April 14, 2021
Southeastern Grocers’ (SEG) sales growth decelerated from earlier periods but remained strong in 4Q, resulting in a just over a 15% increase in full-year comps. The Company previously announced plans to sell 125 stores, including 107 BI-LO stores, as part of its initiative to divest the underperforming banner. SEG expects to complete the wind-down of BI-LO by the end of 1Q21 (approximately 35 remaining BI-LO stores are expected to be sold), which will leave it with a base of 420 more profitable stores, including 365 Winn-Dixie locations concentrated in Florida (75% of all stores). In addition, the Company has been revamping its existing store base, with about 180 remodels completed at the end of FY20 and the remaining stores slated for completion by the end of FY24. Click here to request a list of future store openings and closings.
Amazon has unveiled Aplenty, a new private-label food brand set to eventually include hundreds of products across a variety of center store categories. The brand is available online and at Amazon’s Fresh grocery stores. Products being rolled out over the next year include sweets, cookies, salty snacks, frozen foods, baking mixes and pantry staples; all items have no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or high fructose corn syrup. Aplenty joins the Company’s other brands, including Happy Belly (milk, frozen vegetables, and spices), Amazon Fresh (baked goods), Amazon Kitchen (heat-and-eat meals and meal accompaniments), and Mama Bear (children’s clothes and baby food).
In other news, the UFCW is condemning Amazon’s expanding use of cashierless systems in grocery stores, calling the technology a threat to “good-paying jobs of essential workers.” The UFCW also said the expansion of the technology would discriminate against underbanked people and raise privacy concerns. Click here for a list of Amazon future store openings.
Urban Outfitters provided a 1Q22 sales update; total retail comps increased high-single digits versus two years ago (1Q20). Free People and Urban Outfitters’ comps rose double-digits in North America, while Anthropologie comps remain slightly negative. Most of the Company’s European stores have been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions during the quarter, but stores in the U.K. are scheduled to reopen today; triple-digit online sales growth has largely offset store sale losses.
The Company’s Global Chief Officer of Anthropologie, Hillary Super, resigned on April 9. Beginning yesterday, Tricia Smith replaced Ms. Super. Prior to joining Urban Outfitters, Ms. Smith was EVP, chief merchant of Tilly’s. She also spent more than 26 years within the Nordstrom merchant team and served as EVP of general merchandise. Click here to request a list of future store openings.
Grocery Outlet is expanding further on the East Coast, with a new Pennsylvania store that opened in late February in East Norriton and another in Philadelphia’s Mt. Airy neighborhood expected to open on April 29. With the new opening, it now operates four stores in the state. The Company has said that between three and five new units in the area could open this year. Grocery Outlet operates its other 380 stores in California, Washington and Oregon. Click here to request a list of future store openings.
Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell will open one of its new Cantina-themed restaurants in NYC’s Times Square today. Analog menu boards were replaced with 10 touchscreen ordering kiosks, and it will sell alcoholic drinks in keeping with the Cantina model. Once opened, Taco Bell will have 80 units (60 Taco Bell and 20 Cantina-style locations) across New York’s five boroughs. Click here to request a list of future store openings.
Our report takes a closer look at the Washington D.C. real estate landscape, and provides visual competitive analyses as well as key real estate metrics such as future openings, store count, market share, digital insights, and demographics. Click here to request a copy of the full report.
Raley’s plans to open its newest and second O-N-E Market location this Saturday. O-N-E Market offers a unique store experience with a highly curated assortment focused on fresh, organic, nutritious, minimally processed, and sustainably sourced products. The new O-N-E will take over an existing Raley’s in El Dorado Hills, CA. President and CEO Keith Knopf noted the first O-N-E Market that opened in the Northern California town of Truckee on June 27, 2020 has been very well received and is eclipsing first-year expectations, even adjusting for the COVID-19 effect. Raley’s management noted that it plans “to transform all of [its] stores” in the future. To ready the store for opening as O-N-E Market, the El Dorado location will close for five days, allowing the Company to remerchandise, refresh the décor, and replace all red Raley’s signage with the Raley’s O-N-E Market green signage. Click here to request a list of future store openings.
McDonald’s is reportedly closing hundreds of restaurants located in U.S. Walmart stores, which were part of a 30-year-old experiment between the two companies. Around 150 McDonald’s stores will remain at U.S. Walmart locations after another wave of planned closures expected to be finalized by the summer. In its February annual report, McDonald’s said its U.S. division anticipated closing “roughly 325 restaurants in 2021; a majority of which are lower sales volume McDonald’s in Walmart locations.” McDonald’s said it expected about 650 net restaurant additions in 2021. At the peak of the partnership, there were roughly 1,000 McDonald’s restaurants inside Walmart stores. The closures come as more customers have shifted to ordering online and opting for delivery or pickup. Walmart is working to find new models for its store restaurants, focusing more on meals to-go, delivery, and joining with small regional chains that appeal to local shoppers. It is testing a Taco Bell location as well as expanding its relationship with Domino’s Pizza, which has 30 units in Walmart locations. Most of the Domino’s locations allow for customer pickup at the Walmart locations as well as delivery. Ghost Kitchen Brands in March said it was rolling out its hybrid virtual brand/ghost kitchen concept in dozens of Walmart stores in the U.S. and Canada. The new service allows shoppers in those locations to select items from the menus of about 15 national and regional restaurants and CPG food concepts, including Quiznos, Saladworks and others, combined in a single order. The onsite kitchens, meanwhile, will also serve as delivery hubs for those brands via third-party delivery services like Uber Eats. Click here to request a list of future openings and closings.
Costco continued its run, with March sales up 17.6% to $18.21 billion; comps (excluding gas price changes and foreign exchange) improved 11.1%. U.S., Canada and International comps were up 13.9%, 28.3% and 16.4%, respectively.
E-commerce grew 54.5%. There was disparity in the Company’s segments, as food and sundries comps were negative high single-digits, while sporting goods, garden, toys, and home furnishings posted comps in the 50% range. Click here to request a list of future store openings.
Cineworld is reopening about 500 Regal Cinema theaters beginning this month, with attendance to be capped at 25% - 50% of capacity, depending on location. Regal operates 7,211 locations in 42 states. Cineworld has secured new liquidity in the form of a $213.0 million convertible bond, and it expects to receive a $200.0 million U.S. Cares Act tax refund.
Walmart’s e-commerce unit in India, Flipkart Online Services Pvt., signed an agreement with billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate, Adani Logistics, to build one of the largest retail warehouses in India. The 534,000 square-foot fulfillment center located in Mumbai will be leased to Flipkart and is expected to be operational in 3Q22. Click here to request a list of future store openings and closings.
7-Eleven recently opened the latest version of its “evolution” store format in Prosper, TX, the fourth unit under the banner in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and seventh in the country, with additional sites in the works for this year. The format allows the Company to test new concepts, products and services tailored to the individual market. While all evolution stores include a restaurant concept, no two locations are exactly alike. The Prosper location includes a Laredo Taco Company taqueria, a wine cellar and beer cooler, fresh-baked goods, customized espresso drinks, and premium cigars in a cedar-lined humidor, among other things. The new store is also one of a growing number of 7-Eleven locations to offer mobile checkout and delivery. Click here to request a list of future store openings.
On April 6, Earth Fare, Inc. and its affiliate EF Investment Holdings, Inc. submitted to the Bankruptcy Court their combined Chapter 11 plan of liquidation and disclosure statement.
Upon filing for bankruptcy in February 2020, Earth Fare had about 55 stores in 10 states that closed. Throughout its bankruptcy case, it sold store assets to various parties. Winn-Dixie has purchased four stores for $1.65 million; DJ3 Delaware bought five stores for $1.9 million; ALDI purchased one store for $350,000; and Whole Foods acquired two stores for $2.5 million. Meanwhile, Dennis Hulsing, president and CEO of Hulsing Enterprises, original Earth Fare Co-Founder Randy Talley, and former Earth Fare President Mike Cianciarulu joined together to resurrect the brand by steadily opening Earth Fare locations in its established market areas. The chain now operates 17 stores in the Eastern and Southeastern U.S. Click here to request additional information.
On April 9, Roche Bros. opened a 24,000 square-foot store in Watertown, MA within a one million square-foot mixed-use development. The Company now operates 22 Roche Bros., Sudbury Farms, and Brothers Marketplace grocery stores.
Yesterday, Sheetz opened its first central Ohio location. According to President and COO Travis Sheetz, the Company intends to open 10 – 12 more central Ohio stores in 2021 and could open 50 in the next five years. Click here to request a list of future store openings and closings.