at Short Hills is anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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REAL ESTATE

Whole Foods co-chief sets goal of 1,000 U.S. stores

BY Staff Writer

Austin — Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb told investors at a Jefferies Global Consumer Conference that the now-300-store chain is expected to grow to 1,000 stores in the United States.

The organic grocer sees opportunity in Canada as well, and Robb said it expects to grow its store count there from six to 35.

As reported by Reuters on Wednesday, Robb said the tumult in the commercial property market has created opportunities for companies looking to expand, and Whole Foods has identified locations where it "can put some bets down and take advantage of that," Robb said. However, he added, the chain has left itself flexibility room to exit leases should the economy significantly worsen.

"We have some contingency plans so that if we needed to, we could slow down," said Robb, who added that leases now include exit and buyout clauses.

Robb said Whole Foods would give more detail on growth plans on the company’s next quarterly earnings call.

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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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