REAL ESTATE

Dunkin’ Brands has big expansion plans

BY Marianne Wilson

Move over Starbucks — Dunkin’ Donuts is on the move.

Dunkin Brands Group said it plans to add approximately 1,000 net new Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the U.S. by the end of 2020, with more than 90% of the stores built outside of its core Northeast home territory. (The company have over 9,100 U.S. restaurants.) For 2018, the company expects Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees will build more than 275 net new U.S. locations. The chain also reaffirmed its goal to eventually have more than 18,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.S.

Since its initial public offering in July 2011, Dunkin’ Brands’ systemwide sales have grown by more than 40% and total global points of distribution have grown by more than 4,100 units, the company said. It has returned $2 billion in capital to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

“We are proud of these accomplishments but also realize that if we are to compete even more effectively within the coffee and breakfast segment, we must make further progress against the execution of our multi-year Blueprint for Growth plan, which is designed to transform Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. into the most-loved beverage-led, on-the-go brand,” said Dunkin’ Brands chairman and CEO Nigel Travis.

In other announcements, Dunkin’ Donuts said it is testing a newly-built digital catering platform in several markets. It also continues to test and expand third-party delivery options with the goal of creating a combined catering/delivery platform in 2019.

The chain is also rolling out drive-thru lanes, and expects that more than 75% of new restaurants moving forward will have a drive-thru. On average, a restaurant with a drive-thru lane boasts 40% higher sales volume than a non-drive-thru location, the company said.

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A hotel and retail are planned for American Stock Exchange

BY Al Urbanski

In 1921, the New York Curb Market Agency decided to move its longtime practice of stock trading off the streets and indoors to a building on Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan. Now the original home of the American Stock Exchange will be housing curb retail.

In a joint venture, GHC Development and Clarion Partners will be reconfiguring and offering up 123 Greenwich Street — just one block from the World Trade Center — to retailers and other commercial ventures.

GHC Development acquired the property and the adjacent 22 Thames Street development site in 2011 and worked with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to separate the assets and transfer air rights to the development site. GHC, which sold the site in 2012, now is focused on remaking it with a high-rise hotel with retail tenants at street level.

Retail GLA will comprise approximately 80,000 sq. ft. over three levels, including two distinct 25,000-sq.ft. column-free floorplates with ground-floor identity and entrances fronting both Greenwich Street and Trinity Place.

GHC CEO Allan Fried sees the property playing an important role in what he calls the “transformative renaissance of Lower Manhattan. “This trophy property represents a singular opportunity for a retail or entertainment user…to create a one-of-a-kind presence and experience,” Fried submitted.

The original building was designed by architects Starrett and Van Vleck, the same firm that designed the Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, and Lord & Taylor flagships in New York.

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Going-out-of-business sales start at Toys ‘R’ Us

BY Marianne Wilson

It’s closing time—almost—for some Toys “R” Us stores.

The nation’s largest toy store retailer received court approval to move forward with its plans to shutter some 180 stores across its Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us banners nationwide. Liquidation sales at some of the locations started on Wednesday.

The sales, which are being operated by a consortium made up of Gordon Brothers, Hilco Merchant Resources, Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group, will offer shoppers up to 30% discounts. Store furniture and fixtures will also be available for sale. The sales are expected to run through mid-April

Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September. In January, it announced plans to close up to 182 stores as part of its reorganization plan.

“The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus,” stated Toys “R” Us CEO Dave Brandon in a note on the company’s website last month. “The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company that will provide the level of service and experience you should expect from a market leader.”

Toys “R” Us’ 83 locations in Canada are not part of the scheduled store closings.

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