MOBILITY

Kroger’s King Soopers extend organic, omnichannel reach

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati —The Kroger Co.’s King Soopers division is tapping into consumers’ growing appetite for food delivery and natural and organic products with a new digital initiative.

The company has launched a new website that offers over 36,000 natural and organic products for customers who live in and around the Denver metro area. Every product is free from more than 101 artificial ingredients and preservatives that many customers prefer to be left out of products.

"Increasingly, our customers are looking for more simple, convenient and relevant ways to shop, whether it's in-store, on our website or on their mobile devices," Russ Dispense, King Soopers president, said.

Kroger said the eCommerce website is the next step in its effort to make seamless, omnichannel shopping a reality.

The new website uses the technology platform and ship-to-home fulfillment network of Vitacost.com, one of the largest pure eCommerce companies in the nutrition and healthy living market. Kroger completed its merger with Vitacost.com in August 2014.

The company will test the Denver-area website a prototype before replicating the experience in other markets.

"King Soopers has a long heritage of leading in the natural and organics space, so we are excited to launch our pilot in Denver,” Kevin Dougherty, Kroger's group VP of digital and Vitacost, said.

The new website “extends the in-store shopping experience to create a true 'endless aisle' experience with ship-to-home service for thousands more healthy foods, vitamins, minerals and supplements than are available in our stores today," he said.

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REAL ESTATE

CBL acquires mixed-use center in Chattanooga

BY Marianne Wilson

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Mayfaire Town Center and Mayfaire Community Center have been acquired by CBL & Associates Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The sale, which closed June 18, is not expected to result in immediate changes that will be noticed by consumers.

Once a horse farm, Mayfaire Town Center and Mayfaire Community Center have become one of North Carolina's premier shopping and leisure destinations.

"We are excited to add Mayfaire Town Center to the CBL portfolio," said Stephen D. Lebovitz, CBL's president and chief executive officer. " The mixed use complex has become a central part of the growing and dynamic Wilmington community. Customers visit for the great stores, restaurants, entertainment options and for the enjoyable experience. With our strong network of retail relationships, we see numerous opportunities to elevate this experience even further, delivering more of the premier brands and restaurants that residents and tourists have come to expect from the center.”
CBL is one of the largest shopping mall real estate investment trusts in the country, with more than 140 properties, including 90 malls and open-air centers.

The original Mayfaire ownership continues to believe in the
Mayfaire, the 400-acre mixed-use development, has been referred to as "the new downtown" and "the rising star of commerce" as this property continues to flourish after more than a decade since its inception. The property includes approximately one million square feet of retail including Belk's, Regal Cinemas, Dick's Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble, J. Crew, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. The development also partnered with several leading developers to attract two hotels (Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites), an office complex and over 700 residential units to the project

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DEVELOPMENT/REDEVELOPMENT

Brookwood Village unveils remodel plans for redevelopment

BY Marianne Wilson
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Birmingham, Ala. — Cypress Equities, the management company for Brookwood Village, announced its plans for updating the interior of the two-level shopping center that straddles the communities of Homewood and Mountain Brook.

The overall goal of the $20 million redevelopment plan is to reimage the shopping center in a way that connects with its targeted shoppers in the surrounding communities. This new approach creates a casually sophisticated setting reminiscent of homes that are found in the center’s immediate trade area. Contemporary modern architecture will be combined with traditional elements, accented by an eclectic mix of furnishings and softer finishes.

“Our fresh slant on the redesign of Brookwood Village is to convert it to a boutique shopping and entertainment destination,” stated Todd Minnis, chief investment officer for Cypress Equities. “We aim to create a hospitality-flavored experience with all the comforts of home.”

Work will commence as early as July 6 and be accomplished in four phases, with the overall interior project slated for completion by June 1, 2016.

The first phase of the project will encompass the east side of the upper level stretching from Macy’s to Kay Jewelers. Scheduled to be complete by the end of September 2015, the common area concourse between Macy’s and the Village Eatery Food Court will be updated with wood flooring. Soft seating areas will be positioned on spacious area rugs in a number of locations spaced along the hallway. The interior court positioned directly outside Macy’s entrance leading into the mall’s common area will feature sofas, coffee tables, ottomans and lamps, providing shoppers with a comfortable gathering place.

The second phase of renovation work will commence in early October on the opposite side of the upper level, encompassing the common area between the food court and Belk department store. The western concourse and end court will be treated in a similar fashion to the east side, with work scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015.

Two new elevators, with interior access points near each department store court, will be added allowing for better vertical transportation between the upper level of the shopping center and all levels of the parking decks. In addition, new family restrooms will be constructed adjacent to each of the department store courts, providing greater ease and comfort to a family’s shopping experience at Brookwood Village.

The third phase, beginning in January 2016, will focus on the existing food court and the central atrium on the building’s northern wall on the upper level.

The food court will be reworked to create a new distinctive dining destination that will include an array of tables for small, intimate meetings and large community tables for larger gatherings. Once complete, seating in the food court will accommodate approximately 370 diners. This space will highlight a combination of two-top, four-top and bar-height tables, as well as four showcase farm tables.

The central atrium will showcase warm wood tones in porcelain tile flooring and broad-loom carpeting, as well as exposed wood beams in the high ceilings. The existing half-octagonal windows, newly accented with floor-length drapes, will continue to allow for natural lighting to engulf the shopping center’s central gathering space. Additional lighting will be provided by decorative chandeliers and sconces. The area will host an abundant amount of soft seating options, including high-back chairs, stools, lamps plus decorative wood bookcases that replace metal handrails.

The third phase of renovations is slated for completion by March 31, 2016.

Finally, the fourth phase, beginning in April 2016 and slated to conclude in June 2016, will remodel the lower level common area. Directly inside the building’s main entrance off Village Lane, the foyer will feature a small soft seating area similar to the department store courts on the upper level.

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