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Healthy Offerings on Retail Menu at Shopping Centers
As established retail brands like Borders Books and Circuit City disappear, what is taking their place at America's shopping centers? Health clubs are the new anchor tenants, bringing in athletic wear boutiques and healthy dining chains in their wake. The workout clientele is well-heeled and educated, and the time they spend at the gym makes them more open to buy ready meals and snacks to take home.
Excerpt: " The national obsession with fitness, healthy eating and battling obesity is altering the retail landscape of neighborhood shopping centers and strip malls: They are becoming suburban havens of healthy living.
Health clubs are increasingly anchoring outdoor shopping centers. Yoga studios, yogurt shops, vitamin and workout apparel stores, organic food markets and health foods restaurants quickly follow.
Health clubs — from large workout centers featuring indoor pools and row after row of equipment to small home-gym types of franchises — have undergone 'a huge explosion over the last 10 years,' says Tom Simmons, Mid-Atlantic president of Kimco Realty, the largest owner and manager of neighborhood and community shopping centers. 'The consumer is becoming more mindful of healthy living.'
Frozen-yogurt stores are replacing retailers of fattier ice cream, he says. Kimco had 13 yogurt stores in its portfolio just five years ago. Today, it has 73. The square footage they occupy went from 16,000 to 108,000 during that time.
Restaurants with names such as Sweetgreen, Sweet Leaf and Energy Kitchen (slogan: 'fast food, not fat food') are sprouting in strip malls across the country, catering to the national passion for all things "green."GNC, seller of vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies, is opening 150 stores this year, Simmons says, and Smoothie King plans 1,000 more stores in five years."