HOT CONCEPTS

Five Hot Stores for a Cold Winter

BY Marianne Wilson

The fall is always a busy time for new store openings as retailers head into their biggest selling season of the year. The five below are generating big buzz….as is the bonus one at the end.

1. Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, Seattle
The coffee giant spared no expense on its newest retail concept—the space is spectacular. Two years in the making, the Roastery is part retail store and part manufacturing facility—and all theatre.
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2. Nasty Gal, Los Angeles
In one of the most anticipated online to offline debuts to date, the teen fave lived up to its irreverent and sassy reputation with a store that sure to please its cult-like followers.
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3. Citizen Watch, New York
Watch stores generally don’t make for the most exciting retail, but Citizen Watch’s sophisticated store design and interactive features make it a stand-out.
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4. Ugg, McLean, Va.
Ugg Australia’s store at Tyson’s Galleria uses the latest in technology, including RFID, to offer a shopping experience that integrates the brand’s online experience in the physical space.
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5. Sport Chek, Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada’s Sport Chek brings digital technology to the forefront through more than 190 individual screens, 60 tablets, nearly 100 computers and interactive and gesture-enabled video walls.
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And a special bonus just for fun:
Zappos, Las Vegas – Leave it to Zappos to open a 20,000 sq.-ft. holiday pop-up that is open 24/7 round the clock! The store's POS system is connected to Zappos's distribution centers and shoppers are able to purchase anything the retailer carries from their smart device.
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News

Kroger taking on obesity epidemic

BY CSA STAFF

Kroger is highlighting its efforts to fight the U.S. obesity epidemic at a nutrition forum in Italy this month.

Kroger Group Vice President for Corporate Affairs Lynn Marmer said: "For nine consecutive years, we have lowered our costs of doing business and reinvested those savings in lower food prices that save our customers more than $3 billion every year. More recently, we have invested considerably in lower retail prices on fresh fruits and vegetables in our produce department, especially, which is expanding access to healthy foods for our customers. We are equally committed to caring for our neighbors in need. Our Perishable Donations Partnership contributes millions of pounds of fresh, nutritious items annually to food banks across the country."

Kroger's fresh food rescue program is responsible for 25,000 tons of fresh meat, produce, dairy and bakery items donated to food banks last year, which equates to more than 35 million meals of healthy, perishable food to help feed hungry families. Marmer also discussed tools for Kroger employees to improve their health, including an incentive program with measurable outcomes to improve workplace wellness.

Since 2010, Kroger employees participate in annual health screenings that measure blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, body mass index and blood glucose levels, the company said. The percentage of associates meeting targets in each of the four areas has increased from 2010 to 2013, demonstrating improvement in the health of Kroger's workforce.

"We want our workforce to be the healthiest in America," Marmer said. "More of our associates meeting health targets each year shows real progress toward that goal. We know that becoming healthier, both individually and collectively, improves our personal and work lives, and that benefits our customers, too." Kroger employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,631 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

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REAL ESTATE

Five top U.S. markets for luxury retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

New York – New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco rank at the top of the list, reporting the highest luxury sales in per square foot, according to JLL’s “The New World of Retail Report.” But while core metro areas ranked at the top of the list of preferred locations, several emerging retail markets like Dallas, Houston and Orlando possess the attributes for longer term success driven by ongoing population and income growth.

According to JLL’s report, luxury retailers continue to perform extremely well, having experienced double-digit increases in sales revenue in the last few years as their clientele was minimally affected by the economic upheaval. The affluent customer segment, which represents the top 20% of U.S. consumers who earn more than $100,000 annually, only accounts for one-fifth of the population, but 40 percent of all consumer spending.

“Luxury goods embody elegance and acute attention to detail, and the storefronts and locations that encapsulate these treasures must be as unique as the goods themselves,” said Michael Hirschfeld, senior VP of JLL Retail. “The retail elite typically flock to core cities where they tailor service and product mix to shoppers, but many of these metros are saturated and that’s pushing expansion in secondary cities.”

The study, debuting at ICSC’s New York Conference. tracks the expansion of 350 retailers across the United States and assesses the vitality and attractiveness of retail markets, examining why the classic real estate principle of location, location, location remains essential to the success of brands.

While the United States isn’t a developing country with fast-track growth, its stability provides a safe haven for brands that can’t be matched. The United States continues to be the market of choice for luxury expansion because of the strong population growth, the variety and size of its markets and the influence of the millennial generation creating demand for innovation in retail concepts.

Luxury retailers will continue to eye opportunities in the historically strong and most well-known markets, like Manhattan, but also follow the robust population growth and housing market, according to JLL.

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