Sunday, August 22, 2010

bigg's ads





When I found that bigg's was going to go out of business, I snagged these from their website. Enjoy.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Retail Reader: Niagara Falls, N.Y.-Area Mall Gets Local Ownership, New Name

Title:Niagara Falls, N.Y.-Area Mall Gets Local Ownership, New Name
Authors:Lisa Haarlander
Source:Buffalo News, The (NY); 01/27/2004

Jan. 27--For the first time in its 32-year history, the Summit Park
Mall in Wheatfield is about to come under local ownership.

The new owners expect to sign a contract today to buy the mall for $5
million. The new owners plan to give the mostly vacant shopping center
$100 million worth of improvements and additions, plus a new name --
Destination Niagara USA.

"A lot of people who come to Niagara Falls don't stay the night
because there's not a lot to do, especially for families," said Samuel
J. Savarino, one of the partners in Niagara Falls Attractions and
Entertainment, the company buying Summit Park. "This gives them a
reason to stay on this side of the border."

While shopping will be a key part of Destination Niagara USA, the
complex would also have an aquatic center leased to Wheatfield, a
three-rink ice arena, year-round Christmas Around the World store and
exhibit, and a 200-room hotel with indoor water park by the end of

More tentative plans call for a planetarium with a Challenger Center
and a 150,000-square-foot conference center. The mall's anchors,
Sears, Toys "R" Us and the Bon-Ton, will remain.

Howard Hurst, a Toronto businessman, is the head of Niagara Falls
Attractions and Entertainment. As chairman and president of
York-Trillium Development Group he built and manages several
properties including the York Mills Centre in Toronto, a 1.5
million-square-foot retail, office and transportation center.

Savarino, president and CEO of Savarino Construction Services Corp. in
Amherst, and Hurst are also principals in the Niagara Falls Medical
Properties Corp., which will build an expanded emergency room and
cardiac center for Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

They decided to buy the 70-percent vacant Summit Park Mall because
they feel it has the potential to become a family recreation and
entertainment destination.

Of the 1,130 malls in the country, 36 are in some stage of being
redeveloped for a use other than a mall, according to the
International Council of Shopping Centers. Some centers were
demolished; others turned into office space or open-air lifestyle

The Summit Park Mall may benefit from its proximity to the Niagara
Falls International Airport. The Niagara Frontier Transportation
Authority has endorsed spending $23 million to build a new terminal
and is now searching for ways to fund the project. A new terminal
could lead to more people flying into the airport to visit Niagara
Falls or Canada.

"We feel this will become the new commercial hub of the area and the
mall will be at the center point of that hub," Hurst said.

However, upstate New York has seen its share of projects that have not

-- E-Zone, a $137 million domed amusement park on Buffalo's waterfront
that died for lack of private investment.

-- Destiny USA, a $2.2 billion entertainment and retail complex in
Syracuse that couldn't get state approval for $630 million in
incentives and tax breaks.

-- AquaFalls, a $50 million underground aquarium near the Rainbow
Bridge that is still a hole in the ground more than four years after
being proposed.

One reason Hurst and Savarino believe Destination Niagara USA with its
$100 million price tag has a better chance of succeeding is that it
needs less public assistance and already has the tax breaks it needs.

Wheatfield Supervisor Timothy E. Demler helped secure the town's
approval to freeze the property's tax assessment. The Niagara County
Industrial Development Agency is giving tax abatements to improvements
to the property that could total $1.2 million during the next 15
years. The Niagara County legislature waived more than $150,000 in
late fees and interest on back property taxes. The current owner James
Anthony of Oberlin Plaza One in Raleigh, N.C., paid more than $550,000
in back taxes earlier this month.

Also working in Summit Park's favor is the possibility that most of
the Lockport Mall may be demolished to make room for a Wal-Mart
supercenter. Some tenants have already inquired about relocating to
Summit Park, Hurst said.

The Seneca Niagara Casino is also bringing more tourists, giving
places such as Destination Niagara USA a chance to keep them in the

"There's no place in the region that has this much parking and is this
close to an airport," Hurst said. "It's close to the casino but far
enough way that it is its own area. ... The casino by itself isn't
going to change this area. What's going to change is keeping tourists
on this side of the border."


To see more of The Buffalo News, N.Y., or to subscribe to the
newspaper, go to

(c) 2004, The Buffalo News, N.Y. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune
Business News. WMT,


Source: Buffalo News, The (NY), Jan 27, 2004

Courtesy of EBSCOHost

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Retail Reader: Jeepers! Wonderland Mall Sports Fun New Look


MAY 1, 1999 12:00 PM, JOHN MCCLOUD

A MAKEOVER NOW IN PROGRESS at Wonderland Mall in Livonia, Mich., is less a new project than the continuation of a process of change that has been ongoing since Schostak Brothers & Co. Inc. bought the property in 1983.

Originally opened in 1959, the Montgomery Ward-anchored Wonderland Mall was considerably outdated at the time of purchase. At only 600,000 sq. ft., it was small by '80s standards, and unlike most other Snowbelt malls, it was not enclosed, consisting instead of four entirely separate, open-air segments.

Metamorphosis Schostak quickly set about to bring it into the contemporary world. The Southfield, Mich.-based developer hired architects Wah Yee Associates of Farmington Hills, Mich., to come up with a plan to unify and enclose the four segments. The transformation, which was completed in 1985, had the added benefit of creating 100,000 sq. ft. of new GLA from the spaces between the original segments.

In 1989, the company added Target and a six-screen AMC Theatre, and in the early '90s, it brought in Service Merchandise, OfficeMax and Dunham's Sporting Goods for additional anchor spots. By that point, the center had grown to about 80 tenants and 862,000 sq. ft.

In late '97, the company initiated a new round of changes designed to "position Wonderland at the forefront of 21st century retail," says company co-president and COO Robert I. Schostak. Part cosmetic and part compositional, the changes include the $10 million conversion of a full wing into a 150,000 sq. ft. food and entertainment center, addition of new anchors and sub-anchors, relocation and expansion of many existing tenants, and a new focus on family apparel.

New tenants include Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy and Bath & Body Works. Existing tenants undertaking expansions include Leather City and Foot Locker, which will open one of its first larger-format stores.

Solid demographics On the surface, Wonderland Mall would not seem to have needed a substantial makeover to maintain profitability. The dominant shopping center in its trade area, it has always done well and, according to Schostak, the demographics have changed little in the past 17 years. The area still offers "a lot of young families, great density and good income," he says. Furthermore, it is unlikely to face significant new competition because the area is effectively built out.

So why renovate? As Schostak puts it, "We saw an opportunity to reposition the mall to capture a greater part of the market and boost sales."

The company hired a marketing firm to conduct a survey of mall visitors and a telephone survey of randomly chosen area residents. The researchrevealed that people wanted a greater number of value-priced family and fashion apparel stores, more fashionable retailers, a cheerier environment and, above all, a greater range and number of entertainment choices, especially for families to enjoy together.

Read the rest of the article here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Retail Reader: Bigg's plans 3 new stores to anchor off-price malls

Bigg's plans 3 new stores to anchor off-price malls - hypermarkets

Discount Store News: June 5, 1989

(Excerpt) CINCINNATI -- Bigg's is set to anchor three off-price and mixed-use shopping centers due to open over the next three years, one in Denver that will mark the hypermarket's expansion outside of its home here and two in nearby Louisville, Ky.

Bigg's plans to open at least three other hypermarkets, including another in Denver and one in Tampa Bay, over the next few years.

The decision by Bigg's to anchor the three off-price malls denotes a growing trend in the shopping center field whereby hypermarkets are used as the full-line retail attraction for outlet and multi-use malls. Hypermarkets' marketing of foods and general merchandise and their avoidance of the term discounter in favor of such expressions as everyday low price makes them a favorite candidate to anchor such shopping centers.

The three Bigg's, one to open in each of the next three years, will double the chain's count to six units--five hypermarkets and one warehouse food store. Bigg's, which has two hypermarkets and one food-only store in Cincinnati, is owned by Hyper Shoppes, a venture headed by Euromarche, a French hypermarket chain, with participation by other French firms and Super Valu Stores, parent of ShopKo and Twin Value.

Construction is almost finished on the 250,000-square-foot Bigg's to open this fall as one of the anchors for the $100 million, 700,000-square-foot Thornton Town Center in the Denver suburb of Thornton.

The L.J. Hooker Co., the Atlanta-based shopping center developer arm of the $1.5 billion Hooker Corp. Ltd. of Australia, is building the multi-use Thornton mall, along with the two Louisville centers that will also house Bigg's hypermarkets. The two Louisville centers are in the planning stage, a Hooker representative said.

The Thornton mall will include three other as yet unnamed department stores, a manufacturers' outlet area with 60 stores, and such other facilities as a movie theatre and an entertainment center with a miniature golf course, carousel and midway rides.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Retail Addiction Blog: The Annex

Retail Addiction Blog is proud to announce The Annex, a real website with pages on my favorite malls. Right now, it's pretty rudimentary (with just blurbs on a few) but it's scheduled to be more comprehensive soon.

Check it out check it out check it out

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Epicenter Dreams: Final Thoughts

Well, since I posted Epicenter Dreams, a Labelscar post mentions Epicenter Collection. It talks about future anchors of malls, and mentions supermarkets in malls possibly becoming the "next big thing" since department stores are becoming antiquated and might disappear soon. I'm not going to explain what pop-up stores are...that's up to you to read...but a few things to note:

- Omaha Steaks DOES have a retail store (in the Streets of Woodfield, adjacent to but not connected to Woodfield Mall). I knew L.L. Bean had a store in Colonie Center in New York as well. So there's a problem in EC right there...why have booths that have already been established as retail locations.

- Why have an entire store with little booths and the "SpreeGo" system? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just lease space directly to pop-up stores and avoid "middleman" fees and the SpreeGo? This would also make it suitable for smaller locations.

- This bare-bones "Epicenter Collection" would also be able to NOT be located in major, trendy cities and instead target smaller markets (Cincinnati, Temple-Killeen, Baton Rouge, etc.)

- The best place for reception in a mall is the kiosks. If Epicenter Collection did open in Christiana Mall, it would be a bit awkward to have the "best stuff" tucked away in an anchor, instead out in the concourse. Instead we give the kiosks to immigrants selling belt buckles, cell phone cases, cheap RC vehicles, and "Dead Sea" salts.

- But will that work? After all, the much-hyped Metreon was something to a similar effect (focusing on tech products) and it was pretty much a failure. Similar to it (though not by much) was Peabody Place Entertainment & Retail Center. It was inspired by more on The Mills.

- Speaking of which, we'll go over a "Mills" mall of sorts next time.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Epicenter Dreams: The Dream Ends...?

Christiana Mall was its name, and despite being in the Philadelphia Metro area, it was actually in Delaware. It was also considerably older than Polaris Fashion Place, as Christiana opened in 1978. The anchor store Epicenter planned to take was a bit younger, but not by much...a vacant Lord & Taylor that opened in 1990 as a John Wanamaker. The old Strawbridge's at the mall had been bought by Nordstrom. And so it was now Epicenter Collection decided to actually start on its the BUYpod was renamed the SpreeGo, and an actual opening was revealed...summer 2008. Still, things looked rosy at this point. The 181,000 square foot store would be packed with 60 retailers, and discussions were with 100. "They're all the names you'd expect from the catalog world, the e-commerce world, and the world of brands." Awesome. If this list was anywhere near accurate, they'd probably pick something like ThinkGeek, which is possibly one of the coolest online-only stores ever. The world of brands, eh? Apple and Disney have stores, but what about other brands? The only Nintendo retail store I can think of is Nintendo World Store in New York City. And, well, in terms of other well-known brands, there's lots more where that came from.

Unfortunately, no news came. No updates came on the official Epicenter website but it was assumed Epicenter was gutting Lord & Taylor down except for the HVAC and other things (like restrooms). Summer turned to winter. Winter turned to spring. Summer 2008 passed with no news.

Then it surfaced in November that Target had bought Lord & Taylor's vacant space and was planning to open it another some years anyway. There was no more need to wait, and Epicenter Collection wouldn't resurface again. The website it had went down soon after.

I can honestly say I was disappointed. The fact that an "Internet-enabled" retailer could open...personally I was hoping for a variety of things all available (or would be delivered to my house): Omaha Steaks, Nintendo, ThinkGeek, and so on. But in all practicality, their business model was pretty solid, but was it profitable? By this time, catalog merchants had all but vanished. No one uses little notepads or tablets anymore (except for IKEA, but they can escape the odds somehow) and the SpreeGo would get awfully expensive...expensive for consumers (possibly persuading them not to shop) or expensive for the company (especially if they were stolen), or both. And furthermore, places like the late Service Merchandise and IKEA, you couldn't get it at the store unless it was a "hot-ticket item". So really, why bother ordering it through the Epicenter Collection when you could order it while sipping a mocha at the Starbucks in the food court?

Furthermore, the later concept picture of Epicenter Collection at Christiana Mall seemed showed a pretty open space...except most stores, even department stores, do not have high ceilings like that (except in the escalator area). This would become even more obvious in the planned Sears/Kmart merger. It would've been nice also to instead of having the Epicenter as an extension of the mall common (sort of Seoul Plaza in Security Square Mall) being like a department store, with fairly open areas and less walls. But even they didn't expand by leaps and bounds opening dozens by the year, they could've at least tried it. Then they could've expanded in other large, burgeoning markets: Chicago has vacant space, and Houston also has a few vacant Mervyn's. Northern Jersey also had space (it would've gone well in the old Boscov's space at Monmouth Mall except by that time, Epicenter was stillborn.


A few months later, Sears Holdings Corporation decided to close a Kmart in Illinois: not to worry, it happens all the time. But it was undergoing a transformation into myGofer, which swapped the traditional 80% sales, 20% storage on its head to 20% sales, 80% storage. You could order anything of a large inventory despite only a few products displayed at front...which sounds suspiciously like Epicenter Collection. Except for the fact that myGofer stocks almost exclusively Sears and Kmart items, no products are "touchable", and you can drive through to pick up items. While this would work pretty well for urban areas, it is a sore disappointment compared to what Epicenter Collection could've been. No exclusive brands never seen on brick-and-mortar format. But myGofer is new. Maybe it will clean up its act. Or maybe it will crash-and-burn and close in six months. Or maybe another company will take the reigns in a real "Internet catalog showroom".