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Category ArchiveMark Kostic

Euro Retailers Sense Opportunity Here While US Brands Look to Old World for Salvation

Last week, while JLL retail pro Michael Hirschfeld was in London for business, he learned of three U.K. retailers collapsing.

Those were the U.K. arm of Toys “R” Us, which went into insolvency administration, Maplin Electronics, which failed to find a buyer to get it out of administration, and dining chain Prezzo, which is being restructured. In addition, the 600-fleet London fashion chain New Look is looking to make deals with landlords to close underperforming stores and reduce rents.

The news sounds eerily similar to headlines in the U.S. as bankruptcies, e-commerce and the popularity of discount department and specialty stores have impacted the retail business on both sides of the pond.

“I think the retail challenges are universal,” said Hirschfeld, a vice chairman of national retail tenant services at JLL who spends 80 percent of his time bringing retailers from Europe to the U.S. and vice versa.

This comes, however, with a big caveat.

It is often said that what happens in the U.S. market will then follow in Continental Europe and Great Britain. But JLL warned in a retail report comparing the U.S. and Europe at the end of 2017, “we shouldn’t assume markets automatically mirror each other.”

In Europe, and the U.K. in particular, retailers braced themselves for the change in shopping patterns due to e-commerce faster and earlier than did their U.S. counterparts, according to the JLL report.

And beyond the internet, there are clear differences between the two markets.

One of the big ones is the sheer amount of retail space available in the U.S., in large part due to an excessive number of shopping centers. In the U.S., there is 13,713 square feet of leasable shopping center space per 1,000 people, JLL determined at the end of last year. In the U.K., by contrast, there is 3,175 square feet per 1,000 people, and in Europe as a whole, there is 2,335 square feet.

And the European retailers smell the opportunity—many view the U.S. as if “it’s on sale,” Hirschfeld said. “You’re seeing rent levels that you could achieve in the financial crisis. It’s a very opportune time. The demand is super strong.”

Hirschfeld brokered deals to bring British clothing company Superdry to various cities in the U.S. and is working on a deal for British toy store Hamleys to come to New York City. Accessories brand Furla, which comes from Milan and already has a store in Manhattan, is expanding with a new lease in Aventura Mall in Miami, Fla. (one of the top malls in the country), and one in the Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas (another top U.S. mall) with likely another three or four more in major markets, he said of his client.

Susan Kurland, an executive vice president and a co-head of global retail services at Savills Studley, said that the difference between retail in Europe and the U.S. is the vacancies.

“The difference is their spaces are filled,” Kurland said. “You walk down our Madison Avenue, and almost every store on Madison Avenue is available.”

She is working with a high-end Chinese-owned Milan-based company, which is looking to enter the U.S.

“[The owner] feels the only places to expand are China and the U.S. as those are the two most important markets,” the broker said. “They’re in…the exclusive places in China. They’re on the important street in Milan. He feels that the U.S. is really important for his expansion.”

While there will be more store closures in Europe, JLL determined that the continent is “unlikely to experience the sheer volume of closures currently being forecast in the U.S.”

Another distinction between the U.S. and Europe is that most of Europe employs a high-street model rather than a shopping-center model. Furthermore, in shopping centers, the U.S. has relied on department store anchors (which have been one of the worst victims of e-commerce and commoditization), JLL noted. In Europe, on the other hand, shopping mall owners have been quick to switch gears with their anchor tenants, often turning to food-and-beverage concepts, and they are more diverse in their offerings.

Yet another important difference between European and U.S. leases is the rent structure. In the U.S., when a tenant signs a lease it knows what the rent is for the entire term. In the U.K., for example, you may sign a 10-year deal, but every couple of years you go through a fair-market rent review process, Hirschfeld said, so you don’t know your rent.

But one thing both places have in common is that consumers have so many options for how they want to shop.

“We’re seeing across the board a fragmentation of distribution,” said Betsy McCullar of Hilltop Alliance, who develops and executes marketing and strategy solutions for brands and businesses. “Western Europe is even more fragmented than the United States because, for example, the U.K. and Germany—and France, to some extent—have a big mature structure of department stores. But Italy and Spain are still dominated by one-off specialty stores.”

Among the European brands that are on the fast track in the U.S. are fast-fashion brands Swedish Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Zara from Spain and the U.K.-based Reiss Ltd., The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2017. Amsterdam-based Scotch & Soda is also popping up in the U.S. with 28 free-standing retail stores, with a store at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, N.Y. opening on March 30. European discounters like German grocer Aldi, German competitor Lidl and Irish clothing company Primark are on a tear in the U.S., Bloomberg Gadfly pointed out last October. International cosmetics companies like Rituals from Amsterdam are taking New York City by storm. Plus there are food chains like Wagamama, an Asian food concept that actually hails from London, that has set up shop in New York City and Boston.

When entering the U.S., European retailers focus on major cities for entrée.

Since they’re used to high streets at home, European retailers want to rent on a U.S. high street. And they generally enter by way of one of the gateway markets of New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Las Vegas, Hirschfeld said. They often choose a U.S. location that is most similar to where they hail from, Hirschfeld said.

“Brands usually like to do either the East Coast or the West Coast initially, and I believe that most start on the East Coast first,” said Robin Abrams, a vice chairman of retail at Eastern Consolidated, with New York City being a priority due to its tourist population, ease of navigation, walkability and great public transportation. For U.K. retailers, New York is logical, Abrams said, “because it is more similar” than other places in the U.S.

Interestingly, CBRE’s most recent annual global retail report highlighted Philadelphia as a target city for international retailers in 2016. That year, Italian furniture company Natuzzi Italia and Superdry set up shop in Philadelphia, the fifth-largest city in the U.S. The market was appealing, the report said, because of its increased millennial population, income growth, new multihousing developments, burgeoning food and retail scene and reputation as a tourist destination.

But there’s no refuting that New York City often is the beau ideal market for European retailers looking to expand abroad.

21 Euro Retailers Sense Opportunity Here While US Brands Look to Old World for Salvation

“Retailers looking for a first or second opportunity look at New York,” said Mark Kostic, a vice president of retail leasing in the U.S. at Brookfield Property Partners. “Everyone’s next step is a global flagship in New York.”

Kostic worked on the deal to bring European suitmaker Suitsupply to Brookfield Place. The brand has fared well since the men’s store opened about a year ago, and the women’s store Suitstudio opened this past November, he said.

Jason Pruger, an executive managing director at Newark Knight Frank, said he will be helping Black Sheep Coffee expand from London into the U.S. come springtime. He anticipates that Black Sheep will enter the country by way of New York City.

“We are looking to expand in the U.S. because we have be inundated with customer requests, particularly in the last few months—mostly Americans living in the U.K. or who came across Black Sheep while visiting the U.K.,” said Gabriel Shohet, one of the co-founders of Black Sheep Coffee. “New York City has many Black Sheep fans but is one of four U.S. cities [including Chicago, Washington, D.C.. and Atlanta] we have shortlisted as a potential starting base for a U.S. market entry.”

Faith Hope Consolo, the chairman of Douglas Elliman’s retail leasing, marketing and sales division, said that New York City is “the shopping capital of the world, and the No. 1 leisure activity in this country is shopping. Yes, New York City is the center of the world. Companies are willing to risk everything to make it here. Just like the song goes, ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.’ ”

Going the other way, U.S. retailers often start in London for their European expansion, where English is the native language. Indeed, companies from the U.S. marked the majority of new international retail entrants to London in 2016, according to CBRE’s global retail report. (Hirschfeld called London “probably the retail capital of the Europe in many ways.”)

But London is desirable for just about any retailer looking to make an entrance on a global stage. “Overseas brands continue to see London as the pathway to greater expansion” in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, or EMEA, the CBRE report said. London was the second most-targeted market globally for international retailers entering new markets in 2016 (behind Hong Kong) and 10 markets in EMEA made the list of 19 global cities with the greatest international retailer presence. And this was the year of the Brexit vote for the U.K. to leave the European Union, so presumably the vote did not rock anybody’s faith in London retail.

At the end of last year, New York-based high-end fitness brand Equinox opened its first standalone E by Equinox location—an even higher-end Equinox—in central London. “Opening our first standalone E by Equinox in one of the most esteemed neighborhoods in London was only fitting,” Gentry Long, the managing director of U.K. operations for Equinox, said in a press release in December 2017. “We’re thrilled to introduce an elevated take on the private members’ establishment with fitness at its core.”

Some in-demand cities for U.S. retailers going abroad are Germany’s Munich, Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfort for fashion brands and food and beverage brands, Hirschfeld said. And there’s Paris, France and Milan, Italy. He has not seen a lot of demand for a Spain brick-and-mortar location.

In the last coupe of years, Hirschfeld’s team has brought Detroit-founded Shinola watch, bicycle and leather company to London. And his team brought Seattle-based outerwear company Filson to London.

“What you must look at when you’re looking throughout Europe, or Asia or South America is products that are transferrable to other markets,” Virginia Pittarelli, a principal of Crown Retail Services whose clients have included Sephora and Godiva, told Commercial Observer late last year.“That’s really the key.”

Source: commercial

Video: Pop Damn! How Pop-Ups Are a Year-Long Phenomenon

It’s not just for the holiday season. Love ’em or hate ’em, pop-ups are here to stay. Retail Details looks at why they’re advantageous for tenants and landlords. We check in with Los Angeles’ jewelry retailer Vrai & Oro as they build out a space that they got on Mott Street via Appear Here.

Source: commercial

Retail Details: Live From MAPIC

What’s the problem with retail? What are retailers doing to help themselves in this cruddy climate? Are international retailers interested in the U.S.?

Those were the questions on our mind when Commercial Observer traveled to the south of France, last month, to attend the MAPIC conference on retail.

We sat with some of the best brokers in the business and asked their thoughts — here’s what they had to say.

Source: commercial

MAPIC 2017: Retail Headwinds Can’t Cloud the Vibe in Sunny Cannes

At this year’s MAPIC in Cannes, France, there was a mix of concern as well as optimism.

Fred Posniak of Empire State Realty Trust told Commercial Observer that there was “no doom-and-gloom” vibe at the international retail property trade show—and if attendance at MAPIC was any indication, things aren’t so bad. This year’s attendance was up 100 people to roughly 8,500 participants from 2016, according to MAPIC Director Nathalie Depetro. Like last year, attendees hailed from 260 countries around the world.

In New York City specifically, deals are starting up again after a dry spell, as evidenced by the recent transactions involving Levi’s, which is moving its Times Square store to a new 17,250-square-foot location at 1535 Broadway, and Vans, which agreed to take 8,573 square feet for its second Manhattan location at 530 Fifth Avenue.

“I think there is momentum,” said Lee Block of Winick Realty Group.

Still, in order to get deals done, tenant rep Virginia Pittarelli of Crown Retail Services said that “for the right kinds of tenants across the board, all landlords are being creative because of the abundance of space.” That means more tenant improvement allowances and less traditionally structured terms, such as lower base rents plus percentage rents (as in percentage of retailers’ sales).

And landlords have also been more open to doing pop-up deals, according to Cushman & Wakefield‘s David Gorelick.

But there is no arguing that there are issues facing retailers in the U.S., with department stores cited as a serious case in point.

“I see department stores going in a downward spiral,” said Salvatore Ferrigno of Newmark Knight Frank. As many have noted, “the writing is on the wall” for department stores and they “have to evolve,” said C&W’s Gene Spieglman.

The same applies to individual retail brands. Brookfield Property PartnersMark Kostic said it is “important for each store to be relevant,” while Robin Abrams of Eastern Consolidated advised that retailers need to key in on their vibe and brand, among other things.

But the retail situation isn’t as grim internationally, according to one market watchdog. While the U.S. is experiencing a “collapse [in] retail activity,” the downturn is “less dramatic” in other countries,  said Mohamed Haouache, the founder of online short-term retail leasing platform Storefront.

Source: commercial

Untuckit Menswear Label Arriving, With Subway Tile Mosaic, at Brookfield Place

Menswear label Untuckit, the company sells high-end shirts that are designed to be worn untucked, is heading to Brookfield Place in late November, Commercial Observer has learned. The location is one of three opening next month. The others are at 103 Fifth Avenue and 488 Madison Avenue.

The company has signed a 10-year lease for 2,370 square feet on the second floor of Brookfield Place’s retail courtyard, between Cos Bar and the men’s Club Monaco, according to a spokesman for Brookfield Property Partners, the owner of Brookfield Place. It will include a unique mosaic comprised of subway tiles on one of the walls as well as a lounge area, an Untuckit spokeswoman said. Brookfield declined to provide the asking rent at the building, which has an address of 230 Vesey Street.

“As we have been rapidly expanding our retail footprint with 20 new locations nationwide this year, we are particularly excited about the three new stores opening in New York City next month,” Chris Riccobono, the founder and executive chairman of Untuckit, said in prepared remarks. “Since we are headquartered in New York, it made sense to have a strong presence here. Brookfield Place is the height of luxury retail, and its Lower Manhattan location offers accessibility for customers from around the city and New Jersey.”

Untuckit’s existing New York City store is at 129 Prince Street.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Michael O’NeillTaylor Reynolds and Jason Greenstone represented Untuckit in the deal and Michael Goldban and Mark Kostic brokered the deal for Brookfield in-house. A spokesman for C&W didn’t respond with a comment.

“This emerging brand perfectly complements our men’s retail collection and the overall fashion-forward presence at Brookfield,” Goldban said in a statement.

Source: commercial

David Chang Opening a Fuku in Brookfield Place After Tapping New Chef for Brand

Momofuku chef and restaurateur David Chang is bringing his fast-casual fried chicken chain Fuku to Brookfield Place, Commercial Observer has learned. The opening comes a month after the appointment of Stephanie Abrams, most recently a co-executive chef at Rotisserie Georgette in Manhattan, as the new chef for the Fuku brand.

In early December, Fuku will open in the food hall Hudson Eats, taking space formerly occupied by Little Muenster, according to a spokesman for the property’s landlord, Brookfield Property Partners.

Chang signed a seven-year deal for 672 square feet in the food hall at 200 Vesey Street between West Street and North End Avenue. Brookfield declined to provide the asking rent. This is Fuku’s fourth storefront in the city.

“We first opened Fuku as a fried chicken sandwich shop in the East Village in a space that has served as Momofuku’s unofficial incubator,” Chang said in prepared remarks. “It housed the original [Momofuku] Noodle Bar and [Momofuku] Ko before Fuku. At the time of opening, I don’t think we knew that Fuku would be a concept we would grow beyond that first storefront. Since then, we’ve opened a few more locations, including at major sports arenas. When the opportunity to join Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place, we knew that we wanted to be a part of the collection.”

hudson eats inside brookfield place photo brookfield property partners David Chang Opening a Fuku in Brookfield Place After Tapping New Chef for Brand
Inside Hudson Eats in Brookfield Place. Photo: Brookfield Property Partners

RKF’s Spencer Levy represented Chang in the deal and Michael Goldban and Mark Kostic worked on behalf of Brookfield in-house.

“Hudson Eats continues to evolve and keep things fresh and interesting for the community,” Kostic said in a statement. “We are excited to welcome David Chang to the property and have every confidence that our visitors will be as impressed as we are with his offerings.”

Little Muenster opened in Hudson Eats in June 2014, and closed this summer after Brookfield let the company out of its lease, the Brookfield spokesman said. A representative for Little Muenster didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

This summer, the third—and largest—Fuku opened at 110 Wall Street, serving a wider menu with salad and bowls.

The two Downtown Fuku’s won’t cannibalize each other, the brand’s broker said.

“It really just made sense,” Levy said in a statement. “Augmenting the already successful food hall at Brookfield Place with a brand equally as popular as Fuku is a win-win for everyone. In terms of locations, every Fuku has a unique twist and 110 Wall Street and Brookfield are really in two distinctly different markets with a different customer base. Hey, now Fuku has views of both rivers!”

The menu at Hudson Eats Fuku will be similar to the one on Wall Street, changing with the seasons, a spokeswoman for Chang said.

“Fuku was started with a menu of only three food menu items, but we’ve learned that our guests want options for every day of the week—not just spicy fried chicken sandwiches,” Chang stated. “As the concept continues to expand, I’m excited to have [Abrams] on board to lead the culinary team and bring new ideas and flavors to Fuku.”

Chang’s brands are proliferating the city. Last month, he signed a lease for a 4,000-square-foot Momofuku Noodle Bar on the third floor of the Time Warner Center.

Source: commercial

Sant Ambroeus Opening Fourth Italian Eatery in NYC at Brookfield Place

Source: commercial

Peloton Popping Up at Brookfield Place

High-energy indoor cycling company, Peloton, which just closed a $325 million series E financing round, has signed a deal for a pop-up micro-store at Brookfield Place, Commercial Observer has learned.

Peloton will sell its signature bikes (sorry, there will be no classes!) out of a 300-square-foot glass-enclosed store in the inner courtyard of Brookfield Place, which is at 230 Vesey Street, facing the marina, according to information provided by the landlord, Brookfield Property Partners.

The hot fitness brand’s store will open in June for six months, Brookfield’s spokesman indicated. It is space Blackberry previously leased for the same amount of time. Brookfield declined to provide the rent.

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Brookfield Place. Photo: Celeste Sloman/ for Commercial Observer

“Brookfield Place is the ideal location for us to launch our new retail format,” said Tim Shannehan, chief revenue officer of Peloton, in a prepared statement. “Sitting in our hometown of New York City, it delivers the perfect audience mix of working professionals and young families in Battery Park, Financial District and Tribeca.”

RKF’s Jeremy Ezra represented Peloton in the deal and Brookfield’s Mark Kostic represented the landlord in-house. Ezra didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Yesterday, the billion-dollar Peloton, announced the closing of a $325 million series E financing round.

Peloton Founder and Chief Executive Officer John Foley said in the release: “We are changing the way people engage in fitness. This financing will allow us to expand our product and content offerings, open new showrooms across the country, and continue to innovate the experience we offer our members at every touchpoint.”

Source: commercial