The first Marshall's clothing store in Center City Philadelphia will replace the Staples at 1046 Market Street in Center City's shopping district.
Metro Commercial Real Estate broker Donna Drew sold Marshall's owner TJX Cos. of Massachusetts on the 26,000 sq.ft. site after Staples declined to renew its lease with landlord Jenel Management Corp. of New York. Staples is consolidating to its stores at 15th and Chestnut and on Delaware Ave.
Metro boss Steve Gartner called the switch "a net win for Center City" since Marshall's isn't already in the neighborhood and "everyone shops at Marshall's." The Marshall's in my neighborhood devotes a majority of its space to modestly priced women's clothing and housewares, but also features small men's clothing, book, toy and appliance departments.
"Market Street is well positioned to become one of the city’s premier retail corridors, which is why we are investing in our property and adjusting the tenant mix,” Jenel Management Corporate president Michael Hirschhorn said in a statement.
Gartner said the competing Ross store at 8th and Market and the Old Navy store in the nearby Gallery are busy, showing there's demand for more. He wouldn't comment on whether Marshall's is paying higher rent (since it gets higher sales than Staples) or lower rent (given the weak economy).
TJX, which opened a state-subsidized, 1,000-worker, 1 million-sq-ft warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia in 2001, has been expanding Marshall's, TJ Maxx and other outlets nationally as its sales rose while larger retailers have fallen through the recession.
Marshall's opened a South Philly store last year. Gartner said the Center City District-backed Philadelphia Retail Market Alliance "got in front of (Marshall's) with a lot of good stats" to prod them into considering Market East. The site, once home to a Woolworth's and a W.T. Grant discount store, was split between Staples and a CVS pharmacy, which remains.
"We met with Marshall's a couple of years ago at the International Council of Shopping Centers (in Las Vegas, May 2010) and then we met with Jenel and told them all the great things that were happening," Michelle Shannon, alliance co-chair, told me. Around Christmas 2010, Jenel President Michael Hirschorn and broker Michael Katz visited their Philadelphia properties so the boss could check out firsthand Center City's recent residential, hotel and restaurant expansion.