Suburban Station to Get “Major” Food and Retail Upgrade

L: Rendering of renovated 16th Street corridor. R: Logo for Station Shops at Suburban. Photos courtesy of AthenianRazak.

The concourse at Suburban Station is finally getting a much-needed upgrade. In 2018, the space will be less of an underground pedestrian thruway and more a destination where commuters can actually stop in for shopping or attractive lunch and dinner options.

The group overseeing the impending changes is Philly-based real estate services firm AthenianRazak. Last fall, the company took over the master lease for all retail space owned by SEPTA at the Suburban Station Concourse.

AthenianRazak principal and CEO Jackie Buhn told Philadelphia magazine that Suburban Station’s 16th Street corridor will get the first wave of the $3.75 million improvements in early 2018. The space will be transformed under the new name Station Shops at SuburbanRead more »

South Philly Is Getting a HomeGoods-T.J.Maxx Combo Store

Photo via YouTube.

If you weren’t jumping with glee after last week’s East Market T.J. Maxx news, how about this: In about two months time, South Philly will welcome Philadelphia’s first HomeGoods store and it will be combined with a T.J. Maxx store that’s already in the works.

The combo store will open mid-November at the Columbus Crossing Shopping Center on Columbus Blvd, according to the Inquirer, joining popular retailers already there like IKEA, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Best Buy. The store will occupy 42,000 square feet of a former 60,000-square-foot SuperFresh that closed in 2015. Read more »

Sephora Opening New Store at King of Prussia Mall

Image via Flickr.

Cosmetics retailer Sephora will open up a new free-standing store at the King of Prussia Mall. The 7,000 square foot location will open its doors on September 8th and replace its current smaller free-standing store at the mall.

The location will be Sephora’s fourth standalone store in the Philadelphia area, following locations in Center City, Ardmore, and Willow Grove. The retailer also has locations at the Deptford and Cherry Hill malls in South Jersey.  Read more »

3 Philly-Area J.C. Penney Stores Close for Good Today

Image via Flickr.

Three Philadelphia J.C. Penney stores will be shuttered for good at the close of business on Monday. Customers at King of Prussia Mall, the Philadelphia Mills Mall and Willow Grove Park have until 9 p.m. to take advantage of liquidation sales at each location.

“There’s nothing really left on the shelves,” a store representative at the King of Prussia location told me over the phone. “Everything’s down on the first floor. There are just carts, but not much left on the shelves.”

A sales representative at J.C. Penney’s Franklin Mills Mall location said just three racks of women’s clothing and curtains were left in the store. Nonetheless, customers were combing through the racks, while employees were trying to “keep everything together.”  Read more »

Philly’s Market East Is Now the Country’s Top Destination for Retailers, Report Says

Partial view of the second apartment tower at East Market. | Rendering: Morris Adjami via National Real Estate Development LLC

It’s clear the buzz about Market East won’t let up anytime soon. We still haven’t come down from the news that the area is getting a Wawa, City Fitness and Iron Hill Brewery next year; and now, real estate services firm JLL says the burgeoning Market East is the most affordable and desirable retail corridor in the country.

In its first ever City Retail report, JLL ranked the country’s most affordable and desirable prime urban retail corridors based on an average of each location’s annual asking rent per square foot. Retailers looking to expand better look at Philly: Market East’s average asking prime retail rent is $50 per square foot, more affordable than Chicago’s Wicker Park and Seattle’s Pike Street, which were ranked second and third on the list of ten locales.

“Market East emerged at the top of the pile because we’re seeing significant reinvestment in the retail destination that was once the heart of Philly shopping,” Lauren Gilchrist, JLL vice president of research told me. The corridor’s been long anchored by Macy’s and Wanamaker’s before that, but it languished because of blighted buildings, vacant lots and “a failed inward-facing mall,” according to the report. Read more »

Nordstrom Rack’s Roving Cashiers Are Exactly What We Want

Photo by mphillips007/iStock

C’mon, admit it: You hate people like I do, right? OK, maybe not hate hate — but the fewer of them around, the better. Well, here’s a secret the next time you go shopping.

At the Nordstrom Rack on Chestnut Street, you don’t have to wait in line with other annoying people to purchase an item any longer. You can if you want. But instead, just find a store employee on the floor and ask to checkout. Chances are that the floor employee will be able to ring up your purchases and take your credit card with a smartphone that they’re now carrying around. They’ve only been doing this for about a month. Unfortunately for the employees at Nordstrom, this will ultimately result in fewer cashier jobs. That’s bad for them. But it’s reality. And it’s our fault. Read more »

J.C. Penney to Close These Three Philly Area Locations

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

J.C. Penney on Friday unveiled a list of the 138 department stores nationwide that it will shutter in the next few months, and three Philadelphia area locations made the list.

J.C. Penney store locations at the King of Prussia Mall, the Philadelphia Mills Mall, and at Willow Grove Park will all be shut down possibly as soon as June, the company said. Most affected stores will begin liquidation sales on April 17th.

The J.C. Penney location at Rio Grande Plaza in Rio Grande New Jersey, off of the Garden State Parkway near Wildwood, also wasn’t spared. Read more »

So, Wait, Does Urban Outfitters Really Not Have an HR Department?

urban outfitters taking over KOP

Last week, we told you about a controversial flex-time policy change at Urban Outfitters that had outraged some of the parents who worked there. The one part of the story that had us the most perplexed was this: The employees we spoke with all claimed that Urban Outfitters does not have a human resources department for them to go to with their complaints. Read more »

Urban Outfitters Says Retail Landscape Is Oversaturated

urban outfitters taking over KOPAfter reporting lower-than-estimated fourth quarter earnings, Urban Outfitters shares dropped more than eight percent on Wednesday and CEO Richard Hayne says the dire state of the retail landscape is to blame.

On this week’s earnings call, Hayne said the U.S. market is oversaturated with retail stores and too much of the space is taken up by stores selling apparel.

“Our industry, not unlike the housing industry, saw too much square footage capacity added in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble. And like housing, that bubble has now burst,” he said. Read more »

American Apparel to Close All Stores Following Bankruptcy Auction

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The tale of one of the country’s most scandal-ridden companies is finally coming to an end. Clothier American Apparel, which has touted a “made in the USA, sweatshop free” ethos for the last 20 years or so, recently announced that it will shut down all 110 of its stores.

After filing for bankruptcy twice since 2015, the company — once considered an American manufacturing success story — sold its brand for $88 million in a bankruptcy auction last week to Canada’s Gildan Activewear, which manufactures branded basics like T-shirts, socks, and underwear.

Though the company hasn’t announced exactly when the stores will close, store representatives at four Philadelphia regional locations — Center City, King of Prussia, University City, and Cherry Hill — speculated that the stores will shut down sometime between February and April, though they had not yet been briefed internally about layoffs or store closings. Read more »

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