Big Opening Day for Fresh Thyme

Fresh Thyme

Fresh Thyme opened in Waite Park today, their 6th Minnesota store.   They also opened in Kenosha today, their 2nd Wisconsin store.   This brings their total store count to over 50 stores in 10 states, and 16 more coming.  Here in Minnesota, the St. Louis Park store on Excelsior Blvd is next up for the chain.

The Waite Park store opens in the former KMart building here, joining Dick’s Sporting Goods and Five Below.


Cushman & Wakefield’s Garrick Brown runs down retail intel at MSCA gathering

By: Adam Rae Voge

Garrick Brown, vice president of retail research for Cushman & Wakefield Americas, braved the cold weather of early 2017 to deliver his outlook for the year at the January meeting of the Minnesota Shopping Center Association.garrick_500px

Garrick, a San Diego native known as the Retail Wizard, shared his latest insight on where the retail market is going, how the recent presidential election might impact retailers, and more in the address, at the St. Louis Park DoubleTree hotel.

The speech was moderated by Director Deb Carlson.

Among Garrick’s insights: larger chain stores continue to struggle with how to stay competitive and appealing, especially to younger, millennial shoppers. That crowd tends to favor concepts such as Shinola, which seek to make each location and shopping experience unique from others in its chain. It has increasingly become an “evolve or die” marketplace, with brands turning to alternative lines, such as a Nordstrom Rack or Macy’s Backstage.

Garrick also noted that restaurants continue to be major movers and shakers in the retail world, with new concepts popping up all the time. But that also means many restaurants will close this year, as competitors jockey for position.

In the world of established retailers, Macy’s, The Gap and Sears are among the major brands facing rough times. Garrick told the MSCA crowd that store closures in 2016 were the highest he’s tracked since 2010, going back through about 20 years of data. As struggling chains find new ownership, they could find new life, but that also means more closures could be yet to come.

Garrick also delivered plenty of good news to MSCA members.

The “barbell of prosperity” continues for retailers on either end of the pricing spectrum — luxury retailers and discounters. Those brands, he said, are driving interesting activity for retail properties as they push back agains the highest rents in favor of well-located Class B properties.

Will 2017 bring the “death of the mall”? Not so fast, said Garrick, calling that notion “just stupid.” Most of the last 200 malls that closed in the U.S. were simply recategorized to power centers or another type of retail shopping center, trading an anchor for repurposed space.

In all, Garrick said he expects another active, headline-heavy year of retail news, both in Minneapolis and around the country.

Interested in more retail insights from Garrick? Follow @retailwizard on Twitter​! ​​

Lunds & Byerlys out – Rustica in



The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is reporting that the Lunds & Byerlys Kitchen in Wayzata is closing before the month is over, to be replaced by Rustica Bakery.

Lunds & Byerlys opened their 17,000 sf store in March of 2014 in the newly developed mixed use project of Promenade of Wayzata.   It was a new way of looking at the grocery business for them, with only 17,000 sf and heavy emphasis on prepared foods with a restaurant, wine & beer bar.  Back in 2014, Tres Lund told the Business Journal that “the average household is preparing multiple meals at home, and this is an opportunity to have restaurant-quality prepared food with a depth of variety that you’re just not going to find right now.”   But it never really took off, and combined with the slow addition of adjacent retail at the center, didn’t generate enough traffic to succeed.  Rustica will open this spring with a café, baked goods and ice cream.

It’s true – Macys in downtown Minneapolis is closing


601W Cos. of New York is paying $40m for Macy’s 12-story building in the heart of Minneapolis, per the Star Tribune today.  This 115 year old building has been the anchor of retail in the Minneapolis CBD; no word yet on what 601W plans are for the property.  


A Hy-Vee holiday present


Ryan Companies has sold their Hy-Vee project in Brooklyn Park for $24.1 million on December 23rd.    They purchased the 16.3 acre site in 2015 for $3.38 million, and developed the 103,882 sf project for a 96,000 sf Hy-Vee supermarket and the adjacent gas station.  This store opened earlier in 2016, and is one of five existing stores that have opened in the Twin Cities.  It leases their newly opened store in Eagan at Central Park Commons, but owns their locations in New Hope, Oakdale and Lakeville.  Skip Melin of Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq was recently quoted in Finance and Commerce, stating “Hy-Vee typically likes to own as opposed to lease.   It’s great for the Twin Cities that grocery-anchored centers are still trading at a premium, and trading quickly.” 

 The buyer was Hurd Real Estate out of West Des Moines, IA, a company that specializes in retail across the country, including ownership of 19 Hy-Vee leased properties in the Midwest.