REAL ESTATE

Red Lobster to remodel nearly 700 locations to updated design

BY CSA STAFF

Orlando, Fla. — Red Lobster announced a plan to remodel all of its nearly 700 restaurants across the United States and Canada to a design inspired by the seafaring village of Bar Harbor, Maine. Thirty-three percent of the chain’s restaurants will be remodeled by June 2011, with the goal of all Red Lobster restaurants receiving a remodel by 2014.

The new design, first developed in 2005, was selected after a rigorous, multi-year process that included guest focus groups, qualitative surveys and market testing. Interior features include cozy booths, warm wood paneling, softer lighting and nautical décor such as signal flags and seaside-inspired artwork.

Among the exterior features are a stone tower, ship lanterns, Adirondack-style chairs to encourage guest conversation and mingling, and window decals that spell out the types of seafood guests will find inside. Also featured: new signage with a contemporized logo and updated lobster icon and a new modifier highlighting Red Lobster’s signature fresh offerings.

“Our guests are at the heart of everything we do, and while their love for our delicious seafood and friendly service has never been stronger, they’ve expressed a desire for a more up-to-date atmosphere,” said Red Lobster president Kim Lopdrup. “We listened to their feedback and are very proud to now offer guests this beautiful new setting in which to enjoy a refreshing seaside dining experience.”

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REAL ESTATE

Gap to open permanent 1969 concept store in SoHo

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Robert K. Futterman & Associates said that Gap has signed a long-term lease to open a store for its Gap 1969 brand in Manhattan. The shop, which will feature Gap’s 1969 denim collection, will be located downtown in the SoHo area, between Spring and Broome streets. Gap 1969 is currently operating in a temporary space in the neighborhood.

Gap 1969 is scheduled to open in early spring 2011. It will occupy 2,800 sq. ft. of ground-floor selling space, and 3,000 sq. ft. in the basement and the sub-basement.

"Gap 1969 has been successful with its temporary location in SoHo and wanted a permanent location that could offer a wide-open floor plan allowing the brand to showcase its entire collection of merchandise on one level," said Ariel Schuster executive VP RKF.

This will be the third Gap 1969 store to open in the United States. Over the last two years, the brand has established outposts in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Gap 1969 focuses on premium 1969 denim and features hand-selected fashion-forward pieces from Gap¹s seasonal collections.

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Home Depot shutters its last Beijing outpost

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The Home Depot has closed its last store in Beijing, highlighting the difficulties that some western companies face when trying to transplant foreign business models into China.

Home Depot, which has closed five stores on the mainland in the past two years, is struggling to find the right business format for one of the world’s most difficult home-improvement markets, local analysts said.

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