REAL ESTATE

Report: Retailers’ expansion plans up 40% over last year

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Retailer demand for new locations is up across the board, according to ChainLinks Retail Advisors’ just-released "National Retailer and Restaurant Expansion Guide." The report details the current expansion plans for hundreds of the largest U.S. retail and restaurant chains.

“As 2010 came to a close, growth plans were up 30% from the levels we recorded last year,” said ChainLinks’ research director, Garrick Brown. “Following the strong performance during this year’s holiday sales season, many chains further upped their growth plans. Right now, expansion plans are up 40% over last year’s levels.”

Nearly every region in the United States is experiencing an increase, according to Brown, with the strongest surge in growth plans in markets where unemployment is lowest.

“The greater Washington, D.C., area remains highly desirable, as does the greater Eastern Seaboard from Boston to the Carolinas,” he said. “We have also seen a considerable increase in retailer requirements in the Chicago market. Texas remains extremely popular. And though both have elevated unemployment, both Florida and California have also seen a spike in retailer demand in most markets. Regardless, numbers are up across the board whether in the Pacific Northwest or the Gulf Coast states.”

According to the report, some of the most active retailers currently include

  • 7-Eleven is hoping to open as many as 350 stores in the United States and Canada this year.
  • 99 Cents Only is planning on at least 25 new units.
  • Aldi is planning on at least 100 new stores in 2011.
  • Apple will add at least 50 new stores in 2011.
  • AT&T: Expect at least 100 new cellular stores this year.
  • Bottom Dollar Food could add as many as 110 stores in 2011.
  • Burlington Coat Factory is planning on at least 20 new stores.
  • Chico’s could add as many as 40 units in the next 18 months.
  • Citi Trends may open as many as 65 new stores this year.
  • Dollar General plans on 625 new stores in 2011.
  • Dollar Tree will open as many as 275 stores this year.
  • Family Dollar has 300 stores on tap for 2011.
  • Five Below plans on at least 50 new stores this year.

Click here for a complete list of the retail and restaurant chains with the most active expansion plans.

Founded in 1979, ChainLinks is the leading retail real estate advisory services organization in North America serving America’s premier retailers, landlords, and investors.

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Apparel industry joins forces to promote sustainability

BY CSA STAFF

VENTURA, Calif.— The apparel industry has come together to form a coalition dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products sold around the world. According to a press release, the group, to be known as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition will consist of leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic experts and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The group’s stated goals include spotlightingpromising technological innovations and identifying opportunities for improving current social and environmental practices throughout the supply chain by collaborating to establish consistent expectations for brands, retailers and manufacturers.

The goal of the Coalition is to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built on an industry-wide index for businesses to use to measure and evaluate apparel and footwear product sustainability performance. The tools will be developed with involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, and the metrics will be fully transparent to encourage broad adoption of the index globally. To accomplish this, the Coalition will draw on the work of different efforts to measure and track apparel sustainability including the Outdoor Industry Association "Eco Index" and Nike’s "Environmental Apparel Design" tools. The group has been working together informally since early 2010, and will begin beta-testing the initial version of an apparel and footwear sustainability index in 2011.

Founding members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition include Adidas, Arvind Mills, C&A, Duke University, Environmental Defense Fund, Esprit, Esquel, Gap Inc., H&M, HanesBrands, Intradeco, JC Penney, Kohl’s Department Stores, Lenzing, Levi Strauss & Co., LF USA, a division of Li & Fung Limited, Marks & Spencer, Mountain Equipment Co-op, New Balance, Nike, Nordstrom, Otto Group, Outdoor Industry Association, Patagonia, Pentland Brands, REI, TAL Apparel, Target, Timberland, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Verite, VF Corp, and Walmart.

"The largest and most influential corporations in apparel and footwear together with leading environmental and social organizations have voluntarily engaged in this collective effort because they recognize the opportunity to get in front of the growing need to measure and manage the environmental and social impacts of their products," said Rick Ridgeway, coalition chair and VP environmental programs Patagonia. "More importantly, they recognize the threat to the planet and its inhabitants by continuing the model of ‘business as usual.’"

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GNC ventures into warehouse clubs

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH and BENTONVILLE, Ark. — GNC is making its foray into the warehouse club for the first time by offering select private-label products at Sam’s Club locations.

GNC’s products will boost Sam’s Club’s current health-and-wellness offerings by extending GNC’s specialty retailing brand to mass-market customers.

This month, approximately 400 Sam’s Club locations will introduce the 2-lb. container of GNC Pro Performance AMP amplified 100% whey protein, as well as the 1.7-lb. bottle of GNC Total Lean lean shake, a diet product. The products will retail for $18.98 and $22.98, respectively.

"Through this exclusive alliance with GNC, a leader in the nutritional products industry, our Sam’s Club members will have access to this high quality brand of these popular dietary supplements at a great value," said Jill Turner-Mitchael, Sam’s Club health-and-wellness SVP.

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