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Chick-fil-A and Zoe’s Kitchen to join Kroger at Springwoods Village

BY Al Urbanski

Regency Centers announced the signing of nine new tenants for The Market at Springwoods Village, a Kroger-anchored center slated to open in 2017 in the outer northern beltway of Houston.

New neighbors of the 100,000 sq.-ft. Kroger Marketplace will be Chick-fil-A; Cold Stone Creamery; Lovett Dental; Nails of America; MOD Pizza; Supercuts; Tarka’s Indian Kitchen; Torchy’s Tacos; and Zoe’s Kitchen. Retail space in the first phase of The Market totals 170,000 sq. ft.

Springwoods Village is an 1,800-acre master-planned, mixed-use community that is the site of ExxonMobil’s new headquarters. Regency partnered with Springwoods Village developer CDC Houston to build up to 50 acres of retail and, while most of that space will be taken up by gathering areas and splash pads to increase shopper dwell time, Regency VP of investments Abe Pacetti said he expects the ultimate build-out to be 385,000 sq. ft.

Phase one of The Market is 80% leased and committed with the new signings. “We will continue to pursue tenants that embody the live, work, play environment that is being built in Springwoods Village,” Pacetti said.

Regency VP of marketing and communications Jan Hanak said that Regency’s mission is to create properties that are “Internet resistant.”

“This has been our strategy for the better part of a decade,” Hanak said. “We look for dense and affluent markets, place a high-quality grocery anchor, and then try to find a complementary mix of retailers that fits the market.”

ExxonMobil opened its Springwoods Village campus a year ago, joining Southwestern Energy Corp. in the new community.

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Grocery giant invests in exit signs that put high-tech spin on glow in the dark

BY Marianne Wilson

The Kroger Co. is installing cutting-edge exit signs as part of a $4 billion store- investment program.

The chain is deploying photoluminescent exit signs developed by Cincinnati start-up MN8 at all new and renovated stores nationwide. The LumAware signs differ from standard glow-in-the-dark products in that they also emanate light. The signs, which consumer no energy, eliminate the need for batteries, light bulbs, electricity or maintenance.

"It is estimated that Kroger will save over $6 million and reduce its carbon footprint by over 50 million pounds over the next 15 years by transitioning to LumAware EXIT signs," said Keith Oliver, VP of facility engineering at Kroger, which operates 2,778 supermarkets under a variety of banners.

The new signs are part of Kroger’s recently announced plan $4 billion investment to open new stores and expand or renovate older ones.

The LUMAware signs are being manufactured by people with severe vision loss at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (CABVI).

"We use LumAware technology in our retail store locations because it aligns with our core value of safety and reinforces our commitment to give back to the communities we serve by providing job opportunities for people, especially those with disabilities," said Reuben Shaffer, chief diversity officer at Kroger.

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Six retail-related companies where people want to work … according to LinkedIn

BY CSA STAFF

The first-ever LinkedIn “Top Attractors” list of the most desirable companies to work is out, and several firms engaged in retail were included.

The list used proprietary LinkedIn data and examined actions of LinkedIn’s members to rank the top companies where people want to work now. The industries attracting the most job seekers in the U.S. include technology (45%), media and entertainment (13%), financial services (10%) and professional services (10%), among others. However, six of the companies ranked in the U.S. top 10 are retailers or have significant retail operations.

The most desirable company to work, Google, operates a large e-commerce marketplace. LinkedIn cited perks including on-site food, massages and guest speakers, as well as post-mortem benefits. Google also studies how to build teams and allows employees to work on important projects with other high achievers.

Facebook, ranked third, has a millennial CEO and offers four-month paid parental leave. The company also has strong revenue and offers the chance to work independently. Fourth-ranked Apple operates close to 500 stores globally as well as a direct-to-consumer business. The company provides most employees with restricted stock and is designing a new multibillion dollar corporate campus.

Fifth-ranked Amazon.com, the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, provides excellent salaries and such perks as the Amazon Career Choice Program, which pays 95% of tuition for in-demand fields. Microsoft, ranked seventh, operates more than 75 stores as well as a direct-to-consumer channel. Perks include an individualized career path, a corporate campus with numerous amenities, and career coaching, mentoring and training opportunities. Twitter, ranked ninth, is increasing the e-commerce capabilities of tweets and holds regular meetings between its leaders and employees to stress transparency.

Additionally, professionals point to notable CEOs, schedule flexibility and company growth as the most important attributes when considering where to work. While every company on the U.S. list fosters a certain culture, business model and leadership team, the list revealed some key themes. These include preferences for growth over revenue, well-known founding CEOs. And flexible work schedules.

LinkedIn partnered with Censuswide Research to carry out an online survey of 6,266 workers between May 18 and May 23, 2016. Countries surveyed were Australia, Brazil, France, India, U.K. and USA.

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