Shopping Centers Today

DEC 2018

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

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I nvestors are putting some $5 million behind Fourpost, a startup that could transform the traditional brick-and-mortar model by oering small retailers and entrepreneurs a place to do business free from the heavy costs of the typical store infrastructure. By providingsmall enterprises access to prime real estate in this new way, Fourpost may be help- ing to democratizethe traditional department-store experience, as well as injecting fresh energy into physi- cal retail —starting with malls and extending eventually to freestanding locations, suggestsMark Ghermezian, founder and CEO of the venture. The first twoFourpoststore sites are to openNov. 1, oneeach at the two largest malls inNorth America: Mall of America,in Edina, Minn.;and West Edmonton Mall, inAlberta, Canada. Mark Ghermezian's family helped develop both malls. "Todaybrands are demanding better options for brick-and-mortar," Ghermezian said. "The industry has not kept pace with modern retail. We built Fourpost to completely 're-architect' the process by building a community and breathing fresh air into what has been a stale industry between landlords and brands for hundreds of years." Ghermezian says Fourpost helps lower barriers to entry for entre- preneurs by making it possibleto opena brick-and-mortar storefront without the usual hurdles:long-term leases, high rents, capital expendi- tures,operational logistics challeng- esand the like. The FourpostStudio Shops model represents a creative alternative that offers young retail brands choices for their business spaces beyond the stan- dard cube shape. Each Studio Shop space includes fixtures, signage, light- ing, point-of-sale hardwareand Wi-Fi. The Fourpostdashboard gives membersaccess to billing and account management;training; and event bookings and calendars. Members can navigate data and access analytics to help them buildtheir businesses. Fourpost member businessesjoin a community of creators andentrepre- neurs like themselves, the company says, byconnecting to other brands within a shared space and across vari- ous locations. Q 34 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 FOUR WALLS New retail concept offers prime space to small brands By Brannon Boswell S T O R E F R O N T S TRACTOR SUPPLY CO. IS BOOMING Reaping profits by catering to a rural lifestyle Brentwood, Tenn.–based Tractor Supply Co. now comprises some 1,900 stores, having opened roughly 700 since 2012, and the company says it plans to roll out about 500 more over the next decade. Sales at this•80-year-old com- pany have risen by about 56 percent over the past five years, to $7.3 billion, and•profits have grown by some 9 percent yearly, on average, since 2012. The stores generate $257 per square foot, on average —•compared with $195 per square foot for Macy's. Tractor Supply has taken a measured pace in building up its website, which now enables customers to shop by•click-and-collect (buying merchandise•online for pickup at a physical store). The web- site also offers instructional videos on such rural topics as beekeeping, deer-feeding and horse-grooming. But most customers prefer coming to the store, accord- ing to•CEO Gregory A. Sand- fort. •"You have to remember, these people are choosing this lifestyle," Sandfort told Bloomberg. "There's value in that choice, and a big part of that life is going to a store and talking to someone." Q Many happy customers

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