Friday, October 13, 2017

Bonus Bits & Bites

Whole Foods Market confirmed earlier this week that they plan to close their millennial-focused Whole Foods 365 store in Bellevue, Washington.  The store, the third of the new concept stores, opened in late 2016 and was soon followed by others across the country.  The Bellevue store is expected to close tomorrow, Saturday October 14, but it has already been removed from the 365 website.  Amazon, which officially closed on its nearly $14 billion purchase of Whole Foods in late August, is reportedly "not a fan" of the 365 concept.   The decision to close the Bellevue store was reportedly made prior to Amazon's purchase of the grocer. The decision was made by company leadership prior to the Amazon merger after careful evaluation of both store performance and the site challenges that exist for successfully operating a grocery store,” Whole Foods Global PR Director Robin Kelly said in a statement.  Kelly added that the Bellevue store closing doesn’t indicate that Whole Foods is backing away from the 365 concept.  “We remain committed to the 365 format, and will continue to sign new leases and open stores in a variety of markets."   Following the Bellevue closure, there will be five 365 stores open with another 18 in the pipeline including two in Georgia in Decatur and Buckhead.  
According to sources close to the store, the Kroger on Howell Mill Road at Howell Mill Square is undergoing limited exterior renovations this week as it works towards a more extensive interior renovation early next year.  

Bargainata, a service of the Atlanta chapter of The National Council of Jewish Women, announced earlier this week that they are closing their Sandy Springs area "thrift" store.  The shop, which is currently located on the back side of a small center adjacent to the Goodwill center at Abernathy Drive and Roswell Roads, moved to its current location in late 2015.  The store's previous home was about a mile south in Hilderbrand Court, where the new Modera Sandy Springs luxury apartment complex is currently under construction.  Bargainata, which primarily features women's clothing, jewelry and accessories, is currently offering 40% all merchandise.  Prices vary by item, with a mix of thrift-like prices and eBay-like prices.  Store officials indicate the store will reopen elsewhere, but the new location has not yet been confirmed.  

A fourth location of Jacksonville, Florida-based Maple Street Biscuit Company is coming to Georgia.  The breakfast eatery opened their first Atlanta area location last last month in Duluth, and recently confirmed plans to open other locations in Alpharetta and Woodstock.  The fourth Georgia location will be in Savannah at 220 West Broughton Street.   

A new Speedway fuel center with Speedy Cafe and convenience store is coming to Lilburn at East Lawrenceville Highway, at its intersection with Harmony Grove Road.  The fuel provider first went before the Gwinnett County department of planning and development last spring, but only recently has the project begun to move forward.  Speedway, a wholly owned subsidiary of fuel provider Marathon, re-entered the metro Atlanta market last year.  The company today operates locations in Norcross, Lawrenceville and Alpharetta.  Speedway also hoped to open a new location in Kennesaw, but after being denied by the city of Kennesaw, is suing the city.  Sources say the suit is ongoing.  

Slingshot Entertainment, located in a former BJ's Wholesale at Peachtree Industrial and Jimmy Carter Boulevards in Peachtree Corners/Norcross has "temporarily closed."  The bowling, go-cart and entertainment venue that also featured an American Ninja Warrior-style course, opened in the former big box space during the summer of 2015.  The Slingshot website has been replaced with a simple black and white "splash page" that says: "WE'VE GOT A NEW LOOK COMING!"   Local sources suspect the business will not reopen.  

The Wendy's at Spring Road and Cobb Parkway in Smyrna officially reopened yesterday after being demolished and rebuilt over the past few months.  The new restaurant sports the company's latest "image activation" design elements and is a significant improvement over the location that previously stood in its place.  According to a source at Wendy's Dublin, Ohio headquarters, the original Spring Road location opened in 1975 and was the 90th overall Wendy’s restaurant.


Anonymous said...

I never saw a lot of cars at Slingshot, even during what should have been peak times. It’s located in an area I think doesn’t match its demographic.

Anonymous said...

Slingshot went through some changes early on and has already changed owner's once in its short life. They used to get a good crowd in there until they started charging something like 15 dollars a person to even come in. They originally had a kids go cart track and took it out to put in video games in the first few months. They have a small children's play area next to the Ninja course but it isn't worth the price anymore if parents have to pay the entry fee also. The Ninja course used to have a lot of elementary and middle school kids on rainy or hot days also but it's the same thing with the parents needing to pay admission didn't make it worth the money.

Originally the place was opened by a company in Norcross that is a major family entertainment provider. I believe they run the Harlem Globetrotters and maybe Dolly Wood. They wanted an entertainment facility close by their corporate office and I think they were losing a lot of money quickly and sold it.

Anonymous said...

The ironic thing about Slingshots downfall is its lack of identity and the fact it moved into a space vacated by a retailer lacking identity. BJ's thought there was a market for people that couldn't decide between Walmart and Sam's Club so they tried to exist in the middle. Slingshot tried to capture the market for people that couldn't decide between a bowling alley, Dave and Busters, Andretti's and a indoor playground for entertainment and found that wasn't a viable market.

Anonymous said...

what entertainment company was involved with making Slingshot? the articles about it state that 3 guys (supposedly with experience in creating that type of place) got 6.5M in investment money and created Slingshot.

Typically, these types of places are in dilapidated strip malls, so I don't think the location was all that bad.

The things that were in it require considerable maintenance (bowling alley, go carts, ninja equipment) and I wonder if upkeep costs were not taken into consideration. I also wonder if the 3 guys intended to flip it and make a quick buck, but I have no idea.

Seemingly, someone(s) took a major bath on it, and it's sad that in the last year the objective was just to get as much money as possible out of customers, and minimize spend on cleaning and maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I thought it had originally been opened by Herschend Family Entertainment:

I was incorrect and this article includes the original layout that was modified and they changed their pricing model which hurt them, now anyone entering the facility has to pay.

ImAndy said...

It was listed for sale two years ago for 10 million, i'm curious what it sold for.

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