REAL ESTATE

Sport Chalet debuts new format in Los Angeles

BY Marianne Wilson

Los Angeles — Sport Chalet has unveiled a sleek, smaller format in downtown Los Angeles, opening a 27,000-sq.-ft. store at Brookfield Properties’ FIGat7th mall. The center, which opened in 1986, reopened last year after a $40 million renovation.

The modern layout, designed by Gensler, puts the emphasis on education and training, and features a dedicated central area, called the “Expert Center,” for classes and clinics. The new layout also includes flexible fixtures and modules that allow for the store to be transformed overnight.

Sport Chalet plans to host 52 consecutive weeks of in store in-store clinics focused on cycling, training, hiking and scuba, with experienced and professionally trained expert staff members.

“We did the research and found that the downtown Los Angeles community in particular is underserved today. There’s a critical need for a community-oriented retailer that can provide an opportunity for residents, commuters and tourists to try, learn and experience their preferred sport at ease,” said Craig Levra, chairman and CEO of Sport Chalet, which has 53 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.

The store, which is almost half the size of Sport Chalet’s existing one-stop-shop format (42,000 sq. ft.), carries a targeted selection of sporting equipment, including cycling, training, scuba and running gear. But consumers can order from all of Sport Chalet’s offerings via iPad systems, which are located throughout the store.

“The store design emphasizes both aesthetics and function,” said Joshua Breeden, the project architect at Gensler. “We wanted to create a space that highlights what Sport Chalet offers above any other specialty sporting goods retailer: Expert positioning and knowledge.”

The Expert Center is designed to facilitate customer interaction with the “Experts” (store associates) on any topic ranging from bike repair to the best surfing spots in the area.

“The audio-visual capabilities, reconfigurable seating and display elements in this area also allow the Experts to conduct a wide range of instructional and hands-on events throughout the year,” Breeden said.

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REAL ESTATE

Aeropostale will open in-store shops, freestanding stores in Mexico

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale will enter Mexico through a licensing agreement with Distribuidora Liverpool, S.A. de C.V. ("Liverpool").

The agreement includes the opening of branded Aeropostale shop-in-shops in Liverpool department stores across Mexico beginning this summer, in addition to rolling out freestanding stores. The first standalone is scheduled to open this summer, in Mexico City’s Sante Fe Mall.

"We are thrilled to bring the Aeropostale brand to Mexico through both branded shops and standalone stores,” said Thomas P. Johnson, CEO. “We consider Mexico a pivotal market as we look at our overall global expansion strategy. The Liverpool team possesses incredible insight and experience into the consumer as the operator of Mexico’s largest and preeminent department store.

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STORE SPACES

Switch to GE’s LED system leads to big savings for Stater Bros.

BY Marianne Wilson

East Cleveland, Ohio — A switch from fluorescent lights to LED in its frozen-food cases will result in total annual energy and maintenance savings of approximately $570,000 for Stater Bros. The supermarket retailer has retrofitted the cases in nearly all of its 166 stores with GE’s LED refrigerated display lighting,

After evaluating lighting options, Stater Bros.’ retail marketing team chose GE’s 17-watt Immersion RV40 LED systems to replace the 60-watt fluorescent fixtures in freezer cases.

“We’ve received great feedback from customers and store managers,” said Scott Limbacher, VP, construction/maintenance at Stater Bros., which is the largest privately owned supermarket chain in Southern California. “Our managers tell us the new lighting really makes their products pop.”

By replacing 60-watt fluorescent lamps with GE’s 17-watt LED lighting, Stater Bros. will use 28,444 fewer kilowatt hours (kWh) per store per year, a savings of approximately 4.6 million kWh across the 163 participating stores and equating to about $510,000 in annual savings (based on an $0.11 kWh rate and 17 hours of operation a day).

The long-life LED lighting system also contributes to an 80% reduction in maintenance costs — totaling nearly $60,000 in savings annually across all locations for Stater Bros.

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