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ShopKo accelerating ShopKo Hometown store growth

BY CSA STAFF

March promises to be a busy month for Shopko.

The retailer will open 10 Shopko Hometown stores in late March, bringing its total number of stores opened this year so far to 12.

The company plans to continue to accelerate the expansion of its Hometown format with additional locations through 2017. Developed over the past five years to augment Shopko’s larger store model, the concept is focused on serving the needs of smaller rural communities. Stores average 15,000 sq. ft. to 35,000 sq. ft.

“The rural population is grossly underserved by retailers, so we’re eager to bring Shopko Hometown to more communities,” said Peter McMahon, CEO Shopko, which operates 372 stores in 25 states. “We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers in our current hometown communities who tell us they appreciate the improved shopping experience and access to a broader, differentiated selection of merchandise, including products and brands previously not available in their community.”

Shopko opened 53 new stores in 2015, and the chain projects continued growth over the next two years.

Here are the locations for the 10 Shopko Hometown stores opening in March:

• Springerville, Arizona
• Clarinda, Iowa
• Cresco, Iowa
• Vinton, Iowa
• Phillipsburg, Kansas
• Mayville, North Dakota
• Albion, Nebraska
• Comanche, Texas
• Cotulla, Texas
• Beaver, Utah

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The Container Store puts a lid on product management

BY CSA STAFF

Specialty storage retailer The Container Store not only helps customers organize their lives on the front end, but is also getting more organized on the back end.

The Container Store, headquartered in Coppell, Texas with 79 stores, has completed the implementation of PlumSlice's Select application to streamline its product selection and procurement process.

"As a retail innovator, we continually strive to offer our customers an exceptional and innovative mix of over 10,000 products devoted to helping them organize and simplify their lives," said Sharon Tindell, chief merchandising officer at The Container Store. "We chose PlumSlice Select as a solution to streamline our product selection process and increase our efficiency with their mobile-enabled and highly collaborative workflows.”

The Container Store expects to obtain better visibility into its pipeline of potential products and make more relevant and cost-effective global assortment choices. The cloud-based solution is device- and platform-agnostic, meaning all product management stakeholders, including internal employees, external partners, and vendors, can form a single team.

This wider, collaborative, real-time view of products allows more efficient and effective omnichannel fulfillment. The Container Store will be able to select products much more responsively to current consumer demand, and also have better ability to fulfill omnichannel orders from any point in the supply chain.

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TENANT TREND #3: ATHLEISURE

BY CSA STAFF

Lululemon athletica and Athleta, a subsidiary of Gap Inc., are not new concepts. But they are part of one of fashion’s hottest trends: “athleisure.”

Specializing in trendy activewear designed for the gym and beyond, athleisure concepts are finding their way into all kinds of shopping destinations — giving lululemon and Athleta increasing competition. Here’s a rundown of some other retailers currently in the game:

Fabletics: This formerly pure-play subsidiary of JustFab is best known for its co-founder and frontwoman, actress Kate Hudson, whose toned abs show off the trending athletic fashions to best advantage. New to brick-and-mortar, Fabletics is in the throes of opening its first slate of stores, located in select GGP malls.

Lululemon’s Ivivva: Lululemon looks to create its next generation of shoppers with Ivivva, a freestanding format that features fashionable athletic wear for girls aged 4 to 14.

Foot Locker’s SIX:02. Not a new concept — it was introduced by Foot Locker in late 2012 — SIX:02 is gaining a foothold among active, performance-minded women. It has 29 stores, and counting.

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Chelsea Collective: The sporting goods giant unveiled Chelsea Collective in August, with two initial locations.

Sweaty Betty: The U.K.-based brand plans to expand its footprint in the United States, where it has five stores. — Katherine Boccaccio

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