The Fenton location, according to Venezia, is a prototype for stores to come. He noted the wider aisles and lower shelves, and the improved layout of the store.
"We've done a lot of things that are great for customers, and great for," he said, noting that the store's new LED lighting and skylights save 75 percent of lighting costs, and low-flow sinks and toilets save about 70 percent of the store's water usage.
Additionally, the store will participate in the company's Feeding America program, donating food that has not yet expired to food banks, in an effort to become a zero-waste facility, Venezia said.
Here are some otherand notes on retail and retail real estate from around the Web today.
- Investor's Business Daily looks at banks' concerns over commercial real estate. This sums up a lot of data that's come out in recent weeks--on CMBS delinquencies particularly--and really focuses on the banks' perspective on how this will play out. It bolsters the notion that banks are taking an "extend and pretend" mentality. They are extending problem loans rather than foreclosing. In other cases, they're just outright ignoring problem loans. But this can't go on forever. At some point, problem loans will have to be dealt with.
- The Mall of America is trying everything it can to boost traffic at the property. The story from the Star Tribune says mall personnel are trying everything they can think of to promote the property including "traveling to book expos, meeting with Hollywood producers and planning back-to-school promotions for Facebook and Twitter."
- The Associated Press has a story about "ghostboxes", i.e. vacant big box retail sites and how cities are dealing with them.