Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Other bids for Family Dollar possible

Competitive pressures for small-box retailers may intensify if the definitive agreement for Dollar Tree to acquire Family Dollar Stores is completed early next year as scheduled, according to industry analysts — though it’s still possible other bidders could alter the outlook, they added.

“The combo certainly shakes up the small-box value space,” Sandy Skrovan, U.S. research director for Planet Retail, London, said. “It’s now [going to be] a two-horse race, with Dollar General and a pumped-up Dollar Tree jockeying for ascendency in the U.S. value channel. Dollar Tree could very well leapfrog long-time market leader Dollar General … [and provide] additional and more formidable competition for Walmart as it accelerates its own small-box expansion via Walmart Express.”. . . more

When we were small: Whole Foods

John Mackey had just turned 25 years old when he opened a small vegetarian food market in an old victorian house in Austin, Texas. His business partner and girlfriend, Renee Lawson, was 21.

Fast forward 36 years, and Mackey has grown Whole Foods Market into a natural and organic food empire, with nearly 400 locations, more than 80,000 employees and annual sales exceeding $12 billion.

“Did I ever think it would get this big?” he said. “No, of course not.”. . . more

The dollar store merger shows just how badly Americans are doing

Mergers-and-acquisition types on Wall Street are no doubt cackling over the proposed $8.5-billion merger of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar Stores -- and why not, since it was spurred in part by corporate sharpshooter Carl Icahn?

But the grim reality underlying the deal is that there are so many American households  struggling that the market segment is worth battling for. And the fight is all the more ferocious because the spending of these households is stagnant, like their income. . . . more

RadioShack may run out of cash

Financial woes continue for RadioShack, which was recently notified it is in danger of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange. According to a new report from Moody’s Investor Service, RadioShack is likely to run out cash by the end of October 2015.

Although RadioShack has no debt maturities coming due in the next year, the company's cash balance at the end of its fiscal first quarter 2014 was $62 million, compared to $180 million at the end of calendar year 2013. Moody's expects RadioShack to rely increasingly on its unrestricted cash balances as operating losses will likely continue for the rest of the year and free cash flow remains negative during the next 12 months.. . . more

Pepe's Pizzeria entering Greater Boston with lease for Brookline restaurant

pepespizzaBrookline residents will soon be getting a taste of New Haven.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana has picked Brookline — going from Wooster Square to Washington Square — to expand into Massachusetts for the first time and find new customers for its signature thin-crust pizza.. . . more

US economy grew at strong 4 percent rate in spring

After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 percent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending.

The rebound reported Wednesday by the Commerce Department followed a sharp 2.1 percent annualized drop in economic activity in the January-March quarter. That figure was revised up from a previous estimate of a 2.9 percent drop. But it was still the biggest contraction since early 2009 in the depths of the Great Recession.. . . more

Market Basket board: ‘Artie T’ not only bidder

Market Basket’s board took a swipe at Arthur T. Demoulas yesterday, laying partial blame for the embattled grocery chain’s upheaval on the former CEO, who has made a buyout bid for the company.

And, despite reports to the contrary, the board said Demoulas is “but one of several potential buyers” who “continue to express a strong interest” in buying the 71-store chain.. . .more

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Investor Presses For PetSmart Sale

Jana Partners LLC continued to call for PetSmart Inc. to consider a sale, saying that it would "not hesitate to seek significant board change" at the next annual meeting if the pet-supply retailer fails to act.

A representative for PetSmart didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this month, Jana disclosed it had taken a nearly 10% stake in PetSmart and said it would seek 
conversations with the company about strategic options.. . .  more

Ahold USA To Purchase Eastside Marketplace

Scott Laurans, owner and president of Eastside Marketplace, an upscale supermarket for the past 33 years on the east side of Providence, R.I., announced an agreement to sell the supermarket to a subsidiary of Ahold USA. The sale is expected to close on or about Aug. 2. The intention is for the Eastside Marketplace employees and management team to remain in place, running the business as Eastside Marketplace. Mr. Laurans will remain in an advisory role, and General Manager Brian Pacheco will continue in his current position, managing all aspects of the business. . . . more