While demand for retail space may not be back to pre-recession levels yet, both domestic and international companies are once again investing in new concepts. These range from fast fashion powerhouses to furniture sellers to hybrids that sell everything under the sun. Here we round up 12 concepts that are so new many of you haven't seen them on the ground--yet. But they are promising enough that one day you might want them in your center.
This women's clothing chain, which gives a percentage of its sales revenue to community charities, tries to appeal to shoppers in multiple generations, according to Jim Davis, vice president of leasing with MPI Mall Properties Inc. "They have some similarities to Anthropologie," he says, "though they are not high end." Today, Altar'd operates about 26 stores, ranging in size from 5,500 to 6,000 sq. ft. They may be looking to open another five to 10 stores next year.
Originally a company that sold apparel to hunters and fishermen in the Seattle area, Filson has branched out into mainstream apparel and accessories with stores in Seattle and Portland, Ore. Two more are under development in New York City and Aspen, Colo., and another eight to 10 are planned for the immediate future, notes Michael Hirschfeld, senior vice president and co-leader of Jones Lang LaSalle's national retail tenant services practice. The stores, ranging from 450 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft., will appeal to well-to-do hipsters and fashionistas in some locations, to Filson's traditional audience of professional hunters in others.
Part of Chico's portfolio of brands, Boston Proper already has six stores operating in the Florida market. Shopping these women's clothing boutiques is "like shopping your closet: it's very clean lines, everying is organized. It's a concept that's going after a more mature customer, with a little bit of a higher price point," says Jim Davis. Boston Proper stores take an average floorplate of about 3,500 sq. ft.
C. Wonder stores can appeal to many demographics, since they carry a variety of merchandise in various price points, including everything from apparel to jewelry to home accessories, according to Kelly Gedinsky, a broker with New York City-based brokerage firm Winick Realty Group. Today the retailer operates at least seven locations, most of them in high-end malls in the New York tri-state region, with stores ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 sq. ft.
Operated by a company based in Mexico, Cinepolis is a chain of upscale dine-in movie theaters. With five locations already established in California, Cinepolis continues to look for new sites that can accomodate theaters of 60,000 sq. ft. in markets with very high median incomes, according to Conor Flynn, executive vice president and COO with Kimco Realty Trust.
Spanish transplant Grupo Cortefiel plans to open six new stores in the U.S. this fall, followed by 80 stores over a five-year period. The apparel brand, designed to appeal to mid-market consumers, is best-known for the trenchcoat worn by TV's Inspector Colombo.
An off-shoot of Japanese retailer Comme des Garcons, Dover Street Market curates offerings from different designers under one roof, according to Michael Hirschfeld. The first store, measuring 20,000 sq. ft., is scheduled to open in New York City this fall.
This U.K.-based retailer, which specializes in sports apparel and accessories, has plans to open its first two or three U.S. stores on the East Coast in the next two years. The stores will average approximately 1,500-sq. ft. and will sell casual, sports and beach clothing to mid-market consumers.
Coming in from France, Iro is designed to appeal to hip, young, affluent shoppers. The brand has already opened one store in New York City. Published reports state the company would like to operate about 20 2,000-sq.-ft. stores in the U.S. by 2015.
Another Japanese offering, Nitori, is a furniture store that seems like a hybrid between Ikea and Restoration Hardware. The retailer has no U.S. stores as of yet, but it's actively seeking leases at power centers, according to Conor Flynn. Nitori's stores tend to average 25,000 sq. ft. in size.
This off-shoot of apparel retailer rue21 will carry an expanded selection of menswear, but will appeal to anyone "seeking the latest trends at competitive price points," according to rue21 Inc. President Bob Fisch. The concept currently has three locations, in New York, Texas and Ohio. By the end of the year, rue21 hopes to open a total of 20 6,000-sq.-ft. rueGuy stores.
This is another retailer in the popular athletic apparel space. "I would put them in the same category as Lululemon or Athleta," says MPI's Jim Davis. "It's really geared toward women's sports and function apparel." Based in San Francisco, Title Nine currently operates about 24 stores, but it is starting to enter the Midwest, with a likely expansion pace of five to 10 stores a year, notes Davis. The stores range from 2,000 sq. ft. to 2,500 sq. ft.
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