REAL ESTATE

Von Maur joins Riverchase Galleria project

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoover, Ala. — Chicago-based General Growth Properties and Montgomery, Ala.-based Jim Wilson & Associates announced that Von Maur department store will open at Riverchase Galleria, in Hoover, Ala.

Alabama’s first Von Maur will open in 2013, featuring a 187,000-sq.-ft. store that will join Macy’s, Sears, J.C. Penney and Belk anchors.

The opening will coincide with a major redevelopment of the shopping center, slated to launch this year and be completed in 2013. Improvements include: relocation and upgrade of Center Court elevators to enhance sight-lines and provide better customer service; installation of aesthetic architectural elements, including pendant fixtures and “sails” with accent lighting throughout Center Court; upgrading and modernizing mall entrances and pedestrian bridge entrances; parking deck improvements; and the renovation and expansion of Center Court public restrooms. New landscaping and way-finding signage will be indigenous and complementary of the surrounding Riverchase and Hoover communities.

Von Maur will join other soon-to-open retailers, such as Jared Jewelry and Earth Fare.

“The proposed redevelopment and refresh of the center is critical to the success of the center,” said Tom Martin, senior general manager, Riverchase Galleria. “With the addition of Von Maur, the reputation and popularity of the Galleria is only further solidified as the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination.”

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REAL ESTATE

Barnes & Noble to expand in-store boutique to 25

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — Barnes & Noble Inc. said Monday that it plans to expand an in-store pilot boutique from its current 10 units to 25.

The 200-sq.-ft. Penguin store-in-stores sell Penguin book titles and merchandise; the Penguin banner is owned by Pearson PLC.

“The sales have been incremental rather than cannibalizing Penguin sales elsewhere in the store because it’s a different experience,” John Makinson, CEO of Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group, told the Wall Street Journal.

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REAL ESTATE

CSA Columnist: High gas prices + warm weather = low sales?

BY Staff Writer

New York City — The latest column released by Chain Store Age contributor Jeff Green suggests that increases at the gas pump and a warmer-than-average winter could dampen consumer confidence and negatively impact sales.

Click here to read this week’s Retail Rap by Jeff Green.

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