Home goods retailer Overstock.com makes push into real estate
Overstock.com is entering the real estate market — again.
The online home goods discounter announced it will launch a platform for retail estate, called “O Real Estate,” in September. The site will eventually give landlords and tenants a portal for renting, buying and managing real estate, all in one place. Overstock previously made a move into the real estate business in 2008 when it set up a real estate search site, which it shut down in 2011.
As a first step in its foray into real estate, Overstock.com has re-launched a property management site, Houserie, that provides landlords and property managers a variety of services for managing single-home properties or multi-home complexes. (Houserie was founded in 2013, and purchased by Overstock in February 2018.) The services include potential tenant screening; communication with renters; organization of resident information; and rent payment management, which will quickly follow the launch.
The property management site launch is the first phase of Overstock’s O real estate initiative, which is focused on using the retailer’s advanced search technology to assist customers with real estate needs.
“For nearly 20 years, Overstock has connected customers with premium home goods, helping them build their dream homes; now, we look forward to expanding those services in the real estate industry,” said Seth Moore, senior VP of strategy at Overstock.com. “We’re always finding ways to use our technology to help customers find just what they want for their homes. Adding real estate to the mix was a natural fit for our brand.”
The updated Houserie site provides a new user experience with a refreshed design and added service options to better serve landlords and tenants, according to Overstock.com. Houserie offers a wide variety of services for landlords, most of which are available instantly, including: identity verification, eviction history, credit check, background check, tenant scorecard, and a comprehensive screening. The service can be purchased for one-time use at three price points depending on the information needed by clients.
Ross Stores in store opening blitz
It’s been a busy summer so far for Ross Stores.
The off-pricer opened 22 Ross Dress for Less stores and eight dd’s Discount stores across 12 states and Washington, D.C., in June and July, The new locations are in line with the retailer’s plans to add approximately 100 stores in 2018, with 75 Ross and 25 dd’s locations.
“With this opening group, we continued to expand Ross and dd’s in both new and existing markets. Ross grew in its newer market – the Midwest – as well as existing markets, including California, Texas, and Florida. In June, dd’s also expanded into its newest state of Delaware,” said Jim Fassio, president and chief development officer. “Looking ahead, we remain confident in our expansion plans and continue to see plenty of opportunity to grow across all of our markets.”
Headquartered in Dublin, California, with fiscal 2017 revenues of $14.1 billion, Ross currently operates a total of 1,680 off-price apparel and home fashion stores in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.
Top 10 Retail Center Experiences: No. 2 River Oaks District
In a search for innovators in experiential retail, Chain Store Age asked readers to nominate retail centers worthy of being named among the Top 10 Retail Center Experiences in the nation. The editors’ picks continue with No. 2 River Oaks District:
River Oaks District
Picture a condensed version of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue plopped in the middle of uptown Houston, but with concierge service, “smart parking,” personal shopping, and a stable of eateries ranging from white table cloth to five-napkin burgers. That’s River Oaks District, named the town’s new “swanky lifestyle destination” by Houstonia magazine.
“It’s done a lot for the Houston retail scene,” said OliverMcMillan marketing exec Stacie Ellis. “The Galleria’s nearby, but the ambiance at River Oaks is so different. We’ve had a few stores move out of the Galleria and join us.”
River Oaks’ architecture features glass façades and floor-to-ceiling windows to offer scenic views of the project’s green space. The development was laid out on a street grid and owes to architect-CEO Dene Oliver’s mission to create special places.
“Dene favors Euro-modern design that is clean and timeless,” Ellis said.