17 Nov 2023

What’s New In The Retail World?

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The second half of the year in the Retail-Commercial industry has been bustling with activity!
Landlords are experiencing low vacancy rates, and retailers are having a greater dialogue, expressing the need for a sense of place and customer experience in their shopping centers.

In contrast, many quick-service restaurants no longer need their standard, 1+acre site; instead, many have adapted their footprint to improve efficiency and cater to drive-thru and third-party carry-out providers.

Current trends show a number of store openings, closings, and expansions in addition to how landlords are backfilling vacant boxes left behind by big-box department stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Tuesday Morning.

While exhibiting at ICSC Southeast in Atlanta last month, a diverse range of industry professionals shared their valuable insights as we discussed the challenges and opportunities in today’s marketplace. We share with you our findings.

Who’s Merging, Expanding, Repurposing or Closing?

Repurposed Stores

Many quick-service restaurants have transformed their footprint to improve efficiency and cater to drive-thru and third-party carry-out providers.

In fact, Inspire Brands, the parent company of popular restaurant chains such as Arby’s, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, Baskin Robbins, Sonic, and Buffalo Wild Wings, has recently introduced a new combo concept. They have transformed their two famous restaurant brands into a new offering called Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings GO.


The Kroger and Albertsons merger is slated to close in early 2024 when Kroger expects to finalize the Albertsons acquisition. This $24.6 Billion deal will combine two of the largest supermarket operators in the U.S. with nearly 5,000 locations.

Expected to close the deal in early 2024, Aldi will acquire 400 Winn-Dixie and Harvey’s Supermarket grocery stores across the Southeast, which supports its long-term growth strategy in the U.S.

Expansions & Closings

O’Reilly Automotive announced plans to open 360-370 net new stores, AutoZone said it would open about 200 stores, and Advance Auto Parts announced plans to open 125-150 new stores.

WAWA plans to open 20 stores in Georgia, while Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will add 40 to 45 new stores this year on top of its current count of about 400 locations.

Bed Bath & Beyond has closed its remaining 360 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and 120 BuyBuy Baby locations; Tuesday Morning is planning to close all 487 stores, and Walgreens recently said it would close about 150 of its 8,800-plus U.S. stores.

*Source ICSC