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News Briefs

  • 4/3/2024

    Third largest mall in New Jersey sold

    Close up of girl's hand placing the last jigsaw puzzle piece with word Acquisition; Shutterstock ID 377287183

    Woodbridge Mall in Woodbridge, N.J. has a new owner.  

    The 1.8 million-sq.-ft. shopping center was sold in February and the buyer — still unnamed — took ownership on Monday, April 1, reported The purchase price was put at $70.4 million.

    John E. McCormick, the mayor of Woodbridge, told TAPinto that the buyer “has a terrific track record across the country for revitalizing troubled assets.”

    “We are thrilled that they want to keep Woodbridge Center as the iconic shopping and entertainment destination that it should be,” he said.

    Chicago-based Brookfield Properties acquired Woodbridge Center, which opened its doors in 1971, as part of its acquisition of GGP Inc. in 2014.  The mall was appraised at $366 million at that time, according to CoStar data, but its most recent appraisal dropped to $79 million, according to the report. It has struggled in recent years amid evolving shopping patterns and as as two of its biggest stores, Lord & Taylor and Sears went dark. 

    In October 2021, Brookfield consented to the appointment of a receiver on the property and stopped making payments on the loan the following June, reported CoStar.

  • 4/3/2024

    Walmart Health plans big expansion in Texas

    walmart health 2

    Walmart’s freestanding health center concept is entering two new markets.

    Walmart Health is expanding its footprint in Texas, with the opening of its first location in the Houston area the week of April 8. It plans to roll out more locations throughout the summer and fall. 

    In total, Walmart will open 22 new Health Centers in 2024, including 18 in Texas (eight in the Houston metro area and 10 in the Dallas/Fort Worth region) and four in the Kansas City market. The Kansas City sites will be Walmart Health’s first locations in Missouri.

    The company said it is committed to having 75-plus total locations open by early 2025. (Walmart Health had 48 locations in five states.)

    Walmart launched Walmart Health in 2019. The centers are designed to allow patients to manage their health care in one location, with services that include dental, primary care, behavioral health, x-ray, labs and more.

    “Walmart Health continues to deliver healthcare that is convenient and personalized to each patient,” said Dr. David Carmouche, Walmart’s senior VP of healthcare dDelivery. "We’re thrilled to be expanding into Missouri and deepening our presence in Texas this year as we remain committed to growing our footprint to over 75 locations by early 2025."

  • 4/2/2024

    Fazoli's plans to enter Canada with 25 stores


    Fazoli’s will soon be expanding north of the border.

    The Italian quick-serve chain known for pasta, pizza and unlimited breadsticks, will open 25 locations in Canada over the next 10 years through a franchise agreement with Briwin Restaurants Inc. The first units are expected to open in 2025 in the province of Alberta.

    The Canadian expansion is the latest for the chain. In early 2023, Fazoli’s announced a development agreement to bring five Fazoli’s locations to Puerto Rico over a six-year period. Founded in 1988 in Lexington, Ky, Fazoli’s operates 220 restaurants in 27 U.S. states.

    “Fazoli’s has enjoyed tremendous success expanding domestically, operating in 26 states with over 200 locations, and is now well positioned to make its international debut,” said Taylor Wiederhorn, chief development officer of FAT Brands, parent company of Fazoli’s. “At FAT Brands, we have a strong network of international franchisees that span across nearly all our restaurant concepts. We’re excited to have an experienced operator come from within our Fatburger franchise system and commit to launching and developing an additional FAT Brands restaurant concept in Canada. We are confident that expanding in Canada is a natural first step for Fazoli’s in becoming a leading global chain.”

    FAT Brands franchises and owns more than 2,300 units worldwide, and currently owns 17 restaurant brands. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, which ended Dec. 31, 2023, FAT Brands opened 29 new stores, bringing the full-year total to 125 new openings.

  • 4/1/2024

    Gopuff launches 20-minute delivery

    Gopuff FAM20

    Gopuff has launched a new benefit for its FAM paid membership customers that will make delivery even faster.

    The on-demand delivery platform is debuting FAM20, a new benefit exclusively for FAM members that promises delivery in under 20 minutes for just $1.49/order. If an order takes longer than 20 minutes, FAM20 customers will be credited $1.49.

    During pilot testing, FAM20 orders were packed in Gopuff’s micro fulfillment centers in 90 seconds on average and customers received their orders in 17 minutes on average, with some of the fastest orders completed in under 10 minutes. FAM20 drove a 10% increase in orders during the testing period.

    “Gopuff has always been designed to bring instant experiences to customers and today we are excited to take instant to the next level with FAM20,” said Gopuff CEO & co-founder Yakir Gola. “FAM20 is a new FAM member benefit that promises delivery in 20 minutes or less. We are excited to leverage our vertically integrated platform and culture of innovation to bring the fastest delivery speed at the most affordable price to our customers.”

    Late last year, Gopuff introduced “lower-than-low-grocery store prices” on thousands of everyday essentials exclusively for FAM members that rotate weekly.

    Customers can join Gopuff’s FAM membership program for $7.99/month or $79.99/year. New members are eligible for a free 14-day trial.

  • 3/31/2024

    Publix opening seven stores in April — here’s where

    Publix plaza

    Publix Super Markets is expanding in its home state.

    The grocer will open six stores in Florida in April, along with a location in Alabama. The new stores (locations at end of article) will range in size from 25,740 sq. ft. to 54.964 sq. ft.

    Publix kicked off 2024 by entering its eighth state, Kentucky, opening  a 55,701-sq.-ft. store at the Terra Crossing Shopping Center in Louisville. Five additional Publix stores in the Bluegrass State are in the works.

    In other news, Publix said its board declared a quarterly dividend of 10.75 cents per share on its common stock. It will be paid on May 1, 2024.

    For its fiscal year ended Dec. 30, 2023, Publix reported net earnings of $4.3 billion, compared to $2.9 billion in 2022. Sales rose 4.7% to $57.1 billion.

    Here is the list of Publix’s April store openings.

    April 4 

    Sarasota, Fla. (Fruitville Farms)

    Homstead, Fla. (Valencial Center)

    April 11

    Wellington, Fla. (Wellington Green Square)

    April 18 

    Oviedo, Fla. (Alafaya Square)

    Estero, Fla, (The Shoppes at Verdana Village)

    Melbourne, Fla. (Addison Center at Viera)

    April 24

    Gulf Shores, Ala. (Paradise Isle Shopping Center)

    Publix is the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. with more than 250,000 employees. It currently operates 1,361 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.

  • 3/31/2024

    Talbots to enter Mexico through shop-in-shops


    KnitWell Group has announced a new partnership that will bring its Talbots apparel brand to Mexico.

    The holding company, which is comprised of Ann Taylor, Chico’s, Lane Bryant and more,  will work with Liverpool, a leading department store in Mexico, to bring Talbots to the country through a shop-in-shop partnership. This marks the first expansion of the brand outside the United States and Canada.

    “The KnitWell Group has widely known brands with incredibly loyal customers that generate strong results," said Deirdre FitzGerald, president of international for KnitWell Group. "We know there is an even greater runway for growth by expanding our reach internationally and our partnership with Liverpool is an important first step. Mexico is a very influential market that knows the Talbots brand well and we are grateful to have Liverpool, a best-in-class organization and business partner, to navigate this new opportunity.”

    Liverpool will open ten Talbots shop-in-shop locations within their stores in and around Mexico City this month. Each location will showcase the brand's women’s apparel with curated assortments for the Mexican consumer featuring dresses, sportswear pieces and more.

    “We are thrilled to partner with KnitWell Group to bring Talbots to the Mexican market and exclusively for the Liverpool customer,” said Daniela Hernandez, commercial buying director for Liverpool. “For more than 175 years, we have been committed to providing our customers with exceptional products and experiences. Talbots has a long history of doing the same and we cannot wait to bring the Talbots brand to life for our customers in our stores.”

    Founded in 1947, Talbots operates more than 500 stores in North America.

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