Grocery Outlet Bargain Market Opens Store in East Norriton, Plans Additional Locations

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has opened in East Norriton, becoming the newest supermarket to enter the Philadelphia area and adds to the growing competition throughout the region.

The Emeryville, California, chain, which is part of Grocery Outlet Holding Corp., joins other discount grocers that have expanded in the region including Lidl and Aldi in addition to other chains that have increased their presence such as Giant, Acme and Sprouts Farmers Markets.

Grocery Outlet is expanding throughout the mid-Atlantic, said Heather Mayo, chief operations and merchandising office for the Eastern division. “We think there is a ton of opportunity,” she said. “It’s limitless the number of stores we will open. There will be many more to come.”

The grocer has more than 375 locations throughout California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Of that total, 18 stores are along the East Coast and includes 13 locations that were originally Amelia’s Grocery Outlet, a Pennsylvania-based chain purchased by Grocery Outlet and rebranded.

The store in East Norriton at 2917 Swede Road totals 23,000 square feet of which 15,000 is the sales floor. A Genuardi’s had once operated from the space.

“It made sense for us,” Mayo said. “We love the location, it was an underserved market and know it will work extremely.”

Products at the store sell for 40% to 50% below brands. The company also buys surplus products from manufacturers to stock stores.

Like a franchise, Grocery Outlets (NASDAQ: GO) are owned independently and the East Norriton store is owned and operated by David Tress, who had been in the restaurant industry.

“Unfortunately with the pandemic and current landscape, the grocery business seemed like an appropriate move and a little more family friendly,” Tress said.

The store plans to employ 28 people.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Chase Opening 4 More Philadelphia-Area Branches, Closing in on Goal of 50

JPMorgan Chase & Co. opened its 34th local branch in Newtown Square on Tuesday and has three more planned for later in the month. That will bring the New York banking giant to 37 Philadelphia-area locations as it nears the halfway point of a five-year plan to open 50 sites in the region.

The bank has also received approval for 11 other locations, including two this week, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The bank said it expects to open a total of 13 this year, which would bring it to 46 branches in three years.

Here are the planned March openings:

    • 3604 West Chester Pike in Newtown Square – opened March 2
    • 2900 Island Ave. Suite 2942 (Penrose Plaza) in South Philadelphia – opening March 23
    • 396 W. Lancaster Ave. in Haverford – opening March 23
    • 220 E. Baltimore Ave. in Media – opening March 30

The Penrose Plaza location is considered a low- to moderate-income neighborhood, bringing Chase’s total branches in such areas to 10, or 27% of existing locations. When CEO Jamie Dimon visited Philadelphia in September 2018 to announce plansto enter the local retail banking market, Chase committed to locating 20% in LMI neighborhoods. In 2019, Chase upped the stakes by saying it would have 30% of branches in LMI neighborhoods.

The new openings will also give Chase seven locations in Delaware, six in South Jersey and 24 in southeastern Pennsylvania, which include 13 in Philadelphia, four each in Montgomery and Delaware counties and three in Chester County.

Chase has not opened any branches in Bucks County yet but that should change soon, as it has received regulatory approval for sites in Southampton, Doylestown, Warminster and Warrington. Other locations in the works include Port Richmond in Philadelphia; Norristown and Ambler in Montgomery County; Willingboro, Moorestown and Woodbury in South Jersey; and Wilmington in Delaware.

Asked if Chase might wind up exceeding its 50-branch goal since it has moved so quickly, a spokeswoman said she couldn’t speculate at this point.

According to annual FDIC deposit data as of June 30, 2020, Chase had yet to make much of a dent in the retail banking competitive landscape. It had 23 branches opened in the region with a combined $553 million in deposits — good enough for just 31st out of 107 banks. That’s only $24 million in deposits per branch, less than a quarter of the $100 million that is viewed as a strong number in the banking industry. As a basis of comparison, its branches outside this region average $343 million in deposits per branch. Chase should improve its local numbers as the branches mature but by how much will be telling.

If Chase averaged $100 million in deposits per branches when it reaches 50 branches, that would equal a total of $5 billion in local deposits. That would be good enough for 10th in the region behind Wells Fargo Bank, TD Bank, PNC Bank, Bank of America, Citizens Bank, WSFS Bank, Santander Bank, M&T Bank and Truist Bank. And if it reached its national average of $343 million deposits per branch, it would move up to sixth locally with more than $17 billion in deposits.

Chase has also met another goal of hiring 300 branch employees. The bank already exceeded that figure late last year, as a spokeswoman said the bank was being conservative with its original estimate but it usually hires a minimum of between five and seven employees per branch and spends several months training them before a branch opens.

Chase got off to a fast start in the Philadelphia region, opening 23 local branches in just 15 months before the coronavirus pandemic caused it to hit the pause button in March 2020. It began ramping back up expansion plans in July.

The pandemic has accelerated plans by many banks to consolidate their branch footprints as customers become even more comfortable with online and mobile banking options. In the Philadelphia region, most large banks are focused on trimming their physical footprints. Wells Fargo closed 329 last year and has plans to shutter about 250 more this year. TD Bank recently filed to close 81 of its 1,223 branches, including 11 in this region. PNC closed 160 branches last year and plans to close at least another 120 this year. Citizens Bank closed 51 last year and 40 already this year.

While Chase is growing in new markets such as Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, it has been pruning its footprint in its more established markets, cutting 258 branches last year and 17 so far in 2021.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Philly Retail Space for Lease in the Italian Market Neighborhood

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philly commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in Philly commercial real estate listings and services, now has available Philly retail space for lease at 925-927 South Ninth Street Philadelphia PA.

This well-located Philly retail space has 2,388 square feet available at 925-927 South Ninth Street Philadelphia PA. This Philly retail space for lease in in the heart of the South Philadelphia Italian Market neighborhood and this Philly retail space is available for immediate occupancy.

The asking lease price for this Philly retail space at 925-927 South Ninth Street Philadelphia PA is $28.00 sf NNN.  This retail space in Philly is available through Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philly commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly commercial real estate listings and services.

Both the first floor and the basement are available for lease at this Philly retail space for lease at 925-927 South Ninth Street Philadelphia PA. There also is highly visible signage at this Philly retail space for lease.

Many well-known South Philadelphia businesses surrounding this Philly retail space for lease available through Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philly commercial real estate broker. Among the retail businesses near this retail space in Philly at 925-927 South Ninth Street Philadelphia PA are DiBruno’ Market, Claudio’s Specialty Foods, and the Ninth Street Bottle Shop.

In addition, this Philly retail space for lease at 925-927 South Ninth Street Philadelphia PA sits diagonally across the intersection of South Ninth Street and Montrose Street from Piazza DiBruno, an outdoor plaza with tables and umbrellas for al fresco dining. There also are numerous gourmet shops near this Philly retail space.

For more information about this Philly retail space for lease, or about any other Philly commercial properties for sale or lease, please contact Phil Costa (215-799-6195; phil.costa@wolfcre.com) or Ryan Barikian (856-857-6307; ryan.barikian@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, the foremost Philly commercial real estate broker.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philly commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philly commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings, and other Philly commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors, and sellers. Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philly commercial properties for sale or lease through our Philly commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Giant Opening Two-Level, Flagship Supermarket in Logan Square in March

The Giant Company’s ongoing expansion into Philadelphia will make its biggest leap yet next month with the debut of a flagship, two-level market in Logan Square.

The project, announced last year, is the centerpiece of the new Riverwalk mixed-used development. The 65,000-square-foot store will be located in a 25-story residential building at 60 N. 23rd St., just east of the Schuylkill River.

“Philadelphia’s grocery scene is experiencing a major renaissance and The Giant Company has been at the forefront, introducing new formats, opening new stores and expanding grocery delivery services,” said Giant president Nicholas Bertram. “Our Riverwalk store celebrates this transformation, offering an elevated omnichannel grocery experience unlike anything Philadelphia has ever seen.”

The store is set to open on March 19 with a community grand opening ceremony where Giant will announce a round of donations to nonprofits that benefit families in both the immediate Logan Square neighborhood and greater Philadelphia.

A ground level parking garage will offer access to the store’s lobby, which includes a full-size Starbucks, a Giant Direct pickup station for online orders and walls adorned with the work of local artists.

Customers can use an elevator, escalator or stairs to access the market on the second floor. Residents of the building will have access using a private elevator, while guests can use a cartalater to transport their shopping carts back to ground level.

A food hall inside the market will feature options from Mission Taqueria, Saladworks and Hissho Sushi, along with made-to-order sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, smoked meats, hot foods and gelato. A beer garden with a self-serve tap wall will offer more than 40 craft beers, wines, hard seltzer, cider and kombucha on tap.

The food hall overlooks the Schuylkill River and 30th Street Station, with an outdoor terrace that includes lounge-style furniture and fire pits.

In addition to full-service meat, seafood and deli departments, the store will feature Giant’s largest plant-based section to date, with a variety of Impossible and Beyond products, vegan cheeses, ice creams and other desserts.

 

Locally sourced products at the store will include a selection from One Village Coffee, Claudio’s, High Street Philly, Asher’s Chocolates and Isgro Pastries.

Jessica Fischer, a 22-year veteran at the company, will be the manager of the Riverwalk store.

“Having been with the company for more than 20 years, I can confidently say that in everything we do, we aspire to deliver a grocery experience that inspires and excites our customers and to be a community partner that lifts up the families and neighborhoods we serve in every sense of the word – Riverwalk will be no different,” said Fischer.

The opening in Logan Square comes on the heels of Giant’s announcement this month that it will open another 67,000-square-foot market later this year at Cottman and Bustleton avenues in Northeast Philadelphia.

Giant has rapidly expanded in Philadelphia over the past few years, adding small-format Giant Heirloom stores in South Philadelphia, Northern Liberties and University City. The company has an existing supermarket on Grant Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, a few miles north of the planned new location.

The company also is working on completing an e-commerce fulfillment center slated to open in November on Island Avenue near the Philadelphia International Airport.

The Riverwalk store is expected to employ 220 team members upon opening. Those interested in joining the team are encouraged to look online for hiring opportunities.

Bertram touted the Riverwalk store, designed by Ohio-based firm Chute Gerdeman, as a forward-thinking grocery model suited for city living.

“Expertly designed to meet the needs of urban dwellers, our Riverwalk store is the perfect blend of modern sophistication and surprise, and of course, pays homage to the city’s fantastic food scene,” Bertram said. “We can’t wait for opening day and to finally let the community discover what we’ve created for them – a one stop destination for all things food. It’s the sum of the team’s very best work and is a tangible symbol of the Giant Company’s continued focus on omnichannel growth, innovation and above all else, families and community.”

*Article courtesy of Philly Voice

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Giant’s Flagship Center City Store Sets March Opening, Hiring 220

In Philadelphia, several new developments including South Quarter Crossing, Sharswood Ridge at 2000 Ridge Ave., and a proposed development at 1100 Wharton St. will be anchored by grocery stores. They will join 1300 Fairmount, where an Aldi opened last year, and Rodin Square where Whole Foods has a location. Among the pioneers in this regard is Trader Joe’s, which opened in 2002 at 2121 Market St.

Grocery stores also anchor suburban mixed-use projects. In King of Prussia, Wegmans anchored the King of Prussia Town Center at the Village at Valley Forge, Kimberton Whole Foods is part of East Side Flats in Malvern and, most recently, Sprouts opened at the Promenade at Upper Dublin.

Alternatively, municipalities want ground-floor retail to be activated and, outside of restaurants, grocery stores can serve that purpose.

The combination of these factors has led developers to design spaces in new construction projects that can accommodate a sizable footprint required by a grocery store.

While supermarket-anchored retail real estate has always been a cornerstone of commercial properties, investors were especially drawn to them before the pandemic because they were considered internet proof. Retail centers that have a supermarket as the main attraction have been among the few areas of real estate that have thrived during the pandemic.

azLast year also saw the expansion of several grocery chains throughout the region including in Philadelphia. In 2014, there were seven grocery stores in an area stretching from Spring Garden Street to Washington Avenue and, since then, 13 additional stores have opened and another 10 are either under construction or proposed. Giant, Lidl, Sprouts and Acme were among those to open stores or announce new ones. A new entrant to the market this year is expected to be Amazon.

The new Giant at Riverwalk will be the company’s fifth location to open in Philadelphia and, including its Island Avenue fulfillment center, brings the company’s total investment in the city to more than $106 million. The company is planning to hire 220 people to work in the new store.

“Philadelphia’s grocery scene is experiencing a major renaissance and The Giant Co. has been at the forefront, introducing new formats, opening new stores, and expanding grocery delivery services,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of Giant in a statement. “Our Riverwalk store celebrates this transformation, offering an elevated omnichannel grocery experience unlike anything Philadelphia has ever seen.”

The store was designed by Chute Gerdeman, retail design and branding firm based in Columbus, Ohio. Its design sought to incorporate elements that draw from Giant’s heritage as well as its Heirloom Market format, with wood elements as well as Giant’s red and black signature colors.

It will have a food hall, which is a new concept for Giant to incorporate into a store. The food hall will feature products from Mission Taqueria, a Philadelphia-based purveyor of Mexican food, soup and salads from Conshohocken-based Saladworks, and sushi from Hissho Sushi.

The store will also have an outdoor terrace with seating and dining areas as well as sell beer and wine. The store will also have a beer garden with a self-serve tap wall offering more than 40 craft beers, wines, hard seltzer, cider, and kombucha on tap. It will also carry other local items from One Village Coffee, Claudio’s, High Street on Market, Asher’s Chocolates, and Isgro Pastries.

The Giant will have a ground level parking garage with direct access to the store’s lobby.

The company named Jessica Fischer, a 22-year veteran of the company, as manager of the Riverwalk store. Fischer had most recently worked at the company’s University City Heirloom Market.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Giant Unveils Plan for New Supermarket in Northeast Philly

The Giant Company plans to construct a new store in Northeast Philadelphia in 2021, adding its fifth location within the city.

The Carlisle-based supermarket chain announced Tuesday that it will build the 67,000-square-foot market on Cottman Avenue at the corner of Bustleton Avenue.

The new store will include a beer and wine eatery, expanded plant-based offerings, made-to-order meals and Giant Direct grocery pickup.

“Featuring a new look and the very best of the Giant brand, once completed, our new Cottman Avenue store will serve as a bold sign of our commitment to the city, bringing along hundreds of new jobs all while increasing access to great-tasting and affordable food, inspiring meal solutions and time-saving grocery conveniences to the families counting on us,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of the Giant Company.

Giant has rapidly expanded in Philadelphia over the past few years, adding small-format Giant Heirloom stores in South Philadelphia, Northern Liberties and University City. The company has an existing supermarket on Grant Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, a few miles north of the planned new location.

Construction is expected to begin in March, with an opening anticipated before the end of the year.

“With its diverse neighborhoods, people and undeniable passion for food, there’s no place quite like Philadelphia, and that’s exactly why The Giant Company continues to invest in new stores across the city,” Bertram said.

*Article courtesy of Philly Voice

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Wells Fargo Closing 25 More Branches, Including Two in Philadelphia

Wells Fargo & Co. has announced plans to close 25 more branches, including two in Philadelphia, as part of its broader plan to cut billions of dollars in costs to keep pace with its rivals.

The impacted branches include 5458 Germantown Ave. in Germantown and 2300 Snyder Ave. in South Philadelphia. They are among a batch of locations San Francisco-based Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) filed to close on Feb. 2 with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Other sites are in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Texas, California, Florida, Minnesota, Alabama, Nevada, Idaho, Georgia and North Carolina.

This is the third batch announced so far this year, following 14 filed on Jan. 1 and 22 on Jan. 27. Wells Fargo closed 329 of its 5,200 branches last year and has plans to shutter about 250 more this year. CEO Charles Scharf told investors in July that the bank needs to shave off at least $10 billion in annual expenses, which amounts to 20% of its annual cost base, to rival efficiency at other banks.

Locally, the region’s largest deposit taker closed 13 locations in the Philadelphia area last year as well as another three in the Lehigh Valley and one each in Berks County and the Jersey Shore. All but two came after Scharf’s announcement.

Since the FDIC’s annual deposit data was recorded last June 30, Wells Fargo has reduced its branch count in the immediate Philadelphia region from 172 to 161. When factoring in the broader region that includes Delaware, the Jersey Shore, the Lehigh Valley and Berks County, the bank has gone for 281 locations to 265.

In addition to those, Wells Fargo filed to close its location at 1 South Broad St. in Philadelphia, but that is not a retail branch. It is home to the bank’s private banking operations, which falls under OCC jurisdiction. The reason for the regulatory filing emanates from the bank’s plans to relocate 500 employees at 123 South Broad, 1 South Broad and 1500 Market into one regional hub at Two Logan Square. Wells Fargo announced those plans two years ago and there is still no definite date for the move.

A branch and the Wells Fargo History Museum will remain at 123 S. Broad St., along with the public affairs team on the mezzanine level. The space at Two Logan was vacated by Comcast Corp., which moved to its Comcast Technology Center.

Wells Fargo has about 1,000 back office employees at 401 Market St. in Old City and roughly another 500 retail employees scattered across 36 branches in the city. It has more than 6,000 total employees, though there will be job loss among both retail and non-retail employees as part of the company’s overarching plan.

When asked last year about potential job loss in the Philadelphia region from the closures, a local Wells Fargo spokesman said he had no specific numbers to share but that “some employees will move to other positions in the company, others may choose to retire, while still others will be displaced. We handle displacements in a way that is as responsive to our employees as possible. We communicate openly and honestly with impacted employees and provide severance, career assistance, and other services to assist them.”

The pace of bank branch closings has picked up significantly during the pandemic, as more customers have become comfortable with online and mobile banking platforms. Between annual FDIC reports on June 30, 2019 and June 30, 2020, there were just over 2,642 U.S. bank branch closures and nearly 1,179 new branch openings for a net decline of 1,463 branches. Both the number of closures and the number of new branches are the highest in the last 10 years, and several banks with major Philadelphia-area operations are the most avid consolidators.

TD Bank recently filed to close 81 of its 1,223 branches, including 11 in this region. PNC closed 160 branches last year and plans to close at least another 120 this year.

Local banks have also accelerated the pace of their pruning efforts. Univest Bank said last October that it plans to close eight of its 39 retail branches, or 20% of its footprint, and Fulton Bank recently announced plans to cut 10% of its footprint.

Here is the full list of local branches Wells Fargo has closed since the start of 2020:

    • 260 Exton Square Parkway, Exton
    • 43 E. Main St., Norristown
    • 1131 N. 5th St., Perkasie
    • 8001 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia
    • 399 Bristol Pike, Croydon
    • 599 E. Lancaster Ave., St. David’s
    • 75 St. James Place, Ardmore
    • 500 Chesterbrook Blvd., Chesterbrook
    • 25 W. Skippack Pike, Ambler
    • 951 Trenton Road, Fairless Hills
    • 2701 West Chester Pike, Broomall
    • 500 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road, Sewell
    • 451 White Horse Pike, Atco
    • 201 Philadelphia Ave., Egg Harbor City
    • 2002 W. Liberty St., Allentown
    • 335 Main St., Emmaus
    • 1 N. Broadway, Wind Gap
    • 301 W. Main St., Kutztown

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Draught Horse Pub near Temple University Permanently Closing After 20 Years

Draught Horse Pub & Grill, a go-to watering hole for Temple University students and faculty for the last 20 years, is permanently closing this month, Director of Operations Mike Frost told the Business Journal on Monday.

The North Philadelphia concept, known for an extensive beer menu and pub food like tacos, burgers and sandwiches, will close by Feb. 17, Frost said.

The staple Temple eatery has operated just off the school’s campus at 1431 Cecil B. Moore Ave. since it opened in February 2001. Since that time, the bar has been a tried-and-true spot for students looking to watch a sports game, take a break from studying or participate in activities like late-night karaoke.

Draught Horse may potentially “try to relocate and reopen at some point in the near future,” though plans remain up in the air, Frost said. Temple University owns the building.

“We just couldn’t come to real terms on an effective long-term lease and that’s the gist of it,” he added.

Having occupied the location since its inception, Draught Horse essentially operated under its original lease agreement.

With the lease finally expiring at the end of February, the restaurant was again “seeking long-term and [was] only offered short-term,” Frost said. In a Covid-19 world, short-term lease agreements are particularly “not advantageous” as restaurants struggle with continued capacity limitations, social distancing guidelines and other restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

Draught Horse is part of the portfolio held by local hospitality company Stable Investment Group, formerly known as Frog Spring Holding LLC. The group’s other businesses include two New Jersey locations of taco-and-margarita-bar concept Taco Caballito in Logan Township and Cape May, the latter of which adjoins with a gastropub from the group dubbed Iron Pier Craft House.

In the short term, Stable Investment Group plans to “continue investing” in the Taco Caballito brand “and moving that brand to the forefront of our planning dynamics,” Frost said.

Draught Horse’s closure comes on the heels of popular Temple University-area sandwich shop franchise Lee’s Hoagie House, located across the street at 1428 Cecil B. Moore Ave., also permanently closing. Earlier in the fall, neighboring pizza shop Pazzo Pazzo at 1614 Cecil B. Moore Ave. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and was taken over by new ownership.

Foot traffic has dipped around the North Philadelphia school’s campus as Temple operated primarily online for the bulk of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The school will continue to predominantly operate virtual classes during the spring 2021 semester, though “expanded in-person class instruction” will take place, according to the university’s website.

In October, Frost told the Business Journal that the Draught Horse had totaled about 30% of typical pre-pandemic sales year-to-date thanks to a strong January and February before the health crisis took hold. On top of the diminished day-to-day presence of students and faculty, another major blow to business came via lost revenue from events like holiday parties, fundraisers, or outings typically held by different departments at the university.

At that time, Frost also speculated that less than 33% of college restaurants and bars could survive the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent switch to virtual instruction.

Other restaurants around Philadelphia-area colleges have met a similar fate during the pandemic, including Italian eatery Zavino University City. The restaurant – normally a hotbed for students, parents and faculty from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University – has been shuttered for months.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

TD Bank Closing 81 Branches, Including 11 in the Philadelphia Region

TD Bank will close 81 of its 1,223 retail branches, almost 7% of all locations, as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates the switch from brick-and-mortar to digital banking.

Cherry Hill-based TD, the U.S. retail banking arm of Toronto’s TD Bank Group (NYSE: TD), said the closings will take place by April 23. They include locations in 15 states in the bank’s Maine-to-Florida footprint, including 10 of the 123 situated in southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, and one in Delaware. TD will also shutter 23 locations in five New England states, 21 in the New York City metro area, 14 in Florida, six in the Washington, D.C., metro, and four in the Carolinas.

Here are the TD branches closing in the Philadelphia region:

    • 1428 Old York Road in Abington
    • 1560 Paoli Pike in East Goshen
    • 90 Upper Silver Lake Road in Newtown
    • 111 S. 11th St. in Philadelphia
    • 25 Second Street Pike in Southampton
    • 212 E. Lancaster Ave. in Wayne
    • 1506 Berling Road in Cherry Hill
    • 601 College Drive in Blackwood
    • Route 38 and Eaterstown Road in Mount Holly
    • 129 S. Black Horse Pike in Runnemede
    • 1803 Marsh Road in Wilmington

Ernie Diaz, executive vice president and head of consumer distribution at TD, said the bank has a strategy to enhance its branch network and respond to changing customer expectations for digital, mobile and connected channel options.

“Those efforts were underway prior to the pandemic, but were paused in 2020 in an effort to provide colleagues with much needed stability in uncertain times,” Diaz said. “The decision to move forward with these changes at this time reflects our commitment to reinvesting in the business and in our communities in new and different ways. Stores are a vital part of our strategy, and we will continue to invest in them, which can mean identifying new locations, renovating existing locations, and expanding our ATM network.”

When asked about potential layoffs, TD said some employees would be impacted, though the bank is trying to redeploy them in other positions within the company. It did not have a specific number but said TD is “committed to treating our impacted colleagues fairly and with respect and supporting them with resources to assist with the transition.”

TD, the Philadelphia region’s second-largest retail bank with more than $27 billion in deposits, did not make clear how much money it would save via the branch reduction or what it would do with any money saved.

Most large banks had already been pruning their branch networks over the past decade due to the growing popularity of online and mobile banking. The continuing trend of customers handling transactions online or by phone or ATM has accelerated due to the pandemic as most branch lobbies were closed or restricted from March until June and have measures in place to curtail the spread of Covid-19, such as limiting the number of people who can enter the space. Banks in response have accelerated their branch cutting.

TD, though, has not been nearly as aggressive as its competitors on that score. Between 2010 and 2020, FDIC data shows TD’s local branch footprint declined by just 8.6%, much lower than chief competitors Wells Fargo Bank (-12%), PNC Bank (-12%), Citizens Bank (-18%) and Bank of America (-28%).

Since the start of 2020, data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shows that TD only shuttered 13 locations. Conversely, Wells Fargo closed 329 last year and has plans to shutter about 250 more this year. PNC closed 160 branches last year and plans to close at least another 120 this year.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

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Boyds ‘Seriously Looking’ for Permanent Suburban Store as Ardmore Pop-Up Proves to be Bright Spot for Retailer

 

For retailers such as Boyds, a clothing and accessory store that caters to well-heeled Philadelphians, the pandemic has been challenging and this past holiday shopping season even more vital to its future.

The retailer opened a pop-up store at Ardmore’s Suburban Square in October to test the suburban market for the first time in its more than 80-year history while maintaining its flagship on Chestnut Street in Center City.

The results on how Boyds fared during this past holiday season are bifurcated and reflect how the pandemic is affecting where people shop.

“Sales for the holiday season were very, very mediocre but a little better than I anticipated,” said Kent Gushner, who oversees the family-owned business, about Boyds’ Center City store.

Sales were down by 35%, which is a lot, but Gushner thought it would be worse.

“The week between Christmas and New Year’s is an important week for us,” he said. “It wasn’t great but a little better than expected.”

Boyds opened up the temporary Suburban Square location in October. Gushner was motivated to test it out after the civil unrest, vandalism and looting over the summer in Philadelphia left him frustrated and angry.

“That, by far, has been a bright spot,” he said. “It’s worked out to be a very good decision on our part.”

In Suburban Square, Boyds has been catering to existing customers who live in the suburbs and aren’t coming into the city for work or to shop. The store is also capturing new customers who never venture into Philadelphia and, but for the pop up, wouldn’t have been introduced to the retailer. “It’s been great,” Gushner said.

As a result, Boyds has extended its lease at Suburban Square until the end of June and has started conversations about finding a permanent suburban location at Suburban Square or another Main Line location. “At this point, we’re not close to signing on the dotted line but seriously looking,” Gushner said.

The lackluster sales in Center City can be mostly attributed to a lack of foot traffic generated by office workers who typically come into Philadelphia for work during the week and to those who come in for shopping and dining on the weekends. That has affected retailers across the city.

“We have to figure out how to get the vibrancy back in the city,” Gushner said. “We’re trying to stay positive and stay realistic on what life and business in the city will be like when this passes and what the new normal will look like. I think there will be some permanent changes that will happen in the city that will affect us.”

With that, Gushner also sees opportunity not only in the suburbs but with what will undoubtedly be less competition as retailers continue to close.

In the meantime, Gushner and his team are working out new issues that crop up from running more than one location. “We’re learning on the fly,” he said.

Boyds has operated one store for more than eight decades and that was part of the retailer’s core business philosophy to stay focused on a single location. But, as with so many other things, Covid shifted that thinking and forced a change that wasn’t anticipated.

*Article courtesy of Philadelphia Business Journal

For more information about Philadelphia retail space for sale or lease in Philadelphia or about any other Philadelphia properties for sale or lease, please contact WCRE at 215-799-6900.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.