Thursday, March 15, 2012

Industry News: New England

The owners of Coolidge Corner Wine and Spirits will open their first restaurant, Hops N Scotch Bar and Grill, on Beacon St. in Coolidge Corner, featuring craft beer and micro brews, boutique wine, high-end whiskeys, and casual American comfort foods…Wal-Mart, which has announced plans to open its first northeast grocery store in Somerville, MA, plans to open a second grocery store in West Hartford, CT by the end of 2012. The Somerville location in Assembly Square is expected to be 34,000 s/f and the West Hartford store will measure about 50,000 s/f. Since 1998, Walmart has opened 167 grocery stores around the country, which it calls “Walmart Neighborhood Markets”…Aldi will open its first NH store in Salem, just across the MA border. Aldi currently has 1,215 stores in 32 states…Golfology will close its store on Route 123 in Hanover, MA by the end of the month. Golfology is holding a liquidation sale at the location to clear out excess inventory…Bank of America will close 2, and People’s United Bank will close 3, MA branches to streamline operations. BofA plans to close 750 of its 5,700 nationwide branches. BofA has 270 branches across MA. People’s United will close 15 of 372 branches this year...The 79,297 s/f Super Stop & Shop Plaza in Stoughton, MA has been sold to Katz Properties for $15.4 million…Gap will shutter its Gap and GapKids at the Atrium Mall on Route 9 in Newton, adding to a wave of departures that has nearly emptied the mall. Borders, Williams-Sonoma, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Tiffany & Co. have already exited. Ross-Simons and J.Crew also plan to move out in the coming months...The Epping (NH) Planning Board approved the construction of a 26,000 s/f O'Neil Cinemas theater complex in the Brickyard Commons shopping center at Route 125…Walgreens will it open a 24,000 s/f “emporium” this fall in the former Borders space in Downtown Crossing, modeled after two it recently opened in New York City and Chicago which feature sushi stations, juice bars, eyebrow grooming bars, expanded natural and organic sections with fresh fruits, vegetables, wraps, sandwiches, and salads, as well as traditional prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and household products. Walgreens signed a 30-year lease for the first floor, basement, and mezzanine and is considering space on the second floor…The Upper Crust Pizzerias in Salem and North Beverly closed abruptly. The franchise operator was found this summer to be violating federal wage laws, and chose to cease operations at the two stores. The Salem and Beverly locations were franchises, independent from the corporation. Upper Crust has more than a dozen corporate-owned locations in greater Boston…Chick-fil-A has halted plans for a restaurant in the Northeastern University student center after the student government alleged that the chain supported groups opposed to gay and lesbian rights...British fashion retailer Fred Perry will open its third US location this spring on Newbury St. in Boston. Fred Perry has 2 New York stores.

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