Retail Hit List for Manhattan: 12 New Stars
It’s hard to keep up with Manhattan’s fast-changing retail scene. But no one does it better than Faith Hope Consolo, chairman, retail leasing and sales division, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Here are new and upcoming stores that Consolo, often referred to as the “Queen of Retail,” expects to be “fashionably” fabulous this year (with all comments by the Queen of Retail herself):
- Uniqlo, 666 Fifth Avenue: Continuing its expansion around the city after its Soho store, this giant flagship from Japan will offer the latest casual trends at value prices.
- AllSaints: From clothing to homeware, AllSaints offers a British take on casual style ((411 West 13th Street).
- James Perse: Coming east from Los Angeles, Perse’s high-quality t-shirts, hats and other apparel for men, women and children have become mainstays for Hollywood. And Perse has retail in his blood — he grew up hanging around his father’s store, LA celebrity haunt Maxfield (60 Mercer Street).
- Comptoir de Cotonniers: Looking for fashion-forward mother-daughter outfits? This French company offers chic combinations for girls and women (345 Bleecker Street — 184 Columbus Avenue).
- Alexander Wang: 345 Bleecker Street Handbags, shoes, women’s t-shirts — Wang does them all with clean, classic but luxurious designs (184 Columbus Avenue — 103 Grand Street).
- Joie: Available at some of the best department stores and specialty boutiques, Joie’s line offers casual, but feminine clothes, particularly in cashmere. Her first specialty boutique will truly allow a full presentation of the line (1200 Madison Avenue).
- Tincati: Menswear from Milano — the top brands in a carefully edited selection, allowing the stylish man a one-stop shop to look his best (Madison at 63rd Street).
- Ivanka Trump: Diamonds, beads, and gems in attention-getting designs — this is jewelry for the confident woman. Not surprisingly, the location is in Trump Tower (721 Fifth Avenue).
- Tory Burch: Burch’s third store in the city will continue to offer her classic American sportswear and accessories at more accessible prices — and a bit of colorful flair (797 Madison Avenue).
- Chocheng: The Hong Kong couture house offers elegant women’s wear. Cho Cheng, in fact, has been named one of China’s top five designers (838 Madison Avenue).
- Joe Fresh: Joe Fresh has been offering affordable, stylish fashion in stores across Canada. Now it’s making its U.S. debut (510 Fifth Avenue).
- Tommy Bahama: Want to feel like you’re visiting your favorite tropical island? Tommy Bahama’s leisure wear, accessories (and even his own rum) will take you straight to the Caribbean, at least in spirit (551 Fifth Avenue).
Focus on: Redevelopment Strategies
As vibrant as the supermarket sector has remained throughout the recession, not a single grocery operator will tell you that gaining, or maintaining, market share has been a snap.
Even the most successful supermarket retailers have had to continue to reinvest in their stores and their markets in order to keep their footing on a slippery economic slope.
Price Chopper is no exception. The locally owned group of 49 stores in the Kansas City metro area has forged tactical alliances and invested millions to maintain its No. 1 position in the communities that make up Kansas City.
According to Pete Ciacco, president of Price Chopper Enterprises, LLC, the grocer’s commitment to the market was never in question, even during the downturn.
“As a locally owned company, Price Chopper is committed to reinvesting in our communities,” Ciacco said. “Reinvesting in communities that have supported us over the last 33 years is an easy decision.”
The process, however, has been anything but easy. Several of Price Chopper’s most key projects were the result of a complex market strategy that allowed the grocer to achieve significant savings and logistical advantages.
Steering the market strategy is Tri-Land Properties Inc., Westchester, Ill., a real estate company that leverages economies of scale to maximize market entry or expansion. Tri-Land’s approach is to purchase several shopping centers in one market and establish strategic partnerships toward streamlining the projects and securing supplemental funding.
In Kansas City, Tri-Land implemented a tactic that it has employed for decades in markets such as Chicago, Minneapolis and Indianapolis. It involves upfront analysis to reveal a whole-market picture, followed by multiple acquisitions and a blueprint for maximizing that multiplicity.
“We entered Kansas City in 2004 with one acquisition — Cherokee South Plaza, in Overland Park — and layered an additional three-property purchase two years later,” said Richard Dube, president, Tri-Land Properties Inc.
Brywood Centre (Kansas City, Mo.), 10 Quivira Shopping Center (Shawnee) and Devonshire Village (Olathe) — along with Cherokee South — comprised Tri-Land’s acquisition foothold in the market. But the multiple purchases were just the beginning.
“Market leverage begins with the strategic acquisitions, and the next step is to establish the right relationships,” Dube said. Tri-Land’s first major alliance was David Frantze, an attorney with Stinson Morrison Hecker, who navigated the complexities that make up the real estate landscape in Kansas City. Frantze’s familiarity with the market and its players allowed Tri-Land to obtain Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the Cherokee South and Brywood redevelopments.
The other major alliances — architects, engineers and general contractors — were just as paramount to Tri-Land’s market entry. “We’ve spent $25 million so far on the projects in Kansas City and will spend another $15 million to $20 million,” Dube said. “So having the right architects has helped us to understand how to get the projects permitted, designed and built.” Dube added that Tri-Land > has been able to achieve economies of scale by using the same general contractor whenever TIF criteria will allow.
For Price Chopper, the process has been a boon. An anchor tenant in the Brywood Centre, Tri-Land’s investment in redeveloping the exterior facades and common areas of the shopping center allowed the grocer the opportunity to expand and renovate its store with far less of its own money.
“We appreciate Tri-Land’s efforts to reinvest in an area that is so important to us,” Ciacco said. “We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.”
The first phase of Brywood Centre’s redevelopment is 80% complete, with two more phases slated for completion in 2012 and 2013.
Disney Expanding Interactive Format
Princess castles with RFID-enabled “magic” mirrors, sparkling trees with projected video and high-definition theaters will materialize in more Disney Store locations this year as the company continues the rollout of its interactive store format. Disney plans to expand the concept — designed to deliver “the best 30 minutes of a child’s day” — to 25 new and remodeled locations globally in 2011.
The new design debuted in June 2010, in Montebello, Calif., and is now in place in 19 locations. The goal is to eventually transform all 350-plus Disney retail locations around the world. Among the international sites on tap this year are Disney’s first-ever stores in Copenhagen; Dublin; and Antwerp, Belgium. On the home front, the format will open in Seattle’s Westfield Southcenter and at Bellevue Square; Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn.; and Fashion Center, Chandler, Ariz., among other locations.
“Our long-term plan is to maintain store count within our existing markets while exploring opportunities for emerging markets,” said Stephen Finney, senior VP global retail operations, Disney Stores Worldwide, Pasadena, Calif. “Investing in specialty retail is no trivial undertaking.”
Shoppers have responded enthusiastically to the concept, according to Disney.
“Disney fans have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new store design,” Finney said in a presentation at the National Retail Federation’s 100th Annual Convention & EXPO. “Traffic patterns have dramatically increased through our new stores, shoppers are turning into higher-margin purchasers, and our guest satisfaction scores are improving in every [new store] location.”
A Disney survey of the new stores uncovered an average 20% uptick in store traffic and a 25% sales and margin improvement, with 90% of guests saying the experience brought them “closer to the magic of Disney,” Finney reported.
Meanwhile, Disney is already planning for enhancements to the concept, with its next generation of store features under development. The company is looking into face recognition tools to create even more personalized and interactive guest features.
“We want to be even more interactive, individual and in-touch with Disney fans,” Finney said.
For example, guests can select the Disney entertainment of their choice in the in-store theatre area. But in the future, they may be able to actually become a part of the act. In another possible enhancement, guests, using their own interactive devices, might be able to select the content projected onto the leaves of the store’s trees.