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T-Mobile in big push to open stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Wireless provider T-Mobile is launching a major retail expansion drive this year.

The company plans to open 400 of its own branded stores this year, according to a report by Fortune.

“We always just follow what the customer really wants,” T-Mobile’s chief operating officer Mike Sievert told Fortune, and customers, he added, have been “very clear” that “they prefer to do business at a fully branded store.”

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Brixmor breathes new life into former Kmart location

BY Mike Troy

HomeGoods, Stein Mart and Sierra Trading Post will fill a 76,000-sq.-ft. void created by the closing of a Kmart store at the Maple Village shopping center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Maple Village, part of Brixmor Property Group’s nationwide portfolio, said the new tenants are scheduled to begin opening in third quarter 2016. Stein Mart, Sierra Trading Post and HomeGoods will occupy a combined 76,232 sq. ft. of space formerly occupied by Kmart. This will be Stein Mart’s first Ann Arbor location and the first Sierra Trading Post in Michigan. The retailers join others such as Plum Market, Dunham’s Sports, Pure Sleep, Hand & Stone Massage and Great Clips.

"With such high-profile retailers representing three strong consumer markets – fashion, home and active outdoor gear – we believe this strategic repositioning of the Kmart space benefits Maple Village’s customers and existing tenants,” said Devin Mitchell, vice president of leasing for Brixmor’s North Region. “Through the addition of these best-in-class retail concepts, we have enhanced Maple Village’s merchandise mix and appeal, which will help us attract other leading brands to the shopping center.”

Stein Mart will occupy 33,582 sq. ft., Sierra Trading Post, a discount retailer specializing in outdoor apparel, footwear and fitness gear, will occupy 22,250 sq. ft. and HomeGoods will occupy 20,400 sq. ft.

Maple Village is located at N. Maple Road and Jackson Road and serves a population of over 79,000 within three miles.

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Office Depot earnings, sales derailed by stalled Staples merger

BY Marianne Wilson

Office Depot put the blame for disappointing first-quarter financial results on its delayed buyout by Staples.

"The protracted regulatory review of the pending Staples acquisition continues to have a substantial disruptive impact on our business," stated Roland Smith, chairman and CEO, Office Depot. “Our North American Business Solutions Division and International Division are more impacted by this disruption and accordingly, both failed to meet our sales and profit expectations this quarter.”

Office Depot said it expects a decision on the merger, in the works for over a year now, by May 10.

The company net income of $46 million in the three months ending March 26, less than analysts expected, compared with $45 million in the year ago period.

Revenue fell 9% to $3.54 billion in the period, which also missed Street forecasts.

Sales at Office Depot’s North American retail segment, its largest division by sales, fell 8.9% to $1.51 billion.

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