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News Briefs

  • 10/18/2023

    Sterling Organization acquires Buckhead shopping center

    Marketplace at Buckhead

    Marketplace at Buckhead, a retail center located in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Ga., has a new owner.

    The 102,864-square-foot shopping center, anchored by an 81,718-square-foot Kroger store, has been acquired by Sterling Organization from a seller represented by JLL Capital Markets. Formerly known as Cherokee Plaza, Marketplace on Buckhead was built in 1958 and underwent renovations in 1997 and 2013.

    Neither the seller nor the purchase price was not announced.

    According to JLL, the property, located along Peachtree Road, features a weighted average tenure of approximately 25 years, and 89% of the tenants are nationally recognized brands that include Kroger, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Willy’s Mexicana Grill, Salon Lofts and more. The property's historical occupancy has been 100% for over a decade.

    Median household income within one mile of Marketplace at Buckhead is $137,775.

    “Demand for high-quality retail centers remains exceptionally strong, especially for grocery-anchored opportunities,” said Jim Hamilton, senior managing director at JLL Retail Capital Markets. “Marketplace at Buckhead was one of the most highly sought-after retail centers that we’ve marketed this year due to the infill and irreplaceable location, high-income demographics and significant cash flow growth potential.”

    Buckhead offers residents a number of luxury shopping options, including Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. Marketplace at Buckhead is located one mile away from both shopping malls, and four miles away from the midtown and downtown sections of Atlanta.

    Sterling Organization and its affiliates, own and manage more than 73 properties across the U.S. with more than 12 million square feet of primarily retail real estate, estimated to be worth over $2 billion in value.

  • 10/18/2023

    Aldi cutting prices up to 50% for holidays

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

    The discounts are getting deeper at Aldi as the holidays approach.

    Starting Nov. 1 and lasting through the end of 2023, Aldi will offer price reductions of up to 50% on items across the store. These items include seasonal food items like gravy, potatoes, green beans, cranberries and pumpkin pie, as well as staples such as butter and flour.

    With these extra savings, Aldi says it expects shoppers will be able to afford to invite three more guests to their annual feast. Walmart is also offering substantial discounts on Thanksgiving meal baskets that will run through Dec. 26.

    According to Aldi, its customers typically ave up to 40% on their grocery bills compared to traditional supermarkets and more than 15% compared to big-box discounters. The retailer has been number one for price according to the Dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index Report for six years running,

    “Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and we’re so grateful for our many loyal customers from coast-to-coast,” said Dave Rinaldo, president of Aldi. “With inflation still looming, we're providing shoppers extra relief to make the holidays a time for celebration, not stress. What’s served on the Thanksgiving table is just as important as who’s sitting around it, so Aldi is delivering big savings on key items so there’s always room for more guests.”

    Aldi operates roughly 2,200 stores across 38 U.S. states. 

  • 10/17/2023

    Amazon to open third-party seller platform in South Africa

    Approximately 25% of Americans shop on Amazon once a week or more.

    South African independent retailers and brands will soon have a new online commerce option.

    Amazon is launching in 2024, providing South African-based sellers the ability to reach customers across the country starting next year. Starting Oct. 17, 2023, independent sellers in South Africa can register their businesses on

    “We look forward to launching in South Africa, providing local sellers, brand owners, and entrepreneurs—small and large—the opportunity to grow their business with Amazon, and delivering great value and a convenient shopping experience for customers across South Africa,” said Robert Koen, GM of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for Amazon.

    Amazon actively assists third-party retailers to sell on its e-commerce platform with at least 150 tools and services, and regularly adds new offerings. These include the recent introduction of a revamped version of its Account Health Rating, designed to help its 2 million third-party sellers adhere to Amazon’s policies and maintain positive account activities.

    Some of the company’s other offerings for third-party sellers include a hosted distribution center solution called Amazon Warehousing & Distribution (AWD), which is designed to provide low-cost, long-term storage that gives sellers the option to store their inventory in Amazon distribution centers and then seamlessly replenish to Amazon fulfillment centers. The e-tail giant is supporting the service with new, purpose-built facilities for bulk storage and automated distribution.

  • 10/15/2023

    Rite Aid Bankruptcy: Fitch Ratings experts weigh in

    Rite Aid logo

    Rite Aid, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has been on Fitch’s Top Market Concern Bond list since November 2022.  Two experts from the firm weigh in on the filing.

    David Silverman, senior director, retail, Fitch Ratings

    "Rite Aid’s bankruptcy filing follows years of challenged operating performance, a weakening competitive position particularly against larger peers, elevated financial leverage and limited cash flow, which has limited Rite Aid’s ability to invest in its business and stabilize market share. The company’s bankruptcy plan would turn some creditors into equity holders, reducing debt and cash interest expense. Lower cash interest could allow Rite Aid to increase its investment in strategic initiatives. Conversely, the company also plans to close a number of its existing store base. A smaller footprint could leave an already structurally challenged Rite Aid further weakened in terms of competing for inclusion in pharmaceutical networks and negotiating with vendors and partners."

    Judah Gross, senior director, leveraged finance, Fitch Ratings

    "In connection with the filing, and in order to provide adequate liquidity for the duration of the bankruptcy process, Rite Aid is seeking court approval to enter into DIP facilities totaling $3.45 billion, consisting of a $2.85 billion ABL facility, a $400 million FILO term loan facility and a $200 millio  term loan facility. The company envisions a restructuring where ABL and DIP term loan claims will be repaid in full in cash and secured note lenders will receive either 100% of the new common stock in the reorganized company if Rite Aid is to emerge or cash proceeds pursuant to a waterfall if Rite Aid is to be sold in bankruptcy."

  • 10/15/2023

    California Pizza Kitchen revamps consumer app

    California Pizza Kitchen app (Photo: Business Wire)

    California Pizza Kitchen is adding several customer-centric features to its mobile app for consumers.

    The pizza chain, which opened its first location in 1985, in Beverly Hills, Calif., and became renowned for the BBQ Chicken Pizza made by Spago’s pizza chef Ed LaDou, is rolling out an upgraded version of its mobile app.

    Starting Monday, Oct. 16, customers who download or update the retailer’s free app will receive easier access to their rewards, a pay by mobile feature for faster check out in-restaurant, new personalized promotional offers, and access to exclusive weekly specials.

    To celebrate the release of the updated app, California Pizza Kitchen is providing members of its loyalty program with weekly rewards through Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. The exclusive offers include free menu items, bonus points, and discounts for future purchases. The exclusive perks appear automatically in the app wallet, allowing customers to take advantage of the offers immediately.

    “We are always looking for new ways to enhance the California Pizza Kitchen customer experience,” said Ashley Ceraolo, senior VP of marketing at California Pizza Kitchen. “Our new app allows our loyalty members to not only enjoy our innovative California-inspired menu items, but also provides them with new easy-to-use features for more customization, faster payment, and exclusive access to special offers.”

    The updated mobile app can now be downloaded in the app store. Other fast casual restaurant retailers, including Sweetgreen and Panera, have also recently enhanced the functionality of their consumer apps.

    Editor's Note: The photo of the California Pizza Kitchen app is courtesy of Business Wire.

  • 10/11/2023

    The Fresh Market is now on DoorDash

    The Fresh Market DoorDash

    North Carolina-based specialty grocer The Fresh Market has arrived on DoorDash Marketplace just in time for the holiday season, expanding access for its shoppers.

    Delivery is now available from the grocer’s 161 locations in 22 states, where customers can order a wide variety of items, including the chain’s private label products and prepared foods. To celebrate the launch, guests can receive $20 off delivery orders of $60 or more at The Fresh Market—now until Dec. 31, 2023.

    “It’s exciting to bring our guests another way to shop our stores that fits their daily lifestyle needs,” states Kevin Miller, chief marketing officer at The Fresh Market. “Being able to find The Fresh Market on the DoorDash Marketplace and place an order for delivery will help our guests’ holiday shopping needs, solve “what’s for dinner tonight” on a busy day, or everyday if they prefer or need the convenience of delivery.”

    All participating The Fresh Market stores will be available on DashPass, DoorDash’s membership program that offers members $0 delivery fees from thousands of restaurants, grocery, and convenience stores nationwide. DashPass members can enjoy these benefits on all eligible orders of $35 or more from The Fresh Market.

    “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with The Fresh Market ahead of the busy holiday season to offer their leading fresh selection to new and loyal customers with stress free on-demand delivery,” added Fuad Hannon, VP of new verticals at DoorDash. “The Fresh Market is a welcome addition to the 100,000+ non-restaurant stores on our Marketplace and Drive platforms in North America, bringing top notch selection and continued convenience to consumers."

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