REAL ESTATE

Toys ‘R’ Us opening 21 stores and remodeling 23 locations in 2011

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us is on track to open 21 stores across 13 states by yearend, including 11 “R” Superstores and 10 “Side-by-Side” locations. (The “R” format combines full-size Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores under one roof.)

The new reflect the company’s strategy to bring Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us together under one roof in an integrated store format, providing customers with a streamlined shopping environment.

In addition, as part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the company’s portfolio of stores nationwide, the chain expects to have completed the remodeling of 23 existing locations to the Side-by-Side format by the end of the year.

“Integrating Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us under one roof has been part of the company’s strategy for the past five years and customers continue to embrace the enhanced shopping experience these stores offer,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us. “The Side-by-Side store format provides exceptional convenience for parents, offering a wide selection of differentiated toys and juvenile products, and allows the company to cultivate customer loyalty as their children grow and they transition from Babies “R” Us to Toys “R” Us shoppers.”

Toys “R” Us embarked on its integrated store strategy in 2006, and since then has converted more than 100 of its traditional U.S. to the Side-by-Side format. In 2007, the company opened the first of its new “R” Superstores. By the end of 2011, the company will operate 43 “R” Superstores nationwide.

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REAL ESTATE

Spencer Gifts to make Manhattan debut

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Spencer Gifts, a mainstay of malls across North America, has leased its first-ever location in Manhattan. The 60-year-old chain operates more than 600 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

As one of Spencer’s few free-standing locations, the store, located downtown near New York University, encompasses over 1,840 sq. ft. on the ground floor. It is due to open in advance of the holiday season.

“This location was a big draw for Spencer Gifts, who had always wanted an opportunity like this to break into the Manhattan market,” said Winick Realty Group LLC associate director Michael Gleicher. “With the dense collegiate and residential population, as well as the many shoppers who flock to NoHo, this space is at the epicenter of their target market.”

Gleicher represented both Spencer Gifts and the landlord, Mercer Square LLC, in this long-term lease transaction.

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REAL ESTATE

Golfsmith to make international debut in South Korea

BY Staff Writer

Austin, Texas — Golfsmith International announced it will open its first retail stores outside the United States, in South Korea, which it called the fastest growing golf market in the world.

Golfsmith is opening the store in partnership with Golfzon Co., one of the world-largest sellers of virtual golf simulation systems. Under the terms of the agreement, the new stores will be branded Golfsmith and operated by Golfzon.

“With three million golfers already in South Korea our agreement with Golfzon further signals Golfsmith’s global strategy to build relationships that develop, manage and market Golfsmith and its brands," said Golfsmith chairman and CEO Martin Hanaka. "Golfzon ‘s keen understanding of the South Korean golf market and its solid customer base make them a strong partner in one of the biggest golf markets in the world.”

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