Retailers in expansion mode
New York — Retailers making headlines with store expansion plans for 2015 include a mix of global players as well as some familiar national brands. Here’s an update:
• Famed British toy retailer Hamleys is coming across the pond. The 225-year old company is looking at a multiple store roll-out throughout the United States. Hamleys, which has 49 stores across 17 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, is most famous for its seven-story location on Regent Street in London.
• British women’s activewear brand Sweaty Betty plans to expand its U.S. footprint, and has received a strategic growth investment from U.S. private equity firm Catterton to that end. It currently operates 40 plus stores in the United Kingdom, and two in the United States, where it recently launched a website.
• Fast-fashion giants H&M and Forever 21 are in full expansion mode. Forever 21 has plans to open 600 stores over the next three years; Swedish powerhouse H&M has committed to 400 global stores in 2015, with an emphasis on the United States and China.
• For GNC, 2015 is a year of expansion. The retailer plans to open 125 total net new domestic (including both company-owned and franchised stores), and approximately 30 net new GNC-Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations.
• Whole Foods Market hole Foods Market has set itself an ambitious agenda for 2015 with 38 to 42 new store openings, and 200 store refreshes.
• Tractor Supply Company will open 110 to 115 stores and build a new Southwest distribution center, in Casa Grande, Arizona. Tractor Supply Company has increased its domestic store growth target to 2,500 stores from 2,100 stores.
• Fast-casual restaurant chain Newk's Eatery plans to open nearly 30 new corporate and franchised locations.
Houston Galleria to undergo $250 million transformation
Houston — Simon is further elevating its signature Houston Galleria by investing in a $30 million renovation of the luxury wing in addition to adding a new Saks Fifth Avenue flagship, 110,000 sq. ft. of new retail space, and a 14,000-sq.-ft. freestanding retail building.
In all, Simon is spending $250 million on The Galleria, upping the design-and-amenities ante on an already popular shopping destination. Renovation work is slated to begin this spring, and will include major interior enhancements around a new color palette of black and white. Common area flooring will be upgraded using white marble with polished black granite accents. The common areas will also boast elevated lighting and ambiance, new soft seating and rugs, and enhanced interior landscaping. The food court will be transformed with upgraded tile, lighting, furniture and a more compelling offering of dining options.
The Galleria recently broke ground on a freestanding, high-concept space spanning 14,000 sq. ft. along Westheimer Road. Designed with a striking visual facade, the building will feature significant use of glass framed by a combination of wood and metal to create an appealing sense of transparency.
The building will welcome the first of two tenants this November. Luxury fashion retailer The Webster will open its first store outside of Florida at The Galleria. Completing the collection will be a high-end, international restaurant concept opening in 2016.
As The Galleria's sole freestanding retail structure, the location will be connected to the property via a covered walkway.
The design company handling this project is JPRA Architecture and the contractor/architect of record is Beck.
Opening elsewhere in the project are additional new retailers: In 2015, Italian lingerie company La Perla will open its first Texas store at The Galleria; it will be located on street level near Neiman Marcus. Tod's, known for handmade shoes and luxury leather goods, will open this summer also near Neiman Marcus.
French ready-to-wear and leather goods luxury brand Celine is slated to open its first boutique in Texas at The Galleria in 2016.
Also in 2016, Saks Fifth Avenue will relocate to a new, state-of-the-art, 200,000-sq.-ft. flagship store adjacent to its current location. Once the new Saks store is open, Simon will convert the existing Saks store into a new multi-level mall extension anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue on one end and Neiman Marcus at the other and featuring approximately 110,000 sq. ft. of space to house 35 new and unique retailers and restaurants.
"This project will provide the unprecedented luxury shopping experience that the Houston market craves, with high-profile brands, unique restaurant choices and premiere amenities," said David Simon, CEO of Simon. "The new flagship Saks Fifth Avenue will be the cornerstone of this high-end retail opportunity and will continue to anchor The Galleria in an even more impactful way."
More than 30 million visitors each year shop The Galleria, Texas' largest shopping center and fourth largest domain nationally. Spanning 2.4 million sq. ft. of space, housing 400 fine stores and restaurants, two high-rise hotels, and three office towers, The Galleria is Houston's most popular retail and tourist destination.
Luke Petherbridge named CFO of DDR
Beachwood, Ohio — DDR has named a new financial chief, and the shopping center company reached from within its own ranks for the appointment. Luke J. Petherbridge, age 35, assumes the role of CFO and treasurer, effective immediately.
"Luke is an accomplished executive with a proven track record within our company, overseeing the balance sheet, fostering strong banking and capital partner relationships, and sourcing large scale transactions during his tenure with us," said David Oakes, president and CEO.
Petherbridge joined DDR as senior VP of capital markets in December 2011, and most recently held the role of executive VP of capital markets and treasurer. He previously served as CEO of EDT Retail Trust (formerly Macquarie DDR Trust).