Friday, August 31, 2012

The Fresh Market Eyes ‘Disciplined’ Growth

The Fresh Market plans to maintain an annual growth rate of 15% for the foreseeable future, Craig Carlock, president and chief executive officer, told investors Wednesday.

The Fresh Market operates 121 stores in 24 states, including three new states this year: Kansas, Oklahoma and New Hampshire. Carlock said it plans to open between 14 and 16 new stores next year.. . . more

In electronics, it's not just Best Buy that's hurting

Best Buy Co. Inc. may be fighting for its future, but at least it has company.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the struggles of three electronics retail chains — Radio Shack Corp., GameStop Corp. and Richfield-based Best Buy — and the tactics they're using to try and adjust to online rivals and a very different marketplace.. . . more

Sears is dropped from S&P 500


Sears Holdings Corp shares plummeted more than 8 percent on Thursday on news that the U.S. retailer will be replaced by chemical maker LyondellBasell Industries NV on the S&P 500 index.

S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC said late on Wednesday that the retailer, controlled by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, was no longer considered representative of the index.. . . more

Officials say consultant's ties to MGM could imperil Springfield casino plan

Rendering showing an MGM tower rising in the Springfield skylineThe city of Springfield hired the Chicago law firm of Shefsky & Froelich   as its consultant in soliciting and vetting bids to build a casino in the city limits. Some city officials were surprised this week to learn the law firm is already on the payroll of two Massachusetts casino contenders.
Shefsky & Froelich has existing relationships with MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming.  Both companies are in the running to build and operate a casino in Springfield's downtown.. . . more

Darden Restaurants Completes Acquisition of Yard House USA, Inc.

Orlando, FL Darden Restaurants, Inc.today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Yard House USA, Inc. for $585 million in an all-cash transaction from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners LLC, management and investors. This follows the agreement that was announced on July 12, 2012. The total transaction price includes approximately $30 million of cash tax benefits that are expected to be realized by Darden in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014.. . . more

Planned U.S. store openings up 11 percent in July

U.S. retailer store-opening plans hit a four-year high in July, according to RBC Capital Markets, whose research team tracks 2,000 chains each month. The retailers in the firm’s database say they plan to open 78,325 stores over the next 24 months, up 11 percent from the 2-year period ended in 2011 and 0.6 percent from June. Dollar General, Family Dollar, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Subway have the most new stores on the drawing board, according to the RBC report.

Plus-size apparel, specialty gifts, and crafts are the merchandise categories that show the biggest increase in store-opening plans versus a year ago, the report says. Coffee, discount department store and office-supply chains are at the other end of the scale.. . . more

Master Franchisee to Open 3 CherryBerry Units in CT

Beautiful Brands International (BBI) announced the signing of a Master Franchise agreement with Andy Liu to expand development of the CherryBerry Self-Serve Yogurt Bar throughout Connecticut. Liu, a seasoned restaurateur, will be opening three stores within the next year.

The agreement is part of an expansive strategy by BBI to partner with franchise developers committed to expanding the CherryBerry brand globally. The CherryBerry franchise has a total of 100 stores open nationwide with 35 stores under construction and 60 more to be opened within the year. . . . more

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Go Upscale in a Recession? Sounds Crazy But This Unlikely Retailer Made it Work

The rich don’t feel economic recessions the way everyone else does, and that’s one reason investors in companies like Coach and Nordstrom made out like bandits in this muddling recovery while WalMart Stores investors got merely good returns, despite its increased store traffic. But PetSmart, the big box pet store, has done a brilliant job of having it both ways.

Back in 2009, PetSmart bet that people would pamper their pets even while they cut spending elsewhere. . . . more

Supervalu makes management changes

Supervalu Inc. made several leadership changes Wednesday as it moves to turn around faltering results.

Supervalu CEO Wayne Sales, named to the post just last month, said the changes are intended to "quickly ... reinvigorate" the company, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.. . . more

Consumer Comfort in U.S. Hovered Last Week Near Seven-Month Low

Consumer confidence in the U.S. held close to a seven-month low last week as Americans’ view of the buying climate fell to the lowest level of the year.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was little changed at minus 47.3 in the period ended Aug. 26, from the prior week’s minus 47.4 reading that was the weakest since mid-January. The gain halted a six-week decline that was the longest since 2008, when the U.S. was in a recession.. . . more

Retailers Enjoy Strong Sales in August

Analysts expected 19 retail chains to report a 2 percent rise in August same-store sales, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. By early Thursday morning, five of the six chains reporting had topped expectations.

"August same store sales estimates have crept upward throughout the month coupled with generally positive reports from retailers on initial back-to-school sales," Ken Perkins, analyst at Retail Metrics, said before results began to trickle in.. . . more

Upscale grocery war heats up: Whole Foods in talks to buy 6 Johnnie's Foodmaster locations

Not long after Wegmans made clear its intentions toward Boston, upscale grocery rival Whole Foods Market is reportedly in early-stage negotiations that would increase its Boston-area presence by 30 percent.

Whole Foods is reportedly in talks to buy or take over leases at Johnnie's Foodmaster locations in Arlington, Brookline, Charlestown, Melrose, South Weymouth and Somerville. Privately held Wegmans Food Markets recently opened its first Massachusetts store in Northborough, and has announced plans to open a Newton store in the Chestnut Hill Square development on Route 9.. . . more

Jos. A. Bank profit rises in 2Q; plans to open 200 new stores

Jos. A. Bank at the Shops of Kenilworth in Towson.Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. said Wednesday it plans to open more stores than it had previously projected. Jos. A. Bank currently operates five Boston-area stores.

The company plans to expand to about 800 stores nationwide — 700 full-line stores and 100 outlet stores — up from a previous target of between 650 and 675 stores. Jos. A. Bank currently operates 572 stores in 44 states and Washington, D.C.. . . more

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Newton landlord still stinging from Filene's Basement liquidation

The fallout from Filene’s Basement’s liquidation continues to ripple through the local real estate market, as the now defunct retailer’s failure to pay rent for a 32,269-square-foot space in Newton has put the financial squeeze on the property’s landlord.

Recent loan-servicer reports indicate that Paragon Properties defaulted on its $11 million mortgage at 215-227 Needham St. in Newton earlier this year amid an occupancy plunge triggered by Filene’s Basement’s bankruptcy filing and closure in late 2011. As of July 1, the retail plaza was 10 percent full, with its sole occupant, Jonathan’s Bar & Grille, owned and operated by Paragon principal Jonathon Glick.. . . more

New Balance to open first-ever NB Fitness Club

New Balance plans to open a fitness center next week across from its headquarters in Brighton. The first-ever NB Fitness Club plans to open on Friday, Sept. 7 in a 16,000-square-foot renovated space on the ground floor of the parking garage at 25 Guest St. The site previously housed a Bally Total Fitness gym.

New Balance spokeswoman Amy Dow said NB Fitness Club LLC will be run as a separate entity from New Balance. “If it is successful, we will look at future expansion opportunities,” she said.. . . more

Southgate Plaza redevelopment effort takes shape

Developers of Southgate Plaza in Portsmouth released more details Tuesday about the ongoing transformation work going on at the Lafayette Road shopping center.

In addition to a proposed 1,264-seat, nine-screen movie theater, the development team hired by property owner Waterstone Retail Development of Needham, Mass., discussed plans to include a vintage diner within the renovated development site as well.. . . more

Economic growth revised higher

The United States economy grew slightly faster than initially reported in the second quarter, but was still too weak to signal any major improvement in the job market ahead.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1.7% from April to June, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, slightly higher than the 1.5% rate originally reported, and in line with economists' expectations.. . . more

Whole Foods' Improved Pricing Boosts Sales

A new Wells Fargo study shows that Whole Foods Market appears to be making progress in its effort to make its pricing more competitive.

“Overall, we were surprised to find that Whole Foods’ prices were much more competitive than we expected,” said Kate Wendt, an analyst at Wells Fargo.. . . more

Report traces Apple Store turmoil all the way to Tim Cook

After Apple public relations released a statement calling staffing cutbacks at its Apple Stores a "mistake" that was being reversed, many thought that John Browett's days at the company might be numbered.

Browett is the Wharton MBA who was brought in from the giant British electronics chain Dixons to run Apple's retail operations after their creator -- Ron Johnson -- left to run J.C. Penney.. . . more

JC Penney reveals latest in-store fashion shops

US department store retailer JC Penney will launch its second wave of in-store fashion shops next month as part of its latest efforts to return the company to profit.

The three in-store shops will debut Liz Claiborne, Izod and the retailer's new JCP private fashion basics brand and will open in nearly 700 US stores from 1 September.. . . more

Ackman turns up heat on GGP after Brookfield bails

Activist investor Bill Ackman is urging U.S. mall operator General Growth Properties to sell itself to a rival American mall operator now that Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has announced it’s not interested in a takeover.

Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management said it’s confident that Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the U.S., would be interested in pursuing such an acquisition of the mall owner that has successfully emerged from bankruptcy.. . . more

Peapod tests new drive-up service in Abington

Grocery home delivery service Peapod is testing a free trial designed to take the legwork out of a trip to the grocery store.

Last week, Peapod launched a pick-up window at Stop & Shop Supermarkets’ Centre Avenue store in Abington. Customers who order groceries online from Peapod can schedule to pick up their purchases at a drive-up window.

The service is being promoted to customers who live within 10 miles of the Abington store.. . . more

Sears to spinoff Hometown, Outlet stores next week

Sears headquarters signSears Holdings Corp. said that it plans to spinoff its Hometown and Outlet stores to shareholders on Sept. 7 at $15 per share, the company announced late Tuesday night. 

The public offering to spin off the more than 1,100 hometown and 122 outlet stores should raise roughly $446.5 million for the Hoffman Estates-based retailer and is expected to be completed in the third quarter.  . . . more

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Consumer confidence tumbles

Consumer confidence tumbled in August, with the latest reading indicating the most pessimism so far this year.

The closely watched index from The Conference Board, a leading business research firm, fell to 60.6 from 65.4 in July. It's the worst reading since November, and was driven down by growing concerns over the job market, as well as the outlook for business conditions over the next six months.. . . more

Best Buy investors: A 50/50 chance of buyout?

Best Buy Co. Inc. may have given founder Richard Shultze the go-ahead to pursue a buyout offer, but Wall Street still isn't counting a deal as a sure thing.

While the value of a Schulze offer has been estimated in the mid-$20s or higher, Best Buy's still trading below that. Compare that with other takeover offers, where an established company buys another and usually the target's stock price rises almost to the offer price. The fact that Best Buy's price hasn't done that indicates that many investors don't think a deal will happen.. . . more

David's Bridal sold to buyout firm for $1.05 billion


David's Bridal Inc will be sold to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a deal that values the wedding dress retailer at $1.05 billion, Clayton, Dubilier said on Tuesday.

David's Bridal, a 300-store chain with a 60-year history, offers moderately priced wedding gowns and accessories, and in recent years has increased its higher end offerings, including a line designed by Vera Wang.. . . more

Grocery Chains Buy Up Shopping Centers in a Defensive Play

As more grocery-anchored center owners decide to put their properties on the market to take advantage of strong investor demand, grocery chains are stepping in and claiming the centers they anchor to avoid risking the uncertainty of a new owner.

The biggest grocery chains in the U.S. have invested nearly $450 million in grocery-anchored center purchases during the past 24 months, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA). Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has been the most active buyer during this period. The chain spent $187.2 million to gain control of 17 grocery-anchored centers. Dutch conglomerate Ahold, which operates the Stop & Shop and Giant chains, during the same time also purchased 17 properties for $118.4 million. . . . more

Home prices signal recovery may be here

A sharp boost in home prices during the spring could signal a recovery in the long-suffering U.S. housing market, according to an industry report issued Tuesday.

The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers more than 80% of the housing market in the United States, climbed 6.9% in the three months ended June 30 compared to the first three months of 2012.. . . more

Apple Stores reportedly continue to see cutbacks as focus shifts to revenue

A report on Monday outlines the supposed gradual but significant change Apple's retail stores are going through as Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett emphasizes revenue over customer experience.

Citing inside sources, ifoAppleStore reports that signs persist of an emphasis on revenues at Apple's retail outlets, saying the drive to profits is taking its toll on employees and could tarnish the chain's reputation.. . . more

The Top 10 Department Stores

Apparel Magazine has ranked the Top 10 department stores, a list comprised of retailers with at least $100 million in annual sales that are publicly traded on the U.S. stock exchange, by profit margin for their most recent fiscal years, respectively. Privately held retailers are not included, as well as Nordstrom, because it files with the SEC under Retail – Family Clothing Stores, rather than Retail – Department Stores.
 
The Top 10 Department Stores:
1.       Dillard's
2.       Kohl's
3.       Belk
4.       Macy's
5.       Saks
6.       Neiman Marcus
7.       Burlington Coat Factory
8.       Bon-Ton Stores
9.       JCPenney
10.   Sears
. . . more

Monday, August 27, 2012

Nordstrom Rolls Out 1,500 Mobile Devices to Rack Stores

Following tests that showed mobile POS successfully sped up the checkout process in its Rack stores, Nordstrom will roll out approximately 1,500 of the devices to its 110 Rack units by the end of Q3. This deployment is in addition to the mobile POS technology already in use in Nordstrom's 117 full-line stores.
"We are constantly adding to the functionality of our mobile point-of-sale devices and their use in our stores is increasing," said Nordstrom president Blake Nordstrom. "By the end of the year, they will have all of the capabilities of our existing cash registers.". . . more

Best Buy Agrees to Let Founder Schulze Conduct Due Diligence

Best Buy Co., the world’s largest electronics retailer, and founder Richard Shultze reached an agreement allowing him to conduct due diligence in his effort to acquire the company a week after earlier talks failed.

Schulze can bring a fully financed, definitive proposal to the company within 60 days, and if that offer is rejected, he must wait until January to pursue an acquisition through other means, the Richfield, Minnesota-based company said today in a statement.. . . more

Big Lots profit takes hit in Q2; announces executive changes

Big Lots reported Thursday that net income for the quarter ended July 28 slipped to $22.1 million, from $35.7 million in the year-ago period.

Sales in the United States edged up 1.7% to $1.18 billion, from $1.16 billion, and domestic same-store sales decreased 1.9% for the quarter.. . . more

Supervalu seeking buyers for entire company

Advisors to Supervalu Inc. are asking potential buyers to bid for the entire operation, even as several suitors have inquired about individual parts of the U.S. grocery company, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

In July, Supervalu said it was looking at options for overhauling the company, including a sale. The chain hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Greenhill & Co as advisors.

Source: Chain Store Age

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Nordstrom Rack to open in the Back Bay next spring

Nordstom Inc., a Seattle-based chain of luxury department stores, said Thursday that it plans to open a two-level Nordstrom Rack store in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood next spring.
Nordstrom Rack is the company’s discount division.

With about 38,000 square feet of space, the new store will be located at the Newbry, a shopping complex with entrances on both Newbury and Boylston streets, and occupy space previously tenanted by Filene’s Basement, Nordstrom said; other Newbry tenants include Boston Sports Club, H&M, and Victoria’s Secret.. . . more

Five Guys franchises planned for Port City, Seabrook

Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise owner Cort Mendes said Wednesday during the grand opening of his new location in Dover that he plans to open two more locations on the Seacoast.

Mendes, who owns five franchises in New Hampshire, said, if all goes as planned, he will open locations in Portsmouth and Seabrook by springtime.. . . more

Target Cheaper Than Wal-Mart as Gap Widest in Two Years

Target Corp. is living up to the second half of its “Expect more. Pay less.” slogan by winning the latest round in its pricing battle with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Target this month had lower prices than Wal-Mart for the first time since October, according to research conducted by Bloomberg Industries. The Minneapolis-based chain also led by its widest margin since the monthly study began two years ago.. . . more

Online Retail Isn't Always Better Retail

Target-Back-to-School-BIt has become axiomatic that brick-and-mortar retail is not a place to buy things but to look at products, then maybe benchmark prices before going online to make the purchase. But a new mystery shopper study by StellaService suggests that going to a physical store can save money and time. 

The study compared the online versus in-store shopping experience at Target, Walmart, Costco, Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot. . . . more


Wet Seal hires financial advisors; adopts poison pill

The Wet Seal said it has hired financial advisors and adopted a poison pill that discourages an investor from acquiring 10% of the company.

The move comes as Clinton Group, an investor with a 3.9% stake in the chain, has been putting pressure on the company to put itself on the block.. . . more

Amazon ranks as America’s favorite retailer

AmazonAmazon.com, Trader Joe’s and Costco Wholesale Corp. came out on top with consumers in a survey by global strategy firm OC&C Strategy Consultants, Boston. Rounding out the top five were Zappos and iTunes.

Amazon not only ranked first in the Index overall, but also came out on top in five individual elements: value for money; wide choice of products; products that are suited to me; online shopping and net promoter score. The online retail powerhouse was rated number one across all consumers, regardless of gender, household income or price sensitivity.. . . more



4 Key Points About Distressed/Foreclosed Properties

Although the statistics have been improving, there’s likely to be a continued stream of distressed or foreclosed commercial properties in the pipeline - perhaps in your pipeline. From the first day you take on a distressed or foreclosed property, you’re thinking about the last day you own it. A service company should have that goal in mind, too. . . . more

Boston sees Q2 retail real estate growth

While national retail rents continued to decline, the Boston market was able to post 1.1 percent growth, trailing only Miami (13.2 percent), Washington D.C. (2.6 percent), and Tampa (1.9 percent).

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Mid-Year Outlook national report, regions with the most upside included Boston, with 4.4 percent vacancy and 1,225,394 square feet of year-to-date net absorption.. . . more

KeyPoint Partners Publishes 2012 Retail Market Report For Greater Hartford, Connecticut

Based on KeyPoint Partners’ GRIID™ , which maintains detailed information on virtually all retail properties in the study area, The KeyPoint Report examines supply, vacancy and absorption, retailer activity, and market composition by store size and retail categories during the 12-month period between June 1, 2011 and June 1, 2012. . . more

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Consumer sales growth adding stability to retail real estate market

A report released Monday by Jones Lang LaSalle found that the U.S. retail real estate continued to show signs of stability in second quarter 2012.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Mid-Year Outlook, the modestly positive outlook was led by major markets with strong demographic and population growth, a lack of new, high-quality supply and improving leasing velocity.. . . more

Best Buy’s Discounts Drop With Sales

When big retailers struggle, shoppers might expect to be able to swoop in and score stellar deals. But in the case Best Buy, the sales are unlikely to satisfy those searching for “Everything Must Go” style prices.

The retailer is in the midst of a massive restructuring of its business, closing and downsizing stores.  Yet closeout prices have yet to surface widely. “I have not noticed anything in their ads to suggest that they are lowering prices to boost sales,” says consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky.. . . more

Discounts as low as 2.5% sway shoppers to leave stores, purchase online

Forty-five percent of customers shopping in-store at bricks-and mortar-locations will walk out and complete their purchase online for a discount as low as 2.5%, according to new showrooming research from GroupM Next.

This number jumps to 60% of shoppers who will leave and purchase a product online for a savings of 5%. When discovering an online discount of 20%, a small percentage of shoppers (13%) stay and complete their purchase in store.. . . more

Collective Brands shareholders approve sale of company

Collective Brands stockholders voted at a special meeting on Tuesday to approve the sale of the company for about $1.32 billion.

Collective, which owns the Payless and Stride Rite shoe store banners, had announced in May that it accepted a purchase offer from a group that includes Wolverine Worldwide Inc., Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital.. . . more

Reebok Fit Hub makes U.S. debut

Reebok has opened its first Reebok Fit Hub in the United States, on Fifth Avenue at 37th Street in Manhattan.

The 2,500-sq.-ft. store is located on the top of a Reebok CrossFit Box gym, which is on the street level. It sells a wide range of fitness apparel and footwear for men and women. Customers can also get fitness advice from in-store experts.. . . more

Casual Male store nameplate to disappear over time

Casual Male is shifting its focus to its Destination XL (DXL) format. By the end of 2015, the company expects to have closed all 400 Casual Male stores and have 225 to 250 DXL units, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The DXL stores feature a wide array of merchandise, including both private label and name brands, and price points that range from the lower-end to the more upscale. By the end of 2012, the company expects to have 51 DXL stores in operation, the report said.

Source: Chain Store Age

CEO Murren expected in Springfield to tout MGM casino plan

It's showtime for MGM Resorts International, which today will unveil plans for a "major entertainment complex" and casino straddling the Metro Center and South End neighborhoods near Interstate 91.

Preliminary project information has revealed that the Las Vegas-based company is eyeing a three-block parcel along I-91 between State and Union streets bordering Metro Center and the South End. That would put the casino just blocks from the MassMutual Center and the heart of downtown.. . . more

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Barnes & Noble's Loss Narrows

Barnes & Noble Inc.'s fiscal first-quarter loss narrowed as the bookseller posted higher retail same-store sales, benefiting from the liquidation of Borders' bookstores and strong sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

In the retail segment, which includes bookstores and its Internet business, revenue rose 2% to $1.12 billion and same-store sales were up 4.6%.. . . more

Slew of new restaurants opening near Harvard

BIG PLANS: Timothy Panagopoulos,...Harvard Square’s already extensive menu of restaurants will get some new main courses in the coming months with an influx of eateries serving everything from burgers to traditional Japanese fare.

The corner of JFK and Mount Auburn streets will become the third outpost of Tasty Burger, the fast- food burger joint from the Franklin Restaurant Group. The two-level, 180-seat restaurant is slated to open in September at the former 7-Eleven location at 40 JFK St.. . . more

Lowe’s Q2 results lower than expected; cuts guidance

Lowe's Cos. Inc. on Monday reported lower-than-expected second quarter results, with its results hurt by a timing shift and a charge tied to job cuts. The chain also lowered its fiscal 2012 earnings and revenue outlooks.

Sales fell 2% to $14.25 billion. Same-store sales fell 0.4% and dipped 0.2% at U.S. locations. . . . more

Kings Expands to Connecticut With Porricelli’s Acquisition

Kings Food Markets on Monday said it would expand to Connecticut for the first time as the result of the acquisition of Porricelli’s Market location in Old Greenwich from the Porricelli family. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Old Greenwich location will be the first in Connecticut for Kings, which operates 24 stores in New Jersey and New York. Officials said they expected to complete the conversion to the Kings banner in late September.. . . more

Quincy’s $1.6B transformation will be historic


A rendering of the planned rehabilitation of Quincy’s downtown. The planned $1.6 billion mixed-use project features open space as well as residential, retail and commercial components. The effort includes a roster of developers as well as public financing for infrastructure improvements.





A combination of public-private investment will be the catalyst for the $1.6 billion plan to revitalize Quincy Center.

If it all comes together, a pair of 20-story high-rise office buildings will rise in the downtown and 3.5 million square feet of new development on 50 acres will be created.. . . more




Microsoft's answer to Apple Store opens in Back Bay this week

Microsoft Corp. is bringing its Microsoft store concept to Boston, opening in the Shops at Prudential Center mall, Thursday.

Hoping to duplicate the success of the Apple Store, right across Boylston Street, the company has announced eager Microsoft fans can begin waiting in line at 10 p.m., Wednesday, to be first to shop at the new store.. . . more

Best Buy 2Q profit drops 90%

Best Buy reported a 90% drop in net income during the second quarter, dragged down by restructuring charges and weak sales. The company also withdrew its earnings guidance for the year.

Revenue at stores open at least 14 months fell 3.2% for the entire business, including a 1.6% drop in its domestic business and an 8.2% decline in its international division. . . . more

Monday, August 20, 2012

Economy IHOP is now serving up pancakes --- and more --- in Northborough

  IHOP restaurant, a California-based chain of franchised eateries known for flapjacks and other “signature”breakfast specialties, said it is opening a restaurant Monday at Northborough Crossing in Northborough.

Other tenants at the Northborough Crossing shopping center include Wegman's, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kohl’s, and T.J. Maxx.. . . more

Lowe's misses estimates, lags Home Depot

Lowe's Cos Inc reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and earnings and cut its profit outlook for the year as the world's No. 2 home improvement chain lost market share to larger rival Home Depot.

It recently decided to offer fewer discounts on expensive items like appliances, in sync with its bigger plan to offer "everyday low prices" rather than promotions. The move has driven some shoppers away. . . . more