Four chains honored with ICSC Hot Retailer awards

Las Vegas — The International Council of Shopping Centers has named Athleta, Smashburger, Aldi and Fossil as the 2011 Hot Retailer Award winners.

The annual awards, based on a survey of ICSC’s worldwide members, were presented Tuesday at the association’s global retail real estate convention, REConn.

“Every year ICSC recognizes retailers that create unique and exciting shopping experiences that draw consumers into shopping centers around the world,” said Michael Kercheval, ICSC president and CEO. “These retailers provide outstanding products and services thereby contributing to the overall success of the shopping centers that have them as tenants.”

Smashburger, a fast-casual burger and fries restaurant chain, currently has 100 stores nationwide. It is on target to have 500 plus stores in the next few years.

Discount-grocery operator Aldi, has more than 1,100 U.S. stores located in 31 states primarily from Kansas to the East Coast.

Athleta, which specializes in women’s sports and fitness apparel and accessories, was acquired by Gap Inc. in 2008. It opened its first two stores in 2010, in Northern California, and reportedly plans 50 locations by 2013.

With over 350 stores worldwide and a strong global e-commerce business, Fossil is internationally known for its eclectic assortment of lifestyle and accessory items including watches, handbags, and clothing.