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PHOENIX-Two retailers have folded Phoenix into their expansion plans. The Dump has come into the metro area by taking 104,000 square feet, while Mattress Firm has unveiled plans to open between six and eight stores over the next year and a half.

The Dump is a discount furniture center, with headquarters in Haynes VA. The company signed a 10-year lease for space once belonging to the former Costco Home store at 1345 W. Elliot Rd. in Temple, AZ. In addition the company also leased a 125,000-square-foot warehouse at 6655 S. Kyrene, also in Tempe. The company will move into both spaces during February 2010.

Velocity Retail Group principal Darren Pitts says the Dump isn’t actively seeking any more locations in the metro area at this time. “They’re kind of like IKEA in that respect, their strategy is to open one huge store in the area,” says Pitts, who worked with the Dump on both the warehouse and retail transaction.

However, Mattress Firm is opening a bunch of stores measuring between 3,200 square feet and 3,900 square feet. Pitts, who is teaming with Velocity Retail Group’s principal Dave Cheatham in representing Mattress Firm says the tenant has targeted four or five locations in the area and hopes to have leases signed by Q1 2010.

“They’re typically focused on areas in which there’s more new housing and are targeting markets containing middle income and above,” Pitts tells GlobeSt.com. He explains that Mattress Firm, headquartered in Houston, TX likes new houses as people are likely to have guestrooms that need to be filled in these new homes. Guestrooms mean a need for mattresses.

Other characteristics Mattress Firm likes with its space are locations in large power centers or community centers and that the sites are highly visible along frontage roads. “They’re building their brand through real estate, so visibility to the streets is important,” Pitts notes.

Pitts remarks that, despite the current economic slowdown, retailers with solid balance sheets and operations are looking for space due to attractive pricing and lack of competition for the sites. “In general, if you look at the retail sector, the stronger retailers are those who are viewing the market today as an opportunity one,” Pitts adds. “There isn’t as much activity for space as there was a few years ago, meaning less competition.”

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