Starbucks and Uber Eats will team to expand delivery to about 2,000 of its 8,000 US cafes next year. Nontraditional orders at the chain have grown in the past couple of years and mobile orders now account for 12% of total sales, up from 5% two years ago. Read the Business Insider story here
Walgreens has unveiled in-store Birchbox shops in three New York stores, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The company plans for eight more locations in cities, including Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Shoppers can opt for the five-sample Build Your Own Birchbox feature or buy full-size beauty products from more than 40 brands.
Increasingly, landlords are converting empty retail center space into apartments, which turns the typical 12-hour retail environment into an 18-hour one. Apartments, along with restaurants, entertainment centers and fitness clubs, are helping retail centers fill space and also helping them e-commerce-proof properties. Read the Crain’s Chicago Business story here
Jones Lang LaSalle reports that U.S. hotel transactions have reached $29.7 billion year-to-date for 2018, a year-over-year increase of more than 25%. Investors such as private equity and REITs are behind many of these deals, which are being driven by the sector’s strong fundamentals. Read the GlobeSt story here
Inspire Brands is building a new Atlanta headquarters, with plans to create 1,100 new corporate jobs to run the fast-growing restaurant empire. The parent of Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, Rusty Taco and the newly acquired Sonic Drive-In aims to create a collaborative model that improves performance for each of its chains. Read the QSR story here
UK-based toy retailer Hamleys is negotiating a lease on a 30,000-square-foot space near Macy’s New York City flagship, a source says. The retailer, which has a growing global presence that includes three stores in Mexico, is seeking to raise its profile in the United States after the closure of Toys R Us. Read the CNBC story here
Chatham Lodging Trust‘s target market strategy is to focus on luxury extended-stay hotels in strong, quickly growing markets. See the Nareit story here
The emerging category of soft brands posted a 28.8% supply compound annual growth rate between 2014 and 2017, far outperforming hard brands and independents in the upscale, upper-upscale and luxury classes, according to STR. Read the Lodging magazine online story here