Openings, Closings, & Other Key Industry Highlights

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June 16, 2021


AggData's Sister Companies F&D Reports / Creditntell Launches Retailer Debt Database

New customizable Tool Compiles Key Retailer Debt Information

Industry-leading retail consulting firm Information Clearinghouse, Inc. (ICI), through its F&D Reports and Creditntell divisions, has announced the launch of its Retailer Debt Database, which aggregates all key debt instruments for hundreds of retail companies within a fully customizable interface.

Click here for the full press release.


On Thursday, Amazon will open its first full-size Fresh grocery store that uses its Just Walk Out technology in the U.S. The checkout-free tech was introduced as part of its Amazon Go stores a few years ago. The new 25,000 square-foot Fresh unit is located in Bellevue, WA and is significantly bigger than the 10,400 square-foot Amazon Go Grocery store it opened last year, or its standard 1,200 – 2,300 square feet discontinued Go stores. The new store will be Amazon’s 14th Fresh location in the U.S.

On July 7, Amazon’s Whole Foods will open a new store in Tampa, FL, as the Company accelerates its expansion plans into 2022. The 48,000 square-foot store is located in Tampa’s new Midtown development, which features Sephora, REI, Shake Shack, and other retail units. More than 40 new Whole Foods stores are in the pipeline, following the opening of several locations in 2020. Click here for a list of Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go future store openings.


Alex and Ani, LLC, DIP, a jewelry retailer, filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The proceedings have been designated case number 21 21-10918. The Debtors are pursuing a dual-track plan in which they are simultaneously pursuing: (i) a standalone restructuring, and (ii) a sale process. The Debtors plan to permanently close 37 of their 74 leased locations that are deemed to be unprofitable under the current lease terms, including 12 stores for which the applicable lease had terminated or expired as of the petition date, and an additional 25 units that were closed as of the petition date. In that regard, the Debtors filed a motion seeking authorization to reject 25 unexpired leases. The Court entered an interim order authorizing the Debtors to use cash collateral. Click here to request a list of lease rejections.


Industry-wide demand for office supplies continues to fall, applying pressure on both Staples and ODP Corporation (Office Depot and OfficeMax banners) to cut costs and close stores to maintain profitability. However, store closings have not kept pace with the falling demand and sales. The attempted merger in 2015 would have enabled more efficient closings, but the FTC ruled against it, citing the potential to stifle competition. Recently, Staples’ private equity sponsor, Sycamore Partners, made a $1 billion offer to acquire ODP’s consumer business, including the Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores and website. Amazon’s office supply unit has captured significant market share in the last few years, which may nullify the FTC’s argument. There is considerable overlap between Staples and ODP stores, and the pandemic has aggravated pressure on profitability. We believe current conditions necessitate more rapid closings, regardless of the formalities or methods involved. Click here for a full store overlap analysis.

AggData's Sister Company Creditntell Launches Version 3.0 of its Retail and Real Estate Intelligence Platform

Mobile Data Analytics Platform Provides Enhanced Visibility into Market Dynamics and Consumer Shopping Behaviors

Industry-leading retail consulting and data analytics firm Information Clearinghouse, Inc., through its Creditntell division, has announced the successful launch of version 3.0 of its Retail and Real Estate Intelligence (REI) platform, a Big Data analytics tool providing unparalleled insights into consumer traffic and shopping patterns.

Click here for the full press release.


CVS Health opened its first MinuteClinic locations in Utah. The six new clinics are located inside CVS HealthHUB locations, the Company’s new store format. CVS HealthHUBs locations were developed to help people manage chronic conditions more conveniently and feature a wide array of accessible health and wellness products, clinical services and expertise. MinuteClinic is staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who specialize in family health care. Click here to request a list of future store openings.


Dollarama’s 1Q22 sales increased 13% to $954 million, despite some of its stores facing tougher new retail restrictions amid rising COVID-19 cases in Canada. Sales growth was driven by new stores and comp growth of 5.8%, due to higher sales of seasonal items. Transactions dropped 3.2% in the quarter, while the average basket size grew 9.3%. Dollarama said that it had very strong comp momentum of 15.2% in the first nine weeks of the quarter, results that were partially offset by the highly restrictive ban on the sale of non-essential items in Ontario. The Company added 67 net new stores over the past year (12 in 1Q), bringing its total count to 1,368. EBITDAincreased 16.1% to more than $248 million, or 26% of sales, compared to 25.3% of sales a year earlier. Incremental direct costs related to COVID-19 measures amounted to $18.3 million, compared to $15 million. Looking ahead at fiscal 2022, the Company expects 60 – 70 net new store openings and capex of $160 million – $170 million. 

Click here to request more information.


Lidl US recently announced the opening of three new stores located in Decatur, GA; Lawrenceville, NJ; and Columbia, MD. The three stores were opened on June 9. Lidl plans to add 50 new stores by the end of 2021 and will invest more than $500 million in these new stores.


Forever 21, through its Canadian licensee YM Inc., inked a deal to open in-store shops in select Hudson’s Bay locations. So far, in-store shops have opened at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, ON, and additional locations are expected throughout Canada. In addition, Hudson’s Bay’s e-commerce site will begin selling Forever 21 merchandise this summer. Forever 21 filed Chapter 11 in 2019 and shuttered all of its Canadian locations; it was acquired in early 2020 by Authentic Brands Group, Simon Property Group, and Brookfield Property Partners. 


Best Buy announced it will close its stores on Thanksgiving Day, joining Target and Walmart which are doing the same. This is the second consecutive year all three chains have elected to remain closed on the holiday while emphasizing online promotions. Click here to request a list of future store openings .

Our Hot Market 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.


GameStop’s 1Q21 sales increased 25.1% to $1.3 billion, up from $1 billion in 1Q20, partially offset by the closing of 12% of the store base during the year, reflecting: (i) “strategic de-densification efforts,” and (ii) continued store closures across Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Management did not provide details of comparable store sales for 1Q21. EBITDA loss narrowed to $700,000 from $76 million, due to lower gross margin, despite expense leveraging. Quarterly cash burn improved to $34 million from $56 million last year, and the Company ended 1Q21 with a net cash position of $647 million, up from $18 million at the same time last year. As of May 1, 2021, the Company had $695 million of cash, and there were no borrowings under the $420 million ABL facility. The Company is under review for a potential credit rating upgrade. Click here to request a list of future store openings and closings.


Last week, Kroger opened its newest Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Groveland, FL, powered by Ocado Group. The e-commerce delivery service combines vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics with delivery of grocery items and fresh food. The Groveland site is Kroger’s second Ocado automated online grocery warehouse, following the opening of the first in Monroe, OH in April. The 375,000 square-foot CFC can fulfill thousands of orders per day. The CFCs are among 20 planned by Kroger and Ocado in the U.S. So far, Kroger has announced 10 CFCs, with sizes ranging from 135,000 to 375,000 square feet. The other planned CFC locations include Forest Park, GA; Dallas, TX; Frederick, MD; Phoenix, AZ; Pleasant Prairie, WI; and Romulus, MI, as well as two unspecified sites in the Pacific Northwest and West. Plans call for up to six more CFCs to open across the country in 2022 and 2023.

Kroger’s Harris Teeter will open a new store in Alexandria, VA on June 23. The 72,000 square-foot store includes an in-store pharmacy, Starbucks, and ExpressLane online shopping service. Click here to request a list of future store openings and closings.


Dave and Busters (D&B) continued to progress back to normal operations in 1Q21. The Company started the quarter with 107 (75%) of its store base open but finished with 138 of 141 locations operating. Most stores operated under reduced hours and capacity limitations during the quarter. 1Q21 revenues were up 66% from 1Q20 but down 27% from 1Q19. Given the pandemic-related store closures that persisted for most of 2020, D&B reported a 17% decline in comps compared to 1Q19. EBITDA returned to positive territory for the first time since 1Q20, at $72.1 million, but this was still down from the $89 million in 1Q19. EBITDA margin, however, improved 280 bps compared to 1Q19. Management noted that 127 locations generated positive store-level EBITDA during May.


On June 27, Schnuck Markets will close another store it acquired as part of its 2018 purchase of 19 former Shop ‘n Save locations from Supervalu. The Company did not renew the 77,000 square-foot lease of the St. Louis, MO (Shrewsbury) underperforming store, which was set to expire November 13. Two other Schnucks stores are located within three miles of the closing location. The Shrewsbury store is the latest of nine former Shop ‘n Save locations that the Company has closed. Following the closing, Schnucks will operate 110 stores Company-wide, including 79 in the St. Louis region. Click here to request a list of future store openings.


Academy Sports + Outdoors had another impressive quarter, as operations, cash flow and the balance sheet improved, and liquidity was adequate to fund capital requirements. 1Q21 sales increased 39% to a 1Q record of $1.58 billion, while comps increased nearly 39%, driven by strong demand in apparel, footwear, and a rebound in team sports. Sales grew 46.8% compared to 1Q19. Reported EBITDA increased 409% to $271 million, while reported EBITDA margin improved to 17% from 4.7% in the same period last year. Quarterly free cash flow increased to $202 million from $81 million, and net debt improved to $192 million, down from $1.2 billion. As of 1Q21, cash totaled $593 million, and no amounts were drawn on the $1 billion credit facility. The store base remained unchanged at 259 units. Click here to request a list of future store openings.


Effective midnight last night, the 40-day “go-shop” period related to Hellman & Friedman’s pending $2.8 billion acquisition of the At Home Group expired. Only one party signed a nondisclosure agreement, and none expressed interest in pursuing a potential transaction involving the Company. The waiting period under Hart-Scott-Rodino also expired yesterday. Upon completion of the transaction, At Home will become a privately held company, and At Home’s shares will no longer trade on the NYSE. Click here to request a list of future store openings.


RH reported 1Q21 sales were up 78% from the prior-year period but noted that supply chain disruptions and shipping delays led to increased inventory backlog. The Company’s gross margin increased 600 bps driven by price increases and product mix. On the back of strong results, the Company raised its outlook for FY21 sales growth to 25% – 30% versus its prior outlook of 15% – 20%. As of May 1, the Company operated 68 RH Galleries, 38 RH outlet stores and 14 Waterworks Showrooms. In May 2020, RH opened its 24th Design Gallery, in Dallas, TX, and it plans to open three more in FY21. The Company also anticipates opening a freestanding RH Contemporary Gallery in San Francisco and its first ever RH Guesthouse in New York in 2H21. The Company ended 1Q21 with combined cash and revolver availability of $830 million; total debt was relatively flat at $611 million. Click here to request a list of future store openings.


CEC Entertainment expanded its global footprint into Europe with the signing of a franchise development agreement with EWAS Management Solutions to bring Chuck E. Cheese locations to Romania. Chuck E. Cheese operates nearly 100 international locations across 17 regions.