FINANCE

Report: Strip-Mall Vacancies Hit 30-Year High

BY CSA STAFF

New York City U.S. store closings and cutbacks turned the second quarter into the worst for strip-mall owners in 30 years, as consumers flocked to low-cost warehouse-style grocery centers, according to the Associated Press, citing a recent report by real estate research firm Reis.

Strip malls saw average vacancies spike 0.5% points to 8.2%, a level unseen since 1995, according to the report released on Monday.

Vacancies at regional malls rose 0.4% points to 6.3%, the highest level since the first quarter of 2002, according to the preliminary results.

“They definitely came up weaker than our expectations and we’ve been pretty bearish on our outlook for retail for some time,” Reis chief economist Sam Chandan said. “In the market in general there have been a lot of store closings.”

For the first time since 1980, more space became available for rent at strip malls than was rented out—about 3.2 million sq. ft. more. Part of the available space came in the form of 5.7 million sq. ft. of new development that came on the market during the quarter.

The extra space translated into falling rents at strip malls, down 0.1% to an average of $17.60 per square foot.

Preliminary figures show that regional malls were barely able to raise rents, with just an anemic 0.2% rise excluding concessions, its weakest gain since the second quarter.

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Jewel-Osco reaches reusable bag milestone

BY CSA STAFF

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Supervalu-owned Jewel-Osco reported that it has sold more than 1 million reusable shopping bags.

Jewel-Osco began selling its green reusable shopping bags last August in all of its stores. Since then, the company has introduced a line of insulated blue bags designed to keep cold and hot products at temperature, as well as a few specialty printed reusable bags.

“We are seeing more and more people buying and using recyclable shopping bags,” said Keith Nielsen, president of Jewel-Osco. “This is likely due to the heightened awareness about the environment and the impact of plastic bags in landfills.”

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Zigerelli named ceo of Duckwall-ALCO

BY CSA STAFF

ABILENE, Kan. Duckwall-ALCO Stores has named Lawrence Zigerelli president and ceo.

Prior to joining Duckwall-ALCO, Zigerelli served as president of Meijer, where he provided strategic direction to 75,000 employees in more than 170 stores and the corporate headquarters. His responsibilities encompassed all functional areas including planning and finance, product development, marketing, merchandising, sales, operations, human resources, real estate, e-commerce, logistics and information technology.

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