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Report Details Retail and Restaurant Expansion Plans

Retailer demand for new locations is up across the board, according to ChainLinks Retail Advisors’ just-released "National Retailer and Restaurant Expansion Guide." The report details the current expansion plans for hundreds of the largest U.S. retail and restaurant chains.

“As 2010 came to a close, growth plans were up 30% from the levels we recorded last year,” said ChainLinks’ research director, Garrick Brown. "Right now, expansion plans are up 40% over last year’s levels.”

According to the report, some of the most active retailers currently include:

  • 7-Eleven is hoping to open as many as 350 stores in the United States and Canada this year.
  • 99 Cents Only is planning on at least 25 new units.
  • Aldi is planning on at least 100 new stores in 2011.
  • Apple will add at least 50 new stores in 2011.
  • AT&T: Expect at least 100 new cellular stores this year.
  • Bottom Dollar Food could add as many as 110 stores in 2011.
  • Burlington Coat Factory is planning on at least 20 new stores.
  • Chico’s could add as many as 40 units in the next 18 months.
  • Citi Trends may open as many as 65 new stores this year.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods could see as many as 40 new stores this year.
  • Dollar General plans on 625 new stores in 2011.
  • Dollar Tree will open as many as 275 stores this year.
  • Family Dollar has 300 stores on tap for 2011.
  • Five Below plans on at least 50 new stores this year.
  • Forever 21 could be looking at as many as 50 new stores this year.
  • Fresh & Easy could open as many as 60 stores this year.
  • HHGregg could be opening as many as 60 stores this year.
  • Jo-Ann Stores could open as many as 50 units in the next twelve months.
  • Pep Boys may open as many as 55 new stores.
  • Ross Dress for Less/dd’s Discount are likely to open 60 stores this year.
  • Save-A-Lot will open as many as 100 new stores this year.
  • Tractor Supply has plans for as many as 75 units in 2011.Ulta has 60 stores planned this year.
  • Verizon Wireless should add at least 125 stores.
     

Restaurant operators have also upped their growth plans, though franchise operators remain the most active segment of the marketplace, according to the report.  Some of the most active restaurant chains currently include:

  • Auntie Anne’s is looking to add at least 50 units this year.
  • Baskin-Robbins is looking at opening at least 60 standalone and 100 co-branded units.
  • Bojangles Chicken n Biscuits could open as many as 50 units this year.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings should hit the 100 new unit mark this year.
  • Charley’s Grilled Subs has plans for at least 100 new units this year.
  • Checkers/Rally’s has plans for as many as 125 units.
  • Chick fil-A should hit the 80 new unit mark this year.
  • Chipotle will open as many as 130 new stores this year.
  • Cold Stone Creamery would like to top 100 new units in 2011.
  • Denny’s will be opening at least 111 new restaurants this year.
  • Dunkin Donuts could see as many as 350 new units this year.
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries should top 200 new stores in 2011.
  • Genghis Grill is hoping to open 100 restaurants this year.
  • IHOP will open between 50 and 70 new units in 2011.
  • Little Caesar’s will open at least 100 new stores this year.
  • Marco’s Pizza is looking at opening at least 75 new units.
  • Panda Express will open a minimum of 100 stores this year; likely more.
  • Panera Bread will open about 100 new restaurants this year.
  • Penn Station East Coast Subs is hoping to open 100 units in 2011.
  • Pinkberry is likely to hit the 100 new unit count for the coming year.
  • Popeye’s will likely open 130 new restaurants this year.
  • Red Mango is likely to open 100 new units this year.
  • Smashburger is likely to open at least 100 new restaurants in 2011.
  • Sonic would like to open as many as 85 units this year.
  • Wingstop will open as many as 90 new units in 2011.

Nearly every region in the United States is experiencing an increase,  according to Brown, with the strongest surge in growth plans has been in those markets where unemployment is lowest.

“The greater Washington, D.C., area remains highly desirable, as does the greater Eastern Seaboard from Boston to the Carolinas, Brown said.  We have also seen a considerable increase in retailer requirements in the Chicago market. Texas remains extremely popular. And though both have elevated unemployment, both Florida and California have also seen a spike in retailer demand in most markets. Regardless, numbers are up across the board whether in the Pacific Northwest or the Gulf Coast states.”

Founded in 1979, ChainLinks is the leading retail real estate advisory services organization in North America serving America's premier retailers, landlords, and investors.

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