The Crossings at Four Corners
Located just 10 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta in Smyrna, Ga., The Crossings at Four Corners is currently undergoing a complete revitalization. The 153,000-sq.-ft. redevelopment, which officially broke ground on Feb. 8, includes the installation of a new traffic signal at the north end of the property, the renovation of approximately 60,000 sq. ft. of retail space and the addition of several outparcels. The true core of the project, however, will be the brand new, 96,000-sq.-ft. Kroger Food store.
Tri-Land acquired The Crossings at Four Corners in 2006. The Illinois-based redeveloper saw this as an opportunity to redevelop a premier 20-acre retail site located at the high profile intersection of South Cobb Drive and Concord Road in Smyrna. While a number of redevelopment options were explored, it was clear to Tri-Land that the Kroger Company operated an outdated and underutilized, thirty-year-old store located diagonally across the intersection from the property. Despite the weak economy and the pullback by many retailers on their expansion plans, Tri-Land and Kroger closed the purchase and sale of a 7.5 acre portion of the redevelopment site in December 2010 and the construction is now underway.
The new Kroger store will feature a floral department, an expanded bakery, a wide wine and beer selection, a gas station and a drive-thru pharmacy window. In addition to the headlining anchor, The Crossings redevelopment includes the complete renovation of the remaining 60, 000 sq. ft. of retail shops, including new facades, storefronts, roofs, interior improvements, three new entry points, and new paving, curbs, brick paver accent sidewalks, new high intensity parking lot lighting and substantial new landscaping.
Prior to beginning redevelopment, Tri-land de-leased the entire project to enable the redevelopment to move forward. The company has now begun a strategic re-tenanting process based on tenant mix and other leasing considerations, with outlots and further expansion scheduled to move forward in 2012. Phase I of the redevelopment is off to a great start and is scheduled for a November 2011 completion. When all is said and done, The Crossings will be a modern 230,000-sq.-ft., pedestrian-friendly community destination retail complex.
Shoppers embrace recycling program
Target began its in-store recycling program just nine months ago, and some of the early numbers from the program are staggering. Between April 2010, when the program was launched, and December 2010, the company collected and recycled more than 170 million shopping bags and more than 1.4 million pounds of cans and bottles. In addition, the company said it collected roughly two million units of small electronic items such as MP3 players and cell phones.
Those are some big numbers to be sure, but as customer awareness of the company’s recycling capabilities in the coming year those figures are likely to look puny by the time Earth Day 2012 gets here.
Inflation isn’t evident at Easter
For all the talk of inflation this year, whether it is the price of cotton or the cost of food, Easter won’t cost any more this year than last year for shoppers who are selective in their purchases at Target.
The retailer featured bagged candy on the cover of this week’s circular at the same $2.69 price point as last year for the same quantities. Inside, felt baskets at $2, Peeps at two for $3, plastic eggs for 65 cents, plush characters at $4.99 and that carrot shaped cellophane thing filled with orange Reese’s Pieces at 99 cents were the same prices as the prior year.
In the toy category, year-over-year comparisons are tougher to make due to product changes. For example, last year Target offered a Nerf Raider 35-shot dart blaster for $29.99 compared with this year’s Nerf N-Strike Stampede, which offers fully automatic capability to fire 60 darts and comes with three clips for $34.99.
Overall, Target is being more promotional in toys this year in some key categories with some well known brands in hopes of generating multiple purchases. For example, shoppers can buy one classic game, such as Yahtzee or Candy Land, at the temporary price-cut price of $6.49 and get a second half off or receive a similar offer if they purchase a Lego or Barbie brand product. Last year, single price points were featured. In related categories, Target offered a kids 16-inch licensed bike for $59 and a Spalding portable basketball goal for $169, the same prices as last year.
Food is the one category where there has been the most buzz about inflation, but as long as Target shoppers avoid ham, which admittedly is hard to do at Easter, prices are fairly constant with the prior year.
Turkey breast at 99 cents, Swanson Chicken broth and Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup at 75 cents, strawberries at $1.99 a pound, pineapple at $2.49 and a one-pound bag of baby carrots for $1.49 were all the same as the prior year.
The most noticeable price increase was ham, which costs $1.99 a pound this year for the Archer Farms spiral cut compared with $1.59 last year. Broccoli and cauliflower are priced at $1.79 this year compared with $1.49 last year, and Target is charging $3.99 for its cinnamon muffins this year compared with $3.49.
Prices increased somewhat on a few other Easter essentials. Wicker baskets cost $1.50 this year versus 75 cents last year, Paas brand egg coloring kits are now $1.49 versus 99 cents and tin baskets in assorted colors are $5 compared with the more feature-rich wooden handled, licensed character buckets offered last year for $4.
Overall, families who do their shopping at Target for Easter will be paying essentially the same as last year, aside from the ham. It’s just going to cost a lot more to get to the store with gas prices in some parts of the country now above $4 a gallon.