REAL ESTATE

Sears lowers the ax again

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears Holdings continues to shrink its traditional store portfolio even as it plans to open more smaller, specialty stores.

The embattled retailer on Friday announced that it will close 43 more locations — eight Sears stores and 35 Kmart locations — by early October. This is on top of the 265 store closings that it has already announced for this year.

"This is part of a strategy both to address losses from unprofitable stores and to reduce the square footage of other stores because many of them are simply too big for our current needs," Sears chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert stated in a blog post on the company's website.

In the post, Lampert cited the chain's recent opening of a small-format, 20,000-sq.-ft. mattress and appliance store as a sign of its future brick-and-mortar direction.

"The smaller store concept allows us to focus on some of our stronger categories, complemented with our Shop Your Way membership program, home services and credit offerings," he said. "We expect to introduce additional smaller, specialized concept stores in the upcoming quarters while simultaneously reducing the number and/or the size of larger-format, less competitive stores. Having the right formats and right sized stores will help us put Sears Holdings in a better position to meet the realities of the changing retail world.'

The new round of closings (for a list, click here) will bring Sears' store count to less than 1,140, down from 2,073 five years ago.

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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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REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom Rack to open second Milwaukee location

BY Al Urbanski

Nordstrom will be erecting its second off-price Nordstrom Rack store in Milwaukee. The Seattle-based retailer has announced plans for a 26,800-sq.-ft. location at the Bayshore Town Center in the city’s North Shore.

The Nordstrom Rack will be erected on the site of a vacated Sears at the Olshan Properties center, where a Total Wine & More store is also slated to take up some of the space.

Nordstrom Rack will anchor the north end of the 45-acre complex, which will also feature a new mall entrance and expanded parking. Neighboring retailers there include H&M, Ulta Beauty, iPic Cineplex, Trader Joe's, and Kohl's.

"We are thrilled to once again be partnering with Nordstrom Rack at another one of our leading multi-use shopping destinations," said Ken Marshall, Head of Retail at Olshan Properties.


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