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Opportunity to emerge from new club stores.

Unlike architecture -- where the minimalist theory still prevails -- the credo of retail shopping in the last decade of this century may well be: "more is more."

This reflects the advent of the club store, a retail phenomenon that has been steadily gaining momentum throughout the country. Lured by the prospect of significant discounts for a wide range of products bought in large quantities at bulk prices, tens of thousands of shoppers are plunking down annual membership fees ranging from $25 to $50 for the privilege of walking through cavernous, warehouse-type buildings that offer 150,000 square feet and more of shopping area.

Already ensconced throughout the midwest and south, the club store has become more and more popular in the Northeast. Last year, a number of these facilities operated by Kosco, Price, Pace, etc. opened in the region, and prospects are for a lot more of the same in 1993.

As a result, construction firms from Delaware to Maine are eying exciting opportunities for new work. With many club-store ventures already on the drawing board for 1993, contractors and their subs seem blessed with at least one bright spot in an otherwise still-stagnant or uncertain picture with respect to office and residential construction.

Since many shoppers still prefer traditional retail environments -- accepting higher prices for more intimate surroundings and smaller quantities some retailers are trying to retain this market while capitalizing on the growing popularity of club stores by combining both facilities in one mega-retail center.

This spring, Aark Construction Corp. will complete a 200,000-square-foot facility for one of the world's largest retailers. The site will house a retail store and discount club facility. Both operations are expected to produce a major infusion of retail activity.

Equipped with the experience gained from this project, Aark Construction is proqualified to bid on the new clubstore ventures expected in 1993. Other companies who have the size, capabilities and building expertise to do likewise will be able to generate significant new-business revenues in the upcoming months.
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Title Annotation:Review & Forecast, Section IV; discount warehouse stores present opportunity for new work in construction industry
Author:Carlisle, Ray
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 27, 1993
Words:334
Previous Article:Office shift to suburbs continues.
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