Design

Nano Kawa, Japan — New York-based CDI Group Inc. was chosen by Fukoka-based Sunny Co. to redefine the grocery retailer's image. The 22,000-sq.-ft. prototype store is expected to generate more than $27 million in sales per year.

The regional retailer wanted a new look as it celebrated its 35th anniversary. To accomplish this, CDI crafted a “food expert” positioning to be incorporated throughout the store. In addition, the Community Circle, dedicated to cooking demonstrations; an open ceiling, adding drama and contrast to brightly-lit food displays; and a new logo and corporate color — now a teal green to replace the red — have been designed to add appeal.

Retailer roundup

Atlanta — Locally based The Athlete's Foot Group Inc. announced an agreement with Marco and Jorge Canavati for the master franchise rights to open The Athlete's Foot stores throughout Mexico. The initial store is set to open this month in Monterey, Mexico. Over the length of the agreement, 100 stores will be opened in Mexico, 30 within the next five years. The company also plans to open new franchise operations in Europe, Asia and South America this year.

The Athlete's Foot is the world's fifth largest athletic footwear retailer in the world. Entrepreneur International magazine ranks it as the eighth largest global retail franchiser.

Honk Kong — Japan's fourth-largest supermarket chain with 227 outlets, Mycal Corp. expects to post a net loss of $897 million this year — the prior year's net loss totaled $50 million. As a result, Mycal has closed 50 outlets and plans to terminate 2,700 employees by 2004, according to Reuters.

Mississauga, OntarioWal-Mart Canada's new COO Mario Pilozzi confirmed the retailer will nearly double its expansion in Canada in upcoming years, including the building of 10 new big-box stores per year in Canada. However, Pilozzi believes industry predictions of Wal-Mart Canada's expansion from 174 stores to 300 is still “premature.” In 1999, Wal-Mart became Canada's largest department store chain with nearly one-third of the market. Though Wal-Mart will not disclose its Canadian stores' financials, analysts estimate the retailer's 2000 sales totaled approximately $7 billion, as reported by National Post.

Finance

Brussels, Belgium — Twelve of the European Union's 15 member countries will adopt the euro as legal tender by February 28, 2002, according to the EU's official timetable for currency conversion. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal.

Milan, ItalyNCR Corp. signed a $1.6 million agreement with Finiper S.p.A. to convert current computing systems into new checkout systems equipped with the capability to accept the euro. The initial pilot system is slated for the Orio al Serio supermarket, followed by the Pesaro and Grandate stores. Finiper's other Italian retail endeavors include supermarkets in Savignano sul Rubicone, Montebello della Battaglia, Seriate, Rozzano, Busnago, Varese, Pescara and Alba Adriatica.

Amsterdam, Netherlands — Locally based Gucci Group N.V. is now directly operating three stores in Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao, Spain. The agreement with the company's Spanish franchisee allows the Italian clothier to obtain key store assets, as well as the store's associates, and will provide Gucci with 100% control over its Spanish retail activity.

Technology

Kibutz Einat, Israel — The world's largest paper company, Purchase, N.Y.-based International Paper (IP), is developing and manufacturing e-packaging applications with the help of locally based Power Paper. Power Paper has developed technology allowing ultra-thin, flexible batteries and other microelectronic features to be contained within paper packaging, smart cards and labels with the ability to be tracked. This was created to aid consumer goods companies by providing more marketing initiatives through interactive packaging options. This technology will allow IP to enable companies to deliver audio messages, visual effects and other interactive marketing breakthroughs. IP hopes to introduce the first e-package this summer and have 5 million e-packages under its belt by 2003.

Expansion

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Scheduled for completion in 2002, expansion of the Bur Juman center is being led by Baltimore-based Development Design Group Inc. The 450,000-sq.-ft. new addition will include comprehensive entertainment, shopping, commercial and residential projects. The existing space is 862,000 sq. ft. and includes retail boutiques, a supermarket, a mini-department store anchor, a food court, an arcade and two levels of underground parking.

Cleveland, OhioManagement Reports International (MRI), a property management technology provider, has expanded its worldwide presence. It recently opened a new office in Hong Kong. “Many of the large Hong Kong property companies have property investments in the China market, thus presenting a huge market opportunity to tap into,” says Stephen Wilson, general manager of MRI Asia. Today, the company is located on five continents and in more than 20 countries.

New developments

Sedona, Ariz. — Phase I of Phoenix-based Pacific Ridge Properties' 90,000-sq.-ft., Tequa Festival Marketplace is slated to open in August 2002. The open-air center, which is being developed in four phases, will feature a total of eight, two-story structures from 4,000 to 7,000 sq. ft. Phoenix-based McCarthy serves as general contractor, while DFD Architecture performs design duties.

Orlando, Fla. — Ground has been broken on a $60-million, mixed-use project called Park Place at Heathrow International Business Center in the suburb of Lake Mary. The mixed-use project includes a 304-room Marriott Hotel connected by a 1-acre pedestrian plaza to a 90,000-sq.-ft. retail, restaurant and entertainment destination venue.

The development team on the project includes locally based The Pizzuti Cos. and Pelloni Development Corp., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Heathrow Hotel Associates LLC. The project's retail component will be designed by Maitland, Fla.-based Farmer Baker Barrios Inc.

St. Louis — Construction is underway on Brentwood Town Center, a $51 million, 200,000-sq.-ft. lifestyle center. Tenants set to anchor the project include a 25,800-sq.-ft. Borders, a 22,000-sq.-ft. REI, a 33,600-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market, a 34,000-sq.-ft. Circuit City and a 24,300-sq.-ft. Organized Living. Brentwood Town Center is being developed by Pace-Brentwood LLC, a joint venture between locally based Pace Properties Inc., Los Angeles-based The Zelman Cos. and the site's owner.

Edgewater, N.J. and Woodcliff Lake, N.J. — Construction is underway on the final components of The Promenade, a $75-million, mixed-use project that will include 160,000 sq. ft. of upscale shops and restaurants, 325 apartments, a hotel, 20,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 16-screen cinema.

The Main Street-inspired development will open in 2002 and has already secured tenants such as Gap, The Limited, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Pier 1 Imports and Fleming's Steak House. The Promenade is a development of locally based Starwood Heller LLC.

Starwood Heller also is building an anchorless, 120,000-sq.-ft. lifestyle center called Tico's Corner in nearby Woodcliff Lake, N.J. Scheduled to open this October, Tico's Corner is already 90% leased to tenants including Gap, J. Crew, Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

Cumming, Ga. — St. Petersburg, Fla.-based The Sembler Co. recently started construction on an as-yet-unnamed, 350,000-sq.-ft. power center in suburban Atlanta. The center, scheduled for a March 2002 grand opening, will be anchored by Target, Home Depot, Super Wal-Mart and Lowe's.

Eden Prairie, Minn. — Development is set to begin for the Twin Cities' first urban, transit-oriented community, Southwest Station. Cincinnati-based North American Properties, in partnership with North American Communities, will develop the mixed-use project that will include 18,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space, 25,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 27,000 sq. ft. of office space.

A multifamily housing community of 250 rental units and 35 townhomes will also be included. Southwest Station is expected to open in 2003.

Glendale, Calif.Caruso Affiliated Holdings is teaming up with multifamily property specialist Legacy Partners to develop a $100 million mixed-use project — Glendale Town Center. The 300,000-40,000-sq.-ft. center will be comprised of retail, residential and office components set around a civic plaza. Boston-based Elkus/Manfredi will serve as architect. Caruso is currently soliciting input from the Glendale community to determine the exact parameters of the project, whose opening date is as yet undetermined.

Cleveland, Ohio — Locally based Starwood Wasserman LLC recently broke ground on the 611,500-sq.-ft. University Heights project. Designed by KA Inc., the center will be anchored by a two-level, 165,000-sq.-ft. Kaufmann's; a two-level, 165,000-sq.-ft. Target and a single-level, 58,000-sq.-ft. Tops.

University Heights will also include a big-box and specialty shop mix of 213,000 sq. ft. and 10,000 sq. ft. of restaurants. The Kaufmann's anchor will open in March 2002, while the rest of the project will celebrate its grand opening the following fall.

Oswego, Ill. — Developers are anticipating an early 2002 completion for an as-yet-unnamed, $42 power center. Anchored by Target, Home Depot and a Dominick's Fresh Store, the 500,000-sq.-ft. project is being developed by Oak Brook, Ill.-based Inland Real Estate Development. The project's owner is Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos.

Business

Arlington, Va. — Currently, U.S. tariffs on Chilean apparel products average 17%, as opposed to the 3% tariffs the United States places on other manufactured goods. This is why International Mass Retail Association (IMRA) is supporting U.S. efforts to negotiate a free trade agreement with Chile. This would remove such tariffs on food products, furniture, apparel, etc. “Reducing high [apparel] tariffs will directly benefit U.S. consumers and provide incentive for importers to shift sourcing decisions from the Far East to the Western hemisphere,” says Robert J. Verdisco, IMRA president. The IMRA is hoping the administration will reduce the apparel tariffs in the shortest practical amount of time — 10 years.

SIDEBAR: Operation set-up

International retailers often set-up operations in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, as joint ventures with local partners. The local partners should own 51% while the foreign company owns the remaining 49%. However, there is a second option. Most cases reveal local partners do not commit 51% of the capital to the venture. Rather, they get an annual fee for allowing the foreign partner use of their retail/trade license. Incidentally, among the GCC states, United Arab Emirates remains the most lucrative retail market.

Source: Mapic News Preview