REAL ESTATE

West Elm in Canadian expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

A division of Williams-Sonoma is expanding its footprint north of the border.

The home furnishings retailer will open its second Toronto store, in the Yonge-Eglinton neighborhood, on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. The 16,295-sq.-ft. store will support seven Toronto-based makers and designers, offering customers an array of locally made products alongside the brand’s assortment of home furnishings and décor.

The store will also offer Williams-Sonoma’s cross-brand design consultation program Design Crew, which pairs customers with experts who can provide design and installation services. The new location comes three months after the launch of Williams-Sonoma’s e-commerce websites in Canada.

Each West Elm location features design details inspired by the local architecture and landscape. The cash-wrap at West Elm North Toronto is inspired by the waterfront view of Toronto and depicted in a hand-painted art panel of the skyline featuring iconic local landmarks and historic buildings alongside modern skyscrapers. A mirror image of the skyline sits beneath it in front of the cash-wrap, paying homage to Lake Ontario.

West Elm operates more than 100 stores as well as e-commerce websites in the United States, Australia, Canada and the U.K., ships internationally to customers around the world, and has unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East, Philippines and South Korea, and stores and e-commerce websites in Mexico.

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Discounter’s grocery concept opens in Orlando

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A Walmart Neighborhood Market has joined one of Orlando, Florida’s newest retail centers.

The grocery concept store, which is 43,865 sq. ft., opened its doors at the Landstar Marketplace retail center in Orlando. Developed and managed by Deerfield Beach-based Konover South, LLC, the retail center is 62,243 sq. ft. of retail space.

The Landstar Marketplace also includes 18,378 sq. ft. of inline retail, plus two stand-alone outparcels. Anytime Fitness, Arby’s, Landstar Dental, and T-Mobile, among others, are slated to begin opening in March, according to Konover South.

R.A. Rogers Construction Company, Altamonte Springs, is the general contractor, and the center was designed by Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, based in Orlando. Kimley-Horn, also in Orlando, serves as the project civil consultant.

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Rite Aid completes more than half of its store transfers to Walgreens

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The Rite Aid-Walgreens transition is on track to be completed by spring.

Rite Aid has successfully transferred 1,114 stores to Walgreens Boots Alliance, and has received cash proceeds of $2.424 billion, which the company continues to use to reduce debt. The drugstore chain expects to finish the transfer by spring, according to Rite Aid.

Walgreens purchased a total of 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for $4.375 billion in cash.

The majority of the closing conditions have been satisfied. Upcoming transfers of Rite Aid stores and related assets will be subject to minimal customary closing conditions, as specified in the Asset Purchase Agreement, according to the company.

“We have now completed more than half of the planned store transfers and remain on track to finish the process in the spring of this year,” said Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley. “As we work to complete this process, we remain focused on opportunities to build our business while delivering a great experience to our customers and patients and driving value for our shareholders.”

Most of the stores being sold to Walgreens are in the southeastern U.S., leaving Rite Aid with the majority of its stores on the East and West coasts.

The sale — and ongoing transition of stores — bolstered the drug chain’s profits for the third quarter. Net income rose to $81.03 million, in the quarter ended Dec. 2, from $15.01 million.

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