STORE SPACES

Retail design firm FRCH in merger

BY Marianne Wilson

FRCH Design Worldwide has joined forces with one of the largest architecture firms in the country.

Nelson announced it has merged operations with FRCH. The newly combined organization has 25 offices with more than 1,100 employees, providing service to current and prospective clients in every region of the country

John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr., chairman and CEO of Nelson, and Jim Tippmann, CEO of FRCH, will lead the new organization as Co-CEOs. Nelson will also serve as chairman of the newly created board, and remain the majority shareholder.

“FRCH’s expertise and 50 years of experience in creating award-winning retail, hospitality, restaurant, entertainment and retail mixed-use environments and innovative consumer experiences is not only complementary to our organization, but positions us to respond to the changing disruption across multiple industries,” said Nelson. “For Nelson’s vast global solutions clients, this merger adds both geographic coverage and an elevated focus on brand, experience, and creative design.”

Over the coming months, both companies will work to further integrate their expanded service offering to provide clients with the full benefit of this merger. With the merger, FRCH has become ‘FRCH a Nelson Company.’

“Merging with Nelson provides our organization and clients with a stronger regional presence offering not only relevant depth of practice area expertise, but more reach nationally to be closer to our clients so that we are there when they need us,” said Tippmann.

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Walgreens to debut new store format

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens will unveil the first iteration of its new store format later this spring or in early summer, executives said at the 36th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

It will mark the first major overhaul of the core Walgreens format since it finalized its merger with Alliance Boots in December 2014. The updated format will bring together many of the services Walgreens has been perfecting under one roof — including such healthcare offerings as in-store lab services, optical services and patient care through partnerships with such companies as MedExpress, Alex Gourlay, co-COO Walgreens, told J.P. Morgan healthcare analyst Lisa Gill.

Gourlay expects to pilot the new format for as many as 18 months before rolling the model out.

“We need maybe six months, maybe 18 months, to really understand all of these components to get the right business components to scale,” he said.” Some will scale individually, some will scale collectively. That’s the work we’re doing next.”

Once the format comes together, Walgreens won’t be stopping at just one store.

“We have worked out many of the components, [including] the capital costs required to be able to scale that when we get to the right point,” Gourlay said. “It also tells you we’ve been working on the retail side of the business to create the space to actually accommodate these services.”

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PGA Tour Superstore to double down on store expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

PGA Tour Superstore is moving full-speed ahead with its experiential store concept.

The retailer is coming off a record year, with overall sales growth of 23% and a 15% rise in same-store sales. E-commerce comp sales grew by 42% year-over-year.

“Our focus on integrating the e-commerce business into the mix for a solid omnichannel presence is paying off,” said Dick Sullivan, president & CEO, PGA Tour Superstore, which operates 31 stores. “We have tripled our store count across the United States and plan to aggressively grow our brick-and-mortar business by 50% over the next three years.”

The retailer is a part of The Blank Family of Businesses, which includes the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Mountain Sky Guest Ranch. Company chairman Arthur M. Blank founded The Home Depot and has applied the same approach and business practices to PGA Tour Superstore.

“At PGA Tour Superstore we’re using the same philosophy that drove The Home Depot’s success and revolutionized the home improvement industry,” said Blank. “We offer a variety of products at value prices, incredible services and employ the best associates to provide a level of customer service that keeps visitors coming back because they love the experience.”

All PGA stores are staffed with teaching professionals and have multiple state-of-the-art swing simulators, practice hitting bays, and large putting greens. There is also an in-house club making and repair facility. Along with equipment and accessories, the stores offer an extensive selection of men’s, women’s and juniors’ apparel and footwear.

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