FINANCE

NRF: Only 49.9% of shoppers have completed holiday purchasing

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The average holiday shopper had completed half (49.9%) of their shopping, slightly less than the 56.5% they’d completed by this time last year, boding well for retailers who are preparing for a very big holiday shopping weekend, according to the National Retail Federation’s latest holiday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Specifically, 32 million or 14% say they have not even started, while another 20 million, or 8.9% say they are already finished.

“There’s no question that the shortened holiday season has put both retailers and consumers in a rush to make the most out of the time that’s left before the big day,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “With two of the most important shopping weekends in front of them, retailers will do their best to pull in those final dollars with unique offerings for their in-store, online and mobile shoppers; consumers will definitely be doing their homework before committing to any gift purchase, however, making it even more important for companies to compete on value, price and digital offerings.”
According to the NRF, retailers are still on track to meet its holiday sales forecast of 3.9% growth.

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STORE SPACES

Schimenti completes ground up construction of two Target stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Ridgefield, Connecticut — Schimenti Construction Company completed ground up construction of two Target department stores, in Huntington and Staten Island, N.Y. — overcoming unique challenges exacerbated by Super Storm Sandy along the way.

While the hurricane did not cause major damage at either project, it did destroy fencing, displace materials and flood excavations. Both projects experienced fuel shortages, suffered delays in material supply, and required subcontractors to set up carpools to reach the worksites.

The $33 million, 140,000-sq.-ft., Staten Island project began in May 2012, was completed in September 2013, and opened to the public in October. All site and building work for this store was completed within the tight constraints of an existing mall with active retail tenants on all sides. Schimenti relocated the existing mall electrical feed prior to breaking ground and created an underground detention pond under the parking lot. The project architect was Robert M. Lucius Architects of Minneapolis.

The 151,000-sq.-ft. Huntington Target store was constructed on an 18-acre site in twelve months, concluding in October 2013. The scope of work for this $21 million project included building a 60-by 700-ft. evergreen retaining wall, a first for Schimenti.

Over six months, the company created the wall using a pre-cast structure, which eventually will be completely overgrown by ivy. The store’s walls were made of 230 pre-cast concrete panels, enabling the company to erect the building in just 10 days. To meet final elevations, Schimenti exported 50,000 cubic yards of soil. Architect was Mulvanney G2 Architects, Seattle.

Both Target stores are LEED-certified. Schimenti has completed more than 100 projects for Target.

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REAL ESTATE

Sportech to debut new sports concept

BY Staff Writer

New Haven, Conn. — Sportech Venues, owner and operator of Winners sports bars and OTB in Connecticut, will launch a major new concept in sports entertainment at the Bradley Teletheater adjacent to Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks. Construction concludes shortly, with the opening planned for early January 2014.

The sports bar and restaurant will seat three hundred customers and will feature 70 large screen TV’s, a golf simulator, meeting room, and outdoor dining alongside the already popular betting facilities. The main attraction will be a 17-ft.-wide LED video wall, which will take the experience of watching sport to a new level.

Connecticut-based architects Jones Byrne Margeotes Partners of Greenwich (JBMP) and Van Horst General Contractors of East Hartford were selected to design and build the project.

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