NRF Provides Glimpse of Retail Expansion Plans

January 14, 2011
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Attendees at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference got an unexpected preview of some upcoming retailer expansions. NRF conference sessions indicated that, surprisingly, many companies are more interested in ramping up than paring back expansions.

For example, Disney Stores, which had an entire presentation at the show, which was held in New York City this year, says it is looking to expand its base of 370 stores in North America, Europe, and Japan in select markets where it doesn’t yet have a location. The chain, which sells Disney character-related toys and apparel, once had 500 storesin North America, said Stephen Finney, senior vice president of global operations. Since the chain went bankrupt in 2008 when it was owned by an affiliate of the clothing company Children’s Place, Disney has bought back the retail concept and will expand more cautiously.

And British apparel chain TopShop, owned by Arcadia Group, just signed a lease in Chicago. This will be the second U.S. location for the retailer, which also operates a flagship store in Manhattan.

Retail property experts attributed the expected expansions to the poorly performing real estate market, which is allowing many tenants to move into better locations or renegotiate more favorable lease terms.