Design

Seoul, Korea — New York-based multidisciplinary design firm WalkerGroup/CNI is designing the interior space of the new 500,000-sq.-ft. Hyundai department store. Scheduled to open August 2002, the eight-level flagship is located in the Mok Dong district. Hyundai will serve as the anchor of the mixed-use complex, which features three high-rise condominium towers — making it the tallest building in Korea.

WalkerGroup/CNI also is providing the umbrella architecture for the retailer. The firm's architects describe the look as modern Deco, inspired by 1930s architecture such as New York's Chrysler building and Rockefeller Center. The project's architecture keeps with the upscale nature of the surrounding area, which is the media and financial center of the city.

In addition to interior work, WalkerGroup/CNI will provide environmental and way-finding signage and merchandising. Area-based Hyundai is the developer.

Helsinki — Three top architectural design firms, Cambridge, Mass.-based ADD Inc., Helsinki-based Evata and Hong Kong-based Adrianse Group joined forces earlier this year to create a new strategic alliance called E2A-Global. The new network links 600 professionals in 22 locations to clients all over the world. “This is a natural step in the evolution of our business,” says Tommi Tuominen, CEO, Evata. “This move makes a lot of sense,” says Ron Adrianse, managing director, Adrianse Group. “We needed a large, well-positioned structure, which responded to the demands of the market place, with good coverage and the ability to respond.” Key offices will be located in Boston, Helsinki and Hong Kong.

Founded in 1971, ADD Inc. delivers design solutions that support clients' goals and help leverage the power of change in their environments. One of Europe's largest architectural and consulting firms, Evata continues to provide expertise and technical capabilities worldwide. The Adrianse Group is a multidisciplinary design practice offering services such as space planning, interior design and project management.

Expansion

São Paulo, Brazil — Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its first newly created supermarket chain, Todo Dia, in São Paulo. The retail giant is considering opening additional stores in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. Eight Sam's Club outlets and 12 Wal-Mart supercenters already exist in these cities.

The new Todo Dia stores are targeted toward consumers in the “C” and “D” socioeconomic classes. Wal-Mart currently ranks sixth in sales among Brazilian retailers.

Düsseldorf, Germany — German retailer Metro AG is adding 3,000 new jobs, half of which will be in Germany, through the expansion of Media Market and Saturn, the company's electronics and appliance specialty chains. “Our focus in the next six months is to continue organic growth and international expansion,” says CEO Hans-Joachim Köber. Metro also plans to enter the Croatian market through a joint venture with leading retailer Konzum, reports Planet Retail. The new company will be called Konmet.

Gap, Pa. — Earlier in the year, Auntie Anne's Inc. completed development agreements with parties in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Korea. Middle East-based The Fahad A. Al-Rajhi Co. holds the rights to own and operate Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzel locations in Saudi Arabia and is expected to open 20 pretzel shops during the next five years. Dynasty Foods Enterprises obtained the exclusive licensee rights to the pretzel store for sites in the UAE while Jaewon Food Corp. obtained licensee rights for locales in South Korea. Dynasty plans to open 20 stores by 2006 and Jaewon is rolling out 30 Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzel locations in South Korea.

Auntie Anne's Inc. is the privately owned franchiser of Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels. Today, the company supports more than 670 locations spanning 43 states and eight countries.

Business

Hong Kong — In May of this year, Mycal Corp., Japan's fourth-largest supermarket chain, expected a net loss of $897 million in 2001. On Sept. 14, less than six months later, Mycal filed for bankruptcy. Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, the grocer's primary lender, refused to entrust any additional funds. Mycal debts total $11.7 billion. Economists blamed Mycal's demise on Japan's weakened economy and the company's decision to continue expansion with disregard to operating efficiencies and dissipating profits, according to Retail NewsBeat.

Subsequently, negotiations involving Wal-Mart acquiring Mycal have been delayed, reports Kyodo News Service.

New YorkFederated Merchandising Group (FMG), a division of Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores Inc., has agreed to supply department stores in Australia, Chile and Peru with the company's private labels.

Australia's largest department store, Myer Grace Brothers — with 69 locations around the continent — will begin carrying Charter Club, Style & Co., and Jennifer Moore women's apparel; Alfani for men; and Greendog children's wear in March 2002. Ripley, South America's second largest department store is already selling I.N.C. International Concepts woman's wear and Tools of the Trade cookware at stores in Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru, reports Business Wire. “With our initial success in Japan, and these new agreements in Australia and South America, we will continue to be aggressive in pursuing strategies for partnering with retailers around the globe in coming years,” says Susan Bertelsen, FMG's senior vice president for new business development.