INVENTORY

Sears exclusively launches British lifestyle brand

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Sears is freshening up its offering through a new partnership.

The department store retailer now features the Regatta Great Outdoors collection in 11 New England-based stores. The brand, which is based in Manchester, England, features active, performance, outdoor, and leisure wear. This is the brand’s first U.S. retail store debut.

The company was established in 1981, and has grown into a popular outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment brand among European shoppers. Sears was attracted to Regatta due to a synergy of values: quality, value, a design-focus and passion for the customer, according to the retailer.

"Our members' tastes change quickly so we are always looking for partners who can help keep our assortment fresh," said David Pastrana, president of Sears Apparel.

"Regatta is a long-established apparel leader that knows its customer well and was selective about who they made their U.S. debut with,” he added. “Sears is proud to be Regatta's exclusive home, and we welcome American shoppers to discover this great brand."

The Regatta Great Outdoors collection is now featured in 1,800-sq.-ft. shops inside the following Massachusetts Sears locations: Saugus, Burlington, Auburn, Peabody, Braintree, Natick and Hyannis. It is also being featured in stores in Salem and Nashua, New Hampshire, Warwick, Rhode Island, and South Burlington, Vermont. The collection will be available online this fall.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Coming to the ‘small screen’: Amazon Prime

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon is giving Prime members another way to shop — through their Amazon Fire TV.

Amazon Fire TV already streams Web-based content, such as videos, music and games on the “big screen.” Now Amazon’s new app lets Prime members search and browse Amazon products and make purchases directly through their Fire TV remote, according to TechCrunch.

The app lets Prime members search for merchandise across Amazon by typing in text, filtering search results (e.g. by department), and browsing the product listings on their Fire TV. It also allows users to browse large product images and videos, and view star ratings and customer reviews on the product’s detail page, the report explained.

The app enables shoppers to check out right through the TV screen, allowing members to pick from the available shipping options, saved payment methods and the addresses stored in their Amazon account. Existing gift cards and promotional balances can also be used, the report said.

Amazon first launched the service on Apple TV in December.

To read more, click here.

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REAL ESTATE

Grocery drives new developments in Chicagoland

BY Al Urbanski

New shopping center development in the Chicago metropolitan area will barely top 1 million sq. ft. in 2017, a nearly 50% plunge from just two years ago, according to Mid-America Real Estate Corporation.

“While new construction is not as robust as previous years, adaptive reuse of existing retail space continues to offer an opportunity for expanding retailers,” said Andy Bulson, the company’s director of suburban tenant representation.

Where new GLA does appear, reveal

Andy Bulson

ed the company’s annual Chicagoland Shopping Center Report, it’s often fueled by food. Ten of the 14 centers developed in 2016 were anchored by grocery stores, as are seven of the 11 planned for 2017.

Purveyors of gourmet, fresh, and organic options lead the way. Mariano’s was Chicago’s fastest-growing grocer in 2016 with 214,704 sq. ft., and the chain will open two more locations this year totaling 143,000 sq. ft. Whole Foods was second last year, adding 143,000 sq. ft.

“We are still seeing residual growth in the grocery category largely the result of others pursuing the market share Dominick’s once held,” said Bulson.

New retail square footage in Chicago being led by two mass merchandisers: Meijer and Walmart.

In 2016, Meijer added 192,000 sq. ft. of retail space in Flossmoor and 195,000 sq. ft. in Round Lake. Walmart expanded its presence with a 182,000-sq.-ft. store in Olympia Fields and a 195, 000-sq.-ft. store in Richton Park.

Another mass retailer continues to expand in Chicago, though in smaller chunks. Target opened two Target Express stores in densely populated urban area adding up to a total of 53,000 sq. ft. in 2016. Two more Express locations are planned for 2017 — a 29,000-sq.-ft. store on Clark Street in Chicago and a 40,000-sq.-ft. store in Oak Park.

According to the Mid-America Report, retail development in Chicagoland reached a peak in 2007 with 8.4 million sq. ft. of GLA. Then came the recession and nine consecutive years of growth in the 1-to-2-million-sq.-ft. range.

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