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News Briefs

  • 5/8/2024

    Grocery-anchored center breaks ground in Delaware

    Weis Markets

    Construction has begun for Bayberry Town Center, a 280,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use center developed by Blenhiem Group.

    Located just north of Middletown, Del., Bayberry Town Center will be anchored by a flagship, 64,000 sq.-ft. Weis Markets and fuel facility. Blenheim Group has signed leases with other retail tenants, including a bank, pet store, spa, and nail salon, which will be announced soon.

    When complete, Bayberry Town Center will also feature professional office space, two green spaces for community programming, 145 townhomes on the property, and internal street and trail connectivity with over 3,000 homes.

    The new development will be located within The Village of Bayberry, also developed by Blenheim Group, which includes almost 2,700 homes (1,900 sold) in a location featuring 600 acres of open space that offers miles of walking paths, parks, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, lakes, and several luxury clubhouses.

    Building construction on Weis Markets is expected to begin in the fall of 2024. Weis and several other stores are anticipated to open in 2025.

    "As we enter the next phase of development at the Town Center, we are focused on delivering essential services and dining concepts to our community,” said Jay Sonecha, president of Blenheim Group. “With a large grocery store as our anchor, we are building a hub that reflects our commitment to enhancing daily life not only for residents in The Village of Bayberry but the larger community around us as well. The start of site development marks yet another milestone in our mission to create an outstanding lifestyle and retail experience for everyone to enjoy."

  • 5/8/2024

    Report: Simon sells stake in Authentic Brands Group for $1.2 billion

    simon logo

    Simon Property Group has sold its remaining stake in brand management firm Authentic Brands Group. 

    The largest mall owner in the United States  sold its remaining nearly 10% stake in Authentic Brands for $1.2 billion, reported Women’s Wear Daily. The sale comes after Simon, in February, reduced its stake in the company from just under 12% to nearly 10%. 

    “We generated substantial value from the ABG investment and a seven-times multiple on our net invested capital during our short ownership period,” David Simon, who is chairman, president and CEO, Simon Property Group, told analysts on a conference call on May 6.

    The companies buying Simon’s shares in Authentic Brands were Leonard Green & Partners, General Atlantic, HPS Partners, Jasper Ridge Partners and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, the report said. 

    Simon and Authentic Brands remain in business together as partners in the SPARC joint venture. (In October, Simon reduced its stake in the venture from 50% to 33%.)

    Authentic’s extensive brand portfolio includes Reebok Brooks Brothers, Barneys New York, Judith Leiber, Nautica, Juicy Couture, Vince Camuto, Lucky Brand, Aéropostale, Forever 21, Nine West, Rockport, Eddie Bauer, Quiksilver and more. Together, the brands generate retail sales of $29 billion annually. 

  • 5/7/2024

    The Picklr continues Chicago-area expansion

    The Picklr

    The sport of Pickleball is sweeping the nation, and a new club is soon arriving at the Randhurst Commons Shopping Center in the Chicago suburbs.

    Utah-based indoor pickleball franchise The Picklr will open its new slub at the Mount Prospect, Ill. shopping center, located across from the Randhurst Village powercenter, in late summer of this year. Spanning over 42,000 sq. ft, the facility will feature 14 premium indoor courts, including 12 regulation courts and two championship courts, in addition to two warm-up/dink courts.

    North Shore Pickleball Group will be opening additional Picklr locations in the North Shore and northern suburbs of Chicago in 2025. The Picklr already has a club open in Naperville, with Mundelein and Villa Park opening this summer.

    The Mount Prospect announcement comes as other pickleball franchises, such as Chicken N Pickle and Ace Pickleball Club, continue to grow their footprints while the sport gains popularity.

    “By bringing The Picklr to Mount Prospect the entire community – not just Mount Prospect itself, but also surrounding suburbs, will benefit from the best-in-class indoor pickleball experience offered anywhere,” said Ron Weiland, co-founder of North Shore Pickleball Group. “The Picklr takes indoor pickleball to the next level with state-of-the-art clubs, all-inclusive, one-price memberships, combined with a "player-first" optimal environment and unmatched programming for all ages, making The Picklr your best choice for indoor pickleball."

    The Picklr operates more than 250 clubs total.

  • 5/7/2024

    Batteries Plus names new COO

    Batteries Plus

    Batteries Plus has promoted its chief strategy officer to a new role.

    The consumer and business specialty battery chain has announced that Jon Sica will now serve as chief operating officer. Sica joined Batteries Plus in 2019 as chief strategy officer, where he helped lead the chain’s expansion, before becoming chief business officer in 2021.

    In his new role, Sica will oversee key areas of the business, including commercial sales and retail operations support. He joined the Batteries Plus team after serving a stint at Texas burger chain Whataburger, and previously spent nearly a decade at hunting and outdoors retailer Cabela’s in a number of positions.

    "Jon's ability to build and empower strong, diverse teams has led to some of our greatest successes in the last five years," said Scott Williams, Batteries Plus CEO. "Great execution is key to our culture and results, and Jon is the perfect choice to guide the teams who are driving it every day.”

    The specialty retailer’s current expansion plan is set to outpace the 30 new stores it opened in 2023. A majority of these new locations are in the South, including four in Texas, three in Georgia, and a store in Puerto Rico. The company also ended the year with 54 newly-signed franchise agreements.

    Founded in 1988, Batteries Plus is headquartered in Hartland, Wisc., and operates over 800 locations nationwide.

  • 5/3/2024

    Sam Ash closing all stores

    Closing Bed Bath and Beyond - Closeup of store closing banner (Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA) - 04\07\2023; Shutterstock ID 2291215901

    Sam Ash Music is going dark.

    The family-operated, 100-year-old music instruments retailer announced that, with a heavy heart,” it was closing all 42 stores nationwide.  The New York-based retailer said store closing sales started May 2.

    “This unfortunate news also presents a fantastic opportunity for great deals across our premium selection of musical instruments & pro sound equipment,” the Ash family said in the announcement, which was posted on its website and Facebook page. “We will also be offering specials on during this time. Thank you for allowing us to serve musicians like you for 100 years.”

    News of the store closings spread quickly on social media as fans posted fond memories of Sam Ash stores. 

    Sam Ash was founded by immigrant Sam Ash, a violinist from Austria, who opened a store in 1924, in New York City. It has always been family-run, with the fourth generation now at the helm, and has stayed true to its longtime motto was “come in and play.”



  • 5/3/2024

    Walmart enables scan-free Box Tops for Education donations

    Walmart partners with Box Tops for Education (Photo: Business Wire)

    Walmart is streamlining the process for customers to support local schools with their purchases.

    In time for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10), Walmart shoppers can now give back to their school of choice by connecting their Walmart account within the Box Tops For Education app to earn cash for schools. (The Box Tops school fundraising program was founded by General Mills in 1996.)

    Utilizing Box Tops' new "Connected Accounts" app feature, consumers can purchase products that participate in Box Tops for Education at a Walmart store or on its e-commerce site and automatically earn money for their selected schools without having to go through the usual process of scanning or submitting receipts.

    "Since 1996, schools have earned nearly $1 billion through Box Tops for Education, and data shows a large amount of our program supporters are Walmart shoppers," said Lilly Moeding, Box Tops for Education brand experience manager. "Box Tops has always been one of the easiest ways to support schools and teachers, and we’re excited to make it even easier by partnering with Walmart on our new Connected Accounts app feature. "Now you can earn cash for your school every time you buy Box Tops products at Walmart — with no scanning required."

    Headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart Inc. operates approximately 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries.

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