GPS Retail Newsletter

Third Quarter 2016

Santa Barbara County

  • There is heavy uncertainty of a long-term future for the two Santa Barbara Macy’s that are located downtown on Paso Nuevo and at La Cumbre Plaza.
  • Two Santa Ynez entrepreneurs opened their second restaurant, Bacon & Brine, at 1622 Copenhagen Dr., in Solvang, CA.
  • Santa Barbara’s hotel tax revenue this year was $4 million higher than 2013. This signals strong consistent tourism in Santa Barbara.
  • California Space Center, a theme park/educational center, is asking for reconsideration to be approved for a location in Lompoc. The project would be built on an 82-acre piece of land adjacent to Lompoc’s Allan Hancock College campus.
  • Brothers Spirits is the newest distillery to open on Industrial Way in Buellton.

Ventura County

  • Kennedy Wilson, the real estate investment company, acquired a 386 unit multifamily property for $81 million in Camarillo; close to CSU Channel Islands.
  • CBRE closed the sale on The Terrace shopping center in Newbury Park. With a variety of retail and restaurant tenants, the center sold for $15.26 million.
  • A 5,000 square foot office building, on Grand Avenue in Ventura, sold to a private investor for $940,000. He plans to move his electrical contracting business to this location upon updating the property.
  • Lost Canyons LLC plans to renovate and reopen the Lost Canyons Golf Course in Simi Valley. This will include a club-house, swimming pool, and high-quality work-out facility.
  • Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant in Thousand Oaks, which was shut down recently, plans to close for good August 29. The restaurant has been open for 69 years.

San Luis Obispo County

  • Owners of Palo Mesa Pizza and Tanner Jacks plan to open a fifth restaurant, this time in the Village of Arroyo Grande. Palo Mesa Wood Fired will be located at 150 W. Branch Street. This is the former location of Arroyo Grande Village Flower Shop.
  • Harbor Freight Tools to open in Smart & Final’s old San Luis Obispo spot. The discount tool retailer will be at 277 Higuera St. in the space of the former Smart & Final store on Higuera Street, who relocated to the closed Haagen store on Johnson. The store is tentatively scheduled to open with a grand opening date of Nov. 16.
  • Leila Vay, a hair stylist to New Yorkers for many years, including  Yoko Ono, has  opened LVL Salon in Nipomo.
  • Seven single family “Marsh Street Brownstones” are under construction downtown San Luis Obispo. Asking price is $1,829,800

Retail News

  • Despite Wall Street predictions, Whole Foods reported a mixed third quarter earnings report. This was a result of a lower price strategy, increased health costs, and increased marketing. Co-CEO Walter Robb is expecting 365 by Whole Foods to lead to long-term growth.
  • O’Reilly Automotive Reported record revenues and earnings for the second corner. Their Revenues have increased 7% since last year’s second quarter.
  • The number of retailers crossing international borders rose by 3.1% last year.
  • Space demand is exceeding additions with a 30-basis-point decline in vacancy to 5.9%. This will be the lowest year-end level in 16 years. The weighted average asking rent for top U.S. retail markets rose from$15.03 in 2013 to 15.93 at the end of March 2016. This illustrates that rents have recovered as a whole.
  • Morningstar reports that some $28 billion in commercial mortgage loans to shopping centers nationwide could be at risk.
  • Two-thirds of U.S. shoppers buy their clothes at off-price stores such as Marshalls, Ross, and T.J. Maxx.
  • Factory Outlet news: The top 10 tenants 10 years ago, in one of the top outlet developers portfolio of tenants, no longer exist.
  • 10% of the population are frequent moviegoers, 8% infrequent, 46% occasional and 36% are non-moviegoers.

Retail Trends

  • An increasing number of grocery stores are offering food and dining in store. This includes café’s, restaurants, and bars. Many grocers that already produce ready-to-eat meals have most of the required infrastructure and employees to operate these services. The target market is areas with a demographic of wealthy households and/or singles.
  • Recently, the economic recovery has driven sales growth in retail categories such as sporting goods, home improvement, furniture, and apparel. Many chains have positioned themselves to continue this growth throughout the rest of the year.
  • Many Companies are positioning their portfolios on internet-resistant retailers. These include tenants in the health, beauty, wellness, and fitness market.
  • Middle-market retailers are struggling, which economists believe can be explained by a struggling middle class. Luxury chains are still performing well.
  • Total growth for back to school spending for grades K-12 has risen 54.8% over the past decade. $75.8 billion is expected to be spent this year on back to school shopping. $68 billion was spent last year by families for back to school shopping.
  • Malls are bringing in health care such as urgent care clinics to add diversity and bring in more customers. Although this is not a new idea, it has been growing in popularity.
  • Restaurants are now setting up charging stations for electric cars. Ruby Tuesdays partnered with Tesla to set up charging stations at their restaurants exclusively for Tesla Cars.
  • Home renovations are hot with annual spending on remodeling expected to reach $321 billion, just shy of its prerecession peak in 2006.
  • A consumer shows that 75% of shoppers are uncomfortable using face recognition techniques.
  • Food halls stalls cost $50,000-$75,000 for the operator, sometimes developers will finance that amount if they want the operator.
  • In 2016, credit and debit card payments will have surpassed cash payments globally for the first time in history.
  • The U.S. average increase in construction cost was aproximately 1.5% between April and July 2016.
  • On the rise: International retailers are setting up shop stateside.

Investment and Development News

  • San Francisco passed an ordinance in April requiring that all new nonresidential buildings with 10 floors or less and more than 2000 sq. ft. of gross floor area to have solar panels atop their roofs.
  • L Brands Inc., the parent company of Bath & Body Works, is expanding stores which will include a section exclusively for White Barn Candles or an adjacent White Barn Candle store.
  • Walgreens is showing confidence that their plan to acquire Rite Aid for $9.4 billion will go through. Contrary to what economist had thought, Walgreens would only have to close 500 locations if their proposal is accepted.
  • Dollar General has purchased 40 Walmart Express stores. The slightly larger locations give them the ability to sell meat and produce goods. There will also be gas stations at 37 of these locations
  • Godfather Pizza Inc. plans to expand their Mini Mart store to 40 new locations spread across Missouri, Kentucky, and Illinois. This will more than double their current number of locations (38).
  • Estimated 5 million square feet of new retail space opened in the US in the 2nd quarter of 2016. Off-price chains and supermarkets drive the leasing.
  • In areas where there is little available land for residential use, and where the cities are allowing it in commercial zoning, many older strip centers are disappearing in favor or residential or mixed use construction.
  • The wave of long term commercial property financing that peaked before the recession along with shorter-term debt placed during the recovery is coming due over the next three years.