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Cannabis retailers have reached power centers

July 7, 2021

Cannabis retailer Grupo Flor has opened a boutique in Union City, California’s Union Landing. The retailer claims it’s the first cannabis store in an open-air, regional power center. The Union Landing store, pictured above, is Grupo Flor’s fifth store and second this year. It backfilled 2,500 square feet previously occupied by a cell phone store. The company plans to launch curbside pickup from the store, as well as delivery.

Cannabis retailers mostly have operated freestanding stores or units in tertiary shopping centers because of wariness among cotenants. But well-funded and expanding cannabis retailers are moving into upscale shopping centers at a time when some other merchandise categories are retrenching. At the 1 million-square-foot Union Landing, Flor coexists with such national tenants as Best Buy, Lowe’s and Walmart.

Grupo Flor, which grows and distributes its own cannabis and has 29 licensed brands, seeks more power center sites, said CEO Gavin Kogan. “The pandemic economic impact is hitting both governments and retail, which interestingly seem[s] to be converging with greater mass acceptance of cannabis retail.” One element aiding acceptance is design aesthetic. The retailer describes the Union Landing store as resembling a high-end fashion boutique.

According to landlord Austin Group owner Bill Schrader, “We received eight offers from leading cannabis operators, but Grupo Flor was a clear choice after visiting competitor stores. We expect Flor to drive a lot of fresh shopping traffic into Union Landing.”

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

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