May 25, 2022
Amazon Fresh announced it is hiring “hundreds” of employees for two new stores in Paramus, NJ and Oceanside, NY, both inside the NYC metro area. The Company did not provide opening dates, but the units will be its first in their respective states and will feature frictionless checkout technology.Several other locations in the region are also reportedly in the works, as the Company is targeting the Northeast for expansion. The below maps show Amazon Fresh’s nationwide growth plans, and its targeted Northeast expansion. Click here to request a sample list of Amazon Fresh future openings.
U.S. labor prosecutors allege Amazon threatened staff that if they unionized it could propose paying them minimum wage and that the Company punished an employee for seeking a paid Juneteenth holiday. Unless Amazon settles, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will issue a complaint. The allegations are among many taken to the labor board by the Amazon Labor Union, the upstart group that scored an upset election victory last month at a warehouse in New York’s Staten Island.
In other news, Amazon is testing a service that lets contracted Flex drivers deliver orders placed at mall-based retailers. This allows sellers to ship products from their own stores using Amazon’s delivery service. The Company is reportedly testing the service in Las Vegas, NV; Chandler, AZ; Tysons Corner, VA; and Friendswood, TX.
According to published reports, Amazon is looking to sublease a minimum of 10 million square feet of warehouse space, a possible result of slowing e-commerce sales and its first quarterly loss in seven years. The Company is said to be “exploring options to end or renegotiate leases with outside warehouse owners.” This might be an indication that Amazon has more warehouse space than it needs in some of its largest markets, including New York, New Jersey, California and Atlanta.
BJ’s Wholesale Club apparently got the memo about inflation and increasing costs that both Walmart and Target missed. The pandemic drove consumers to warehouse clubs to stock up; they are now visiting these retailers to defray the impact of the current inflationary environment. The Company’s sales increased 16% in 1Q22, and comps expanded 4.1%, driven by inflation and higher traffic, as average ticket was flat. The Company opened three new clubs during the quarter and plans to add another eight during the remainder of the FY. Another 10 clubs are planned for FY23. BJ’s anticipates continued increases in supply chain costs and projects revenue will grow mid-single-digits. Click here to request a sample list of future openings.
TJX’s 1Q23 revenue increased 13% from 1Q22, while only-open comps were flat. By division, comps were up 3% at Marmaxx (Marshalls and T.J. Maxx) and fell 7% at HomeGoods; Canada and International sales rose 41% and 163%, respectively, as new stores were opened and government-mandated restrictions were lifted during the quarter. During 1Q23, the Company increased its store count by 26 to a total 4,715, mainly driven by the opening of seven new Marshalls (U.S.), nine new Home Goods (U.S.), and five new T.J. Maxx locations (Europe).
Lidl US plans to open its third store in Washington D.C. The 29,000 square-foot store will be located in a new mixed-use development and is slated for completion in 2024. Click here to request a sample list of future openings.
Reports indicate that Talbots plans to close a Lakeville, MA distribution center and lay off more than 275 employees. A spokesperson said the Company plans to move these fulfillment and distribution operations to other facilities but did not provide details and declined to comment further.
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.
Kroger announced a new store in Buckner, KY, in Oldham County. Though it is believed to be a Kroger Marketplace, it will be smaller, at about 100,000 square feet. The Company currently has a location in nearby La Grange. The county has grown more than 12% over the previous decade, and the store’s proximity northeast of Louisville bodes well for further growth.
Citi Trends’ sales and earnings fell sharply during 1Q22 compared to an exceptionally strong 1Q21, which benefited from government stimulus checks and pent-up demand. Management had warned of a potential 28% – 33% decline in comps and 25% – 30% drop in total sales, but when compared to the 1Q19 pre-pandemic period, operating results were less gloomy. 1Q22 comps were down 29% and sales fell 27% to $208 million compared to the prior year period, despite an additional 29 stores. Click here to request a sample list of future store openings.
Camping World announced an agreement to acquire Richardson’s RV Centers, which would be the largest acquisition in Company history. The agreement includes eight locations (seven in California and one in Indiana), The units consist of five current dealership locations, one future dealership location, and two parts and service centers. The seven Southern California units will transition to the Camping World brand, joining 11 existing Camping World locations in the state (and one Gander Outdoors location), bringing the total count to 18. The single Indiana location will bring the Company’s store count in that state to three. Camping World will convert that unit to the Company’s RVs.com brand and provide a digital and factory direct experience for customers nationwide. The Company operates 191 locations, including 157 Camping World and 34 Gander Outdoors stores. Click here to request a sample list of future store openings.
Ace Hardware’s 1Q22 sales increased 9% to $2.21 billion. Wholesale revenue rose 10% to $2.06 billion, with increases across most departments including outdoor power equipment, lawn and garden, and plumbing. Retail revenue fell 3.7% to $156.6 million, with the Westlake Ace Hardware chain experiencing a 5.7% comp decline, and the Great Lakes Ace Hardware chain experiencing a 6.4% comp decrease. Ace added 50 new domestic stores during the quarter and cancelled memberships of 11 stores, ending with 4,790 units, an increase of 110 stores from 1Q21. Westlake and GLA together operated 210 stores, compared to 209 at the end of the prior-year period. Click here to request a sample list of future store openings.
Kohl’s joined the list of retailers that reported disappointing 1Q results last week and a lower earnings outlook, as inflationary pressures curbed consumer spending. 1Q22 sales dropped 5.2%, and EBITDA plummeted 42%. Management said sales considerably weakened in April, as consumer traffic held, but basket size shrank. The home category, which saw strong demand during the pandemic, declined 17% in 1Q22 and accounted for 15% of sales.
The Company plans to open more than 100 new smaller-format locations in small markets over the next four years. Meanwhile, Kohl’s said it continues to review offers from interested parties looking to acquire Kohl’s, with final bids from 25 interested parties expected in the coming weeks. However, after reporting the disappointing 1Q results, unconfirmed reports indicate some bidders are having trouble arranging financing at the current valuation range of $60 per share. In a sign that there may be some internal conflict, the chief marketing and chief merchandising officers announced their departure. Click here to request a sample list of future store openings and closings.
The Children’s Place recorded sales of $362.4 million during 1Q22, down nearly 17% from 1Q21, with comps also down 17% for the quarter. The top-line decline was primarily attributed to lapping COVID-19 stimulus last year, inflationary pressures, cold weather, and permanent store closures. The Company closed seven stores in 1Q22, ending the period with 665 locations, down 8.1% from 724 a year earlier. Looking ahead, given significant headwinds and uncertainty in FY22, including high cotton prices, record inflation, lapping stimulus payments from last year, and ongoing freight disruptions, the Company revised its sales guidance downward to a mid-single-digit sales decline for FY22.
Family Dollar is closing its West Memphis, AR warehouse by the end of June; the site was discovered earlier this year to have a massive rodent infestation, which prompted a recall of items that might have been contaminated. However, the Company maintained that the closure was not related to the FDA inspection that revealed the problem and commented it simply “decided that the facility was not adequate to continue serving the needs and requirements of our stores and customers.” The closure will affect about 300 workers. Click here to request a sample list of future openings.
Buc-ee’s recently entered South Carolina with its first convenience store in Florence. The 53,000 square-foot location offers 120 fueling positions. The Company began its multi-state expansion in 2019, and has since opened two travel centers in Alabama, two in Florida, two in Georgia and one in Kentucky. It currently has its first two stores under construction in Tennessee and announced the development of its first stores in Colorado, Mississippi and Missouri.
Wegmans is officially entering the nation’s capital on July 13. The Company also has plans for a nearby store in Reston, VA, scheduled to open in early 2023. The Company previously opened a new 81,300 square-foot location in Alexandria, VA. Click here to request a sample list of future openings.
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.
Ross Stores’ 1Q22 revenue declined 4% to $4.33 billion, as the Company lapped the effects of government stimulus and pent-up demand in the prior-year period. Comps fell a worse-than-expected 7%, following 1Q21’s 13% comp gain versus 1Q19. The sales deleverage, coupled with ongoing headwinds from elevated freight and wage pressure, caused EBITDA to drop 23% and EBITDA margin to erode 330 bps. During the quarter, the Company opened 22 new Ross and eight dd’s DISCOUNT locations; it remains on track to open approximately 100 locations in FY22, comprised of about 75 Ross and 25 dd’s. Looking forward, the Company expects 2Q22 comps to fall 4% – 6%, and FY22 comps to decline 2% – 4% (previously expected to be flat to up 3%). Click here to request a sample list of future openings.
Cato’s sales and earnings fell in 1Q22, due to a cold spring and supply chain disruptions. Management had warned of late product deliveries restraining sales growth, since the Company sources most of its merchandise from Southeast Asia and China, which continued to be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. 1Q22 revenues were down 3% to $206.7 million, driven by a 2% drop in comps, and 10 fewer stores compared to the prior-year period. Tight labor markets also caused intermittent store closings. The Company opened four new stores, relocated one, and ended the quarter with 1,315 locations in 32 states. Click here to request a sample list of future openings.
Telehealth provider MeMD is changing its name to Walmart Health Virtual Care, part of its official transition to the Walmart Health family. The name change marks the final stages of Walmart Health’s acquisition of MeMd, initially announced in May 2021. Walmart Health Virtual Care will be available in Florida-based Walmart Health centers and expand to centers over the next several months. Walmart Health currently has 24 locations across Georgia, Arkansas, Florida and Illinois.
Following its announcement that it will exit the Russian market, McDonald’s announced last week it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with its existing Russian licensee Alexander Govor. Under the agreement, Govor will acquire McDonald’s entire restaurant portfolio and operate the restaurants under a new brand. Since 2015, Govor has served as a McDonald’s licensee and has operated 25 restaurants in Siberia. The agreement is expected to close in the coming weeks.
Starbucks announced yesterday it will exit Russia after 15 years of operating in the country. The Company has 130 locations in Russia, which account for less than 1% of its annual revenue, and are all licensed. Starbucks said it will pay its nearly 2,000 Russian workers for six months. The move follows a number of other that have taken a similar strategy, including McDonald’s as mentioned above, Exxon Mobil and British American Tobacco.
Bath & Body Works’ 1Q22 sales fell 1.4% from the prior-year period to $1.45 billion. While sales at its U.S. and Canadian stores were up 1%, e-commerce sales fell 9% to $317.5 million; online sales represented 22% of 1Q22 sales. During the quarter, the Company opened 12 and closed eight stores, ending the quarter with 1,759 locations. Management continues to experience inflation in raw materials, transportation and wages. The Company expects these incremental costs to range between $225 million and $250 million for FY22, up from its initial estimate of $150 million to $175 million. Bath & Body Works continues to attempt to offset these costs by strategically raising prices and actively managing promotions. The Company also noted that FY22 results will be impacted by incremental costs related to its IT separation and CEO transition expenses. Click here to request a sample list of future openings and closings.
Shoe Carnival’s 1Q22 sales slipped 3.3%, as customers tightened their belts due to inflation, and the Company lapped increased demand in 1Q21 due to government stimulus; sales were still well above pre-pandemic levels. More concerning was the 410 bps drop in gross margin due to spiking distribution costs. Management expects improved merchandise margins will limit the damage while it works through supply chain issues, and reiterated plans to open 10 new stores in FY22 (two opened in 1Q) while not closing any existing stores.
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