Walmart Neighborhood Market in Athens, GA with Karen Hutton
Guest: Karen Hutton
Topics: Walmart, leasing deal
Chris Ressa 0:01
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris ReSSA. And I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management. Welcome to retail retold everyone. Today I am excited. I am joined by Karen Hutton, the CEO of Hutton Hutton owns approximately a billion dollars worth of real estate. It’s about 4 million square feet. It is growing. She is a successful female entrepreneur, and I am excited to be joined by her today. Welcome to the show, Karen.
Karen Hutton 0:45
Thank you appreciate you the introduction. So Karen,
for those who don’t know, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about you who you are and who Hutton is.
So Hutton is obviously a very energetic, proactive, aggressive real estate development company find insights for retailers, multifamily self storage across the country, doesn’t matter which state and finding avenues to get them with they’re looking forward deliver them or product permitting them or product and turn over leasing it back. We also have acquisitions team, we’re buying shopping centers we bought at under valued which we thought assets. So we’re also doing that. We we started the carwash company mod wash this last year. And that’s growing very well. And so there’s a lot of lot of irons in the fire right now is we have for every year since I’ve pretty much been in business, and event whether you know, several storms and tend to pivot, a lot change a lot. Got to keep moving forward. And think about what’s the best place for us to be in the environment of something related to real estate.
So how long is Hutton been around?
I had a general contractor’s license I got when I was like 9495 to do a rally on a porch remodels. So, but then I started my company Hutton was in 98.
Wow, not a lot of females in the mid 90s. Were starting general contracting companies and then not a lot of female starting development companies. What is that been like being this female entrepreneur in a in an industry dominated by men? And there’s a lot of industries like that. But commercial real estate and development is certainly like that.
Well, I agree with what you’re saying is that the comment you made before you finish that sentence is you can almost look at every industry. And it’s the same. Yeah, industry is male dominated white, male dominated. And women, black men, black women are the ones coming up through the ranks. I don’t know of one that I even whether you’re a songwriter, whether you’re in, you know, sales, whether you’re a broker, all those have been that way. And we’re just now with the help of man with the help of other people. Were able to not look at agender, or hair, or whatever it is, and look at what the person actually is, and see what different value they can add, by the way they think because we do think differently, right. And so I think that that’s just an overall theme that we have to recognize. And remember, it’s not just the US but yes, it was easy to parent to see, if you looked out for it. I was too naive to even count in a room, I was only two women in the room. I just never noticed. So that’s part of my naivety or thinking about things like that, that really, I didn’t see the importance. And so it was brought to my attention, which finally brought to my attention, you started kind of looking at it. But it still was anything that I went what’s wrong with the pitcher until recently, until I got to point like we need more women in the business.
We’re, it sounds like one of the key factors for your success as it relates to being a female contractor, real estate developer and entrepreneur is just that you didn’t care you were gonna figure it out, regardless, and I think and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that is, you know, something that is important that you didn’t let anything stand in your way.
And I didn’t even know to care to put that I’m the only female in the room on the list. That wasn’t even on my list Mullis was outperforming whoever there was to outperform and do better than them with pricing, customer service delivery and in speed and number of stores that’s gonna deliver for a tenant. So the theme malefactor never even entered my mind that I was entering things. No one brought it to my attention. I shouldn’t be doing it, which is great for where I grew up with my father. No one ever said you shouldn’t do something. So I think that that in itself has been a big gift for me to just look at the end in mind, what am I trying to accomplish? I’m not going to get there, and I’m going to get there and I’m gonna get there better than anyone else. Period.
Kudos to you. Yeah. Okay. So we have a segment that we started on this show in the beginning of this year, it’s called Clear the air. And I’ve got three quick questions for you. Are you ready? Yeah, let’s go. Alright, question one. When is the last time you tried something for the first time?
Seems like I do it a lot. Recently. Obviously, I started Carlos company. So we worked at the carwash. Wow, I’ve never worked at a car wash and gone out and greeting customers and things like that. So that’s one of them.
That’s a great one.
I’m trying so I went to a trainer and did the training with him never done that.
And what was if you don’t mind what what was the catalyst to open up a carwash company
run into roadblocks was different. Clients I was kind of servicing didn’t work out in the opportunity just I was in vestment into properties for other carwash companies that didn’t pan out. And I said, let’s just go do it ourselves. We can figure this out. And so as a development company, we know how to fit with problem solvers. And then I just gotta find the right people which are found to make mod Weiss, the superior customer service experience carwash in the country. So that’s exciting. That’s thrilling. And we, you know, we did during COVID. So people looked at me like, are you going to pump the brakes? I tell people, I’m pumping. But I just kept going. Because I didn’t want to think I was crazy. Or something during COVID, though not much about, but I felt like I could read it far enough out to think that this had to be a great opportunity. If openness meanie would derail a company, no, what would the worst case be? Okay, I’m live with that. And then kind of made decisions like that.
That’s terrific. I love the risk management piece, as well as the aggressive piece of that. Do you have any locations open now?
Sure. Do we have 19? Oh, my goodness. So we have 19. We open 16 in six months? And we’ve opened two or three this year? Or we’re 43 By December open?
Are they doing well?
Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if he’s well enough. But they’re doing they’re doing well. And you know, you talked about marketing offline a little bit. So in branding, I mean, I’ve, I’ve thought about branding and marketing, from day one just being that if you look at our booths at the ICSC they were, they were definitely different. And they had a different feel. And it was branding, it was culture, and it was trying to say who we are, and come work with us because we’re going to feel a bit different. We are different. We also going to execute the results. And so if you liked that experience, that’s what we’re really selling.
Kudos to you. Okay, question two. What is one skill you don’t possess? But you wish you did?
I wish I was a rock star I could sing. I hear you. So I can sing. But yeah,
I am far from musically inclined, you don’t want to hear me sing. All right. Last one. What is one thing most people agree with that you do not
probably decisions that are made. And then a month later decisions need to be changed based on the timing and problem solving. So it’s got to be the problem solving and change. Because I’m always looking for a higher way to solve a problem. But I’m looking for the higher way to solve the problem and throw out ideas in that, that they don’t agree with it, but it can kind of be annoying.
Got it. So one of the thing that I’ve noticed about the most successful business people in the country, they’re not scared to change their mind. And so I think that’s when you make a decision, and then you need to pivot or do things differently, you know, a month later, I think that’s a strength not a weakness. So
yeah, I mean, you found out one more a little bit of information, and it changes the whole decision process. I can say totally notice something. I did that recently with investment. I said I didn’t like this. I didn’t like that. They went and had dinner with the brokers they came at you said you tuna global. I said, I didn’t know that. Let’s do it. Yeah, you know, so it just takes that one thing that’s going to be the catalyst that tips the scales. Even if you are solid, no one will information that’s relevant information can tip it to the totally Yes. For people to bring that to you to where you can make the best decisions and you’re not the only one, you know, making those decisions. So
totally agree. I recently heard Gary Vaynerchuk put it that way. And that’s where I got that From an I think that change is a strength and that kudos to you. Okay, so you’re developing for retailers, you own your own carwash, were coming out of this pandemic, what was it like operating last year for you?
Well, we took a group in our company and really divide and conquer the relationships with our tenants to make sure we were addressing each tenants, concerns and needs, based on their who they actually were not just a broad stroke, one size fits all because it was at that. And I think getting to know our tenants and talking through them about each location, and what they were wanting to see happen. was insightful for me. And it also continued to develop the trust we have with our our national, regional and local clients understanding in a way that we probably didn’t truly understand, but could totally say, hey, that has to be difficult for that. franchisee they shut their store down, what happened to all the meats in there? What happened to all the people what happened? And then they get to reef, stop that and come back and open? Where’s that money coming from? So to think like that, and say, let’s help them out, let’s figure it out. We did that. We work closely with our banks and having those streaks going into it. And knowing how we’ve addressed things in the past consistently, gave us the first seat at the table to have the right discussions with straight talk, what we wanted, what we needed, what we thought they could do for it, how they could do it. And it’s bringing them together to make that happen, which happened. So I think we did a lot of things. And we’ve done a lot of things well to be in that seat to hopefully be the first one to push through. In our you know, first one, I mean, just being one that could push through the challenges and come out good. And we did, we did
that. Congratulate congratulations. It was not an easy time. Here we are in 2021. I think one of the elephants in the room that our industry continues to try to tell the world is that retailers are still doing business in their opening stores. Are you seeing that as well?
I think that you know, there’s categories. And I’ve typically always been in the discounted value add categories, service oriented. So I think that it’s been, it’s just kind of maybe a lot of things are out there like that. But that’s just kind of where we’ve been. So I think that space has always just catapulted us through the challenges, you know, as DGS, one of their first preferred developers when they started the program in 98. And so doing work for them. And then when Prop challenges came up later, in different years, or the volume that I did with them, and then Family Dollar, then O’Reilly’s and all these tenants that were, it just allowed us to keep jumping over some hurdles that get thrown in the way was banking, or perception, or what should we be doing? I think we just kept doing and kept finding ways in believing in the tenants that we had, which we did that they were going to keep working through things. They were discounters. We liked what we’re hearing and just stay focused. I think that’s been a big look at the drawl for us. And to be okay, that is a brick front metal three sides, I was ecstatic about that I would get people having a hard time I don’t want to lease a tin box or I don’t want to buy that box. And, you know, like that’s what makes them profitable. That’s what makes them the company they are I’m that’s what I’m going to be I don’t I don’t care who didn’t need to look like something more than that to me. Totally. That’s, that’s been important to to don’t come here for you know, shiny. You know, great looking the most expensive stores out there and the most prominent call corners, if we get that great, but that’s not what we’re driving for.
So we’re very similar in we most of our retailers are the value driven retailers who have proven the test of time through our largest tenant a number of stores is Dollar Tree. We have a second is TJ x. So these are value driven retailers who have stood the test of time through recessions through good times and there is a need for value driven retailers in America and they’re opening stores and and selling things off the shelves which is really important. So and anything different. You see, going forward now that has really made you think about what you do in your business, like, what are you going to do differently now, because of the pandemic,
I think there’s probably a bit more cautious about the bigger boxes, and what those would be whether it’s entertainment, gyms, just those those. When you’re looking at acquisitions, and you have those key components of it, there has to be a pause or evaluation, if that happens, or they’re not there, or they want to downsize what I do with that box. So I think that’s definitely something we didn’t think about before, because you were so prolific. And so we got to think more about those type of things, and acquisitions and development. With retail, I just love what we’re doing. I love finding that convenience store that wants to grow. I love finding an entrepreneurial company, which I did with a company out of Chicago that started opening our first convenience stores, which I did. And growing that company, I like finding someone who was only doing 10 stores a year or two and I can get into 10, or someone wants to do 50 A year and getting to 50. I like finding those, those clients that really need and want the growth that we can provide the need and the execution in such an easy, systematic way. The third is be watching and concerned about how they’re going to operate the stores when they get there. So to me, we’re still focused on the client is our customer. It’s the only reason we’re here. If we’re not servicing them, we don’t need to be in business. And so that’s the priority for us is really fun and understanding your client. We’re doing reverse build a suits that we really hadn’t looked at before. Sure a capital is different today. We sold some things the first year, I thought I needed some money for other things didn’t really come to fruition. And so now we’re taking our capital and investing other developers, how can I help other developers grow and do what I did that I didn’t realize people borrowed money from other people to get their equity when I started either. So you got to realize I just kept my head to the ground. And every penny went back into every deal, literally. And I lived off a stipend. And I didn’t realize people actually get other people come in and get a peace deal and put the equity into probably eight years ago. And then when people told me I was Catholic was a passing thing. It was always shopping centers, and then I realized it was smaller at the end. So So that’s been, you know, it took me a long time to even so we haven’t really done that, you know, but a few times. You know, we did 43. Walmart’s in 36 months and those are 10 million apiece. I was also doing 70 rallies that year, and two or three $40 million shopping centers were first one at the same time. So yeah, we did and paid it off really quick made me nervous wreck. But I don’t know where I was going. But I think that used
4043 Walmart’s and 36 months Wow. You must have been if not one of Walmart’s largest developers.
We were we had a team internally that we formed 21 people, and then I have a construction arm as well. It was Hutton at the time, is now merged with Barry Hutton. And he probably has 150. Folks, and we have probably 12 to 15 estimators anytime estimating and doing our work. So we have a well tool machine that constantly has to get calibrated and retool is we all grow and change and challenge ourselves. But yeah, 43 and 36 months, it scared them to death when they realize that meaning going and opening. But the biggest comment that I didn’t run was a big comment I made he says how do you know what’s going to happen here and there are actually excusable, the people we’re bringing on board, someone knows that person or I’m using non issue that people are already internal that we’re just pulling from other departments. And so that execution and the DNA of the company and the people that probably worked 18 hour days, month after month after month to get this going in the right way and to not turn any change orders in that weren’t change or niches for them themselves. And to live up to the standards and a high level of Walmart pretty much set us to trickle that down to all of our clients and think like that and to keep striving for that it’s hard to do it every day but you got to keep striving for that same excellence
Wow. And what year was that? What years were that were you did 4360 was
a watchtower turnout for 14 1516 Wow. Wow.
Yeah. That is incredible.
Love and still are put folio. And you know, we got several for sale right now that we’re looking at. Just like to redeploy diversify, I think you’re talking about what are you doing differently, you know, usually have like $100 generals and or, you know, 75 family dollars and 150 rallies in thorium could be in the same state. You know, I didn’t really look to think about things like that. And so I’ve got a Chief Investment Officer Mike Dearing, who came from DDR who’s phenomenal and a capital markets and, you know, a genius with Aaron Breeden, and a great general counsel of Ben Harper, and then a great Chief Development Officer of Doug cow that bring all those thoughts together today. They said, Hey, let’s be a little disciplined about how they’re setting lease terms, those kinds of things. And so we’re still entrepreneur, we’re, we run hard. But I think that having that team together day, we look at things a little differently, and how we manage been diversifying our portfolio.
So you mentioned the team. And the last thing, I’m gonna say, we’re gonna go back to Walmart when we get to the story. But one last thing I want to focus on for a second is, I think people often wonder you you’re doing all this, you built this great team? What is Karen’s day to day looking? Like? What what are you doing on a day to day, what are you focused on right now? In 2021? What do you you wake up? No one, what are you doing?
So it changes, you know, I get things problem solved, and they’ll move to another one. So if there’s a, if there’s a void, somewhere, I’ll shore up the void, whether it’s someone get promoted, or someone left, since I grew the company understand maybe what needs to happen and who can who to go to to get things to happen. But this morning, I’m gonna say 6:30am, I was on the phone with a marketing call going over the retail live convention coming up in in Orlando, with the booth design, and also talking about grand opening Hanover, Pennsylvania, that’s happening Thursday, and when he could see me on Florida on Thursday for mouthwash, and what we’re going to have there, how we need to send the flyer out and what it needs in just tweaking those last little bits on the marketing, the branding and the gifts, and the school that we’re going to give to like, I want to know that it’s got purpose. I said, I don’t want to say give money to the school. What do they really need? Education is so important. But let’s make sure if it’s a drama class, if it’s the arts, is it a piece to go to each one, not just Haley could just go on to paper, I don’t even know if I just give it to the school. So let’s have purpose and understand in each community what they need, not write a check. We can write checks. I have purpose, I want people to understand that we want to make an impact. How can we focus on money to make an impact and that’s really important. So I did that this morning. Also, other 830 Call going over leases, like new leases that we have with with five or six tenants. And at first ground lease in Miami. I’ve never done a ground lease ever. And now I’m a tenant, Senator, my first ground lease over Miami. That’s a big deal. So let’s make sure we get it right. It’s gonna set the precedence for other ground leases that we’re doing. And we’re hitting Miami hard. So I’ve never hit Miami Horton, remember my ground leases, those first things you’re talking about? Gosh, and then I went and looked at the the data sheets for my washing how we did this past weekend.
Got it. It’s so
sad. To me. It’s like a punch list. Every no one likes the other. But there’s a bunch of them
as a pickup that a lot of the stuff you mentioned was offensive, pushing forward growth initiatives. How much in your role is putting out fires? So you call it solving problems or putting out fires? What you just mentioned to me is exciting stuff. Right? It’s energizing. It’s pushing forward. It’s growth initiative. It’s offense, how much do you walk into the office and problems get put on your plate and people are like stuck in you got to solve problems versus being offensive.
So it’s not really there such a high level. And we’ve all been trained well by my you know, desire to be better every day. That what I kind of get involved in I hear a solution. And it to me, it’s not the best solution. And I say look, I understand you did this, but if we close here and did this, couldn’t we get open a month earlier? Well, I didn’t know you would do that. Since you’re close with cash. Are we gonna get permitted? Yes, this is gonna happen. Yeah. Okay, we’ll just close. So those are kind of things I love coming in and just spearheading the pace of it. And the level of problem solving better if there’s something that get dropped to get the ball back in the air, or to teach someone the tone or a call of closings of things that would have been nice to have heard about it sooner than later. But there’s not a listen little things to me your hair on fire. And if a client sends an email over, and no one answered in an hour or 30 minutes, my hair’s on fire. So I’m like, Why did you don’t answer why? I’m answering? You know, so I don’t why the you know, the pace. The tempo is what I continually drive and get people to forget what they knew where they came from. Forget about it. Go with what I’m telling you go with a shorter contract and go with it. Don’t forget about the loi, it was a two page contract. Very important to get it done. Speed wins. Yeah. I mean, in time kills deals. So I’m like, please just get speed. Your speed must be, I want them to be lightspeed. And so, yeah, that’s fast. But that’s not the kind of fast I’m looking for. This is what I mean by that. So just keep repeating that, where everybody’s drinking the water, the speed water, and understanding, when you touch on and pick it up, finish it, get all the 100, you know, the 100 plates in the air, but find the ones that need it. Now, let those kind of wobble because it doesn’t matter. He’s not gonna need attention for two months. So don’t bring it up. As long as you don’t get soft. Focus on the ones that make it happen to get it out there. It’s going to execute for the client. It’s all for the client. Nothing’s for us. It’s for them. If we perform like that, and get in, they see what we go through. They’re interested, we’re guilty, but they see the execution. That’s a win. I’m looking for the wins. I’m with you.
All right. Well, that was great. We have a high sense of urgency to I think that’s entrepreneurism. Right. That’s entrepreneurship right there. And, you know, speed to execution is one of our initiatives and goals. So all right. So you have a story about a Walmart that opened in Athens, Georgia. Yeah. Tell us about it.
Yeah. So 43 and 36 months, like I told you, you don’t get a lot of people that are out there, I was part of that team, which is awesome. The last one to open for Hutten, which is 43rd. Store with Athens, Georgia, Walmart neighborhood market. It was also the last one they had open for Walmart last year in which isn’t was January the 16th, I guess. And January the 27 to 16. Sorry. So it’s on my wall, which is why I kind of pause because it’s it’s very memorable. And so we had a GC that I had hired five GCS to help me build the stores that I believed in, all of you that had never built a Walmart. I did not want someone to come in and start telling me because I can start here, Walmart won’t do this, Walmart won’t do that, you know, just telling me stuff that their perception at some point in their life with a totally different deal and structure that ever done, dictating how I was going to perform, and which will be the results of my success, our success, and so that was the first thing I did. And so, hurtin construction, very construction, another local construction company with the first three. And so we took off and started that I did hire two ventually that didn’t do well March, that underperformed, the ones who had never done Walmart’s I’m not gonna say their name. I wouldn’t ever do that. But I’m just from execution and the DNA and how we want to do it versus what maybe could get done or by or something was just a little different. So we had a GC on the site, we go out there and I could tell it’s behind a month earlier than getting there. And this is probably a 12 acre site is the first bio retention pond ordinance for Athens, Georgia, in a college town, and they bio retention that to 16 bio retention on this property along with a lot of other things hit a road widening DSL lane. two entrances up on a hill is just crazy. So I’m going out there my team I took about 15 people at different times and we’re nothing kind of lived on the site for weeks at a time helping. Now we didn’t go out there to interfere with the GC. We went out there. Where’s the sod with the sod guy didn’t show up. I said, Where are we gonna get sod? We’re gonna go outside somewhere else. Your site got we’re getting sod. Where’s this? We’re gonna get robbed. We’re gonna so we just started making decisions, bringing all that stuff in ourselves to overcome some of the challenges that were happening and putting together the car stalls woollen, the sod I wrote, I’d never rolled and put sod down before I rolled, you know, 40 foot heels. This is not like a 20 foot is a 40 foot heels or rolling side and putting the stuff in. And this is in the winter, these things are frozen, you’re going to pick them up like this, it’s fine when they’re this stack when you get down to to the bottom, and you’re having to run your hands on them, and then walk them over to where you’re going to do them. And then roll them. Listen, it’s fun, exciting, all those things were first time they’d ever done some of these things as well. But fast forward to the last three days, and course Walmart was sending people out there. GC just said, really just kind of evaporating. We were there and kind of run you they were there but the people in charge and be in Hutton, the developer, and something from a construction arm, and bringing the folks out there and eating dinner and working to two o’clock in the morning, three o’clock in the morning, four o’clock in the morning, night after night after night to make the date. And we not only made the date, but it looked pristine the date of opening and we were paving. This is to 6am right here. Wow. 27. One of the pictures I bet there’s like on the 26. So six in 10 days, we this is a night it opened up the next day. And we went and paid cash to get them to stay open that night. We went and found this we found the water thing here I’m cleaning. You know when we clean these curbs, I picked up trash. I’ve learned how to run a backhoe. So the asphalt guy actually sent me this. But I’ll tell you the proud moment
for those who don’t know, Karen show me pictures of her Pavan at 2am.
The thing about is everybody it was a proudest moment anyone that participated in had probably had ever had in their life on making coffee, something that was looked impossible. And the pictures were 1568. And then more than 27 120 thought two days later, the difference in those one was like an explosion went off. And the other one looks like it’s a brand new store ready to open. And I didn’t have those areas. I’m so glad I didn’t see them. But we were running around that property paving doing all kinds of things those last 48 hours, and it made the day.
Wow, that is incredible. I think one showing that the impossible, sometimes it’s possible. That’s one of the lessons for me there. And then I think one of the things you’re showing everybody is the how client focused you are when the client’s expectations were x, and you saw you were falling behind that and you rolled up your sleeves took the team out there, and you started getting into it with everybody else. And you know, for a CEO of a company to be rolling sod and work in a backhoe to make sure you hit the date. That’s a level of grit that you don’t see that much today. And it’s not like that was in 1987 That was 2016. And that is truly inspirational.
And how team did it you know, they didn’t, I may not have kept him two weeks, Summer, two weeks at a time. But you know, we got photos was always in our hands around each other in the steam coming off the asphalt because it’s still in the winter, it’s January. And just the heat. You know, everyone got to take something that they’ll never ever no one can take that away from them. And to see something, the possibility to get there. Without everyone saying you it’s not gonna happen. And we knew it was gonna happen. We had to make it happen. We obligated ourselves to happen, we thought it was gonna happen it had to happen. And make the impossible possible. Is something you carry along for life in every aspect of your being. And I think that’s one of the most important things are the most fun thing about our job and what we get to do and push people beyond the preconceived limits.
Orderly, yeah, what were the penalties if you didn’t deliver on the date?
Got emotionally I could give a time but I would to me it was your reputation. And I don’t know that they had a thing that they would have, you know, it’d been a big huge disappointment and how many people so I did 42 Right. And I missed the last one. What do you remember? People remember the last one? Totally. And so I think Rob reputation is at stake in the people in the commitment which you don’t want to fail. It wasn’t a financial dollar mark or anything like that financially. I think you can’t say I delivered 43 in 36 months on time, every turnover. I couldn’t say that. I’d have to go with the exception of one. And I couldn’t just leave it out and go, I did 42 in 36 months, and then I’m cheating. Me cheating myself, I said, but I missed one turnover day. So, I mean, wow, it’d be hard. It’d be hard to hit value.
I’m just curious, did you end up making money on that all the unique things you had to do? Did you make money on that third party? Third one?
Yeah. I mean, maybe not as much as you wanted. And we had to work out some things. The GC did a great job of working with us on things we had to get in place to get it done. And everybody worked great together. But yeah, I mean, yeah, we didn’t go over. My team didn’t charge me anything for for the hard labor out there. That didn’t get counted. So we had, I don’t know, hundreds and hundreds of hours. And I tell you, the people that were shoveling the rock and doing the things and build it in about detention pond, I have seven layers, you may start off with dirt, and then a different kind of dirt, and then raw, and then another kind of dirt. And then you get this and this is it’s layered. So these layers are building up like 1515 feet and these holes. So it’s just a it’s a crazy, good for the Earth. thing that we did. But working alongside people we’d never seen that came in we we hired a local landscaping company to come help us. Wow. Because we needed to perform here because I’ll bring us tools. My man, I’ll come help. So yeah.
Last question is story. Did it disrupt other parts of your business that you took this whole team and went to go do this? Yeah. Wow. And why is that?
You know, that’s a great question. You’d say it’s impossible not to have disrupted something. I know I met my dates that year. I know, we were so permitting, which are different people, they came in ways they made routines, we were winding up something we weren’t starting off at that bit in the first two weeks. The first two, the 43 had been a different story. Maybe we were season is the last one. And I think that last thing in training the people I already had on the team, were so focused on the Walmart program, we’re out there, I’ll send you the obligations, like we had people that weren’t there, handling all the other things we need to give for Walmart in the turn to see those I mean, we’re out there running, getting the CMOS handle and yes, going get DL T to come stand with us like this. They’re turning this down, but it shouldn’t be going grabbing from his office, he’s willing to come out there, Jordan, Georgia, dot and T dot. And he goes, You’re right page, where someone beforehand was saying, well let you pay, we’re gonna let you pay for weeks at a time. And just someone who had authority, but didn’t really have the good want to see us succeed or making even the right decisions. So we’ve overcome a lot of things like that. So disruption, you know, there could have been some in the family disruptions not being home for a few nights. And yeah, why are you working so hard? And everybody was stressed out? You know, I think there’s things like that, that occur that you know, when you burn that much, but that was, you know, you got to figure out how to get back in and it was a great relief to finish that went into finish strong and Walmart was ecstatic. I mean, we get phone calls it like we, the people in the store came in and said, I thought this was voodoo. There’s no way I was at the right store for when I left yesterday to be back here for the mandamus thing. Granted, we don’t happen. He goes, it’s a miracle. And I get him on tape still saying how he couldn’t believe it’s the same store. And how great it looked. I go. I mean, everybody, we’re right, ready to quit. It was two o’clock. And I said, Guys, we gotta go across every gravel, every dirt, every landscaping in place. Let’s go back over it. Make sure and we had two more hours of good work. And or three or four or whatever it was. I mean, we liked it. Five people went to Walmart and got their jeans and came back in for the seven o’clock roundup and wow.
Well, what a great story. Thank you so much for sharing. That is a lesson to all developers out there and they inspirational story to say the least. Okay, Karen, I want to take us to the last part of the show. I got three fun questions for you. Are you ready? All right. What is the last thing you bought in store over $20?
Oh, it’s embarrassed him. I went shopping in New York recently. So I actually bought a moto jacket. Okay, my jacket in between dollars I’ve been you. From where? From? came thinking the name of it. You know the name I couldn’t think the name vocal national national it’s one of the national brands with a little needle sticker on the side. It’s
alright, question two, what extinct retailer Do you wish would come back from the dead?
I’m not sure if they’re dead. But Blackberry, ah, I wish BlackBerry would have gotten their act together would still get their act together and have the same feel of the firm that does everything that the iPhone does. With the wheel on the side love different things like that. And I think it’s so great. We say I like Blackberry,
the wheel on the side that is iPhone could if they could figure out how to do that. And I could do that. That would be pretty good. Oh, no, no, no. Tim Cook. Okay. Last question. Do you when I was shopping at Walmart, and I lost you? Would I would I find you in electronics? Electronics. All right. Okay. Well, listen, Karen, this was fantastic. Thank you so much for doing this.
I really appreciate it. Thank you for listening to retail retold. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail retold at DLC mgmt.com This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you are a retailer, broker, entrepreneur, architect or an attorney. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode