STORE SPACES

Gap goes big—and nearly 24/7—in Times Square

BY Marianne Wilson

Gap Inc. has opened its largest site in the world in the city that never sleeps.

The retailer opened a 70,000-sq.-ft. location that houses side-by-side Gap and Old Navy flagships in Manhattan’s Times Square. Given the busy locale, the stores have extended hours, opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 2 a.m. seven days a week. It’s estimated that roughly 450,000 people passing through the area each day.

Built simultaneously by Schimenti Construction, the two stores are located in part of the massive space that formerly housed the Toys “R” Us flagship, which closed at the end of 2015. (For a video about the construction, click here. )

Both stores were designed to provide an optimum customer experience, and feature concierge desks featuring touch-screen tablets linked to the brands’ look-books, phone charging stations and “chill spaces.” Both also use technology to keep lines short. Every sales associate is equipped with a mobile device and is able to assist with checkout.

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STORE SPACES

PetSmart hits major milestone

BY Marianne Wilson

PetSmart is celebrating a milestone in its ongoing store expansion efforts that not all that many retailers have crossed.

PetSmart announced that, with the opening of its store in Casper, Wyoming, last month, it now has a presence in all 50 U.S. states. In addition, the retailer recently opened its 1,600th store, in El Paso, Texas, in its expanding store footprint across North America.

“At a time when the retail world is dramatically changing and many retailers are closing stores, we are proud of our store expansion efforts,” said Brian Amkraut, executive VP, store operations, services, supply chain and real estate, for PetSmart. “We continue to focus on meeting the needs of pets and pet parents alike, and a key element of that strategy includes expanding our brick-and-mortar footprint to be the most convenient, best-in-class retailer.”

The 18,000-sq.-ft. El Paso location includes a Pinnacle Pet Nutrition Shop, a new feature in all new PetSmart stores. The shops are about 550 sq. ft., and offer 400-plus items across several brands, and an expanded collection of all-natural pet food products, the fastest-growing segment in the pet food category. The store also offers an array of services such as pet training, adoption services, and a full-service grooming salon for dogs and cats.

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RILA, Sustainable Brands partner on conference for 2018

BY Marianne Wilson

The Retail Industry Leaders Association announced that for the second year in a row it will team up with Sustainable Brands for the latter’s flagship conference in Vancouver, Canada.

The event, Redesigning the Good Life, covers innovation and sustainability initiatives across multiple consumer-facing industries.

As part of the partnership, RILA will produce a retail-specific educational track focused on the issues, opportunities, and challenges of sustainable retail.

“We initially chose to partner with Sustainable Brands to introduce our retailers to new and innovative approaches to CSR, while continuing to deliver the leadership content historically featured at RILA’s Sustainability Conference,” said Adam Siegel, senior VP of research, innovation, & sustainability, RILA. “The Sustainable Brands community welcomed us with open arms, and I saw last year’s conference as a huge step toward building a lasting partnership. We look forward to building on that experience, and to bringing together our communities again for more transformational content and experiences in Vancouver.”

The 2018 Sustainable Brands conference will be held June 4-7, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. Pre-registration for the event is now open. Contact Adam Siegel at RILA for special rates for retailers.

Sustainable Brands is a global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, its mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future.

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