Sam’s Club to open 30-plus new U.S. stores, five distribution/fulfillment centers 1
By: Jeff Dervech - February 21, 2023 Sam’s Club to open 30-plus new U.S. stores, five distribution/fulfillment centers

Sam’s club has seen a record rise in membership growth over the past two years due to its product and service offering at low prices. Due to this rise in demand, the company has decided to expand its stores with the first new one opening in Florida in 2024. In addition to stores, it will also be opening fulfillment and distribution warehouses nearby so that it can keep restocking items quickly and efficiently while maintaining...

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Skiing at Your Neighborhood Mall? 2
By: Jeff Dervech - February 16, 2023 Skiing at Your Neighborhood Mall?

As we have seen malls transform due to changing times and e-commerce, it comes as no surprise that mall owners are looking for new and exciting ways to bring in foot traffic. In recent years we have seen success with malls incorporating fitness centers, mini golf courses and even ax throwing in some places. However, some of these “Experiential Retail” offerings require quite expensive buildouts and are extremely customized to their offering. Is an indoor...

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Amazon Is Ubiquitous. But It Isn't Invincible Anymore. 3
By: Jeff Dervech - February 14, 2023 Amazon Is Ubiquitous. But It Isn’t Invincible Anymore.

Amazon challenged other retailers a great deal when it first rolled out, and we saw how valuable curbside pick-up and delivery of anything you want was during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Amazon is facing more competition in the market as other retailers are catching up with their technology. Wal-Mart and Target, for example, have since discovered ways to compete with the retail delivery giant. Wal-Mart rolled out its Wal-Mart+ (plus) memberships for $99 a month...

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As Interest Rates Rise, Shopping Centers Look More Attractive to CRE Investors 4
By: Jeff Dervech - February 7, 2023 As Interest Rates Rise, Shopping Centers Look More Attractive to CRE Investors

Retail shopping centers have remained profitable and shown strong even with challenges such as the roll out of e-commerce in 2010 and the COVID-19 Pandemic. In today’s market, occupancy rates and rental growth has reached record highs. These brick-and-mortar locations have proven to be valuable storefronts due to the fact that you can talk to a customer service representative in person and pickup things quickly and seamlessly. “Year-to-date through November 2022, data firm MSCI Real...

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Walmart flew over 6,000 successful drone deliveries in 2022 5
By: Jeff Dervech - February 6, 2023 Walmart flew over 6,000 successful drone deliveries in 2022

Walmart is the retail pioneer for using drone delivery to deliver packages to its customers. Last year alone, they had over 6,000 successful deliveries from thirty-six stores which have the DroneUp hubs. States with locations include Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. With the drone delivery service, Walmart has had success delivering items to customers front yards that weigh less than 10 pounds. They are able to reach customers within 30 minutes...

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Here’s how Denny’s fits into the evolving family-dining breakfast category 6
By: Jeff Dervech - December 14, 2022 Here’s how Denny’s fits into the evolving family-dining breakfast category

Who doesn’t love a hearty breakfast or warm cup of coffee to start the day?! Denny’s has been around for almost 70 years and is still strives to evolve with its ever-changing customer base. It has been a staple and perhaps even a breakfast tradition for families who want to take their kids out for breakfast. During the pandemic restaurants such as Denny’s took a hard hit but are emerging strong. They have incorporated more...

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Holiday Shopping Looks Anything but Festive for Retail Stocks 7
By: Jeff Dervech - December 12, 2022 Holiday Shopping Looks Anything but Festive for Retail Stocks

It has been a bumpy ride for retailers this year and the stock market indicates that. Many investors are not very bullish about retail stocks going into the holiday season when typically, this is the best time of year for those stocks when sales get a nice boost from the influx of shoppers. What we are seeing now with retail stocks is a similar picture to that from March of 2020 when there was a...

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How Digital Drive-Thru Displays Can Boost Speed and Profit 8
By: Jeff Dervech - December 9, 2022 How Digital Drive-Thru Displays Can Boost Speed and Profit

Customers are more likely to go through a drive-through than get out of their cars and go inside to eat at quick serve restaurants. As we saw the trends continue to evolve, it seems that customers still want their food as quickly and efficiently as possible. As more quick serve restaurants invest in technology, one study conducted found that customers ordering speed can be enhanced by having a brightly lit menu with food visuals as...

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Grocery sales rise 8% in October 9
By: Jeff Dervech - December 4, 2022 Grocery sales rise 8% in October

Inflation has hit a lot of people’s pockets in different ways, but it turns out more people are buying groceries than ever before. Grocery store spending increased 8% year over year. It appears that people are still out spending at a strong rate. Even restaurant sales increased by 1.4% from September to October. Grocery inflation has remained high but did in fact decline in October compared with September.  The Census Bureau also reported that people...

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Chipotle to open 250 to 285 restaurants in 2023 10
By: Jeff Dervech - December 2, 2022 Chipotle to open 250 to 285 restaurants in 2023

Chipotle is the only restaurant chain to own all of its own stores. It is very exciting to see that they have been doing well and just opened their 500th store in Kentucky with their infamous “Chipotlane,” which is what they call their new drive-thru concepts. The store is excited to announce its next phase of growth by making a big splash in 2023 and opening roughly 250-285 new stores. The chain stated that their...

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NRF: In-store sales have edge over online sales this year 11
By: Jeff Dervech - November 12, 2022 NRF: In-store sales have edge over online sales this year

There is no doubt about it, people are out shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, more people plan to shop in stores than online this holiday season. “After more than two years of heavy online shopping, consumers are ready to get back to the sport of shopping,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD. “Despite saying they plan on scaling back holiday spending this year,...

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Target unveils larger-format store design 12
By: Jeff Dervech - November 10, 2022 Target unveils larger-format store design

Target corporations’ newest location in Katy, Texas is 20,000 Sq. Ft. larger than its traditional stores. The retail giant has seen more and more customers ordering online for pickup at the store and sees this as a great way to enhance the customer experience. They want to be able to serve as a fulfillment hub and not just a retail store where you go to physically shop. The new store design has larger windows for...

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Shake Shack ramps up labor efforts to support traffic recovery, growth 13
By: Jeff Dervech - November 7, 2022 Shake Shack ramps up labor efforts to support traffic recovery, growth

Shake Shack reported Q3 earning jumping 18% since 2021 and 8% in Q3 alone with strong sales since Labor Day. The CEO, Randy Grutti attributes this growth as strong performance in Urban markets and people going back to offices and simply being out and about more post pandemic. Shake Shack has 260 locations throughout the United States with 35 currently under construction and 1/3 of those new locations will soon feature drive-thru’s. The company is...

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The biggest mall owner in the U.S. hopes to create a new sales holiday as inflation surges 14
By: Jeff Dervech - November 5, 2022 The biggest mall owner in the U.S. hopes to create a new sales holiday as inflation surges

As consumers face inflation, retailers are doing their best to capture any dollars they can this holiday season. Simon Property Group, one of the largest mall and outlet owners in the country has decided to roll out a new sales holiday with their retailers and calling it “National Outlet Shopping Day” similar to “Amazon Prime Day.” The group states that they have been wanting to do something like this since 2019 but had to push...

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Starbucks to Open 23,000-Square-Foot Store in Empire State Building 15
By: Jeff Dervech - October 30, 2022 Starbucks to Open 23,000-Square-Foot Store in Empire State Building

Starbucks is opening a 23,000 sq. ft. store which will span three stories throughout the empire state building. This location will offer many unique items and be more experiential. They will debut its only cold pressed espresso beverages which was developed using state of the art technology by the Starbucks Research and Development team. “The store will offer Starbucks Reserve signature beverages—such as the Hazelnut Bianco Latte, Whiskey Barrel Aged Cold Brew, and Nitro Almond...

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Amazon, Walmart Kick Off Holiday Sales With ‘Massive’ Deals Expected 16
By: Jeff Dervech - October 28, 2022 Amazon, Walmart Kick Off Holiday Sales With ‘Massive’ Deals Expected

Retail inventories have been starting to fill up post-pandemic. With the influx of inventory, retailers are starting to market huge sales early this holiday season in hopes that shoppers will start early. For example, Wal-Mart is already promoting massive discounts on tech gadgets, air fryers and toys. Amazon is having a two-day sale and Target already started marketing Black Friday sales items. These retailers understand that the American consumer has less discretionary money to spend...

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How COVID-19 Changed Retailers’ Site Selection Strategies 17
By: Jeff Dervech - October 24, 2022 How COVID-19 Changed Retailers’ Site Selection Strategies

Malls will always be a great spot for retailers as they bring in heavy foot traffic, have ample parking and an array of demographics, however, some stores are looking at stand-alone options outside of malls for various reasons. With the changing consumer behavior, malls have started adding more entertainment and experiential offerings to attract clientele, for example, some malls now have indoor ski slopes, Ferris wheels, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and gyms. Since the pandemic...

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The top three things that in-store shoppers want are.. 18
By: Jeff Dervech - October 21, 2022 The top three things that in-store shoppers want are..

A recent survey conducted by “Mood Media” across the U.S., U.K., Spain, France, and China has revealed that the three most important characteristics to shoppers are: #1 – Atmosphere, #2 – Digital in-store, and #3 – Sustainability. As we have learned post pandemic, it comes as no surprise that brick and mortar stores are here to stay. People are back out shopping and enjoy the shopping experience with friends and family. The top trait that...

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Puttshack gets $150M from BlackRock to Fuel Mini Golf Entertainment Growth 19
By: Jeff Dervech - October 16, 2022 Puttshack gets $150M from BlackRock to Fuel Mini Golf Entertainment Growth

The creators of Topgolf have developed a new indoor miniature golf concept that is set to take off with a recent $150 million investment from BlackRock. Currently, there are two locations in the U.S. (Atlanta and Chicago) and four locations in the U.K. Two locations will be complete this year in Boston and Miami and expansion is slated to continue into 2023 in other major cities throughout the United States. The concept is unique in...

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Subway Evolves Into its Next Stage of Growth 20
By: Jeff Dervech - October 14, 2022 Subway Evolves Into its Next Stage of Growth

Subway’s focus and strategy for growth has always been on opening more stores, but now they are ready for their next phase of redevelopment. They are really trying to focus more on the customer experience and providing better service. Subway will be working on improving upon the stores that are already existing as opposed to opening new stores with entrepreneurial franchisees and those who have had success with operations and hiring great personnel to operate...

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A Vision of a Post-COVID Era Emerges for Restaurants 21
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 22
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 23
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 24
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 25
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 26
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 27
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? 28
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 29
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 30
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 31
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 32
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? 33
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’ 34
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? 35
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 36
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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