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Store Expansion News: March update


Welcome to Store Expansion News, Chain Store Age’s monthly roundup of brick-and-mortar expansion plans across the retail industry.

Retailers big and small made headlines in March regarding store expansions and new formats. Here are the major stories as reported by CSA, starting with the most recent. 

  • Academy to open 160-180 new stores over five years The sporting goods retailer is looking to continue growing its footprint. The Texas-based chain, which currently operates 283 stores across 18 states, announced the expansion plans on its most recent earnings call. The new stores will be split evenly between new and existing markets. 
  • Chick-Fil-A opens first mobile pickup-only store The new location on New York City’s Upper East Side is the first of its kind for the quick-serve chain. With no seating or dining area, the concept is focused on the company’s mobile pickup and delivery channels. Customers order ahead for delivery or carryout via the Chick-fil-A app or online.
  • Wonder plans 90 stores by 2025 The food startup founded by Marc Lore has raised $700 million in capital to “further its mission and expansion.” The investment will accelerate the expansion of Wonder’s physical retail locations, with plans to grow from its current base of 11 locations to 35 by the end of 2024 and 90 by the end of 2025, focusing on communities throughout the Northeast.
  • Ulta to enter Mexico, expand in U.S. The beauty retailer is preparing to make its international debut by partnering with global brands operator Axo to launch and operate Ulta in Mexico in 2025. In the U.S., Ulta plans to open 60 to 65 new stores in 2024, along with 40 to 45 remodels/relocations.
  • Kohl’s to open in-store Babies”R”Us shops The department store chain, which previously opened hundreds of Sephora shop-in-storesis now entering a similar collaboration with WHP Global, the owner of Toys'R'Us and Babies'R'Us. Plans call for the opening of Babies'R'Us shops in approximately 200 Kohl's stores in fall 2024, with the first opening in August 2024. 
  • BJ’s to open 12 stores in 2024 The wholesale club chain is planning to grow its footprint by opening 12 new clubs the year.  The newest of the planned locations will open in the Southeast and Midwest, including two new major markets: Myrtle Beach, S.C. and West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Aldi plans 800 store expansion by 2028 Following its completed acquisition of two of Southeastern Grocers’ banners, the discount grocer will add 800 stores nationwide by the end of 2028 through a combination of new openings and store conversions. Aldi will invest more than $9 billion over the next five years on its expansion, which will add approximately 400 stores throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • Pilot Travel Centers to add 35, remodel 75 stores North America's largest travel center network plans to add 35 travel centers and remodel more than 75 locations this year. The expansion includes 10 new builds to increase the company’s presence in several states, bringing additional services, amenities and over 500 truck parking spaces to the road.
  • Target to open 300 new stores By the end of the decade, Target plans to build more than 300 stores to meet growing demand. It also plans to invest to enhance the vast majority of its nearly 2,000 stores, ranging from full remodels to adding Ulta Beauty in-store shops, upgrading fixtures, supporting same-day services and more. 
  • Whole Foods rolls out small-format concept Dubbed “Whole Foods Market Daily Shop,” the stores will range between 7,000 sq. ft. to 14,000 sq. ft., and debut in dense metro areas. The new format will make its debut this year, at 1175 Third Avenue on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, with additional locations in New York City to follow.
  • Grocery Outlet to open 15-20 stores in 2024 The extreme discount grocer plans to open between 15 and 20 new stores in 2024, following up 13 new stores opening in the fourth quarter of last year. In addition, Grocery Outlet recently acquired closeout retailer United Grocery Outlet, which will expand Grocery Outlet’s presence into several new states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia. 
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