Friday, March 28, 2003

Industry notes: Retailing


Forest Fair seeks home for sculpture

By Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The owners of Forest Fair Mall, soon to be named Cincinnati Mills, are seeking a new home for a 30-foot-tall, 15-foot-wide "audio kinetic'' sculpture that has stood as a centerpiece at the cavernous shopping center since 1988.

The Mills Corp., which bought the mall last fall for $69.4 million, said it will donate the moving sculpture with complex actions and sound effects to the first local organization, preferably a nonprofit, that asks for it.

But the organization must meet certain criteria, including adequate indoor space to house the sculpture and free access for the community.

"Our hope is to find an organization that will provide a good home for this wonderful piece of art and continue to make it freely accessible to members of the community to enjoy and learn from," said Audrie Thomas, property manager at the mall.

Eligible organizations can submit a request for the sculpture by sending a letter on the organization's letterhead addressed to Thomas at 1047 Forest Fair Drive, Cincinnati 45240, or send a fax to 671-7502.

George Rhoads, whose other well-known kinetic sculptures are displayed in hospitals, airports, art museums and shopping centers around the world, designed the sculpture, titled "Ball Game."

At the time of installation, the value of Rhoads' sculpture was estimated at more than $90,000, according to Mills officials.

Goodwill complex undergoes renovations

Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries has retrofitted its flagship retail store on Springfield Pike in Woodlawn with new lighting, fitting rooms and checkout lanes and expanded the floor space as part of a $3.5 million renovation of the complex, which also includes a training center and classrooms.

Goodwill, which has 13 locations in the Tristate, moved the retail operation to a temporary location in an adjacent building to allow for construction, which began about eight months ago.

The retail store is expected to reopen in its original location sometime in mid-April.

The project is being funded through $10 million in municipal bonds and $3 million in private contributions.

Local Red Lobsters upgrade interiors

Red Lobster has just completed a multimillion-dollar facelift of its five Cincinnati-area restaurants with its new "Coastal Home" design, which the company describes as a more open look with a colorful decor.

The restaurants on Springdale Road, Montgomery Road, Ohio Pike and Glenway Avenue and in Florence are now among a select number of Red Lobsters around the nation that feature the design.

The interior upgrade, which also includes locations in Dayton, is part of the company's strategy to renovate entire regions simultaneously, rather than one restaurant at a time.

Chain Store Age magazine honored Red Lobster with a Special Brand Reinvention Award this month for its new design at the magazine's annual "Retail Store of the Year" competition.

Red Lobster also has added menu items at the revamped restaurants.

Kroger introduces kid-friendly breads

Kroger will launch a new kid-friendly line of bread products featuring the images and likenesses of the Popeye family of cartoon characters.

Beginning Monday, more than 800 Kroger-owned stores across the country will offer hamburger rolls and other bread products in packages emblazoned with Popeye characters.

Participating Kroger-owned stores include Kroger, Pay Less, Hilander, Owen's, Kessel Food Markets and Chicago-area Food 4 Less stores.

The line includes a calcium-enriched Popeye White Bread; naturally sweet Swee' Pea Honey Wheat Bread; Olive Oyl Hot Dog Buns; and of course, Wimpy Hamburger Rolls.

E-mail rtucker@enquirer.com.



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