Naperville retail and office complex sells for $88 million
Retail Properties of America has paid $88 million for a Naperville retail and office complex in downtown Naperville, where it plans to build on.
The Oak Brook-based real estate investment trust today announced the deal for the 182,000-square-foot Main Street Promenade.
The west suburban center, on the east side of Main Street, is 93 percent leased and is zoned for another phase of construction, RPAI said.
“The acquisition of Main Street Promenade includes a vacant parcel that has approval for up to 62,000 square feet of mixed-use space, which will provide us the opportunity to leverage our robust, local operating platform and knowledge to densify the property,” RPAI senior vice president Matthew Beverly said in the statement announcing the acquisition.
Retail tenants include Anthropologie, J Crew, Ann Taylor and Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House.
Main Street Promenade was developed by Dwight and Ruth Yackley, owners of Naperville-based development firm BBM. They developed the property in 2003 and a second phase in 2013.
BBM was represented in the sale by Bob Mahoney and Nick Peters of CBRE. The sale was completed on Jan. 13, the Yackleys said.
“We’re semi-retiring, so we decided it would be a good time to sell,” Ruth Yackley said. “We’re ready to travel and work a little less.”
They declined to say how much it cost to develop the first two phases of the Promenade.
The property includes about 103,000 square feet of retail and 79,000 square feet of office space.
Source: Crain’s Chicago Business Ryan Ori January 17th, 2017
Retail Landlords Gain Recovery Not Lifting All Boats
The rising economy continues to lift the local retail real estate market, but it doesn’t feel that way to every landlord.
The Chicago-area retail vacancy rate dropped to 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter from 9.8 percent in the third.
The market has been making up ground lost at the end of 2013, when the Dominick’s grocery chain shut down, dumping millions of square feet of vacant retail space onto the market, Vacancies spiked to 10.4 percent early last year.
Since then, landlords have battled back, benefiting as tenants expand amid increased consumer spending and a brighter jobs picture. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said employers created 257,000 jobs in January and that the average hourly wage rose 12 cents to $24.75, the best monthly increase in five years.
A key question as 2015 unfolds is whether economic gains will broaden the retail market’s recovery. So far, tenants have focused on the best properties in the strongest parts of the city and suburbs, leaving many second- and third-tier landlords behind.
“Certainly, it’s clear there are fewer national and regional tenants expanding in the marketplace,” said Scott Gendell, president and CEO of Wilmette-based Terraco Real Estate Development & Management. “Notwithstanding that, you do have reasonable amount of activity and selected markets are experiencing robust activity.
“What’s clear to anybody is the core areas of the city are growing and development along those corridors will continue to flourish. There is a geographic divide, although suburban development in certain cases is still strong.”
Tenants adding stores in the Chicago area include grocers like Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, discount clothiers including Ross Dress for Less and specialty retailers like PetSmart.
Restaurant groups, including burger joints, a flock of chicken specialists and Potbelly Sandwich Shop, also are expanding here.
Yet a bevy of retailers are closing stores, including Wet Seal, RadioShack and Kmart. Minneapolis-based Target announced in November it would shutter two suburban locations, though it’s also rolling out its smaller-format store in the market right now.
SMALL RETAILER LEASING STRONG
“Small-shop leasing in the A centers and A submarkets are really what’s driving the numbers lower,” said Joe Parrott, a senior vice president in CBRE’s Bannockburn office who focuses on retail. “It’s the small shops in quality centers that have been filling up.”
The market is “not lifting all boats. The tide has risen, but for the top 10 to 20 percent of centers out there,” Parrott said. “Those top 20 percent are often full.”
The number of empty ex-Dominick’s stores, meanwhile, has shrunk, but it’s still big. Of the 76 Dominick’s at the end of 2013, 30 are fully vacant, according to Parrott.
“It’s a challenge for the owners of those properties because the market share for traditional grocers has been declining for a number of years,” he said. “There may not be enough demand to fill all 76 Dominick’s with traditional grocers and those new formats have a different size requirement. To fill the remaining, people have to get creative and split boxes up and redevelop them.”
Such dealmaking will likely ramp up as Dominick’s old leases with landlords start to expire, Parrott said.
Source: Chicago Real Estate Daily Feb 9th 2015 Micah Maidenberg
Whole Foods Acquired Seven Shuttered Chicago Area Dominick’s Stores
Whole Foods Market has acquired seven shuttered Dominick’s stores — four in Chicago and three in the suburbs — and will open them in a year.
“Whole Foods Markets takes 12 to 15 months, on average, to open a store, so [the wait time] is not unusual,” company spokeswoman Allison Phelps said Friday. “Each store is unique to the community and we take our time making sure it reflects that and is a special place for each neighborhood.”
Terms of the deals were not disclosed, but details are expected to be released when Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods reports earnings on Feb. 12.
The stores are at:
—Edgewater, 6009 N. Broadway
—Lincoln Park, 959 W. Fullerton Ave.
—Streeterville, 255 E. Grand Ave.
—West Loop, 1 N. Halsted St.
—Elmhurst, 215 S. Route 83
—Evanston, 2748 Green Bay Road
—Willowbrook, 6300 S. Kingery Highway
An existing Whole Foods store that’s just around the corner from the Willowbrook site will no longer serve as a Whole Foods, but no further information was available.
Phelps said Whole Foods chooses sites based on availability, population density, cost of the real estate, and the neighborhood’s levels of education, income and interest in natural and organic foods.
In addition to the seven former Dominick’s stores, Whole Foods Markets is scheduled to open three more stores in the Chicago area by 2017. The new stores join five existing Whole Foods stores in Chicago and 15 in the greater Chicago region.
The three Whole Foods stores opening by 2017 are in the Englewood and Hyde Park neighborhoods and suburban Lake Forest.
Former Dominick’s workers are encouraged to apply for jobs at any Whole Foods, including existing stores, Phelps said.
Source: Chicago Sun Times Sandra Guy January 31, 2014
Hot 100 Retailers The Nation’s Fastest-growing Retail Chains
Many of the nation’s hottest retailers are either on a growth tear or coming off a major acquisition — which may be a good thing or bad long term, if too much baggage was included in the transaction. Next year’s Hot 100 report will likely tell tales of what happened to several of this year’s leaders. Various scenarios are well-represented at the top of this year’s STORES Hot 100 Retailers report, with Bi-Lo Holdings, a collection of struggling supermarkets, ranking No. 1, followed by Michael Kors, one of the hottest brands in clothing.
While the economy is improving, the outlook isn’t overly rosy, notes Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail.
“We are looking at retail growth over the next five years as roughly the same as the rate of inflation, about 4.5 percent, but that isn’t to say everyone will be growing equally,” Gildenberg says. “We see non-store and online growth of 11.4 percent and the bricks-and-mortar segment growing at 3.5 percent … [and] losing market share. Right now, non-store accounts for approximately 7 percent of non-automobile consumer sales, but we see that doubling to 14 percent by 2020.”
Food for thought B i-Lo emerged from Chapter 11 in May 2010 after operating for 14 months under bankruptcy protection. Controlled by private equity fund operator Lone Star, it acquired the remnants of the Winn-Dixie chain in December 2011. Bi-Lo was the smaller of the two entities, hence 2012’s triple-digit sales increase.
This spring Bi-Lo also acquired three groups of supermarkets from Delhaize Group: 72 Sweetbay stores in Florida; 72 Harveys markets in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina; and 22 Reid’s Groceries in South Carolina.
Grocery retailing is a $450 billion business and supermarkets “have always been a bit of a mirror as to what is happening in retailing in general,” says Gildenberg. He sees further contraction among traditional supermarket chains while specialty supermarkets will grow as they “get their value message across to the consumer.” Kantar sees a scenario in which “20 supermarket chains control as much as 90 percent of the market” at some point in the future.
No. 3 Sprouts — 2012’s hottest retailer — is one of the specialty grocers that Kantar sees as driving supermarket growth. Earlier this year, the company hit a milestone by opening its 150th store just a decade after its founding. Though its origins can be traced to 1943 when Henry Boney opened a fruit stand in Southern California, the company marks its modern era from the time Boney family members opened the first Sprouts store in Chandler, Ariz.
Also in the top 10 is The Fresh Market, another specialty supermarket. Emphasizing customer service and presenting an unconventional store layout, it has grown to more than 100 locations in 25 states over the past 30 years. Rather than growing progressively, it clusters stores by region: In the past few months, the company opened its fourth store in Pennsylvania, its eighth in Illinois and its sixth in California, with four more slated to open later this year. In all the company plans to add 19 to 22 new stores in 2013.
Craig Carlock, Fresh Market’s CEO, suggests that there are three reasons consumers shop The Fresh Market stores, which average just over 21,000 sq. ft.: Food quality that emphasizes healthy, fresh, local and regional; extraordinary customer service; and the stores’ neighborhood grocery atmosphere. In the first quarter of this year, sales remained in “hot retailer” territory with a 12.9 percent increase and same-store sales growth of 3 percent.
Wearing it well M ichael Kors, which went public in December 2011, posted a 57.1 percent jump in revenues and same-store sales gains of 36.7 percent in the first three months of 2013. The company has increased revenues at a compound annual rate of about 50 percent over the last five years and has tripled its store count over the past three years.
No. 4 Lululemon Athletica has been through a dramatic year that included a quality control issue that led to the exit of its chief product officer and, subsequently, the abrupt and unanticipated departure of chief executive Christine Day. In March, Lululemon was forced to remove nearly one-fifth of its inventory after its black stretch pants were deemed too sheer when the exclusive Luon fabric was stretched. The recall would cost between $57 million and $67 million, the company said.
“While we regret that we had quality issues … we are proud of the organization’s ability to get Luon delivered back into our stores within 90 days of having pulled it from our line, all the while keeping our guests happy and engaged with the brand,” Day said in announcing her resignation. In June, Lululemon said it would begin opening stores devoted exclusively to menswear by 2016.
No. 6 Under Armour, which sells almost as much merchandise through Dick’s Sporting Goods as it does through its own stores and website, may see tougher competition as it expands into global territory controlled by Nike and Adidas. Well-represented among American high school, college and professional teams, last year only about 6 percent of Under Armour’s revenues were from abroad; Nike and Adidas each generated about 60 percent of their revenues in non-U.S. markets.
Company executives acknowledged that “international was underinvested because they were trying to find the right team,” noted Kate McShane, a securities analyst with Citi Research. Under Armour outfits one team in the English Premier soccer league and plans to outfit many athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer games in Rio de Janeiro.
Hot 100 newcomer H&M has experienced a slowdown in sales so far this year and says it will step up store openings in response, particularly in China and the United States. American store openings include a high profile location on New York’s Fifth Avenue about a block from Saks Fifth Avenue, and another three-story, 42,500-sq.-ft. site at Broadway and 42nd Street. The company also plans to launch an e-commerce site catering to U.S. customers.
H&M, which was stung three years ago when news media reported the retailer disposed of unsold inventory by putting holes in the garments and leaving them on the street for trash collectors, in February launched a program to encourage customers to recycle old garments in exchange for discounts on new merchandise.
“We don’t want clothes to become waste, we want them to become a resource,” says Henrik Lampa, H&M’s sustainability manager. “We want to make new commercial fibers out of this, to make new clothes and textiles.”
The online factor No. 5 Apple’s hot growth continued last year, but this spring’s e-book pricing trial was a distracting sidelight for company executives seeking to keep consumers’ attention focused on products and services. iTunes Radio, a streaming music service offering more than 200 free stations, was launched in June; later this year, Apple is expected to introduce its Mac Pro, a sleek new desktop computer. One of Apple’s more significant retail moves was last fall’s ouster of Scott Forstall, a long-time associate of Jobs who oversaw Apple stores.
No. 7 Amazon.com’s most recent splash in the retail arena was entering the Los Angeles market with a grocery delivery service honed for years in its Seattle home territory. Called Amazon Fresh, the operation was jump-started when Amazon acquired Kiva Systems last year for $775 million; Kiva employed concepts and technology used by early Internet grocer Webvan.
Citing Amazon as “one of the few large-cap [businesses] to have secular exposure to e-commerce,” Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Jason Helftstein says the company “continues to gain share of U.S. e-commerce with its deep product selection, low-cost express delivery through its Prime program and breakthrough successes of its Kindle e-reader platform.”
Amazon also has an advantage because of its “head start and deep operating capability,” says Kantar’s Gildenberg. “It’s hard to see other e-commerce start-ups replicating what Amazon has done.” There is still plenty of opportunity for Amazon, he says, noting its relative weakness in such areas as consumables and apparel.
The expansion of Amazon Fresh to a second major market may turn out to be as significant a game-changer as Wal-Mart’s entry into the grocery business, Gildenberg says. “There are a lot of parallels” in that both Amazon and Wal-Mart went about showing the retailing establishment “a fundamentally different way of selling,” he says. “They operated with business models that were different from the way consumers bought things before.”
Curation and convenience Kantar predicts drug stores, dollar stores and membership warehouse clubs will remain in growth mode.
“One reason club stores and dollar stores will be successful is that they both do a good job curating product,” Gildenberg says. Drug stores will also see an anticipated $15 billion increase in prescription medication spending as a result of coming changes in health care coverage, he says. Even if dollar store openings see a temporary slowdown after the past five years’ explosive growth, Gildenberg sees expansion in the sector continuing as they exploit their capability “in curation and proximities as competitive advantages.”
The most successful retailers will be those that “best present their business’s value proposition to consumers,” he says.
Whatever the economy is doing, consumers were out and about in their cars more often in 2012 than 2011, as evidenced by the presence of eight convenience store chains on the Hot 100 Retailers chart, up from seven last year. Kantar’s researchers say c-store chains are growing through “acquisition of smaller chains and independents, rapid organic store growth and big investments in store remodels, food service and private label merchandise.” The numbers back that up: At the end of 2012, there were nearly 150,000 convenience stores in the United States, according to Nielsen Research — accounting for a little more than a third of all retail stores in the country.
As much as a quarter of the population says it shops convenience stores as often as supermarkets, according to a study released in June by Imprint Plus. The survey, which polled 1,000 consumers, also found that 60 percent of respondents bought something at a convenience store at least once a week.
C-store sales are segregated into two major categories: Fuel sales, which last year amounted to $501 billion, according to the recently-released State of the Industry Report by the National Association of Convenience Stores; and in-store sales of $199.3 billion. The three hottest categories for in-store sales were “alternative snacks” like meat snacks and health/energy/protein bars, which grew 12.2 percent year over year; liquor, up 11.6 percent; and cold dispensed beverages, up 11.3 percent.
The highest-ranked c-store chain on the Hot 100 Retailers chart is No. 24 Stripes, owned and operated by Susser Holdings. Stripes, which has locations throughout Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, has opened eight new stores so far this year. The company recently brought in Sid Keswani from Target stores to serve as senior vice president of store operations.
No. 73 7-Eleven, owned by Japan’s Seven & I Holdings, is the largest c-store chain among the Hot 100 Retailers in terms of sales and has plans to double its North American footprint over the next several years, both through takeovers of small operators and increased penetration of urban areas.
The chain “could increase … store numbers to 20,000 or even 30,000,” says Toshifumi Suzuki, chairman of Seven & I, declining to specify a timetable for the expansion. The company acquired more than 650 stores last year and controls nearly a quarter of the North American market. 7-Eleven has also invested heavily in remodeling and renovating both its own older units and acquired stores. It has been an industry leader in improving the quality and freshness of its offerings along with increasing the amount of private label products.
USA Retail Sales (000)
Sales Growth (’12 v ’11)
Worldwide Retail Sales (000)
USA % of World Sales
Growth (’12 v ’11)
Michael Kors Holdings
Sprouts Farmers Market
Apple Stores / iTunes
Helzberg’s Diamond Shops
N. Kansas City, Mo.
The Fresh Market
Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance
Fort Myers, Fla.
Whole Foods Market
Bed Bath & Beyond
Corpus Christi, Texas
Dick’s Sporting Goods
American Eagle Outfitters
Pier 1 Imports
Fort Worth, Texas
North Bergen, N.J.
IKEA North America
Tractor Supply Co.
City of Industry, Calif.
Yankee Candle Company
South Deerfield, Mass.
C & J Clark
The Woodlands, Texas
Harp’s Food Stores
Sally Beauty Holdings
Abercrombie & Fitch
New Albany, Ohio
99 Cents Only Stores
City of Commerce, Calif.
Academy Sports + Outdoors
Ascena Retail Group
Basking Ridge, N.J.
Casey’s General Stores
Trader Joe’s *
Burlington Coat Factory
VPS Convenience Store Group
The Home Depot
City of Industry, Calif.
Pilot Flying J
Wakefern / ShopRite
San Diego, Calif.
Ethan Allen Interiors
BJ’s Wholesale Club
Harris Teeter Supermarkets
Source: Kantar Retail
Notes on Methodology
USA = 50 States and District of Columbia; sales in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam have been estimated and removed if reported as part of the U.S. business segment for that company. All retail sales estimates are excluding wholesale and non-retail services (not sold at store). Fuel sales are included, except where revenues of fuel exceed 50% of average store revenues, in this case sales are reported exclusive of fuel sales. All figures are estimates based on Kantar Retail research and company reports.
* Trader Joe’s Worldwide figures are for ALDI NORD.
The average vacancy rate for a U.S. strip mall improved slightly in the fourth quarter from the third quarter, as consumer sentiment and retail sales ticked up, according to a preliminary report released on Tuesday from real estate research firm Reis Inc.
“Consumers appear to be acting more aggressively in response to improvements in the labor markets,” the report said.
The national vacancy rate for strip malls was 10.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, down from 10.5 percent in the second and third quarters.
The report noted a growing rift between “have” and “have-not” markets as income inequality worsened. “In these ‘have-not’ areas,” the report said, “demand remains enervated, rents continue to fall even as the macroeconomy and labor market improve, and new development activity is virtually if not completely nonexistent.”
Reis said it expects this “two speed” recovery to continue in 2014.
New concepts continue to boost this restaurant segment.
The fast-casual food segment may be small, but its growth is outpacing the restaurant industry, attracting new competitors and spurring evolutionary changes from quick-service and full-service brands.
Fast-casual sales were about $31 billion in 2012, up 13 percent from the prior year. That’s a huge increase from 2005, when segment sales were about $12 billion. Fast casual makes up about 7 percent of the $435 billion restaurant industry, but that share will continue to grow. Technomic forecasts a 3 percent nominal increase in restaurant industry sales in 2013 over the prior year but expects fast-casual segment sales to rise by about 10 percent.
Site Selection Factors
Fast casual is generally defined as establishments with a limited-service or self-service format, check averages above $9, food prepared to order, fresh (or perceived as fresh) ingredients, innovative food suited to sophisticated tastes, and upscale interior design. Fast-casual concepts tend to attract more lunch than dinner business, but several chains are courting evening guests with enhanced service, comfortable dining rooms, and adult-beverage menus.
Growing fast-casual brands target the same locations that other restaurants — especially quick-service concepts — do. However, fast-casual concepts generally don’t have a drive-thru, so their units — averaging 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, depending on the brand, location, and other factors — are also suitable for strip centers and city centers. At the same time, their focused menus don’t require the large kitchens that full-service operators need.
Because most of their business occurs at lunch and their customers tend to have higher household incomes, fast-casual chains target areas with both midday traffic and residents with incomes greater than $50,000. But their appeal enables them to thrive in cities, suburbs, and small towns.
The segment has much going for it in today’s economic and social climate. Fast-casual restaurants give casual-dining consumers an opportunity to trade down to lower-priced yet high-quality fresh food. At the same time, they allow quick-service customers to trade up to a “third place” environment that offers affordable food quickly at a cost that is usually only a few dollars more than typical fast food.
Fast-casual consumers tend to be from higher-income groups, and those making higher incomes have been affected less by the recession and slow economic recovery. The segment also attracts younger customers. However, as the segment continues to grow, its customer base becomes more mainstream.
The fast-casual segment has origins in what used to be called “home meal replacement” and “adult fast food.” Chains such as Fuddruckers, Au Bon Pain, and Taco Cabana featured food, atmosphere, and prices that were a step above quick service, in an effort to offer casual-dining quality in a limited-service setting. In the 1990s, fast-casual concepts such as Boston Market, la Madeleine Country French Café, and Einstein Bros. Bagels raised the bar on convenience and efficiency, which made them even more competitive with quick service. Throughout the segment’s evolution, some concepts have adapted to remain relevant, and others have not.
Today, leading fast-casual chains have built on the strengths of their predecessors but have continued to stay ahead of consumer demands for comfortable and contemporary décor, fresh and better-for-you food, and social consciousness.
Looking ahead, there are several areas where tomorrow’s leaders will differentiate themselves. Leading chains are capitalizing on their successful formulas to create new concepts. For example, Chipotle’s ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen features the company’s proven format offering customization of high-quality ingredients, applied to Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Thai flavors served on rice, noodles and bahn mi.
Fast-casual leaders are looking at ways to enhance varying points of service. On one hand, Panera and McAlister’s Deli are testing drive-thrus to up the convenience factor. At the other end of the spectrum, Wingstop has debuted a casual-dining concept, Wingstop Sports, with a sports-bar-and-grill atmosphere, plenty of HD TVs, and a full food and drinks menu.
Some emerging concepts are taking the menu to the next level, aiming to offer fine-dining cuisine in a limited-service format. Tom & Eddie’s, a higher-end better-burger concept developed by two former McDonald’s executives, features menu items developed in collaboration with local college culinary programs. Its $13 average check is slightly higher than the average fast-casual restaurant’s.
And several growing fast-casual concepts are looking for new ways to engage their media-savvy customers with LCD menu boards, HD flat-panel entertainment, complimentary Wi-Fi, social networking, and entertaining but useful mobile apps.
A look at growing chains within fast casual finds both national leaders and emerging upstarts. Among the larger chains, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop opened 231 units in 2012, for a total of 1,560, which was the largest increase in U.S. units for a fast-casual chain in 2012. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread netted the next largest increases for the year, adding 174 and 163 units, respectively.
In terms of ownership structure, among the top 150 fast casual chain restaurants, 47 percent of the units are company owned and 53 percent are franchised. Ninety-seven, or 65 percent, of the top 150 fast-casual brands have at least one franchised unit.
The growing fast-casual chains reveal some menu-segment potential. Niches like bakery cafés, fresh Mexican, and so-called “better burgers” are already well represented by leading brands such as Panera, Chipotle, and Smashburger. However, the ongoing success of these brands, as well as the reasons that consumers like them, indicate that there still may be plenty of opportunity in those menu segments.
In the ranks of the fastest-growing fast-casual chains with less than $50 million in U.S. sales, three categories are represented most often: burgers (Bareburger, Umami Burger, Mooyah, Elevation Burger, and Jake’s Wayback Burgers), Mexican (Hot Head Burritos and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill) and healthy (Fresh Healthy Café, Muscle Maker Grill, and The Veggie Grill). Technomic is watching other segments that have significant growth potential and don’t currently have a leader with national coverage, in particular, Mediterranean, made-to-order pizza, barbecue, upscale chicken, and “green” fast-casual concepts.
Technomic expects that fast-casual growth will continue to outpace industry growth, and that ongoing innovation and new development will come from both category leaders and upstarts.