Shopping Centers Today

DEC 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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56 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 Chicago-based consultant firm Technomic estimates that the chain's 2015 same-store sales increased by 33 percent over the year before. "One of the main reasons why Sweetgreen is such a success is that it's become more than a restaurant brand — it's a lifestyle," said Technomic consultant Lauren Hallow. "It does a really good job of explaining its core values and then putting them to action, from displaying its local sources to giving back to the community through its Sweetgreen in Schools program." The company's transparency and its commitment to social causes have made it popular among the Millennials. And the chain is a darling among investors as well. Sweetgreen secured $95 million from such backers as AOL founder Steve Case and Shake Shack creator Danny Meyer. This capital is helping Sweetgreen chart a vigorous expansion that involves the openings of roughly 35 shops over the coming year. Much of this will be in California, where the chain, which recently relocated its headquarters to Los Angeles, now operates six shops and has two on the way. "It's not about chasing a number of stores," co-founder Neman said. "It's about the positive impact we can have on the communities we are part of." Sweetgreen's unconventional approach to food sourcing influences its real estate decisions too. Before the company opened its first Midwest store, in Chicago, in August, Sweetgreen spent a year cultivating relationships with farmers in the region. "The first thing we look at is the supply chain and ensuring we have the ability to source fresh, local food at scale," Neman said. Sweetgreen typically seeks spaces measuring about 3,000 square feet, preferably near other retailers that share its values of wellness and environmental sustainability. Sites near community gathering spots are attractive too. "We recently opened in the King of Prussia Mall's new Savor complex, which was a great opportunity to be in the company of many cool retailers," Neman said, referring to that Pennsylvania mall's food hall. "In Boston we have a store in Prudential Center and one in Lynnfield. These spaces are destinations for the local community, so they offer us a chance to really connect with the locals on an ongoing basis." n Leasing inquiries may be directed to Jason Kastner, director of leasing, at jason.kastner@sweetgreen.com. Sweetgreen typically seeks spaces measuring about 3,000 square feet, preferably near other retailers that share its values of wellness and sustainability S T O R E F R O N T S

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