REAL ESTATE

EDENS adds brands focusing on health, nutrition and personal style to Union Planters Plaza

BY Melonie Messina

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — EDENS adds seven new retailers to its Union Planters Plaza located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These openings follow the center's complete redevelopment which included the addition of a community green space.

The new stores tie into the center's focus on healthy lifestyles, featuring a weekly Farmers' Market. The newly opened stores include: Buenos Aires Café, Chill-N Ice Cream, Stash Boutique, Q Bar Burgers & Blues, Piola, OrangeTheory Fitness and0 Core Contour. The 155,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Whole Foods Market and Dick's Sporting Goods.

"Union Planters Plaza has become a true gathering place for our community and this is an exciting time for the center," said Jami Passer, chief investment officer for EDENS. "Our retail partners are bringing entirely new concepts to the Fort Lauderdale market and will be the perfect complement to our already popular brands like Whole Foods Market and Dick's Sporting Goods."

More retailers will be joining Union Planters Plaza in the coming months including: Rinaldi Shoes, an Italian shoe boutique, Fitlife Foods, a retailer providing healthy, high-quality chef-prepared meals for fitness-minded consumers on-the-go, and Spring Chicken, a new fast-casual fried chicken concept by Miami-based restaurant group 50 Eggs Inc. Rinaldi Shoes is slated to open later this year, Fitlife Foods and Spring Chicken opening early 2016.

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Albertsons cooking up a strategy for growth

BY Gina Acosta

A new project has the possibility of positioning Albertsons for greater growth as the company aims to expand by buying back some of the stores it unloaded last year as a result of a deal with Safeway.

Albertsons has announced it has completed a $4.8 million renovation of the company's Culinary Kitchens & Technical Center in California. The project, which was in development before the Albertsons-Safeway merger was announced, came to fruition this month in a 33,000-square-foot facility in Dublin, Calif., near the company's Pleasanton corporate campus.

"Our company is passionate about running really great stores, and key to that is providing our customers with the products they want, just as Joe Albertson did when he opened his first store 76 years ago," said Shane Sampson, CMO. "As grocers, we love challenging our culinary team to come up with new Own Brands products that keep pace with the changing tastes and preferences of customers in every neighborhood we serve. Our Culinary Kitchens & Technical Center helps make that happen across all of our stores."

The Culinary Kitchens & Technical Center is a state-of-the-art facility that enables the company's stores like Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Vons and Carrs to provide customers with products developed to their tastes. The facility has sophisticated capabilities in culinary development and food technology, with a special focus on fresh selections in our Service Deli, Meat, Seafood, Produce, and Bakery departments. In addition to its staff of 70 culinary specialists, the facility also contains equipment to replicate manufacturing plant, store and home kitchen environments.

Albertsons is bidding on 95 Haggen stores out West. Albertsons was required to sell 146 stores to Haggen last year before the Albertsons-Safeway merger was approved by federal regulators.

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Taubman Centers expanding use of StepsAway technology

BY Marianne Wilson

Taubman Centers is expanding its use of a mobile app that lets retail tenants connect with shoppers once they sign into a center’s WiFi network and offer them store-specific deals.

The shopping center developer will deploy in-mall mobile retail solution StepsAway in four additional malls by year-end, including The Mall at Short Hills (Short Hills, New Jersey), Westfarms (West Hartford, Connecticut), The Mall at Green Hills (Nashville, Tennessee), and The Mall at University Town Center (Sarasota, Florida). Taubman first used the solution last year, in six malls.

The mobile app, which is now in place nationwide in a total of 36 shopping centers operated by a variety of owners, requires no download and is accessible via each center’s free guest Wi-Fi network. On average, a retailer’s offers in a month are viewed more than 15,000 times in each mall, according to StepsAway.

Additionally, time-sensitive flash sales on StepsAway have generated double-digit percent redemption rates.

StepsAway, which launched last year, was founded by Allan Haims, a former president of Wet Seal Inc., and former senior VP of Disney Stores Worldwide.

“Since we began using StepsAway, we’ve seen a double-digit percentage increase in the volume of consumers using our free mall Wi-Fi networks and taking advantage of hyperlocal in-mall offers,” said Ivan Frank, director of digital marketing, Taubman Centers. “Expanding our StepsAway footprint is part of our larger strategy to offer a higher value digital experience to consumers visiting Taubman malls nationwide.”

Through StepsAway’s cloud-based technology platform, national retailers can create and deliver promotions across multiple mall properties and mall owners, from their corporate headquarters on a single platform.

Shoppers visiting any of StepsAway’s participating malls sign onto the mall’s free Wi-Fi network and then peruse deals via StepsAway’s SAMobile app by product category or store name. The browser-based app is compatible on any Wi-Fi enabled device including all Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices.

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