Mixing and Matching
As mixed-use projects continue to pop up around the country, the landscape has become at once more rigid and more flexible.
Rigidity surrounds financing; securing funds to build lavish mixed-use developments isn’t as easy as it once was. As one developer told Chain Store Age for this month’s special real estate supplement on mixed-use development, “If you have a project you want to build today, mixed-use or otherwise, you had better have a really, really good track record—and really good reasons for building what is planned. Because things have changed dramatically in the last year to year-and-a-half.”
A credit crisis, heightened bankruptcy angst and slowed retail expansion rates have taken a toll not just on mixed-use but on development as a whole. Yet, despite the economic crunch, mixed-use continues to proliferate, albeit more intelligently and at a smarter pace.
We talked with 14 different developers of mixed-use, and all agreed that mixed-use makes sense. The components vary—from retail and residential, to retail and office, to retail and hotel, to retail and civic uses and all of the above—but one thing remains clear: No matter how you slice it, retail is an important part of the mix.
In the project-profile section, you’ll see some of the mixed-use centers highlighted with a computer-mouse icon; be sure to check them out online at www.chainstoreage.com/realestate, where you’ll find additional information, including leasing details.
Staples partners with Blackhawk for gift cards
PLEASANTON, Calif. Staples has announced an exclusive partnership with the Blackhawk Network, the largest third-party provider of prepaid gift-cards, to carry Blackhawk’s Signature Gift Card Mall, currently found in grocery stores such as Safeway. Blackhawk’s Gift Card Mall features over 300 branded gift cards across categories such as fashion, tickets, electronics, home and sports.
“Consumers love buying and receiving gift cards, and putting the Gift Card Mall in Staples stores will make it easy and convenient for our customers to buy a wide variety of gift cards,” said Mark Mettler, senior vp and gmm at Staples.
“Staples is a valuable retail outlet for us because of its understanding of the B2B aspect of our business,” said Don Kingsborough, ceo of Blackhawk Network. “Working with Staples, we will reach small business owners and give them the ability to purchase prepaid gift cards for their employees in the same place they buy office supplies.”
Staples is the first office supply store to carry Blackhawk gift cards.
RadioShack appoints new chief marketer
FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack announced the appointment of Lee Applbaum to the position of evp and chief marketing officer. Applbaum will be responsible for advertising, brand management, customer relations management and marketing and will report to chairman and ceo Julian Day. He will also serve as a member of the office of the chairman, comprised of Day; Bryan Bevin, evp of store operations; Jim Gooch, evp and cfo and Peter Whitsett, evp of merchandising.
“Lee’s joining us at RadioShack represents another significant step in strengthening our senior management team,” said Day. “Lee’s background and successful track record position him well to add value to our brand.”
Applbaum began his career at Lederle Consumer Health, a division of American Cyanamid Co., shortly after earning his MBA in 1994 from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has also worked at The Coca-Cola Co., Schlotzsky’s, Footstar and The David’s Bridal Group, a division of Federated Department Stores. Immediately prior to joining RadioShack, Applbaum was the chief marketing officer for The Schottenstein Stores Corp.