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 »

Sears, The Limited Closing Local Stores

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, we said Macy’s wasn’t alone in its retail slump, and it wasn’t long before other retailers came forward to announce store closings of their own. Sears and K-Mart announced major closures at the end of the week, and on Sunday, women’s apparel chain The Limited began closing all 250 of its stores nationwide.

Across the state, six K-Mart locations will be shut down by April, including one in Lancaster. Atlantic City’s Pleasantville location is also on the list, in addition to three other New Jersey stores. Four Sears locations from Camp Hill to Uniontown will be shuttered, including one at Shenango Valley Mall outside of Pittsburgh, where a Macy’s store is also set to close. Sears Holdings, which owns K-Mart, announced its first wave of store closures back in the spring of 2016. The latest announcement brings the total number of closures scheduled for early 2017 to 150. View the full list here.

Read more »

Four Philly-Area Macy’s to Close in Early Spring

Macys

It’s official: Four regional Macy’s stores will shut their doors for good this spring. On the chopping block are the stores at Plymouth Meeting Mall, Moorestown Mall, Bensalem’s Neshaminy Mall, and Voorhees Town Center. A total of 347 employees will lose their jobs.

The chain reported poor sales this season as consumers opted to shop on their smartphones and tablets. For November and December, the retail giant’s sales fell about 2 percent on a comparable store basis from 2015. Retailers like Amazon, with its Prime delivery and expansive warehouses, continue to eat away at Macy’s market share.

“We are closing down locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape, as well as monetizing locations with highly valued real estate,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a release. Read more »

The Creepy Science Behind Why You Love Target So Much

why you love target

The mind games are real, people. | iStock/Kasahasa.

It’s no secret Target has our hearts — with those colorful housewares, punchy desk supplies and racks of bathing suits priced oh-so-perfectly, how can we resist? Center City certainly can’t, with people nearly lining the block in anticipation of Target’s new location opening this summer. Target is what my mom calls a ‘$100 store,’ meaning you can’t just pop in for one thing — you’re definitely dropping at least a Benjamin while you’re there, even when you have no intention of doing so.

But why is it that Target has such a hold on us (and our wallets)? Is it the mascot dog with the cute bullseye? The mini sale section in the front? That deliciously sinful, buttery popcorn? We sought out local experts — retail analysts, psychologists, professors at some of the top fashion programs in the world — to help us crack the code, revealing the science behind why you love Target so much. Their answers were insightful, surprising, and, well, downright creepy.  Read more »

Three New Stores Announced for KOP Expansion

King of Prussia rendering

A rendering of the new King of Prussia mall addition.

The King of Prussia Mall expansion continues on schedule, and the mall addition that will (finally!) connect the Plaza and the Court is starting to take shape. Today, mall owner Simon Property Group announced three new stores that are coming to the King of Prussia Mall sometime in late summer.

Headlining that list is Superdry, the U.K.-based outfitter that combines American-style fashion with nonsense Japanese script (really, it’s all gibberish) plastered on its outerwear. Read more »

« Older Posts