Written by Elaine Misonzhnik, [March 30, 2011 / RetailTrafficMag.com]
As U.S. chain retailers absorb the lessons of the Great Recession, many big-box chains have started to shrink average store footprints to reflect the growing importance of multi-channel shopping, adapt to urban settings and recognize the need to optimize portfolios.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Best Buy Co. Inc. and Gap Inc., among others, all have small concepts in the works or are adapting existing ones. These smaller store formats should allow the retailers to maximize profitability and open more stores in closer proximity to each other, say three retail consultants and a retail real estate broker Retail Traffic spoke to.
Wal-Mart Stores and Target have been the most high-profile examples of this trend.
In 2011, Wal-Mart Stores plans to open between 30 and 40 smaller format stores, representing a combination of its Walmart Market and Walmart Express units, according to a company spokesman. Walmart Express stores will measure up to 30,000 square feet and will focus on grocery products and a limited selection of general merchandise. The company is already working on two Walmart Express stores in Chicago and three in Northwest Arkansas.
Walmart Market stores, a rebranded version of Walmart Neighborhood Markets, average 40,000 square feet in size and concentrate on grocery products.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 15, Target Corp. unveiled its CityTarget concept, with stores ranging from 60,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet. Full-line Target stores range from 128,000 square feet to 135,000 square feet.
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Carmen has been a practicing commercial real estate broker since 2001. She is a graduate of the Louisiana State University (LSU) E.J. Ourso College of Business and the LSU Flores Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Finance. Her experience includes past employment as Regional Director of Leasing at Commercial Properties Realty Trust the for-profit arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Carmen’s affiliations include Louisiana REALTORS®,Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division, International Council of Shopping Centers, Commercial Real Estate Women, Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, National Association of REALTORS®, and Urban Land Institute. She is also an active volunteer on the board of directors for the Baton Rouge Gallery, LSU MBA Alumni Association, Junior Achievement of Baton Rouge, and the Junior League of Baton Rouge. Carmen currently serves as the 2010 President of the Louisiana CCIM Chapter.
Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).