DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Grocer bullish on expansion in 2017

BY Marianne Wilson

Sprouts Family Market is expanding its footprint.

The Phoenix-based grocer plans to open 35 stores in 2017, with 11 of the locations opening in the second quarter of the year.

The 11 stores opening in the second quarter include three in California, two in Georgia, two in Florida locations, two in Texas locations and two in Colorado, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

“As Sprouts continues to grow, we’re deeply invested in enhancing our operations and developing our team members so they can deliver the best experience possible for our guests,” stated Dan Sanders, chief operations officer, Sprouts Family Market. “Sprouts team members are inspired by the company’s growth and our ‘healthy living for less’ approach to grocery shopping, and we offer tremendous opportunities for career progression, especially in the Southeast."

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Amazon opening more bookstores

BY Marianne Wilson

New Yorkers will have a new way to browse Amazon’s best-selling book titles — in a physical store.

Later this year, the retail giant will open a bookstore at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. Also on the slate for 2017 is a location in Chicago, and the Boston suburb of Dedham, Mass. Stores are also planned for Lynnfield, Mass., and Paramus, N.J.

Amazon’s first physical bookstore opened in Seattle in 2015, followed by two additional locations, in Portland, Ore., and San Diego. The format looks like a traditional bookstore, but uses online data to determine which titles to stock.

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FINANCE

A less-than-merry holiday for department store retailers — including Penney

BY Marianne Wilson

Poor holiday sales results from Macy’s, Sears, and Kohl’s do not bode well for the already embattled department store sector. And now J.C. Penney has reported its own disappointing results.

The retailer said its same-store sales, which include e-commerce and physical sales, fell 0.8% in November and December, weighed down by weakness in apparel. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison stressed that the company’s turnaround in profitability remains on track, and that it expects to deliver its fourth consecutive quarter of positive operating profit (on Feb. 24).

Ellison cited a slow start to the holiday season, and called the first three weeks of November “challenging in the stores, consistent with the trends in the broader retail industry.” But he said the business improved and overall comp sales for the six-week period from Thanksgiving week through the end of December were positive.

“During the holiday season we saw strength in appliances, outerwear, boots, toys, Sephora and fine jewelry,” Ellison said. “However, weakness in women's apparel continued to impact our performance. We are also encouraged by a very strong performance in our e-commerce business, evidenced by double-digit growth.”

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