REAL ESTATE

Kohl’s opens eight stores; 50 remodels on tap for 2012

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Kohl’s Department Stores announced the opening of eight stores, bringing approximately 1,000 new jobs nationwide. The company now operates 1,134 stores in 49 states.

The new stores are located in seven states, including Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Of the eight locations, seven are small format stores with approximately 64,000 sq. ft. or less of retail space, providing greater real estate flexibility.

Kohl’s also continues to invest in its existing store base, and will remodel approximately 50 stores this year. Over the last six years, more than 60% of Kohl’s store base has been remodeled with innovation features or newly built. Some of these features include updated check-out stations, newly designed shopping carts and strollers, upgraded fitting rooms throughout the store and electronic signs in all departments.

Six of the new stores opening this week were built according to a prototype that received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Gold level from the U.S. Green Building Council. Characteristics of stores built to LEED standards include: recycled and regionally sourced building materials; water-efficient landscaping and plumbing fixtures and the use of Energy Star-rated roofs that reduce each building’s energy demand.

Green characteristics of all stores opening this week include waste management to recycle construction materials, occupancy sensor lighting for stockrooms, dressing rooms, break rooms and offices, energy management systems to control heating and cooling and a recycling program for cardboard boxes, hangers and packaging.

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Sacramento gets Fresh & Easy

BY CSA STAFF

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Tuesday made its Sacramento, Calif. debut with the opening of two new stores in the region. The retailer plans to open five new stores in the Sacramento area this month.

“’Fresh & Easy’ investment in our community is a significant milestone for District 8. Fresh & Easy is a smaller neighborhood serving grocery store that residents have been anxiously waiting for,” said Sacramento City Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell. “I am excited about this store and the second store to be built at the corner of Freeport and Meadowview. This is positive growth for our community.”

The three additional stores set to open in the Sacramento area include:

  • Joiner Parkway & Sterling Parkway

  • Elk Grove-Florin Road & Calvine Road

  • E. Natoma Street & Blue Ravine Road

“We are excited to officially open our doors in communities here in Sacramento and meet our new neighbors,” said Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason. “We look forward to Fresh & Easy becoming a solution for Sacramentans looking for easy meal ideas and a more affordable place to shop.”

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Coming soon: the beneficial effects of dissipating disruption

BY CSA STAFF

The most exciting news coming to Target stores this year isn’t some new designer exclusive or enhancement to REDcard Rewards, but rather a return to operational normalcy as the PFresh remodeling program winds down. This phenomenon won’t generate the same publicity as a Jason Wu pop-up store, but the impact on shoppers and sales promises to be greater.

Recall that Target this year had planned to remodel only 230 discount stores to the PFresh concept – well below the upwards of 350 units remodeled each of the past few years. Of the 230 stores receiving PFresh fresh food and general merchandise enhancements this year, Target on Thursday said it would complete 100 of the remodels this month with the remaining 130 units due for remodel opening in two groupings later this year. As a result, by the end of March there will be roughly 1,000 Target stores in the PFresh format with a total of 1,100 stores by year end, and Target will enter 2013 with only a small number of stores remaining that are suitable for the PFresh treatment. It may be a little premature, but this month essentially marks the completion of what has been one of the most extensive and rapidly executed remodeling programs the retail industry has ever seen.

That is welcome news on several fronts as operators will no longer have to deal with the complexity of running stores undergoing extensive remodel projects, and shoppers don’t have to wonder what is going on with “their” store or where merchandise is located. Target did a lot to mitigate disruption of the store experience during remodels with extensive way-finding signage to help shoppers locate departments and colorful floor-to-ceiling graphics, which concealed the extensive work underway to add fresh food. However, the remodel process is inherently disruptive, and even loyal shoppers were inclined to go elsewhere until the project at their store was completed while those who endured the disruption tended to buy less, which negatively affected same-store sales.

Those factors fall away this year as the percentage of stores within Target’s store base that are undergoing a remodel steadily declines and becomes a non-factor next year.

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