News

Refinanced Boulder center opens with 90% occupancy

BY Al Urbanski

NewMark Merrill Mountain States this week issued a double-barreled press release: It closed on a $62 million refinancing of the Village at the Peaks and opened the Boulder-area center at close to 90% capacity.

The $100 million, 442,000-sq.-ft. had been under development for five years in a public/private partnership between NewMark Merrill and the city of Longmont. New financing was provided by Allianz Real Estate of America.

Tenants includes national brands like Whole Foods, Regal Cinemas, Gold’s Gym, Party City along with a complete roster of dining and necessity-based retailers like T-Mobile, Parry’s Pizzeria, Longmont Modern Dentistry, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and Brain Balance Achievement Centers.

”We are extremely proud of Village of the Peaks as a community center which we believe will provide extraordinary shopping, food, services and serve as a gathering place for a long time to come," said NewMark Merrill CEO Sandy Sigal.


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ECOMMERCE

Furniture e-retailer debuts live delivery tracker

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new service is increasing Wayfair’s customer service — and keeping its delivery drivers accountable.

In effort to transform what is considered a time-consuming, even frustrating process, Wayfair launched a new feature, called Day of Delivery Tracking. The live tracking service pinpoints delivery driver locations in real-time through an interactive GPS map.

On the morning of delivery, customers in available markets receive an email and text message linking them to a GPS map that illustrates the location of their Wayfair driver, and an arrival countdown once their driver is nearby. By tapping on a “click-to-call” smart link, customers will be automatically routed to either their local Wayfair delivery center or customer service, depending on their delivery status.

“With Day of Delivery Tracking, we’ve added a new level of transparency into exactly where items are and when they will arrive, so that our customers are free to relax, complete tasks, or run errands without the anxiety of missing their scheduled delivery,” said James Savarese, COO, Wayfair. “Day of Delivery Tracking is one of the many ways we are transforming the experience of shopping for home, not only through our unmatched selection, technological innovation and exceptional service, but additionally through our sophisticated proprietary logistics network, which is designed and optimized for furniture items.”

The feature is currently available in 10 markets, including New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta. Wayfair will continue rolling out the service to new markets throughout the year, including Denver, Detroit, Miami, Orlando, Cleveland and Richmond, the company said.

To see the live tracking feature in action, click here.

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Walmart in ‘brand’ new move against Amazon

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is about to debut a new initiative to bolster its defenses against its biggest rival.

The discounter's Jet.com site is launching a higher-end private-label brand of household and grocery essentials. The new brand, called Uniquely J, will launch in the coming months with a curated selection of products that include such essentials as coffee, olive oil, laundry detergent, paper towels, and more. Additional items will be added.

The new brand is designed for "metro Millennial consumers," said Meredith Klein, director of PR for Jet.com. It will feature custom-packaging illustrations by artists.

"Uniquely J brings together everything our customers care about — from quality to design and beyond — without tradeoffs," she said. "Instead of focusing in on any one aspect of product development, we’ve created a uniquely valuable brand experience that will speak to the metro Millennial lifestyle."

The initial launch will include more than 60 items, according to the New York Post. It reported that the products will be available exclusively on Jet.com for the first year, but will later be sold on Walmart's e-commerce site as well.

The new brand is seen as broadening the discounter's appeal to the type of younger, more affluent customer that is likely to shop at Whole Foods Market. The move comes as Amazon has been ramping up its own private-label food offerings. Its efforts took a bit step forward with the online giant's purchase of Whole Foods Market, whose 365 Everyday Day private-label line has been very well received. Amazon wasted no time to incorporate the Everyday brand into its own platforms, including Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry, and Prime Now.

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