Thursday, April 17, 2014

Whole Foods holding local producer fair in Lake Norman

Makers of local Whole Foods-type products, listen up: The grocer is inviting local producers to bring their wares for a shot to get on the shelves at the new Lake Norman store.

The new Whole Foods is set to open in the fall at the Northcross Commons Shopping Center on Sam Furr Road. The retailer is interested in fruits, vegetables or food products manufactured in the Lake Norman area.

The local producer meetings with Whole Foods will be May 30. Interested producers have to submit an application (which you do online here). Whole Foods will then contact those who make the first cut and set up meetings.

You have until May 12 to apply. Here's what Whole Foods says they're especially interested in: "Coffee, Beer, Wine, Aged cheeses, Hard Cider, Chocolate, Organic soy yogurt, ethnic foods."

The company has a long list of requirements for the products. They range from "A business license and all required regulatory permits" to "All spices are non-irradiated."

But lest you think you don't have a shot, take heart: Local producer Olive Stewart got her products on the shelves of the SouthPark Whole Foods. Read about how she did it here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New stores for Charlotte Premium Outlets

Charlotte Premium Outlets announced 18 new tenants this week, as the Steele Creek mall prepares for its July 31 opening.

The list of additional tenants includes Kate Spade New York, Zumiez and Crocs. A complete list is below. They'll join previously announced tenants at the almost 400,000-square-foot shopping mall, which will be anchored by Saks 5th Avenue Off Fifth.

Here's the full list of newly-announced stores:

  • Kate Spade New York
  • Coach
  • J. Crew
  • Banana Republic Factory Store
  • Carter's
  • Gap Factory Store
  • Great American Cookie
  • HanesBrands
  • Lucky Brand
  • The Luggage Factory
  • Osh Kosh B'Gosh
  • Puma
  • Steve Madden
  • Zumiez
  • Bass
  • Sunglass Warehouse
  • Crocs
  • Quicksilver

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Charlotte Premium Outlets holding job fair May 2

Charlotte Premium Outlets, the city's first outlet mall, plans to hold a job fair May 2 to fill positions at its new stores.

The mall, a joint venture between Tanger Factory Outlet Centers and Simon Property Group, is set to open July 31. The companies predict it will employ 900 people at its 100 stores.

Carter’s, Direct Tools, Fossil, Le Creuset, Seiko and other stores will be at the job fair and looking to find employees.

The job fair will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport.

Check out this previous blog post for a list of stores headed to Charlotte Premium Outlets. Saks Fifth Avenue will be the largest tenant of the new mall, which will total just under 400,000 square feet.

The companies paid $8.7 million to buy the site from a trust fund owned by Sarah Belk Gambrell. They will receive $5.1 million worth of property tax rebates over the next 10 years.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Matthews Publix to open April 23

Publix Super Markets plans to open its newest store in Matthews on April 23, the Florida-based grocer's fifth store in the Charlotte region.

The Matthews store is at McKee Farms Shopping Center, in a former Super BI-LO location. The store will open at 7 a.m. for its first day of business.

The new Publix joins stores in Ballantyne, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Indian Land. It's the company's second store in North Carolina.

Mecklenburg County building permits show Publix spent more than $2.4 million remodeling the building.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Walmart regains top grocery spot in Charlotte market

Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is back in the No. 1 spot in the Charlotte region's grocery market, according to data released Tuesday.

Chain Store Guide, which tracks retail sales, reported that Walmart captured 22.4 percent of the Charlotte region's grocery sales, up from 20.4 percent last year. Harris Teeter's share fell from 23.7 to 20.4, and Food Lion's grew from 17.4 to 18.7.

Here's how they stack up. In the following chart, WM = Walmart, HT = Harris Teeter, FL = Food Lion, Sam = Sam's Club, Bi = BI-LO, Cos = Costco, TGT = Target, DG = Dollar General, FD = Family Dollar and TJ's = Trader Joe's.

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Here are some interesting takeaways from the data:

  •  Publix Super Markets, with only two stores near the state border in South Carolina and one store opened in Ballantyne in February, is already up to a 1.3 percent market share. How much more market share will they take when they are up to 15 stores, as they plane to be next year?
  • Given that Walmart also owns Sam's Club, if you combine their sales, you can see that the business from Bentonville owns a huge chunk of the market: 28.7 percent. That means they're about 40 percent bigger than the next-highest competitor, Harris Teeter (28.7 percent market share vs. 20.4 percent).
  • Family Dollar and Dollar General each account for a greater percentage of food sales in the Charlotte market than Trader Joe's - an interesting thought if you spend a lot of time in Trader Joe's, like this blog writer.
  • According to Chain Store Guide's data, Publix has about 29 percent higher sales-per-store in the Charlotte market compared to Harris Teeter. Kroger recently closed its deal to buy Harris Teeter, so we'll have to see if that changes.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

First Publix open in Rock Hill, more to follow

Publix Super Markets opened its first store in Rock Hill this week, and the retailer has more openings planned this year throughout the Charlotte region.

The new Rock Hill store is on North Cherry Road, and opened Wednesday. It's the company's fourth Charlotte-area location, joining stores in Fort Mill, Indian Land and Ballantyne.

The next store Publix is scheduled to open is in McKee Farms Shopping Center, at the corner of Weddington and McKee roads in Matthews. Like the Rock Hill store, it's in a former Super BI-LO location. An exact date hasn't been set for the opening yet.

After that, the next stores planned to open in 2014 are on York Road in Steele Creek, on West Catawba Road in Cornelius, and Mint Hill Commons in Mint Hill. Six more are planned for 2015.

Check back for opening dates as they become available. You can see all of Publix's local stores here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New gun, tactical gear store opens in Gastonia

Carolina Tactical Gear, a store selling firearms and other supplies and apparel, opened this weekend in Gastonia.

Co-owner Mark Mauney, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, said he and his partners decided to open the store because they didn't feel there were good options to buy tactical gear nearby.

"You had to go to Charlotte or Asheville," said Mauney. He said they spoke with their law enforcement friends about what brands of clothing and other gear they would like to see in a store, and researched retail practices.

"It's a different avenue to go towards," Mauney said of retail vs. law enforcement. Getting the required federal licenses to sell firearms was one of the most challenging parts of the operation, Mauney said, and took about two months.

The store is located on South New Hope Road, near Armstrong Park Drive. It's open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.