Openings, Closings, & Other Key Industry Highlights

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February 1, 2023


Party City, DIP was granted authority to reject leases on 28 locations closed prior to the Chapter 11 proceedings. These likely comprise some of the 55 stores closed just prior to COVID, and 13 others closed since, leaving the Company with 761 corporate stores. The Company will now use the bankruptcy process to renegotiate existing leases with the threat of closing more stores. Along with its bankruptcy filing, the Company shared its internal operating plan (not adjusted for lease rejections which “may be material”). The Company was only evaluating seven closures for 2023, which is sure to expand somewhat just by having the ability to walk away from marginal leases. While 2023 may have substantial consumer headwinds, the Company was only anticipating comps falling 3% this year and rebounding to +3% in 2024.

Click here to request a list of Party City's latest store closings.


Bed Bath & Beyond's10-Q report filed last Thursday, January 26, disclosed the Company defaulted on its credit facilities prompting lenders to call all loans on January 25 (as of November 26, 2022, there was $550 million outstanding under the $1.135 billion ABL Facility and $375 million under the FILO loan). Banks rarely resort to calling loans, especially on major retailers, and retailers would normally opt for the bankruptcy option, an alternative Bed, Bath has mentioned several times, before having its bank lines frozen. The following day, Friday, January 27, the Company announced it was closing another 87 Bed, Bath stores, on top of the 150 announced in August and the 207 closed the year before that. In addition, the Company announced the sudden closure of its entire 50-store Harmon chain and five buybuy Baby locations (as of November 26, 2022, the Company operated 762 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and 137 buybuy BABY stores).

Click here to request a list of Bed, Bath & Beyond's latest store closings.


Walmart-owned Sam’s Club plans to open over 30 new stores across the U.S. over the next several years as well as invest in and modernize its supply chain through new distribution and fulfillment center locations. The new clubs will be approximately 160,000 square feet, about 20,000 square feet larger than most current locations, and will feature a dedicated space for omnichannel fulfillment and a larger healthcare space that will include a patient waiting area, health services suites, private consultation rooms, and dedicated hearing and optical centers. Many of the new locations will also have fuel stations and liquor offerings. The first store is scheduled to open in Florida in 2024. Additionally, in 2023, Sam's Club will open five new supply chain fulfillment and distribution centers, which will include advanced automation. The first location is slated to debut in Georgia in 3Q23. Sam’s Clubs operates nearly 600 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Click here to request a sample list of future openings.


Jack in the Box is utilizing artificial intelligence technology to assess new expansion opportunities. The platform from SiteZeus identifies areas across the country where consumers are most likely to visit the quick service restaurant and can help the Company find promising new real estate sites. Jack in the Box began using the new technology following the signing of a 37-unit franchise agreement in December 2022 that will add locations in Nashville, TN, Baton Rouge, LA, Greenville, SC, and Charlotte, NC.


Kwik Trip plans to open its first three South Dakota stores under the Kwik Star banner, two in Sioux Falls and one in Brandon. Additionally, the Company is reportedly acquiring land in Harrisburg, SD for a future location. The first Sioux Falls store and the Brandon location are slated to open this fall, with the third location to potentially open by year end. Kwik Trip operates more than 800 convenience stores in the Midwest, with stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin operating under its namesake banner and stores in Iowa under the Kwik Star banner.


Although Albertsons finally cleared the legal challenges to its $3.90 billion special dividend in January 2023, it still faces an uphill battle convincing regulators, not to mention legislators and unions, regarding the merits of its proposed merger with Kroger. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who failed to win an appeal to the state Supreme Court in his effort to block the dividend payment, said his office will continue to review the merger and its potential impact on residents of the state. The Colorado Attorney General also issued a statement last week saying the office will “continue with a rigorous review of the merger and its potential harm to consumer food prices, workers, and farmers and other local suppliers.” Additionally, a coalition of United Food and Commercial Workers union locals in 12 states publicly announced their opposition to the merger. At this point, if the deal were to go through it will likely not occur until at least early 2024.

Click here to request more information about the potential merger with Kroger.


Tractor Supply’s 4Q22 sales increased 20.7% to $4.01 billion; 4Q22 included an extra week of sales, which represented 6.8% of the sales growth. Comparable store sales increased 8.6%, driven by ticket growth of 6.3%, and a transaction count increase of 2.3%. The comps growth reflects continued strength in every day, needs-based merchandise, including consumable, usable and edible (C.U.E.) products, winter seasonal goods and year-round product categories. Price management actions and other margin driving initiatives more than offset a slight rise in expenses, and 4Q operating income advanced 22.6% to $359 million. For the full year, sales increased 11.6% to $14.20 billion, with the extra sales week representing 1.8% of the growth; comps were up 6.3%. The Company opened 39 new Tractor Supply stores and six new Petsense by Tractor Supply stores in 4Q22. In 2023, plans include opening approximately 70 Tractor Supply and 10 to 15 new Petsense stores.

Click here to request a list of recent openings and closings.


GameStop notified its employees that its 630,000 square-foot Shepherdsville, KY distribution center will be permanently shut down in June, with employees to be let go in March. The facility was opened in 2016 and functioned as its North American distribution hub. A commercial real estate listing advertises the building as available for a new occupant as of July 1. The Company opened a 700,000 square-foot facility in York, PA in 2021 and a 530,000 square-foot facility in Reno, NV in 2022; it also distributes from its headquarters in Grapevine, TX. Reports say certain employees at the York facility also received notices of layoffs last week.


Amazon has launched RxPass, available through Amazon Pharmacy, which offers Prime members more than 50 commonly prescribed generic prescription drugs for $5 per month, with free delivery. The monthly subscription has no fees, deductibles, or co-payments, and it has rolled out to most U.S. states. The service is targeted at patients not using insurance who take maintenance medications for chronic illnesses or other long-term health conditions. Amazon Pharmacy was launched in November 2020 following the acquisition of PillPack in mid-2018. Rival Walmart offers hundreds of commonly prescribed generic drugs at $4 for a 30-day supply and $10 for a 90-day supply. However, it has yet to add this to its Walmart+ membership program launched in September 2020. 


Trader Joe’s is adding to its store count with new locations opening in Glastonbury, CT, outside Hartford, and Draper, UT, 20 minutes south of Salt Lake City. The Connecticut store is scheduled to open this Thursday, and the Utah location will open later this year. Trader Joe’s operates more than 500 units across the country, and the average store size is 14,000 square feet. The Company’s recent store openings can be viewed in the map below.

Click here to request a sample list of future openings.


Meijer opened the first two of its smaller format Meijer Grocery stores in Orion Township and Macomb Township, MI. Stores are 75,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet, compared to the typical 150,000 square-foot Meijer supercenter. The banner will focus on “essential” categories and feature local brands. Like its traditional stores, Meijer Grocery locations offer the Shop and Scan technology which allows shoppers to checkout while paying with their smart phones, as well as home delivery and pickup. 

Click here to request a sample list of future openings.


Chuck E. Cheese announced that it’s on track to remodel another 100 locations in 2023, following the completion of its 200th remodel at its Douglasville, GA location last week. David McKillips, President and CEO of CEC Entertainment, LLC, said, "Within the next three years, we expect all our fun centers across the country to be upgraded with our latest vision of the brand.” The upgrades include new technology, such as e-tickets in place of paper tickets, touchless payment, self-service kiosks, and mobile menu table ordering. There are nearly 600 Chuck E. Cheese units currently in operation.


Rutter’s plans to open 50 new locations over the next five years. The York, PA-based chain currently operates 84 units in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. New stores are planned for existing states as well as new states Delaware and Virginia. Within its home state, it plans to expand beyond its existing core market of central Pennsylvania into Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Rutter’s is investing $150 million in capital expenditures this year to remodel stores and add alcohol and video gaming terminals to certain locations (currently 21 Pennsylvania stores offer video gaming terminals).


Boot Barn’s 3Q23 sales increased 5.9% to $514.6 million, cycling 60.7% sales growth in the prior-year period. Comps declined 3.6%, comprised of a retail comp decreased of 0.8% and an e-commerce comp decrease of 15.2%. Gross margin fell 290 bps due to a 190 bps decrease in merchandise margin related to higher freight expense and 100 bps of deleverage in buying, occupancy, and distribution center costs. As a result, income from operations fell 21.4% and represented 14.1% of total sales, down from 19% last year. The Company opened 12 new stores, or 33 stores year-to-date, out of 43 planned, bringing its total store count to 333. Subsequent to quarter end, the Company reported January comps declined 1.5%, driven by a 16% decrease in e-commerce sales, partially offset by growth in retail comps of 1.2%. Looking to FY23, the Company expects sales to grow 12.2% – 12.9% to $1.67 billion – $1.68 billion. Comps are projected to increase 0.5% – 1%, with retail comps up 2.5% – 3% and e-commerce sales down 9.5% – 10.5%. Operating income is expected to come in at $228 million – $232 million, or 13.7% – 13.8% of sales.

Click here to request a sample list of future openings. 


Ethan Allen’s 2Q23 sales decreased 2.4% to $203.2 million, with retail sales down 4.4% and wholesale sales down 8.3%. Retail segment written orders decreased 1.5% from pre-pandemic 2Q19, or 16.3% from 2Q22. Wholesale segment written orders were 18.6% lower than 2Q19 and 20.2% from a year ago. Gross margin increased to 61% from 58.8% due to product pricing actions taken over the last year, a favorable product mix, disciplined promotional activity, and lower inbound freight costs. Operating income rose 2.1% to $37.1 million on wholesale gross margin expansion and disciplined approach to cost savings and expense control.

In November 2022, the Company opened a new design center in Skokie, IL, a suburb of Chicago. The Company operates 10 manufacturing facilities located in the U.S., Mexico, and Honduras. Approximately 75% of its products are manufactured or assembled in North America. 


This year, 84 Lumber is accelerating its expansion plans by opening new stores in Stockton, CA and Denver and Greeley, CO, as well as relocating existing stores to larger facilities in Morgantown, WV and Sarasota, FL. The plans also include opening component plants in Winter Haven, FL, Columbia, SC, Boise, ID, and a second plant in Atlanta, GA. In addition, the Company will relocate an engineered wood product (EWP) facility to a larger location in Cartersville, GA and open new centers in New Jersey and Boston, MA markets. There are also plans to add a new door shop in Denver, CO. Currently, the Company operates 310 facilities which include 234 stores, 14 component manufacturing plants, 28 EWP centers, and 34 door shops.

Click here to request a sample list of future openings and closings.


H-E-B has expanded its operations to Cibolo, TX, outside of San Antonio, with a new 110,000 square-foot store featuring curbside and home delivery, a full-service pharmacy with a drive-thru, as well as an H-E-B Brand Shop, selling H-E-B themed merchandise including t-shirts and coffee mugs. H-E-B recently opened locations in Houston (2) and Plano, and currently operates more than 420 stores in Texas and Mexico.

In other news, the University of Texas at Austin announced last week that it will now partner with H-E-B to offer same-day delivery service for students, faculty, and staff. Deliveries will be made to campus locations that the shoppers set up with the drivers. H-E-B began offering this service at Texas A&M University in College Station in April 2021 and at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville in November 2022. 


CHEF’STORE, the warehouse retail concept from US Foods, opened a new 20,000 square-foot store in Helena, MT, its third in the state, and will add another location in St. George, UT on February 11. The banner, which does not require membership, is geared for foodservice operators but is accessible to all shoppers. US Foods began to expand the number of locations in April 2020 and, with the two new locations, will operate 88 units in 13 states.


Sprouts Farmers Market announced new stores will be opening soon. This week, a new location is coming to Surprise, AZ, and in March, there are plans to add units in Stockton, CA and The Villages, FL. 

Click here to request a sample list of future openings. 


Little Blue Menu, a delivery-only concept from Chick-fil-A, is opening a second location in College Park, MD. The pilot format opened in Nashville, TN in May 2021, and offers items from Chick-fil-A as well as two virtual banners, Because, Burger and Outfox Wings. The new Maryland virtual restaurant will feature the same menus, but like the initial location, changes could be made based on customer feedback.

Click here to request a sample list of future openings.


CVS Health and Walmart announced they will be reducing pharmacy hours to address the ongoing pharmacist shortage. By March, CVS plans to cut or shift operating hours at about two-thirds of its 9,000 U.S. stores, while Walmart intends to close most of its nearly 4,600 stores two hours early, at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.


Amazon Fresh is significantly raising the threshold its Prime customers will need to meet in order to receive free grocery delivery. Beginning February 28, orders under $50 will incur a $9.95 fee; orders between $50 and $100 will incur a $6.95 fee; orders between $100 and $150 will include a $3.95 fee; orders over $150 will have no fee. The change more than quadruples the amount Prime shoppers must spend on a grocery in order to get free delivery. Previously, the Company waived delivery fees on orders over $35. The Company made a similar move with Whole Foods in late 2021 when it added a $9.95 service fee for delivery orders after previously offering the service for free on orders over $35.


Rouses Markets has agreed to lease a 60,000 square-foot space in Biloxi, MS, the site of a former Winn Dixie. The store will undergo an extensive remodel and will feature new departments including a sausage kitchen, smokehouse, bakery, florist, and seafood boiling room. Construction is expected to begin in April, for a slated opening in Spring 2024. Previously announced future openings for 2023 include Houma, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge, LA. 


Saks Fifth Avenue launched a new men’s department at its flagship New York location. The 40,000 square-foot destination features a curated selection of men’s ready-to-wear by emerging designers and established brands. As we reported last week, Saks reportedly made a bid to build a casino on the upper floor of its New York flagship location. 


Vitality Bowls, a California-based restaurant brand specializing in açaí bowls, smoothies, wraps, and salads, opened a new café in Charlotte, NC. The Company was founded in 2011, and since franchising began in 2014, the brand has grown to more than 145 locations open and in development across 19 states. 


Addie’s, a drive-thru-only grocery concept, launched last week with the opening of a debut store in the Boston metro region. The 22,000 square-foot location serves solely as an onsite warehouse for stocking, storing, and bagging groceries, without the need for customers to enter. Shoppers can purchase produce, dairy, eggs, meat, seafood, pantry items as well as deli and prepared food by placing their orders online and choosing a time for pickup. The Company says it maintains competitive pricing and uses only 25% of the energy required to run a traditional brick-and-mortar supermarket. It received $10 million in initial funding led by the Disruptive Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Rose Park Advisors


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This information contained in this newsletter is compiled from sources which Market Service Inc. does not control and unless indicated is not verified. Its contents are not to be divulged. Market Service Inc., its principals and writers do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information provided nor do they assume responsibility for failure to report any matter omitted or withheld because of their negligence.