Shopping Centers Today International

NOV 2015

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

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of business come from other products, that really helps us grow," said Demis. HoneyBaked Ham also sells barbecue ribs, pot roast and a variety of hot and cold side items for take-home meals, as well as the café sandwiches and salads. The HoneyBaked Ham Co. & Café hybrid will appeal to shoppers and landlords alike, according to Michelle Belin- fante, a principal at the Atlanta-based Leasing & Management Group, which handles the company's Georgia site selection. The transformation has meant creating a more customer- friendly store design and shifting location strategy from a desti- nation food pickup spot to a more traditional quick-service res- taurant with good visibility, easy access and adequate parking. The old-style "ham stands" featured a small lobby with the coolers and freezers behind a sales counter. This was a quick in- and-out for people stopping by to pick up that holiday ham or turkey. The new café prototype measures between 2,200 and 2,800 square feet and will seat as many as 35; self-service cool- ers are available for those who wish to pick up a holiday order or a grab-and-go side dish. "What's great is that they have the prepackaged foods, so customers can run in and buy a sand- wich for lunch, and they can also pick up dinner at the same time and bring it back to the office and put it in the refrigerator until they are ready to go home," said Belinfante. People value such convenience today, she says. The stores also are designed so that some of the seating can be removed during the peak holiday season when traf- fic surges may need to be accommodated. "We have to be able to empty out that lobby and make it as large as we can, because we have thousands of people coming through each location at the holidays," said Demis. The company recently completed some corporate restruc- turing too, as it prepares to accelerate franchise sales. The Michigan and Ohio offices have been consolidated into the Atlanta headquarters for economies of scale and improved ef- ficiency. "We also are doing some deep demographic research to redefine markets and potential markets," said Demis. Right now the split is about 50-50 between corporate and franchised stores. Going forward, the company will be looking for the majority of its growth to come through the franchise side. HoneyBaked Ham opened five stores last year and is anticipating 10 more by the end of this year. The company is looking at opening roughly 20 next year. The targeted opportunities are in existing and new mar- kets alike — including Greater Chicago, Dallas and Hous- ton, plus New Jersey, New York and the New England area. Among the locations set for openings this month are Champaign, Ill., Erie, Pa., and Oak Ridge, Tenn. The inclusion of a café concept has been evolving over the past few years, says Belinfante. That shift did slow a bit during the company's consolidation process but should be picking up again from this point forward. "Now that the consolidation is complete," Belinfante said, "I think they have the freedom to really grow the café concept." S C T For leasing, contact Mark Demis, director of development and real estate, at 24 S C T / N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 5 r e T a i l i n g T o d a y

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