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  • 5/29/2023

    Vestar taps industry veteran to energize its NorCal centers


    Vestar, a highly active retail real estate developer with 67 centers that range from Texas to Washington state, has hired an experienced asset manager to direct its Northern California properties.

    Charles Martinez has joined the Phoenix-based company as its regional director of 11 shopping centers with a charge to help each to evolve in ways that provide greater and more rewarding experiences for guests.

    “This is an exciting time to be in retail real estate,” Martinez said. “Trends are shifting and consumer expectations are changing, which means it’s the perfect time to devise and implement creative strategies that will make Vestar’s Northern California properties among the strongest in the market.”

    A UCLA alumnus, Martinez has served as a board member for nonprofit and charitable organizations including Yerba Buena Alliance, South of Market Child Care (Family Resource Center) and Culver City Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, he was appointed as the industrial/commercial sector representative for the Economic Advisory Commission in Fremont, California.

    “With his wide array of experiences both in California and abroad, Charles brings a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to the table,” said Pat McGinley, Vestar’s president of management services. “His ideas and leadership experience in development and redevelopment projects will help Vestar take these centers to the next level.”

  • 5/25/2023

    Aldi cutting prices on more than 250 items

    Aldi said the price cuts will provide over $60 million in savings to shoppers.

    Aldi is lowering prices on some of its best-selling summer products. 

    As food prices remain stubbornly high, the discount grocer is dropping prices on more than 250 items in a move that will save Americans over $60 million, according to the company.  Aldi said it made the decision based on its finding new efficiencies in its supply chain and transportation side.

    The price cuts cover a wide array of products, from trail mix (down to $2.19 from $2.79) to parmesan chicken tenders (down to $8.49 from $9.49).  The company noted it has also been No. 1 for price according to the dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index Report for six years running.

    Earlier this month, Aldi said it would open 120 new stores this year, giving it a total of more than 2,400 locations nationwide by yearend.

    “We’re reducing our already low prices on some of the season’s most popular items to make sure summer plans aren’t disrupted,” said Dave Rinaldo, co-president at Aldi U.S. “Whether our shoppers are traveling, heading to a game or enjoying time by the pool, we are committed to offering quality food and essentials at the lowest prices possible so they can enjoy life outside the grocery aisle.”   

    As summer   arrives, Aldi is again partnering with Alex to help find a cure for childhood cancer. Foreach limited-time ALSF-branded bag of lemons purchased throughout June, ALDI will donate 50 cents to ALSF, up to $1 million.

  • 5/21/2023

    China-based value retailer Miniso opens Times Square flagship in U.S. push

    Miniso has opened a flagship at 5 Times Square.

    Miniso Group is celebrating its 10th anniversary as it continues to expand its U.S. footprint. 

    The China-based discount retailer  has opened a 5,400-sq.-ft. flagship on the first floor of 5 Times Square. The store houses nearly 2,500 items, including licensed products from brands such as Sanrio, parent company of Hello Kitty.  Miniso said it plans to bring more brand collaborations to the U.S. market, including Peanuts, Barbie and Mario Bros.  

     The store is divided into dedicated zones that, in addition to licensed collections, include blind box collectibles, toys, plushies, fragrances, accessories, makeup tools, snacks, electronics as well as gifts & stationery. 

    With more than 70 stores and a dedicated local team, the U.S. market has been Miniso’s top-performing overseas market for two consecutive quarters, the company said. The brand is looking to surpass 100 U.S. stores by the end of 2023. (As of March 31st, Miniso has 5,514 stores worldwide, increasing by 401 stores year-over-year and 74 stores quarter-over- quarter.)

    “We’re delighted to be opening our new flagship store here in Times Square,” said Jack Ye, founder and CEO of Minisom, which is headquartered in Guangzhou. “Establishing a presence in one of the world’s most recognizable commercial and culture destinations allows us to effectively reach new audiences on a daily basis, introducing our fun, quality products to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and tourists who pass through these streets every single day.”

    Miniso opened its first U.S. stores in 2017, in California. Since 2021, the company has focused on expanding its presence along the East Coast and in the Southern states. In November 2022, Miniso opened four new mall stores in time for the holiday season, with two in Texas and two in Florida.

    Miniso's North American sales grew 100% in the March quarter from the year-ago period and the 10-year-old retailer expects the U.S. to eventually outpace China to become its biggest market.


  • 5/18/2023

    Bronx mall renovation scores Aldi and four other tenants


    High-value tenants are coming together to create a re-energized retail destination on the highly trafficked Bruckner Expressway in the Bronx.

    Urban Edge Properties announced it has signed leases for nearly 60,000-sq.-ft. of space at Bruckner Commons, a 510,000-sq.-ft. center positioned at the intersection of the Bruckner and I-287. Aldi leads the new list of tenants and will occupy 21,976 sq. ft. at the renovated mall.

    Other signees include Lot Less ( (15,082 sq. ft.); Jag-One physical therapy (4,000-sq.-ft.); Buffalo Wild Wings Go (1,666-sq.-ft.), and Saloncentric (1,977 sq. ft.).

    Target is another recent lease signer at the center, whose other key tenants include ShopRite, Marshalls, Burlington, and Five Below.  

    “With Aldi and Lot Less taking significant positions, the property continues to build on its reputation as a real community destination,” said Urban Edge executive VP Scott Auster.When all of these tenants are open alongside a brand new Target, we expect to see a boost in consumer traffic to benefit the entire neighborhood.”

    According to Urban Edge, more than 700,000 people live within three miles of Bruckner Commons, which is passed by some 80,000 vehicles daily.

    New York City-based Urban edge owns 76 properties totaling 17.2 million square feet of gross leasable area across 12 states and Puerto Rico. Among them are Bergen Town Center in Paramus, N.J., Goucher Commons in Towson, Md., and Marten Commons in Bensalem, Pa.

  • 5/17/2023

    Belk expanding outlet banner with 10 new stores — here are the locations


    Belk is wasting no time in expanding its new shopping format.

    The department store retailer will open 10 Belk Outlet stores in May, giving it a total of 16 outlet destinations. (Locations listed at end of article).

    Belk debuted its first outlet in January 2023, converting its store in Greeneville, Tenn., to the format. In March and April, the retailer converted an additional five  locations to Belk Outlet, with stores in Laurens, S.C.; Cedar Bluff, Va.; Russellville, Ark.; Clarksville, Tenn.; and Douglasville, Ga.

    Belk Outlets feature discounted items that come directly from traditional Belk stores, including high-end and designer brands that the locations may not have carried in the past.

    The next 10 Belk Outlet locations are:

    •Cordele, Ga. (opened 5/12);;

    • Land O Lakes, Fla. (opened 5/16);

    • Palm Coast, Fla. (opened 5/16);

    •Saint Marys, Ga. (opened 5/16);

    • Bossier City, La. (opens 5/23);

    •Westminster, Md. (opens 5/23);

    •Stillwater, Oak. (opens 5/23);

    •Sherman, Tex. (opens 5/23);

    •Franklin, Va. (opens 5/23); and

    •Parkersburg, W.Va. (opens 5/23).

    Based in Charlotte, N.C., the privately-owned Belk operates nearly 300 stores in 16 Southeastern states. In September 2022, the company named Don Hendricks as CEO. He had been serving in the role on an interim basis since May 2022, following the resignation of Nir Patel, who left to join GameStop.


  • 5/15/2023

    Shipley Do-Nuts taps industry veteran as new CEO

    Shipley Do-Nuts named Flynn Dekker as CEO.

    There’s been a changing of the guard at Shipley Do-Nuts.

    The fast-growing, 87-year-old specialty foods retailer has. He succeeds Clifton Rutledge, who has served in their role since May 2021. Rutledge, the former CEO of Bojangles, will return to Shipley’s board of directors.

    Dekker most recently served as CEO of Bonchon, a global franchisor of Korean chicken restaurants with more than 420 locations across nine countries. Before that, he served as chief marketing officer of Wingstop Restaurants, where he led all strategic advertising, franchisee communication, branding, media and marketing efforts. 

    Dekker has 30-plus years of executive leadership experience in the restaurant and retail industry and a strong track record of executing significant growth, Shipley said.

    “Flynn is an exceptionally strong leader and brings an impressive background across numerous executive roles, and his experience and talent will help to continue driving significant growth in the business through new unit expansion, same-store sales growth and enhanced operations,” said Robert Strauss, senior managing director at Peak Rock Capital and member of the Shipley board of directors. “We are also grateful for Clifton’s leadership over the past two years as he drove transformational growth at Shipley.”

    Since 2021, Shipley has added more than 200 units to its development pipeline and executed multiple strategic initiatives to accelerate growth, including launching online ordering, rolling out new branding and establishing a new systemwide coffee program. 

    Founded in 1936, Houston-based Shipley Do-Nuts franchises over 330 restaurants to a diverse group of operators across 12 states.

    “It has been my honor to serve as Shipley’s CEO,” said Rutledge.”We’ve accomplished so much as a brand, and I am confident that Flynn is the ideal person to build upon the momentum we’ve developed over the past several years. I look forward to continuing to support the company’s strategic and transformational growth initiatives as I return to my role on the board.”

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