Foot Locker plots return to the city – and to Broad Street

Foot Locker has signed a lease on 1515 W. Broad St. (Jack Jacobs)

Running against the current in a tough time for traditional retail, a national chain is sizing up Richmond for a potential expansion.

Foot Locker intends to open a pop-up store at 1515 W. Broad St. on the edge of The Fan later this month. The company framed the move as a way to test customer interest in the area before committing to more permanent digs.

“We are testing a temporary ‘Pop Up’ store in this location to serve our consumers in the area,” Foot Locker spokeswoman Mary Signorino said in an email. “We look forward to connecting with and learning more about our consumers in this local community.”

The 5,450-square-foot location will mark the return of the brand to the city – and to Broad Street. Foot Locker had a store at 312 E. Broad St. that closed six years ago.

Ali McCrickard and Erica Rorrer of Divaris Real Estate represented Foot Locker in lease negotiations. Reilly Marchant of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented the landlord.

The pop-up store comes as an existing Foot Locker prepares to swap spaces at Regency Square Mall.

The mall’s store will leave its current location to occupy an outward-facing, 4,500-square-foot space that’s part of a larger retail strip under construction near the mall’s JCPenney. Foot Locker is expected to move into its new space in February.

Connie Jordan Nielsen, Pam Strieffler and Nicki Jassy of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the lease negotiations for the landlord. Rorrer and McCrickard represented the tenant.

Regency’s revitalization efforts, led by owners The Rebkee Co. and Thalhimer Realty Partners, also have included construction of detached retail strips, one of which sold for $7.4 million in November. Apartments also are in store as part of Regency’s transformation.

Foot Locker’s moves in the Richmond area come amid a challenging time for retail, as the industry grapples with the economic disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic. Nordstrom recently announced it would close its location at Short Pump Mall by August. Need Supply Co. in Carytown likewise is planning to permanently close.

Foot Locker, which sells footwear and sportswear, is based in New York City. The company operates in about 30 countries and has about 3,000 stores. It has four stores in the Richmond area, with one each in Regency, Virginia Center Commons, Chesterfield Towne Center and White Oak Village in Sandston.

The publicly traded company reported a net loss of $98 million in the first quarter of 2020. In the same period last year, the company reported a net income of $172 million. Total first quarter sales dropped about 44 percent.

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