Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Fresh Market opening University City store in Nov.

The Fresh Market plans to open its University City store on Nov. 12. The grocer is renovating a former Food Lion store at the Mallard Crossing Shopping Center on Prosperity Church Road.

The new Fresh Market location. Photo courtesy Celeste Smith
The Fresh Market is based in Greensboro, and operates 163 stores in 26 states. The store on Prosperity Church Road will be The Fresh Market's 18th location in North Carolina.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beau Outfitters headed to East Blvd.

Beau Outfitters is opening a shop on East Boulevard in the former Maddi's Gallery space. The store is in between Vestique, a women's boutique, and upscale olive oil shop Pour Olive.

The new awning for the Beau Outfitters store on East Blvd.
Beau Outfitters is based in Jacksonville, Fla. They don't have any information posted yet about the Charlotte location, but here's what they say about their Jacksonville store:

"Beau Outfitters is Jacksonville's one and only refined-rustic men's retail store. We embrace the sporting lifestyle of Old Florida's southern roots and appeal to the gentlemen that reflect their passion for their lifestyle in their clothing. Located in the oak-engulfed strip of Avondale in Jacksonville's Riverside, our shop personifies the pre-Civil War plantation homes that once occupied the area along the St. Johns River.
Any beau will feel right at home upon their first step in this classic outfitters. We supply apparel and accessories for any occasion from hunting and fishing, to gameday tailgating, an afternoon boat outing, school, work, or just kicking your feet up. We also supply gear and knickknacks for a beau's best friend- his dog. So whether you're a beau or a belle shopping for your beau, make sure to come by and see us!"

More details to follow as they become available...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Whole Foods Lake Norman-area store opening Nov. 4

Whole Foods said Tuesday that the company plans to open its second Charlotte-area store on Nov. 4.

The grocery store is located in Huntersville, at the Northcross Commons shopping center at 9129 Sam Furr Road. The store is 35,000 square feet, on the small end for a supermarket. 

Whole Foods is offering preview tours of the location on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 for people who want to see the store early. The suggested donation of $5 will go towards Sow Much Good, an area non-profit that provides food for people who might not otherwise have access to fresh vegetables and fruits. You can RSVP online at to secure a 45-minute tour, which includes food samples.

The store will employ almost 150 workers, Whole Foods said. 

Whole Foods has one Charlotte store open in the SouthPark area, on Fairview Road. Thee company is planning for a third Charlotte store at Providence and Ardrey Kell roads. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Anytime Fitness opening Pineville gym

Anytime Fitness is opening a 24-hour gym in Pineville, at the Perimeter Center South shopping center.

The company has signed a lease for a 6,250 square-foot space and expects to have the gym open in December. Franchisees Michael and Susan Gilder will operate the gym.

Although Anytime Fitness gyms are staffed for an average of about nine hours a day, members can access the gym anytime (hence, the name) with a key fob.

“What differentiates Anytime Fitness from other clubs is our focus on helping members get the results that they’re seeking,” the Gilders said, in an email. “We’re small enough that we can provide personalized attention for all of our members. Whether weight-loss is your goal, or increased strength or improved balanced and flexibility – or a combination – we’re committed to helping you achieve those goals.”

Here's what they say to expect at the new location:

"The layout of each club is designed for quick and effective exercise. At the Anytime Fitness club in Pineville, NC
members will have full use of top-quality equipment and amenities, including:
• Circuit and resistance training machines
• Free weights
• Cardio equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes
• Group fitness classes, including Zumba and yoga will be offered
• Virtual Fitness in Cardio room
• Private bathrooms, changing rooms and showers
• 2 Tanning rooms (packages available)
Prior to opening, Anytime Fitness is offering First 100 Members - No Enrollment Fee. Membership information is
available by calling 704-889-0800 or by emailing"

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fresh to Order opening in Carolina Place mall

Fresh to Order, a "fast-fine" restaurant, plans to open its first North Carolina location in December at Carolina Place.

The company, founded in 2006, operates restaurants that serve food that sounds closer to a fine-dining than a fast food menu. The food is prepared fresh in 10 minutes, Fresh to Order says, and sells for around $10 an entrée.

“This will be the first of North Carolina location for us, and we think that a location at an established center such as Carolina Place is the right venue to introduce our restaurant concept in Charlotte,” said Pierre Panos, Fresh To Order CEO, in a statement. “We have targeted North and South Carolina for expansion and expect Fresh To Order to soon be a favorite dining spot for the communities we join.”

Here's a description of the restaurant, from Fresh to Order: "Fresh To Order, the pioneer of “fast fine” dining, combines chef-inspired cuisine, high quality ingredients and affordable prices...Fresh To Order’s menu highlights include almond crusted tuna steak, brown sugar roasted pork loin with caramelized onion apricot chutney and ‘better for you’ black bean and tuna burgers."

Tuna for the taking

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Publix to open Oct. 22 in southwest Charlotte

Publix Super Markets is opening its latest Charlotte grocery store on Oct. 22, the company said Thursday.

The store is located in the Whitehall Commons shopping center at 8120 South Tryon Street. This is Publix's eighth local grocery store to open. The company plans to have 14 stores in and around Charlotte open by late 2015, as Publix muscles into the local grocery market.

The Whitehall Commons Publix is a former Bi-Lo grocery store. Publix bought seven Charlotte-area Bi-Lo stores last year to accelerate its growth.

Publix is also ramping up its expansion in other parts of  North Carolina. The company is opening a store in Cary on Oct. 29.

Microsoft retail store opening Oct. 18 in SouthPark

Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on its first full-scale retail store in Charlotte, as the computer company prepares to open its SouthPark store Oct. 18.

The 2,261-square-foot store will be Microsoft's 104th retail location. The company has had a kiosk in SouthPark mall for years, but this is a fully-enclosed retail store - more like Microsoft's competitor and forerunner in the retail space, Apple stores.

Mecklenburg building permits show the store cost more than $4 million to renovate and build out. Microsoft has been investing heavily in its retail strategy, with plans to open 10 more stores before Black Friday and build a Fifth Avenue flagship in New York City.

The company has been training workers for its new SouthPark store for the past several weeks. Jonathan Adashek, Microsoft's general manager for communications strategy, visited Charlotte from Microsoft's Redmond, Washington headquarters Wednesday to prep for the opening. The Streets at SouthPoint in Durham has North Carolina's only other store.

A Microsoft store making college students smile
The first 1,500 customers in line for the 11 a.m. Microsoft store opening on Oct. 18 will receive two tickets for a Kelly Clarkson concert the following day, Sunday, Oct. 19.

I talked with Adashek for a little while Wednesday. Here are a few things he said to expect about the Microsoft store.
  • Expect a "curated selection" of the best devices made by Microsoft and other hardware makers, including laptops, Xboxes, computers, Windows phones and Surface tablets.
  • Come with any broken or malfunctioning device, anytime, and the Microsoft store's "Answer Desk" will do their best to fix it for you, no matter where or when you bought it.
  • The store will have a heavy emphasis on providing good customer service and well-trained employees. Microsoft is trying to build human connections people who have viewed the company as a faceless utility-like provider since the beginning of computing.
  • A panoramic video wall wrapped around the store's interior.
  • Two 96-inch TVs set up for people to play Xbox.
  • Every product with a screen will have a touch-screen.
  • The store will emphasize community involvement and events, with free computer classes, videogame tournaments and meeting space. To get an idea of what to expect, take a look at the event lineup at the Durham store this week:

    Thursday, October 9
    3:00 PM Teen Game Day/Computer Lab at the Library
    6:00 PM Easy ways to collaborate via the cloud
    Sunday, October 12
    1:00 PM Windows 8.1 Workshop
    Monday, October 13
    4:00 PM Office 365 Fundamentals
    5:30 PM Excel 101
    8:00 PM Microsoft Madden Mondays
    Wednesday, October 15
    6:00 PM Junior Game Developer Night
    Thursday, October 16
    3:00 PM Teen Game Day/Computer Lab at the Library