Shopping Centers Today International

APR 2016

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

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A P R I L 2 0 1 6 / S C T 9 2015 a light year for store closings The number of announced store closures declined sharply last year. Retailers and restaurateurs disclosed plans to close 350 units in the fourth quarter, off by 38 percent from a year before, according to ICSC and PNC Real Estate Research. The amount of space set to close declined to 4 million square feet, down by 70 percent from the year-ago quarter. The fourth-quarter closing announcements came from all merchan- dise sectors. Roanoke, Va.–based Advance Auto Parts put 30 units on the chopping block. Boston- based sporting goods chain City Sports filed for bankruptcy protection in October and has plans to liquidate its 26 stores. Specialty apparel retailers Kitson (17 stores closed) and Bebe Stores (12 shut) together accounted for the 29 announced closings in that segment in the fourth quarter. Target announced plans to close 13 stores but will offset those with 12 openings it announced at the same time. Meanwhile, Del Taco Restaurants, Dunkin' Donuts and Jamba Juice all announced fourth-quarter store closings. Because of the Target closures, the discount de- partment store sector led all segments, with some 1.5 million square feet of space marked for closure in the quarter. Grocery stores had the second-larg- est amount of announced space for vacancy, at 1.1 million square feet. Fresh & Easy stores accounted for 97 percent of the an- nounced grocery store closures in the period. So far, Sports Author- ity is the year's biggest bankruptcy. The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced plans to close nearly a third of its 450 stores by May. The Englewood, Colo.– based retailer, which is owned by investment firm Leonard Green & Partners, has plans to exit Omaha, Neb.; Kansas City, Kan.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Texas and Puerto Rico. Sports Authority has been on the store-closure watch lists of landlords for some time. In fact, many have been nudging the chain out of existing leases early to accommodate healthier tenants. "They are in great locations," said David J. Oakes, president and CEO of DDR Corp. on an earnings call. "For the most part they are be- low market, and we would love to replace them with a strong and long list of quality retailers, including specialty grocers." At one DDR shopping center in California, Sports Author- ity opted not to renew its lease in January, and the firm has already re-leased that space to three smaller tenants at a combined rent increase of 22 per- cent, according to Paul W. Freddo, DDR's senior executive vice president of leasing and development. Other sporting-goods chains have been expand- ing — Academy, Dick's, and Dunham's among them. NOTABLE NUMBERS 70% Decline in amount of retail space marked for closure in the fourth- quarter, versus a year ago 97% Percentage of 2015 supermarket closures related to the Fresh & Easy chain 350 Number of U.S. stores marked for closure in the fourth quarter of 2015 1.5 Square footage of discount department store space marked for closure in fourth quarter 2015 million 29 Number of U.S. special- ty-apparel stores marked for closure in the fourth quarter of 2015

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