Gap to open stores in Serbia and Ukraine
San Francisco — Gap plans to open stores in Serbia and Ukraine later this year as its continues to expand its international operations.
The chain said Friday that it signed new deals with existing franchise partners that will put Gap stores in Belgrade and Kiev.
According to Stephen Sunnucks, the company’s international president, the Ukraine is the fastest-growing retail market in Eastern Europe, while Serbia has many young customers who enjoy shopping.
Gap has been making an international push, expanding from two to 24 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia over the past five years. The retailer, which has about 180 franchise stores, plans to increase the total to 400 by fiscal 2015.
Big-box retail veteran Leo Kahn dies at 94
New York City — Veteran retailer Leo Kahn, who developed his family-owned wholesale business into the Purity Supreme chain, co-founded Staples, and pioneered selling natural foods in supermarket-sized venues, died on Wednesday in Boston. He was 94.
Kahn was 69 when the first Staples store opened. He was in his 70s when he founded the Fresh Fields and Nature’s Heartland natural foods chains, both of which were eventually acquired by Whole Foods Market. (Purity Supreme became part of the Stop & Shop chain.) He also launched the Heartland grocery store chain, which in the 1970s was an early experiment in warehouse-style shopping.
“Leo was an incredibly savvy guy,’’ said Thomas Stemberg, who cofounded Staples with Mr. Kahn in 1986 and now is managing partner of the Highland Consumer Fund at Highland Capital Partners, the Boston Globe reported. “He had a huge brain, but he had an even bigger heart. Leo is one of the kindest individuals one could ever imagine.’’
“Leo Kahn was a brilliant food retailer who had vision, leadership, and strong competitive abilities,’’ John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. “I admired him greatly and was glad that I was able to meet him and learn from him over the years.
Kahn was well-known for his philanthropy, which included endowing two professorships at Harvard and encouraging education about the Holocaust.
Shaw’s portfolio acquired
Bryn Mawr, Pa. — WP Realty and Angelo, Gordon & Co. announced the acquisition of the Shaw’s portfolio, consisting of seven Shaw’s-anchored shopping centers and one free-standing Hannaford Bros. located throughout Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island.
The portfolio totals 659,143 sq. ft, is 97% leased and contains a mix of national, regional and local tenants. Shaw’s occupies 419,098 sq. ft. across the portfolio, Hannaford Bros. occupies 45,882 sq. ft., Staples 23,942 sq. ft., among others.