FINANCE

Outlet centers trending up in the downturn

BY CSA STAFF

Baltimore Outlet centers are outperforming other formats in the shopping center industry, as a report by CoStar Property Analytics found that the category has experienced two consecutive quarters of declining vacancies.

According the report, outlet center vacancy hit a high of 5.56% at the end of first quarter 2009. Since then, outlet centers has trended positively and the outlet center vacancy rate now stands at 5.12%, far outshining the 8% to 10% average vacancy rates currently found in the lifestyle, power, community and neighborhood shopping centers categories.

According to a CoStar Property Analytics statistical forecast, outlet center vacancy could return to its lower, pre-recession level of less than 4% by the end of second quarter 2010.

One major contributing factor to this low vacancy is the level of positive net absorption within this category. Outlet center net absorption amounted to 1.1% of the category’s total square footage so far this year, which is a much higher level than other shopping center types — power centers have absorbed .8%, followed by lifestyle centers (.6%), neighborhood centers (-.1%), community centers (-.2%), and malls (-.3%).

The nation’s top outlet center landlords are also reporting steady leasing activity and lower vacancy at their outlet centers.

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Walgreens celebrates grand opening in Coney Island

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens is celebrating the grand opening of its 7,000th store nationwide at 2590 Coney Island Ave., in Brooklyn, N.Y. State. Local officials will welcome the retailer to another New York neighborhood during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new store in the Gravesend neighborhood, near iconic Coney Island, is Walgreens 20th in Brooklyn and its 67th across the five boroughs. The company employs more than 1,250 people in the city.

As part of the grand opening, the AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour is offering free health screenings to all adult attendees and flu shot vouchers to uninsured adults in the store’s parking lot on Oct 1. The appearance by the traveling health-screening bus is part of a nationwide tour of nine vehicles to deliver free health screenings across the country for early detection and prevention of diseases, as well as health education. Screenings test for total cholesterol level, blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels and body mass index.

The grand opening will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony, food, music and entertainment. Guest speakers include Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and other state and local officials. Walgreens also will donate $7,000 to Lenny’s Lighthouse, a Brooklyn charity that provides support to people with disabilities.

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Toys’R’Us builds a promotion with LEGO

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. Toys”R”Us announced that it has partnered with LEGO Systems to create “Bricktober,” a month-long event at Toys”R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com.

During October, Toys”R”Us will be promoting LEGO products with weekly deals, in-store boutiques, special events and exclusive items.

Every week during the month of October, Toys”R”Us stores and Toysrus.com will offer savings on all LEGO products. The deals begin with up to 30% off select LEGO products and with additional specials on more than 230 LEGO construction sets available at Toys”R”Us from Oct. 4 through Oct. 10, while supplies last.

 

Toys”R”Us is giving LEGO products dedicated boutiques in its stores that will feature the largest assortment of LEGO construction sets available. In addition, the retailer is offering exclusive LEGO products.

 

“‘Bricktober’ celebrates the influence that LEGO continues to have in building kids’ imaginations and the value that it offers to parents in terms of quality and longevity of play,” said Richard Barry, VP, divisional merchandise manager for Toys”R”Us, U.S. “With hundreds of sets to choose from, at a wide variety of price points, LEGO products offer affordable fun for the whole family at a wide variety of prices to fit any budget.”

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