Tenants fill new Publix center in North Carolina
The Southeast’s leading grocery chain will be opening a new center in the state where it has its least exposure, and leasing activity is brisk.
Broker La Purser & Associates reported the signing of four tenants at a planned Publix-anchored center in Harrisburg, North Carolina. Smoothie King, Sports Clips, Avalon Spa & Nails, and dental office have committed to the 67,200-sq.-ft. Harris Square, set to open in 2018.
The Publix store will take up 49,000 of that space, but it’s just phase one of the project. Another four acres on the site are being held for future development.
Publix, which operates more than 950 stores in Florida and Georgia, has just 24 stores in North Carolina.
TJX Cos. bucks retail’s store closure trend
As a number of traditional chains across the industry continue to struggle, TJX Cos. is being called one of the country’s fastest growing retailers.
Traditional retailers industry-wide are blaming shifting consumer tastes, digital options and new competitors for not only stealing their wallet share, but for declining foot traffic and related sales. However, this could not be farther from the truth for TJX Cos.
The off-price giant operated more than 3,800 stores at the end of 2016, and has a long-term vision to expand its store base by approximately 50%, to 5,600 stores. TJX plans to expand its breadth solely by focusing on its current chains and markets, the company said.
However, the company credits its success to more grassroots factors. One of these includes the instincts of merchandise buyers who are picking merchandise that creates a constant treasure hunt. The company employs more than 1,000 buyers who purchase apparel and merchandise across other categories from more than 18,000 suppliers around the globe, according to the Wall Street Journal.
CEO Ernie Herrman is also taking advantage of the ongoing “disruption” in retailing, an issue that is forcing department stores to cancel orders, leaving manufacturers with too much merchandise. However, TJX is scooping up this glut of merchandise at bargain prices, according to the Wall Street Journal.
However, getting this merchandise onto the sales floor is paramount to driving sales. That’s why TJX has created an internal mantra, “door to floor in 24,” that requires merchandise arriving at stores on trucks in the morning be moved straight onto the sales floor that same evening, the report said
It is a formula that has contributed to a 1% sales increase among stores open for one year for the first quarter ended April 29.
Net sales for the first quarter increased 3% to $7.8 billion. While this was a decline from a 7% increase a year earlier, Herrman is not concerned. Rather, he is keeping his eye on the prize, and steadily bolstering his store fleet — and outfitting stores with recently acquired merchandise.
During the first quarter, the retailer increased its store count by 50 stores to a total of 3,862 stores in nine countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia. These include 1,191 T.J. Maxx, 1,039 Marshalls, 596 HomeGoods and 12 Sierra Trading Post stores in the United States; 258 Winners, 109 HomeSense, and 61 Marshalls stores in Canada; 515 T.K. Maxx and 46 HomeSense stores in Europe; and 35 T.K. Maxx stores in Australia.
‘Tired’ Massachusetts mall to go open-air
The first enclosed mall on Massachusetts South Shore will undergo a $40 million conversion to an open-air center under the ownership of a spun-off unit of Phillips Edison & Company.
The 732,000-sq.-ft. Hanover Mall in Pembroke Massachusetts — anchored by Macy’s, Sears, and Walmart — was purchased last fall by PECO Real Estate Partners, which operates under the name PREP. Built in 1971 and last renovated in 2004, the center has direct access to Route 3, the major thoroughfare joining towns south of Boston.
Pembroke Town Manager Troy Clarkson called the property “tired,” and earlier this week the town council approved a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with PREP that will allow it to begin transforming Hanover Mall into Hanover Crossing.
“This is the opportunity of a generation,” Clarkson said following the vote.
PREP CEO Michael Phillips said Hanover Mall presented his company with the opportunity to do what it does best. “Transforming retail, creating value, and developing a shopping center for people to shop, dine, and gather for years for come," commented Phillips at the sealing of the deal for the center in 2016.
Other tenants include Dick's Sporting Goods, Trader Joe's, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings, Petco, and Office Max.