May 18, 2022
Cencosud is set to acquire The Fresh Market from Apollo Global Management, beginning with an initial 67% equity stake. It was disclosed that of the initial $676 million investment by Cencosud, $411 million will go to existing equity holders, while $265 million will be retained by the Company to help refinance its very levered balance sheet and to fund new store growth. Though management has identified approximately 75 sites within or near existing markets for future expansion, any type of store growth would represent a significant departure from recent actions; net store count is down 28 units over the last six years. Cencosud is headquartered in Chile and operates over 900 stores through various retail brands in the supermarket, department store, and home improvement sectors throughout South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Columbia.
Tuesday Morning’s 3Q22 net sales were up 4% to $160 million, based on two extra days in the quarter as well as a comp increase of 0.6%. Gross margin was 24.4%, down from 31.4%, with $6 million or 390 bps related to extra freight costs.
Tuesday Morning is currently reviewing its real estate, including the opportunity to negotiate the 174 leases maturing in 2023. Expectations for the year include three new stores, though its research has reportedly showed capacity for up to 700 stores within the U.S., essentially the Company’s count prior to bankruptcy.
Our report takes a closer look at the Company’s operational and competitive status, including market position, real estate and sales trends, and provides visual competitive analyses as well as key real estate metrics like store count, average sales per square foot, and the new Real Estate Intelligence analytics solution. Click here to request a copy of the full report.
Woworks has acquired Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina as well as Zoup Eatery, two fast-casual chains with 54 units and 68 units, respectively. Zoup Specialty Products, which sells products to retailers, will continue to be run separately by founder Eric Ersher. With these deals, Woworks will own six brands and more than 400 restaurant locations.
McDonald’s Corporation announced it will exit the Russian market and is pursuing a sale of its Russian operations to a local buyer. At the start of FY21, there were 847 McDonald’s locations in Russia, of which 16% were franchised and 84% were Company-operated (about 710 stores). This represents about a quarter of all Company-operated McDonald’s stores worldwide (40,031 total stores at a 93% franchised rate, or about 2,800 Company-operated stores), as Russia is by far the Company’s least franchised major market. In contrast, the U.S., Germany, and the U.K. are 95%, 94%, and 91% franchised, respectively.
All 847 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia and 108 in Ukraine (all Company-operated) have been temporarily closed since March 8, 2022 due to the ongoing conflict. Altogether, these 955 stores accounted for 2% of system-wide sales and 9% of McDonald’s consolidated revenue in FY21. The Company has paid full salaries for affected employees during this time and will continue to do so until the sale is completed. These costs, as well as lease and supplier payments, totaled $27 million in 1Q22. The Company also expects $100 million in costs related to inventory that will likely be disposed of due to store closures. Regarding the sale of the Russia business, McDonald’s expects to incur a one-time charge of $1.20 billion to $1.40 billion to write off its investment and recognize foreign currency translation losses.
Boot Barn’s 4Q22 sales jumped 48% to $383 million, and comps were up 33%. Comps were comprised of a retail comp increase of 30.7% and an e-commerce comp increase of 49.5%. Gross margin improved 310 bps to 38.8%, and merchandise margin rose 120 bps due to better full-price selling and growth in exclusive brand penetration, partially offset by higher freight costs. Operating income was up 90% to $62 million. The Company opened 11 new stores during the quarter, bringing its total store count to 300. Over the course of the year, Boot Barn opened 28 new stores and closed one underperforming location. Looking to FY23, the Company plans to open 40 new stores, and generate sales of $1.74 billion and comps of 4.8%.
Amazon’s Whole Foods Market continues to expand in NYC, with the opening of a 54,000 square-foot store in Manhattan’s NoMad (North of Madison Square Park) neighborhood on June 1. The opening follows Whole Foods’ debut earlier this month in a high-rise building on Chicago’s North Side and the March opening of a flagship in San Francisco.
Yesway recently debuted a larger store format with the openings of two new Allsup's convenience stores. The new stores are located in Mineral Wells, TX, and Alamogordo, NM, and include 5,630 square feet of merchandising space and 24 fueling positions. According to Yesway, the stores represent the first of two new prototype store formats the company has developed: a large-format convenience store and a hybrid truck stop, which will both be open 24 hours per day.
Regis Corporation reported 3Q22 system-wide comps up 8.6% compared to 3Q21, driven by comp growth of 18% at Supercuts. On a two-year basis, however, system-wide comps remained down 14%. During the quarter, Regis continued to exit Company-owned salons and, as a result, 3Q22 revenue fell 35.4%. The Company noted its sales recovery continues to be challenged by stylist shortages and lower customer counts compared to pre-COVID levels. With almost 98% of its salons now franchise only, this segment represents its go-forward business. While 3Q22 franchise-only comps were up almost 9%, franchise-only total sales fell 10% compared to last year, due to a decrease in product sales as the Company transitions to a third-party distribution model. This decline will continue, as Regis transitions out of its wholesale product sales business. Over the last 12 months, the Company closed 544 system-wide salons and built 22 new salons, ending the quarter with 5,504 franchise locations (up from 5,317 a year ago), 117 Company-owned salons (down from 826 a year ago) and 76 equity ownership locations. Management indicated Regis would be down to roughly 100 Company-owned locations in “short order,” implying 15 to 20 store closures on the horizon. Compared to 3Q21, total debt rose 9% to $194 million, made up of revolver borrowings due in March 2023. Management said addressing this maturity is its top priority.
H.E. Butt has launched a health and wellness platform that incorporates medical and pharmacy services, nutrition counseling and product merchandising. The Company currently operates seven H-E-B Wellness centers, including one in Austin, TX that opened last week, and plans to expand its primary care and nutrition services across the state over the next few years.
Warby Parker’s 1Q22 sales increased 10% to $153 million, as active customers rose 18% to 2.23 million year over year. Average revenue per customer increased 11.2% to $249. Revenue would have been higher if not for an estimated $15 million in sales lost due to the disruption caused by the Omicron variant in late December (peak demand period for orders) and continuing into 1Q (when December orders are typically fulfilled). The Company opened eight new stores during the quarter, ending with 169 locations. Warby Parker plans to open 40 new stores this year, on top of the 35 opened in 2021, to end 2022 with 201 locations.
Fareway Stores plans to open its first standalone Meat Market in Minnesota. The 2,300 square-foot unit, located in Luverne, is expected to open in early fall. Fareway is also planning to renovate another existing store later this year in Iowa. The 18,000 square-foot former Slagle’s store, located in Le Claire, a food desert currently lacking a full-service supermarket, is expected to open in summer 2023.
Our Hot Market Report takes a closer look at the Minneapolis, MN 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. Click here to request a copy of the full report.
Nordstrom plans to open an 850 square-foot Nordstrom Local in Southampton, NY that will operate as a pop-up shop between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. The pop-up will offer online order pickups, returns, alterations, fashion advice, and gift wrap.
It will also accept used clothing and shoes for donations, and empty beauty packaging for recycling. There are currently seven permanent Nordstrom Locals, two in Manhattan and five in California (two in Los Angeles and one each in Manhattan Beach, Newport Beach and Santa Monica).
On May 13, BJ’s Wholesale Club opened a new club in Lady Lake, FL, bringing its total U.S. stores to 229. As evident in the map to the right, the Company has 18 planned future store openings.
Published reports indicate Century 21 Department Stores plans to reopen its flagship location on Cortlandt Street in Manhattan sometime in Spring 2023. The 100,000 square-foot store (half the size of the original) will be operated with the assistance of Legends, a company that oversees retail and hospitality operations at landmark establishments. The Company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2020, and closed all 13 of its locations by year end. ASG Equities, the real estate investment firm owned by the Gindi family (which also owned the Century 21 business) purchased the intellectual property of the Century 21 brand for $9 million. Last year Century 21 announced it would resume operations sometime in 2021, though that ultimately did not happen. Meanwhile, earlier this year ASG purchased a 12,500 square-foot retail space in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY. With the acquisition, ASG now owns all of the lots on the block where a flagship Century 21 store once stood; the firm reportedly plans to build a 150,000 square-foot retail complex there.
Century 21 operated as an off-price retailer with discounts from 40% – 65%, though it offered more luxury and European brands. The Company is also expected to relaunch its website when the Manhattan store opens.
Dillard’s reported better-than-expected 1Q22 results, with comps up 23%, and retail gross margin hitting a record 47.3%. Inventory levels increased slightly (4%) but remain tight, leading to less promotions and the stronger gross margin. 1Q22 EBITDA margin rose to an impressive 23.3%. However, these rates seem unsustainable given rising inflation, lingering supply chain issues, and the tight labor market combining to push costs higher, and making it difficult for the Company to continue to pass through costs to consumers. Dillard’s operates 251 stores and 29 clearance centers. During the quarter, the Company opened a replacement store in Orem, UT and closed a clearance center in Tampa, FL. Dillard’s plans to replace a leased building in Amarillo, TX this fall.
Anthropologie, a banner of Urban Outfitters, opened a pop-up in Stone Harbor, NJ, featuring a curated selection of beach favorites. The temporary storefront also offers weekly VIP shopping experiences such as one-on-one assistance and complimentary celebratory sips. Once a week, shoppers can book private appointments for exclusive access. The pop-up opened on May 13 and will run through September 5 (Labor Day). Anthropologie operates 241 stores across North America.
RH opened an 80,000 square-foot store in San Francisco, CA, at the historic Bethlehem Steel Building. RH San Francisco continues the Company’s expansion into hospitality with The Palm Court Restaurant. The 10,000 square-foot lower level is dedicated to RH Interior Design Firm & Atelier, which includes private client presentation rooms, a rug showroom, design libraries, and bath and cabinet hardware designs. RH operates 106 stores across North America, including 26 in California (nine in the greater San Francisco area).