GPS Retail Newsletter

Third Quarter 2018


  • A century-old movie theater in downtown Santa Paula, Tower Theater, is up for sale. Investors have until October 12 to make an offer.
  • Captain’s Cajun Boil, a new seafood boil-style restaurant at the Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard, opened on August 23rd.
  • Amazing Lash Studio also joins the Collection at RiverPark shopping center in Oxnard. The fast-growing salon franchise has launched over 200 locations nationwide since 2012.
  • Lowe’s will close all Orchard Supply Hardware stores nationwide by February 1st to focus on its core home improvement business. Ventura County has one store in Thousand Oaks, in Oakbrook Plaza.
  • Angel and Willy Banos plan to open a new Gold’s Gym in Oxnard, slated to open in spring of next year. It will open in the old Food 4 Less building on Esplanade Dr.
  • Dr. Mark McDade’s orthodontic office has relocated to a new location in Camarillo. The new location builds on McDade’s 23 years of experience with upgraded state-of-the-art equipment.
  • The Shores, a restaurant and bar in Oxnard, reopened on August 6th through its new owner, Bill Kracht. The restaurant offers artisan dishes that are sourced from local, sustainable ingredients.
  • Northrop Grumman, one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense technology companies, recently relocated to Oxnard. The company is looking to hire about 300 people.

Santa Barbara

  • The space at Montecito Inn currently occupied by Franklard’s Crab & Co will be replaced by Chaplin’s Martini BarThe bar is slated to open in September.
  • Santa Barbara Fine Art Gallerywhich displays art by emerging local artists, has opened in Arlington Plaza.
  • Louise’s Kitchen Tablea take-out sandwich and salad restaurant, opens shop in Solvang.
  • BigSpeak, a Santa Barbara speakers bureau, has been listed as one of the fastest-growing private companies by Inc. Magazine for the fourth year in a row.
  • SmileDirectClub has established a brick-and-mortar SmileShop, an affordable and convenient orthodontics location, in Santa Barbara.
  • SpaceVR, one of only a handful virtual reality arcades in the country, has opened in Solvang.
  • Bubble Pop, an indoor and interactive playground for children of all ages, recently opened for business in Paseo Nuevo.
  • McConnell’s Ice Cream has opened another location in the Funk Zone of downtown Santa Barbara.
  • Target has zeroed in on a 2019 opening date following K-Mart’s upcoming October 2019 closure and construction is underway for a new Target in the functionally obsolescent Galleria at La Cumbre and State.
  • Liquid nitrogen ice cream was introduced to Santa Barbara in July with the opening of Creamistry.
  • The 400 block of State Street in Santa Barbara, which is already full of vacancies, has taken another hit. Staples appears to have not renewed their lease.
  • Lowe’s will close all Orchard Supply Hardware stores nationwide by February 1st; this includes a location Goleta.

San Luis Obispo

  • Alder Creek Luxury Apartments held their grand opening on August 18th in Paso Robles.
  • In early August, the Paso Robles Planning Commission approved a request by Justin Vineyard and Winery to build a new 100,000 square foot wine storage building at their facility on Wiseria Lane.
  • Allegretto Vineyard Resort announced the opening of the world’s first Sonic Labrinyth “Sound Circle,” which is designed to provide guests with a tranquil wellness-oriented space.
  • Phoebe Brown, the youngest operating female hot balloon pilot in the United States, sets down her sails in Paso Robles to offer hot balloon flight services through her own company: Balloons over Paso.
  • Orchard Supply Hardware is closing all of its locations by the end of 2018, including two locations in Pismo Beach and Paso Robles.
  • Brunch, a new “L.A. hipster vibe” breakfast restaurant, is open for business in Paso Robles.
  • A renowned southern California brewer is bringing a new family-friendly brewery and bowling alley, Wild Fields Brewhouse, to Atascadero next year.
  • The Creamery Marketplace in San Luis Obispo benefits from newfound popularity after a recent development by Covelop Inc. in partnership with Rossi Enterprises.
  • The historic Lompoc Theatre is undergoing renovations and structural improvements for a slated reopening in three years.
  • Medical marijuana services are now permitted in Arroyo Grande, opening the door to the possibility of new medical marijuana delivery companies in the area.

Retail News

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods‘ shares fall by more than 4% during the quarter, which CEO Ed Stack attributes to the expansion of Under Armour distribution.
  • Consumer confidence rose in August to its highest level since October 2000, according to a study by The Conference Board.
  • Best Buy’s third quarter outlook is much lower than Wall Street estimates, resulting in the retailer’s stock falling 6% in early trading.
  • Calm, the meditation app valued at $250m, is pursuing acquisitions and considering entering retail in its expansion efforts.
  • Sears Holdings is closing another 46 stores this year–33 Sears stores and 13 K-Mart stores. Liquidation sales are set to begin as early as next week.
  • A UBS analyst, Michael Lasser, predicts that the success of traditional retailers like Target will only continue going forward.
  • PepsiCo has announced plans to acquire at-home carbonated drink maker SodaStream for $3.2 billion, giving the business a new line through which it can reach consumers through their homes instead of through stores.
  • Albertsons’ merger with RiteAid fails–the latest in a spree of disappointments for private equity owners Cerberus, which has unsuccessfully tried to shed Albertsons multiple times.
  • Amazon announces a new service, in which Prime members can order groceries from Whole Foods and pick them up from a store within an hour.
  • A new Starbucks partnership with Microsoft allows customers to pay for drinks with Bitcoin.
  • More and more retailers are finding it easier to team up with Amazon rather than fight it. Sears, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Nike, and Chico’s are among the companies that have deals with the online giant.
  • Amazon acquires PillPack and enters the pharmacy business.

Investment & Development News

  • A hotly debated plan to build 142 apartments and 10,000 feet of commercial space in Thousand Oaks will go before the City Council next week for approval.
  • In San Luis Obispo, a new housing development named Righetti Ranch is one step closer to welcoming families. The 165.3-acre plot of land is expected to hold as many as 1,000 homes for sale as early as late summer.
  • San Luis Ranch, another planned residential project in San Luis Obispo, recently experienced a pivotal planning meeting that brings it one step closer to development. More than 2,200 prospective residents are on the waiting list for the project, which is described as “desperately needed.”
  • Thousand Oaks development team has recently proposed a project to revitalize the downtown area.
  • A major construction project, expected to bring hotels and a conference center to the city, is underway in Camarillo.
  • Gap plans to open a net of 25 stores this year with growth coming from its Old Navy and Athleta brands.
  • Target has plans to open 21 new stores this year, the majority of which are small brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Chipotle projects opening up 130-150 new restaurants this year, expanding at a growth faster than most restaurant chains.
  • Dave and Busters plans to double its current store base from 106 to over 200 in the long-term.
  • Nordstrom has been consistently adding locations from its off-price chain, Nordstrom Rack, and slowly opening new full-line stores over the past year.

Retail Trends

  • Brands are finding new ways to infuse technology into the customer experience to satisfy the needs of the 24/7 connected shopper, from self-service product discovery tools to augmented experiences.
  • Brands and retailers are using strategic alliances to adapt in an ever-shifting retail landscape.
  • Retailers are increasingly offering options like instant pickup and on-demand delivery to meet customers’ expectations of instant gratification.
  • To deliver personalized experiences and anticipate the needs of consumers, retailers and brands are tapping into predictive modeling, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
  • Subscription services are becoming more common from traditional brands to meet customer needs for curated experiences.
  • Brands are repurposing brick-and-mortar store environments to be more relevant and responsive to customer needs.
  • Brands have found a new focus in consumer-driven commerce–empowering consumers to feel like they are apart of a brand through the use of product customization and excellent customer service.
  • Payment processing innovations make it easier for customers to conveniently and quickly order from retailers and brands.
  • E-commerce advancements come in an era where consumers increasingly prefer to buy items online rather than in-person.