REAL ESTATE

Waiting for the next big thing

BY Michael Fickes

Desperate economic times produce hardship, but they also give rein to creative and innovative thinkers. The Great Depression of the 1930s produced a host of ideas that formed the foundations of today’s retail and retail shopping center industries.

In 1929, for instance, a group of department stores joined forces and formed Federated Department Stores, with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

The following year, Edwards Theatres Circuit opened the first multiplex in the United States.

Publix Super Markets was also founded in 1930.

In 1932, Joseph C. Thompson became president of the bankrupt Southland Ice Co. and reorganized as a retail business selling foods and conveniences. Today, the Southland Corp. operates the franchising business that has spread 7-Eleven stores around the world.

“Now’s the time to look for ideas that will catch on,” Spence Mehl, senior VP of New York City-based RCS Real Estate Advisors, told SiteTalk. “Rents get cheaper as landlords need to fill vacant space and drive traffic. Low rents will attract people with ideas and very little money.”

While waiting for the next big thing, landlords are filling space with retail or non-retail businesses. A business that can pay the rent can have the space. So dance studios, karate studios, skating rinks, health clubs and glow-in-the-dark miniature golf courses are moving into malls and shopping centers.

“Empty freestanding big boxes are attracting churches,” observed Mehl. “I have a trade school looking at a 70,000-sq.-ft. space in Indianapolis right now. And discount stores such as Big Lots, Dollar Tree and Dollar General are moving into large empty spaces.”

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Kroger announces second reusable bag contest

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI Kroger announced its second annual design a resuable shopping bag contest.

Through May 15, customers can create their designs and vote on their favorite entries online at www.kroger.com/green .Anyone who designs a bag and has a valid shopper card will receive an electronic coupon loaded directly to their card for a free reusable bag (99 cents value), where valid. Kroger has also partnered with CafePress so that designers can purchase a reusable bag featuring their design.

The winner of the contest will receive a $1,000 Kroger gift card and a chance to see their bag design sold in Kroger stores. Four finalists will be awarded $250 Kroger gift cards and five runners-up will receive $100 Kroger gift cards.

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Office Depot offers free resume copies and faxing

BY CSA STAFF

BOCA RATON, Fla. Office Depot announce that it isoffering customers free copies of resumes and free faxing from April 19 to May 30.

Customers will be able to participate in this special offer by visiting the Design, Print, & Ship Depot center in any one of the more than 1,100 Office Depot retail store locations nationwide. Office Depot is providing free copies of resumes, up to 25 single-sided pages, as well as free faxing to five different domestic numbers, up to 25 pages in total.

“Times are tough, and whether you are looking to make a career move or seeking your first job out of school, Office Depot is helping our customers take care of business by providing a valuable service free of charge,” said George Hill, SVP Office Depot’s Design, Print, and Ship Depot. “From paper and portfolios to custom printing and shipping, Office Depot is truly a one-stop-shop for resume products and services.”

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