Friday, March 3, 2017

Bits & Bites

The upcoming Rize in Sandy Springs (Image courtesy of Rize) 
Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads plans to open its second Atlanta area location this coming Monday, March 6th.  The new restaurant is located in the street level portion of the new Square One apartment project.  The first Rize opened this past November at the new 675 N. Highland apartment project in Poncey-Highland.  This are the first two locations for what the Atlanta based chain hopes will be many more in the future.  
Tex-Mex eatery Chuy's opened this past Tuesday at Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall.  This marks the third metro Atlanta location for the Texas chain.

Sprouts Farmers Market opened its newest Atlanta area location this past Wednesday in Decatur. The grocery store anchors the new Decatur Crossing development across from Suburban Plaza.  The Decatur store is the 14th in metro Atlanta for the Phoenix based chain.  Sprouts plans to open another new store at the new Tucker Meridian shopping center near Northlake Mall on April 26th.  Another Sprouts is planned to open later this year in Woodstock at the Shops at Towne Lake shopping center, in place of a former Publix.  

Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to open its newest Atlanta area location at Peachtree Station March 30th.  Peachtree Station is the new Whole Foods Market anchored development on Peachtree Boulevard in Chamblee.  A Denver area representative for Chipotle indicated that "barring any delays, the restaurant will open at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 30."  In addition, the representative indicated that "the first 100 customers at the new restaurant will receive a BOGO [buy one, get one free] to use on their next Chipotle visit!" Chipotle may be the first tenant to open in the center with Whole Foods reportedly targeting a "summer 2017" opening and other restaurants and retailers still with weeks of work to complete.  

The first Georgia location of Potato Corner, home of "World's Best Flavored French Fries," is planned for Alpharetta.  The new kiosk is slated to open "any day now" and is located on the upper level of North Point Mall in the food court.  The Los Angeles based chain started in 1992 and has recently expanded its footprint from its home base of California to other new markets such as Mobile, AL.   

The Shoppes at Webb Gin on Scenic Highway in Snellville will soon welcome a number of new tenants.  

Apparel and accessories retailer H&M plans plans to open what will be its 16th Georgia store at the complex later this spring.  H&M will occupy a 19,000 square foot space and will offer clothing options for the entire family, featuring collections for ladies and men, a separate section for accessories, as well as the H&M Kids collection, for newborns to 14 year olds.  This will be the third H&M in Gwinnett county following locations in at Mall of Georgia in Buford and the recently opened store at Sugarloaf Mills in Duluth.  

Hollywood Feed, a "natural & holistic" pet food store will  open later this summer in a 4,399 square foot space near Sleep Number.  The Memphis based retailer sells only dog and cat food and recently opened their first Atlanta area location in Roswell Corners shopping center in Roswell. Other Hollywood Feed locations are planned for Peachtree Station in Chamblee, North Decatur Square in Decatur and Tucker Meridian in Tucker. 

Smallcakes Cupcakery, a St. Louis cupcake franchise, will open in 1,452 square foot store next to The Children’s Place. The Snellville Smallcakes Cupcakery, which should open in the summer, will be the chain's 23rd in Georgia.  

Empower Yoga plans to open what will be its second studio next week at Emory Point.  Pending inspections, management hopes to open Monday March 6th.  The new yoga studio will open in the second phase of the project in suite D1-130, not far from BoruBoru Sushi.  The original empower yoga is located on Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb. 

Struggling footwear retailer Crocs announced yesterday it plans to close 160 stores, 28% of its current store count.  The company did not reveal the locations of the planned closures but anticipates the closures to occur "in the coming months." The shoe maker posted net losses of $44.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, with its stock (NASDAQ: CROX) now trading at about $7, far from its October 2007 high of nearly $70.  The Denver based company had 558 stores at the end of 2016.  As I reported last year, Crocs quietly closed their Buckhead store at Lenox Square this past December.  

Abercrombie & Fitch, the once hugely popular teen-oriented mall-based retailer announced yesterday it plans to shutter 60 of its namesake stores later this year.  The company indicated this past fall that roughly 50% of its 745 U.S. leases are up for renewal over the next 18 months. This window gives the company ample time to trim its store count without being penalized for exiting space early. This news comes on the heels of the company's disappointing earnings report for its most recently completed quarter.  The one bright spot was Abercrombie's sibling brand Hollister, which reported a comparable sales gain, its first in a year.  Hollister, which Abercrombie launched in 2000, now accounts for 57% of Abercrombie's net sales.  Metro Atlanta has seemingly been a good market for the company in general with Mall of Georgia getting one of the first ever Hollister stores and the Lenox and Mall of Georgia stores recently having undergone serious renovations to present the chain's less beach-y, more modern look.  As I reported last month, the Abercrombie & Fitch at Lenox Square will be one of just seven stores nationwide that the chain will renovate to reflect the brand's new identity.  

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