REAL ESTATE

Chute Gerdeman opens New York office

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Chute Gerdeman, a global strategic brand and design firm, has opened an office in New York City.

“Our clients increasingly have sought our presence in New York,” said Chute Gerdeman chairman Denny Gerdeman. “As our business and client base have grown and evolved, having a base in this retail hub became a clear necessity.”

Gerdeman and co-chairman Elle Chute will split their time between the company’s Columbus, Ohio, headquarters and the New York City office, working alongside the New York-based team. Among the services offered by the New York CG offfice will be retail experience design, retail analytics, retail innovation consulting, visual merchandising and architectural implementation.

Chute Gerdeman CEO Rolfe Swinton said, “New York is the largest retail center in the U.S. and is also developing an incredible technology ecosystem. These two worlds are coming together in exciting ways through our work for our clients. We are thrilled to be involved in this nexus of innovation.”

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REAL ESTATE

Walgreens to reopen remodeled Union Square flagship

BY Staff Writer

New York — Walgreens announced the official grand re-opening of its newest 24/7 flagship store, located in Manhattan’s Union Square neighborhood. The store, which will open on Jan. 23, originally opened in 2001 and has now been renovated to feature Walgreens’ new “Well Experience” format.

The store’s expanded features include:

• An advanced printing and photo lab providing expanded printing capabilities that include a full photo lab processing 35mm film, posters, banners, photo books, folded cards and calendars – all available in one hour.

• Consumable offerings providing an fresh selection of professional chef-rolled sushi, sandwiches, wraps and ready-to-eat cut fruits and vegetables. Walgreens core food categories also include a wider range of frozen foods and entrees as well as expanded deli dairy items.

• A new checkout format for customers offering greater access to the main registers and arranged in a way that will guide customers through easily, making for an overall quicker checkout.

• Web pickup, which allows customers to access the entire store’s online item assortment and pickup purchases in-store. Once an order is picked, the customer will receive an email and/or text message notifying them that the order is ready for pickup.

• An expanded beauty and personal care section.

"Walgreens is thrilled to provide customers our newest New York flagship location — unlike any traditional drug store — in Manhattan’s historic Union Square," Skip Bourdo, Walgreens market VP, said. "This location has been transformed to become customers’ first choice for health and daily living, and we look forward to continuing to help the residents and visitors of the Union Square neighborhood get, stay and live well."

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REAL ESTATE

Corner Bakery Café bullish on expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — Corner Bakery Café in 2013 signed 12 new area development agreements with franchisees, adding commitments for more than 120 new locations and raising the total to more than 300 cafes under development as the company moves forward on its goal to double its U.S. footprint in the next three years. Currently, Corner Bakery has more than 160 company-owned and franchised locations in 17 states and Washington, D.C.

"Last year was the most significant in Corner Bakery Cafe’s franchising history," said Gregg Koffler, VP of franchise sales. "We plan to continue to capitalize on this momentum and have set our sights to continue our franchise development success in 2014.”

Corner Bakery Café’s development signings last year included 16 new cafes in the greater New York City area, 21 in Boston, seven in Oklahoma, nine in San Diego, 14 in Tampa, 10 in Northeast Florida, 13 in Phoenix, 10 in Wisconsin, 21 in Baltimore, five in Idaho and eastern Washington state and 10 in Westchester and Suffolk counties in New York.

In addition, Corner Bakery Cafe celebrated the opening of three new locations inside the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as the chain begins targeting non-traditional venues (NTV) as part of its overall national expansion strategy.

Looking ahead to 2014, the fast-casual brand is currently looking to expand to new markets in Alabama, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

"Based on the exceptional success we are experiencing with both existing and new restaurants, we are convinced that now is the time to be even more aggressive in our efforts to take Corner Bakery Cafe into new markets," Koffler added.

"We are coming off one of our most successful years in the company’s history. Twelve new development agreements representing more than 120 new cafes is a huge milestone for our brand," said Gary Price, Corner Bakery Cafe president. "Additionally, 2013 was a record-breaking year for the brand’s catering business, further solidifying our standing as a widely-recognized industry leader in catering services. All of this would not be possible without our new partnerships with experienced franchisees, new and continuing menu innovation and an increased focus on local catering efforts within our communities."

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