A Vision of a Post-COVID Era Emerges for Restaurants 1
By: Jeff Dervech - September 15, 2022 A Vision of a Post-COVID Era Emerges for Restaurants

Despite concerns about inflation and a recession, restaurants are preforming well. The rate hikes are also an indicator of a strong and stable economy. According to the CEO of Texas Roadhouse, Jerry Morgan, their restaurants are seeing seasonal attendance similar to what they were seeing in 2019. Although sales have dipped in August, “it appears that more people are getting back to their normal routines when it comes to dining habits, work schedules, and vacations,”...

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Panera Bread tests artificial intelligence technology in drive-thru lanes 2
By: Jeff Dervech - September 2, 2022 Panera Bread tests artificial intelligence technology in drive-thru lanes

We have seen a major surge in drive-thru orders since the pandemic. Many fast-food chains are trying to speed up wait times and make the drive-thru experience more efficient. Panera Bread has decided to test out a program called Tori which is an artificial intelligence technology software. The chain started testing it out at two of their New York locations, customers pull up and have their order taken by a robot. Customer service representatives are...

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Walmart invests in ranchers’ company as more shoppers opt for premium beef 3
By: Jeff Dervech - September 1, 2022 Walmart invests in ranchers’ company as more shoppers opt for premium beef

Walmart understands that customers want to know more about their food, where it comes from and what is in it. In order to improve upon their product offering in grocery stores, they have partnered with McLaren Farms and invested in their own line of Sustainable Beef. Customers are looking more closely at the ingredients in their foods and Wal-Mart wants to be able to provide them with antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and even organic alternatives. The new...

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Consumers keep shopping despite inflation 4
By: Jeff Dervech - August 20, 2022 Consumers keep shopping despite inflation

According to the National Retail Federation, consumer sales were up 0.8% month-to-month from June to July. Although people are still concerned with inflation, it seems consumers are continuing to shop at a similar pace. When looking back at sales from over a year ago, retail sales are actually up 10.3%. The top categories with sales up in include online sales, building materials and garden supplies, and grocery stores. According to the article: “Online and other...

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Here’s a look at Wendy’s new, technology - fueled prototype 5
By: Jeff Dervech - August 19, 2022 Here’s a look at Wendy’s new, technology – fueled prototype

Wendy’s is striving to keep up with current trends on how patrons are ordering and has come up with an entirely revamped brick and mortar layout. The improved layout will feature shelves inside for ordering online and picking up in store as well as a window designed specifically for delivery drivers. There will also be special parking for the grab and go customers. Wendy’s has seen that many of their sales are coming from digital...

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In Spite of Worries About Inflation, Downturn, Retail Leasing Has Thrived This Year 6
By: Jeff Dervech - August 12, 2022 In Spite of Worries About Inflation, Downturn, Retail Leasing Has Thrived This Year

So far this year, the U.S. retail market has shown absolute strength. Although, some have been wary about the state of the economy this summer due to inflation, it has not stopped retailers from opening new stores. Some however, are hitting the pause button on new store openings going into the latter half of the year to see how the state of the economy pans out and whether inflation will go down. The types of...

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Macy’s speeds up plans to open smaller stores outside of malls 7
By: Jeff Dervech - August 5, 2022 Macy’s speeds up plans to open smaller stores outside of malls

Macy’s is evolving and adapting to consumer behavior changes by opening smaller department stores that compete with stores such as T.J. Maxx. Macy’s plans to open three “Market by Macy’s stores” in cities across the United States which are just 1/5th of the size of their typical department stores. They are shifting and opening stores where they see many people shopping online but also want to have a brick-and-mortar presence. These stores will have a...

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Suburban Retail Has Been Outperforming Urban Properties. Will This Trend Continue? 8
By: Jeff Dervech - August 2, 2022 Suburban Retail Has Been Outperforming Urban Properties. Will This Trend Continue?

Many suburban retailers have been doing more business than urban locations for the past few years. Due to the Pandemic and an increase in people working from home, they are shopping closer to their homes and continue to do so. Now, there has been a shift in the workforce with people going into the office a few times a week vs. full time and it seems to be benefitting both, urban and suburban properties. According...

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Markdown Mania – Tv’s, Furniture, Leisure Wear and More Hits Major Retailers Moving Excess Inventory on Pandemic-Era Goods 9
By: Jeff Dervech - July 27, 2022 Markdown Mania – Tv’s, Furniture, Leisure Wear and More Hits Major Retailers Moving Excess Inventory on Pandemic-Era Goods

Retailers are seeing large amounts of inventory in certain types of products and are being forced to sell them at a discount or halt purchasing from certain vendors in order to get rid of the excess that may be taking up valuable space in warehouses. The main reason? Consumers preferences have shifted through the Pandemic up to now. For example, more people are searching for back to office apparel in lieu of athleisure wear. During...

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Taco Bell readies ‘Defy’ frictionless drive-thru opening 10
By: Jeff Dervech - July 24, 2022 Taco Bell readies ‘Defy’ frictionless drive-thru opening

Enhancing the drive-thru experience has been a new hot topic since the pandemic hit. People are demanding more contactless options, and a seamless experience when picking up their food. Taco Bell is one fast food chain that has adapted to customer demands and is opening its first futuristic looking restaurant concept called ‘Defy’ in Minnesota. The design is a two-story structure and features four drive-thrus below the restaurant to serve customers at record speeds. Three...

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Consumers are venting about menu prices, but not always acting on it 11
By: Jeff Dervech - July 22, 2022 Consumers are venting about menu prices, but not always acting on it

In a recent study conducted on Yelp, more customers than ever are writing reviews mentioning higher costs of prices at their favorite restaurants. In the first quarter of 2022, inflation hit record highs since the 1980’s. Many restaurants are reporting having to increase the prices of their menu items or cut back on portion size offerings; however, the restaurants are seeing little to no decline in the amount of pushback they are receiving from customers....

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Kroger Targets new market for fast delivery with hiring initiative 12
By: Jeff Dervech - July 20, 2022 Kroger Targets new market for fast delivery with hiring initiative

Grocery delivery has become a widely popular trend. About one year ago, large grocery chain Kroger opened its first Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Groveland, Florida to service the greater Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets. With much success in these markets and with its e-commerce delivery business model, the chain recently announced it will be expanding its reach into the South Florida market and hiring approximately 200 more workers. Instead of going to a...

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Demand For Electric Vehicles Is Rising. How Can Building Owners Prepare for The Influx? 13
By: Jeff Dervech - June 10, 2022 Demand For Electric Vehicles Is Rising. How Can Building Owners Prepare for The Influx?

With the rise in gas prices coupled with the Biden administrations $5 Billion budget to support State EV charging station infrastructure, it is highly likely we will be seeing an even greater increase in demand for Electric Vehicles. From 2016 to 2020, the increase in number of electric vehicles has tripled to a total of 1.8 million registered in the U.S. For building owners, especially residential, it is critical that they begin investing in the...

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Target Q1 earnings plunge amid ‘unusually high costs’ 14
By: Jeff Dervech - June 9, 2022 Target Q1 earnings plunge amid ‘unusually high costs’

Although Target increased sales in Q1 of 2022, they missed profit margins by almost $1 billion from last year. Net profit margin decreased due to the high costs of transportation and freight. It is refreshing to see that their “total revenue rose 4.0% to $25.17 billion, above estimates of $24.48 billion. Same-store sales increased 3.3%, also more than expected. Sales growth was led by frequently purchased categories, including food & beverage, beauty and household essentials.” Unfortunately,...

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Does Increased Leasing Activity Signal Recovery for Retail Sector? 15
By: Jeff Dervech - June 7, 2022 Does Increased Leasing Activity Signal Recovery for Retail Sector?

Demand for leasing space has increased significantly from 2020 to 2021. Many businesses that were already on the brink of closing were propelled to close during the pandemic and new, stronger tenants have taken their places within retail strip centers. Retail commercial real estate firms have stated that from March 2021 to March 2022 was the strongest year for retail tenant lease ups in nearly five years. With the pandemic winding down and pent-up demand...

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Chipotle raised prices another 4% but still can’t outrun inflation 16
By: Jeff Dervech - June 3, 2022 Chipotle raised prices another 4% but still can’t outrun inflation

With inflation at historic highs, it is severely impacting restaurants bottom line, at least for now! Take for instance Chipotle. High prices for avocados, dairy products and tortillas have forced the fast causal chain Chipotle to raise prices last quarter above 4%. Even with this increase it is not allowing them to achieve the margins that they would like to obtain. Chipotle CFO, Jack Hartung said, “there are no signs that food or packaging prices...

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Inside the Store - Amazon Go's new suburban format 17
By: Jeff Dervech - May 20, 2022 Inside the Store – Amazon Go’s new suburban format

Amazon opened its first suburban convenience store concept called “Amazon Go” in Washington on April 26, 2022. The new concept is tailored to the busy, on the go, fast-paced commuters who are looking to grab a snack or meal quickly. Patrons simply enter the store using the Amazon shopping app. Once you’re in the store, you can grab the products you want and go! There are essentially no lines or checkout. Some of the product...

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Wawa Charts Massive Growth Strategy 18
By: Jeff Dervech - April 27, 2022 Wawa Charts Massive Growth Strategy

The convenience store retailer, Wawa Inc. is planning major growth and adding hundreds of new locations that will connect its stores along the East coast and into Florida. With over 1,000 stores already, the chain is planning to open an additional 1,800 locations by 2030. Wawa is looking to fill the void of stores between Virginia and Florida with expansion into new states. The store will build a few different concepts, one being “traditional,” which...

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Inflation has the middle class already planning restaurant cutbacks, study finds 19
By: Jeff Dervech - April 27, 2022 Inflation has the middle class already planning restaurant cutbacks, study finds

With the rise of inflation, speculation is whirling as to how often consumers will continue to eat out at restaurants due to increase in prices across the board. One recent study is now proving this to be true. Middle income Americans are worrying more about their budgets now than they ever have before, reviewing the costs of all items that they elect to spend their money on. This is a direct impact from the recent...

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Walgreens turns to robots to fill prescriptions, as pharmacists take on more responsibilities 20
By: Jeff Dervech - April 19, 2022 Walgreens turns to robots to fill prescriptions, as pharmacists take on more responsibilities

With the shift in consumers buying so many goods online, Walgreens was challenged to stay competitive in the pharmaceutical sector and is changing how it fills prescriptions to be more efficient. Walgreens has opened one of its first micro-fulfillment centers in Texas to fill prescriptions using robotic arms. Within this facility there are approximately 220 employees including pharmacist’s that fill roughly 35,000 prescriptions per day. Walgreens plans to open 22 more fulfillment centers throughout the...

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Investment Activity in Automotive Net Lease Assets Speeds Up 21
By: Jeff Dervech - April 19, 2022 Investment Activity in Automotive Net Lease Assets Speeds Up

The automotive net lease market is not slowing down. Retail tenants that include an auto related use are much more resistant to e-commerce, essentially recession proof, and are considered to be very stable and secure users of retail space. With close to 282 million cars on the road in the United States, car services and auto part businesses are essential to consumers.  “On average, American’s drive 12,000 miles each year and spend 1.5 percent of...

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The Past, Present, and Future of Fast-Food Drive-Thru 22
By: Jeff Dervech - April 7, 2022 The Past, Present, and Future of Fast-Food Drive-Thru

Drive-thru lanes have been around for decades and not much has changed. However, since the Pandemic, many restaurant tenants single handedly witnessed drive thru lanes and take out operational components as lifelines to keeping their businesses afloat. Due to this, more restaurants are interested and desire to add drive-thru lane components to their current prototype and future expansion plans for customer convenience and the enhancement of the overall experience.  “According to the NPD Group, drive-thru restaurant...

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Ghost kitchens could be a $1T global market by 2030, says Euromonitor 23
By: Jeff Dervech - March 31, 2022 Ghost kitchens could be a $1T global market by 2030, says Euromonitor

Ghost kitchens are a popular concept that have been on the rise even since before the pandemic. Now, with changing consumer demand, labor shortages, as well as the advances in technology, Ghost kitchens are thriving.   One of the main drivers of the ghost kitchens concept prior to the pandemic was that it involved less overhead due to the smaller kitchen only footprint and virtually no employees except kitchen staff. This ghost kitchen food model allows...

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Growth in New Types of Health and Wellness Tenants Drives Retail Leasing Activity 24
By: Jeff Dervech - March 29, 2022 Growth in New Types of Health and Wellness Tenants Drives Retail Leasing Activity

The rising increase in preventative medicine and the awareness surrounding people’s desire to keep healthy has led to the growth of many new health and wellness concepts that are finding homes within neighborhood retail strip centers. These non-traditional “med-tail” concepts include alternative medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, cryotherapy and physical therapy. Instead of renting space within healthcare facilities, health and wellness tenants have been strategically positioning themselves in highly visible, high traffic shopping centers. Med-tail tenants...

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Store closures slowed after a pandemic shakeout. Now Dollar General, Warby Parker and others see new value in stores 25
By: Jeff Dervech - March 16, 2022 Store closures slowed after a pandemic shakeout. Now Dollar General, Warby Parker and others see new value in stores

An interesting trend we are closely watching, is the growing list of direct-to-consumer retailers that started their businesses online and are now adopting physical stores to reach new shoppers, boost profits, and drive brand awareness.   One retailer who plans to hit the ground running, opening three stores in Massachusetts this year, is Wayfair. They had tremendous success in 2020 with consumers wanting to enhance their homes during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Wayfair’s sales rose 55% from...

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Seven Trends Driving Commercial Real Estate in 2022 26
By: Jeff Dervech - February 23, 2022 Seven Trends Driving Commercial Real Estate in 2022

Promise is on the horizon! The commercial real estate environment remains favorable in 2022. Investors are choosing real estate and propelling into the market in an effort to diversify their portfolios for many different reasons which include inflation, the volatile stock market, and the low interest rate environment for debt.  Below are a few highlights.  Significant capital and available debt will contribute to another year of growth. “ Preqin reported commercial real estate funds collected over $152.2...

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Menu Price Inflation Reaches Level Not Seen in Decades 27
By: Jeff Dervech - February 16, 2022 Menu Price Inflation Reaches Level Not Seen in Decades

Supply chain shortages and labor challenges have put increased pressure on restaurants across the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the food away from home index rose 6.4 percent in 2021 which is the highest increase since 1982. In order to handle these pressures, restaurants such as Del Taco and 4River’s Smokehouse have launched special “Inflation Menu’s,” which showcase a variety of options with better meal values.   With food and paper-goods costs rising...

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Tenant Outlook: Fitness Sector Jumps Back into Expansion Mode 28
By: Jeff Dervech - February 11, 2022 Tenant Outlook: Fitness Sector Jumps Back into Expansion Mode

During the Pandemic, fitness centers faced very trying times with shutdowns across the nation. Along with pent up-demand to go out in public again, the “great reopening” of 2021 has brought a wave of new fitness enthusiasts who feel safer with more people vaccinated. In addition, consumers are learning to live with the new “normal” with COVID-19 present in society. Global fitness franchise F45 is almost doubling its locations. It has more than 3,200 franchises...

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Old Restaurant Chains Get a Second Look from Quarantined America 29
By: Jeff Dervech - April 25, 2020 Old Restaurant Chains Get a Second Look from Quarantined America

Pizza Delivery companies are busier than ever! As people are forced to stay at home, many are turning to decades old pizza and chicken wing chains for food delivery. Many of these chains are hiring employees as fast as they can. Papa John’s, Domino’s and Little Caesars are all adding help to assist with the growing demand. With the delivery infrastructure in place, these retailers are setup and prepared to execute during a time like...

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What Retailers Will Be Left Standing After the Coronavirus Pandemic Ends? 30
By: Jeff Dervech - April 17, 2020 What Retailers Will Be Left Standing After the Coronavirus Pandemic Ends?

The retail environment and the world economy remain in a state of flux. As local communities across the country “shelter in place” and all businesses deemed “non-essential” close their doors, the shopping center sector has been thrown for a major curveball. Essential retail is thriving as “daily need” uses remain to be open and busier than ever. Grocery stores are noticing a 50-100% uptick in business, drugstores are not able to keep products on shelves...

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Restaurant Prospects in 2020 31
By: Jeff Dervech - March 18, 2020 Restaurant Prospects in 2020

The restaurant sector will continue to see growth in 2020. Over 90% of American adults report that they enjoy going to brick and mortar restaurants, according to Hudson Riegel of National Restaurant Association. Restaurant concepts such as craft breweries, entertainment, chef driven restaurants and fast casual giants continue to be active and seek to lease space. Growth within the sector remains to be moderate but steady, as top chains are being very methodical and strategic...

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Leasing Tips based on Restaurant Trends 32
By: Jeff Dervech - March 16, 2020 Leasing Tips based on Restaurant Trends

Healthy fast causal concepts continue to be on the rise and pair as a great use in a shopping center with other health-oriented retailers. As consumers seek out food retailers that offer healthy food options, concepts styled around the “Chiptole” bowl blueprint continue to be in high demand. Retailers have followed suit and are beginning to see success of their own. Panera for instance, implemented both a Baja and Mediterranean bowl last fall and have...

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Target Poised to be a Top E-Commerce Player in 2020 33
By: Jeff Dervech - March 4, 2020 Target Poised to be a Top E-Commerce Player in 2020

Target is leading the charge and continues to benefit for its investment in both digital and brick and mortar assets. As Target continues to slowly grow its new store count, renovate existing units and make investments into its digital footprint, the company is setting itself up to be a fierce force in this new age of retail. This retailer is the poster child to other retailers and is a model that others should follow to...

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How Restaurants Use Real Estate in the age of delivery and takeout? 34
By: Jeff Dervech - March 2, 2020 How Restaurants Use Real Estate in the age of delivery and takeout?

According to a National Restaurant Association survey, nearly 60% of restaurant interactions now are for off-premises dining. 90% percent of consumers buy takeout at least once monthly. “Digital platforms have made it very easy to order online in a seamless way from these various restaurants, so it has increased traffic quite a bit,” said James Cook. 79% order delivery directly from restaurants and 53% order through 3rd party apps such as DoorDash or Grub Hub....

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Bank Branches Go Newer and Smaller 35
By: Jeff Dervech - February 27, 2020 Bank Branches Go Newer and Smaller

The banking industry has changed tremendously over the last 10 years. From large rollout programs by different banks to capitalize on markets in establishing brand with a brick and mortar presence to purely technology driven initiatives with a turn towards focusing on efficiencies. As of late, here are the 5 bank branch trends occurring in the retail sector. Branch bank consolidation continues; 3,164 branches closed last year. The biggest institutions are closing the most branches;...

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New Retailers, New Opportunities in Open-Air Centers 36
By: Jeff Dervech - February 24, 2020 New Retailers, New Opportunities in Open-Air Centers

“Tenant Mixes in 2020 differ from Anything Consumers have seen since The Dawn of the American Downtown.” Landlords are discovering and reaping the benefits of backfilling former vacant retail spaces by way of some recent closures, leading to higher returns and a more powerful overall diversified tenant roster. By way of examples include, RPAI filling a former Pier 1 store with a Trader Joes at Shoppes at Union Hill as well as the replacement of...

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