REAL ESTATE

Retail Springs anew in The Lone Star State

BY Al Urbanski

In 2000, the population of Conroe, Texas, north of Houston, was under 40,000. Today, the city named the fastest-growing in America (per U.S. Census Bureau) counts more than 80,000 citizens and newcomers are spilling over into neighboring communities.

One such is Spring, where the Houston Chronicle reports an upswing in new retail developments to keep up with the population.

This fall Regency Centers will open The Market at Springwoods Village in the town, a 167,231-sq.-ft. open-air center that will house Kroger, Mod Super Fast Pizza, Zoe’s Kitchen, Jinya Ramen Bar, and Natural Pawz. Springwoods Village is a master-planned community.

Also opening in town this fall will be The Shops at Spring Village, which so far has AT&T and Dunkin' Donuts lined up as tenants. It is being developed by Capital Retail Properties, which owns more than 50 commercial properties in the Houston area.


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ECOMMERCE

Quick-service giant delivers on-demand ice cream

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Baskin-Robbins is making sure its customers get their ice cream fix exactly when they crave it.

On July 6, the quick service company launched a service that enables customers in 22 cities to order ice cream online and have it delivered in under an hour. Through its partnership with DoorDash, Baskin-Robbins shoppers can order a variety of frozen treats — from pre-packed quarts to sundaes — either online or via the DoorDash mobile app. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.

Delivering ice-cream is a tricky business — particularly in the summer heat. DoorDash is using insulated carriers to ensure the treats don't experience a meltdown prior to delivery, Bloomberg reported.

The service, which charges a delivery fee, is currently available through more than 600 Baskin-Robbins locations across the country, ranging from New York and Chicago to Phoenix and San Francisco. The rollout follows a test in about 60 locations.

"We're excited to partner with DoorDash to offer our guests an ice cream delivery experience and give them another way to enjoy Baskin-Robbins ice cream treats from the convenience of their own home," said Carol Austin, VP of marketing for Baskin-Robbins, which is owned by Dunkin' Brands Group.

Baskin-Robbins operates more than 7,800 stores in more than 50 countries around the world.

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ECOMMERCE

Sam’s Club testing new delivery programs

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A warehouse club chain is making it easier for business customers to receive their online orders.

Sam’s Club is testing a business delivery program in Dallas. Besides enabling business owners to place orders online, new services offer members a choice in how they receive merchandise.

One option is next-day delivery, a service that drops merchandise right on the member’s doorstep. Members pay a flat rate, and no order minimum is required. A reorder tool assists repeat customers in choosing their preferred date and time of delivery. First-time shoppers are eligible for a $25 e-gift card with their first delivery.

For those members who prefer to forego delivery, Sam’s Club also offers Club Pickup to its Plus, Business and Savings members. This option enables members to retrieve online orders the next day at their preferred club location.

To make this process even easier, the warehouse club retailer is extending its drive-thru service. As members arrive at their preferred club, they check in, and pull into the drive-thru area where a Sam’s Club associate will bring their order right to their vehicle.

These options also augment Sam’s Club Scan & Go program, a mobile app that allows in-store shoppers to scan UPC codes on items as they load them into their cart. When members are ready to check out, they pay directly on their phone from anywhere in the club, bypassing the checkout line.

“These services allow Sam’s Club to deliver on convenience and save time for our busy members,” said Laura Ladd Poff, spokeswoman for Sam’s Club. “By offering Business Delivery, and expanded options like Club Pickup and Scan & Go, members are able to shop the way they want and save time and money.”

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