Monday, November 30, 2020

Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant sold to buyout firm for $540M

New York Post
Iconic women’s clothing brands Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant will be bought out of bankruptcy by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the companies said Thursday. . . . more

How Guitar Center went from jukebox hero to latest pandemic bankruptcy

Retail Dive
If it weren't for the Beatles, Guitar Center might still be the Organ Center.  . . . more

Black Friday 2020 online sales on pace to grow as much as 42%

Retail Dive
Early data from Adobe Analytics forecasts Black Friday online sales to hit between $8.9 billion and $10.6 billion, which represents growth of 20% to 42% year over year.  . . . more

Winners and losers of Black Friday 2020

Retail Dive
Black Friday 2020 was always going to be different. . . . more

Retailers jump on ‘buy now, pay later’ trend as holidays approach

CSA
Leading retail chains including Neiman Marcus, Saks Off 5th, GameStop, and Express are adopting various omnichannel flex payment platforms. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods to launch new retail concept

CSA
Dick’s Sporting Goods is going all in on the outdoors and CEO Ed Stack is leading the charge. . . . more

In Mass., mall to be replaced by distribution center

CSA
Greendale Mall in Worcester could serve as the poster child for COVID-19’s acceleration of online shopping and demand for merchandise fulfillment services. . . . more

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

3 reasons why holiday toy sales will be huge this year

CNN Business
The pandemic and its accompanying recession could make for a very Grinch-y holiday season, but toy makers and industry analysts say there are several reasons to still expect presents under the tree, despite all the turmoil. . . . more

Burlington Beats Earnings Estimates But CEO Warns of ‘Uncertain and Unpredictable’ Times Ahead

Footwear News
Burlington Stores Inc. logged better-than-expected earnings and sales, but it sounded caution on the next quarter as rising COVID-19 cases across the country pose a threat to its business. . . . more

Best Buy posts 'blockbuster' Q3 with digital sales up nearly 175%

Retail Dive
Best Buy kept up its blazing pandemic-era growth through the third quarter, with U.S. sales up 21% year over year across the business to $10.9 billion. . . . more

ICSC: Shoppers to spend $470 during Thanksgiving weekend

CSA
Most (85%) shoppers expect to shop in the period that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday.  . . . more

CSA Exclusive: Piercing Pagoda expanding as demand rises

CSA
The country’s largest specialty kiosk retailer sees plenty of opportunities to expand — even amid the pandemic. . . . more

Abercrombie to close more flagships; posts better-than-expected Q3

CSA
Abercrombie & Fitch easily topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales and earnings amid cost controls and strong online demand. . . . more

Dollar Tree in ‘very good start’ to holiday amid strong Q3; to renovate 1,250 stores

CSA
Dollar Tree reported third-quarter sales and earnings that beat estimates and sounded an upbeat note about the holiday season.  . . . more

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The second Covid-19 spike is forcing retailers like Foot Locker to refocus on e-commerce

Plain Vanilla Shell
Foot Locker had a strong quarter, according to its latest earnings report released Friday morning. Over the three months ending on Oct. 31, the brand brought in $128 million in revenue, beating the $122 million it brought in during the same period last year by about 5%.. . . more

Sam's Club is putting robot janitors in all of its stores during the pandemic

CNN Business
Soon every Sam's Club will have a robot to scrub the store floors. . . . more

Court approves Ruby Tuesday's plan to sell itself

Restaurant Dive
On Friday, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved bidding procedures for the sale of Ruby Tuesday by RTI Holdings, the casual dining chain's parent company. This allows the company to seek a sale, according to court filings. . . . more

Ugg opens first flagship in NYC

Retail Dive
Ugg on Thursday announced that it opened its first flagship store at 530 Fifth Avenue in New York City, according to a company press release. . . . more

Why off-price won't change much, even after a pandemic

Retail Dive
In the last two decades, after more or less sailing through the Great Recession and despite going against the tide in e-commerce, off-price retail has seemed invincible. Consumers at all income levels flock to these stores, pawing through racks in search of marked-down treasure. . . . more

NRF: Holiday sales to rise 3.6% to 5.2% in ‘strong finish’ to 2020

CSA
The National Retail Federation issued an upbeat  holiday forecast despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, citing a strong stock market, rising home values and record personal saving rates. . . . more

Guitar Center files for bankruptcy as it looks to reduce debt

CSA
Guitar Center has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to reduce its debt by $800 million. . . . more

Monday, November 23, 2020

Zaxby's looks to go national as Goldman Sachs buys 'significant' stake

CSA
Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division will acquire a significant stake in Zaxby's, according to a press release.  . . . more

Pandemic revs up drive-thru design innovations

Restaurant Dive
In 2017, Arby's realized its production line was no longer working. Its menu had grown complex with the addition of new proteins and having sandwiches done in one station was creating too much crossover and opportunities for error, John Kelly, Arby's chief operating officer, said. . . . more

Caleres to close 133 Naturalizer stores in shift to digital

Retail Dive
Shoe seller Caleres plans to close 133 stores under its Naturalizer women's footwear brand by the end of fiscal 2020 and pivot to a digital model in response to consumer trends. . . . more

Williams-Sonoma crushes estimates as sales soar 22.4%

CSA
Williams-Sonoma is heading into the holidays on the heels of a strong third quarter, fueled by record sales at its namesake brand and as consumers continue to spend on all things related to the home. . . . more

Ahold Delhaize to acquire Fresh Direct

CSA
Ahold Delhaize is putting money behind its promise to boost its omnichannel presence in the U.S. . . . more

7-Eleven expands new store format

CSA
7-Eleven has opened the fifth location of its new “evolution” store concept.  . . . more

Sbarro’s Comeback Centers on the Impulse Pizza Buyer

Plain Vanilla Shell
Sbarro CEO David Karam said the brand’s intention has never been to exit malls, its primary domain for decades. . . . more

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Rockefeller Center intros six-month lease deals for retailers

CSA
Real estate researcher CoStar this week reported that sublease space in the second quarter reached 157 million sq. ft. or 1.7% of the total office inventory. That’s also creating availability in retail spaces in urban centers like New York City, where Rockefeller Center is doing something about it. . . . more

Forever 21 streamlines, safens online checkout

CSA
Online Forever 21 shoppers will have access to single-click checkout, among other new payment-related features.. . . more

This is what the KFC of the future will look like

WCVB
Kentucky Fried Chicken is the latest fast food chain to redesign its restaurants for the COVID-19 era, with a revamp that emphasizes the drive-thru and limits human contact.. . . more

TJX Q3 tops expectations; to roll out e-commerce for HomeGoods

CSA
The TJX Cos. reported third-quarter sales and earnings that beat the Street and said it plans to reinstate its quarterly dividend payment. . . . more

Target in blowout quarter; cites ‘unprecedented’ market share gains

CSA
Target Corp. reported a blockbuster quarter that easily outpaced Street estimates as the discounter continues to leverage and benefit from pandemic-related shopping trends. . . . more

Retail entrepreneurs buy twice-bankrupt RadioShack with plans for online revival

Fox Business
Two entrepreneurs who have been collecting fallen retail brands during the coronavirus pandemic are taking over the reins of RadioShack, acquiring the nearly century-old gadget seller's brands and online business. . . . more

Macy's reports 20% fall in comparable sales, eyes surging virus cases

Fox Business
Macy's Inc reported a more than 20% drop in quarterly comparable on Thursday and said it expects that to continue into the fall season, signaling a tough holiday season for the coronavirus-battered department store chain. . . . more

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Mapping the rise of ghost kitchens

Restaurant Dive
Are ghost kitchens on their way to becoming a mainstream channel? What risks come with the opportunity they promise? Restaurant Dive aims to answer these questions and more in a six-part series. . . . more

Kohl's disappoints in Q3 despite location advantage

Retail Dive
Kohl's on Tuesday reported that total third quarter revenue fell 14% year over year to $3.98 billion. Digital sales rose 25% in the period, according to a company presentation. . . . more

Best Buy powers up same-day delivery with Instacart

CSA
A consumer electronics giant is joining the growing range of non-grocers to collaborate with online delivery platform Instacart. . . . more

Claire’s to drive new store growth with location-based analytics

CSA
Claire’s Stores Inc. will develop customized sales forecasting models to help make real estate decisions. . . . more

Walmart sales, earnings top estimates as online sales surge 79%

CSA
Walmart Inc. reported another strong quarter as its e-commerce sales continued to soar amid the pandemic.  . . . more

Amazon shakes up pharmacy landscape with launch of online prescription service

CSA
CVS Health and Walgreens are already feeling shock waves from the opening of Amazon’s new online pharmacy. . . . more

Locations of 99 Restaurant & Pub in Braintree and West Concord to Close

Boston Restaurant Talk
A family-friendly chain of restaurants with local roots will be closing two locations in the Greater Boston area. . . . more

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Chick-fil-A goes modular with offsite restaurant rebuild

Restaurant Dive
Last month, Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant built with a modular construction process, with help from Conyers, Georgia-based modular builder Frey-Moss Structures. . . . more

Dillard's surprises with Q3 profit despite women's apparel slump

Retail Dive
Dillard's on Thursday reported that total third quarter retail sales (excluding its construction business) fell about 25% year over year to $994.6 million, with home and furniture significantly outperforming other categories and women's apparel sales "significantly below trend." . . . more

Taubman agrees to discount, clearing path to Simon merger

Retail Dive
In a reversal of its attempt to nix its deal to acquire smaller rival Taubman, Simon Property Group is set to take over some of the most productive mall properties in the U.S., widely seen as key to thriving in a new retail environment. . . . more

Tailored Brands looks to exit bankruptcy later this month

Retail Dive
Tailored Brands won court approval for its plan to reorganize in Chapter 11 bankruptcy after filing in August, the company said in a press release. . . . more

Francesca's to close 140 stores by end of January

CSA
Francesca's Holdings Corp. is considering its options, including bankruptcy. . . . more

Stop & Shop Among Supermarket Chains Planning To Offer Coronavirus Vaccines In Pharmacies

CBS Boston
Quincy-based Stop & Shop has signed on to be among the first pharmacies in the country to administer future coronavirus vaccines when one is authorized by the FDA.  . . . more

Retailers urging holiday shoppers to start early to limit crowd size

Boston 25 News
You may have noticed the holiday shopping season already underway. Retailers are urging people to shop earlier to help alleviate crowds during the last-minute rush. Inside Neatly Nested in South Boston, customers were getting a jump on the holiday rush. . . . more

Monday, November 16, 2020

Guitar Center to file for bankruptcy

Retail Dive
Guitar Center plans to file for Chapter 11 and be out by the end of the year, the retailer said in a press release.. . . more

Teens to do some shopping in store this holiday season, according to survey

CSA
Teens are not abandoning retail stores when it comes to holiday shopping. . . . more

Home Depot in $8 billion deal to acquire national distributor

CSA
In a homecoming of sorts, The Home Depot will acquire a unit it sold some 13 years ago. . . . more

Friday, November 13, 2020

Anchors, away: How department stores are ditching malls

Retail Dive
When department stores took their cavernous stores with their varied assortments, savvy buyers and attentive associates to the mall decades ago, it was a win-win. The retailers could more easily reach all the customers who were filling up the suburbs, and the malls could chase that footfall up and down their corridors and into their smaller inline specialty tenants. . . . more

CBRE predicts 20% reduction in total U.S. retail square footage by 2025

CSA
The year 2021 will see a strengthened recovery of all U.S. commercial real estate sectors as the broader economy bounces back from the pandemic-induced recession. . . . more

Walmart goes all in for pets, complete with insurance

CSA
Walmart is expanding its pet business to tap as the market for pet supplies and pet care continues to grow.. . . more

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Here's what the Taco Bell of the future will look like

CNN Business
Taco Bell's newest restaurant design emphasizes the drive-thru and limits human interaction, making it more suitable for the coronavirus era. . . . more

Online shopping surge could lead to holiday delivery delays

WCVB
Retailers and carriers are preparing for an online holiday shopping surge that could tax shipping networks and lead to delivery delays.. . . more

McDonald’s pilots faster ordering, payment solutions at drive-thru

CSA
Drive-thru is already a streamlined way of picking up fast-food orders, but McDonald’s wants to digitally increase the convenience factor.. . . more

Chipotle holds the dining room in new digital-only store concept

CSA
Chipotle is opening a restaurant that will fill pick-up and delivery orders only.. . . more

How the J.C. Penney acquisition is changing the game in retail real estate

CSA
Victor Sahn has specialized in bankruptcy law going on 40 years, and he says that what’s happening in retail Chapter 11 situations during the pandemic is something entirely new.. . . more

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Rite Aid leans on pharmacists in rebranding effort

Retail Dive
Rite Aid on Monday unveiled a rebranding that includes a new logo, holistic health focus and website revamp, along with a store concept in pilot mode. The logo replaces blue and red chevron color blocks with blue and green, including a graphic of a mortar and pestle with an herbal sprig. . . . more

Nordstrom ties up with Casper to sell products in stores, online

Retail Dive
Casper on Tuesday announced its mattresses and sleep accessories will be sold in some Nordstrom stores and on its website beginning this month. . . . more

What a vaccine could mean for retail

Retail Dive
On Monday morning, when VF Corp. announced that it will plunk down more than $2 billion to snag streetwear favorite Supreme for its portfolio, the apparel conglomerate probably thought it would count as retail's best news in a while. But it was quickly overshadowed by the report that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is putting the finishing touches on a vaccine that it says is 90% effective against COVID-19.. . . more

Red Lobster opens its first ‘ghost kitchen’

CSA
Red Lobster has joined one of the restaurant industry’s fastest-growing trends.. . . more

Justice sold at auction for $90 million

CSA
Justice has found a new home. . . . more

Sale of J.C. Penney gets court approval

CSA
The deal to save J.C. Penney has been approved by bankruptcy court.. . . more

Ulta Beauty to open hundreds of shops — in Target

CSA
Ulta Beauty is expanding its footprint in a partnership with Target Corp.. . . more

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Petco takes first step to go public

CSA
Petco Animal Supplies may go public — again. . . . more

Simon’s Balance Sheet Takes Big Hit in Q3 — But Mall Giant Signals Optimism About Stronger Shopper Traffic and Retailer Sales

Footwear News
Earnings and sales at Simon Property Group fell short of Wall Street’s expectations, sending the mall behemoth’s stock down in Monday after-hours trading.. . . more

Casey’s in $580 million, 94-store acquisition

CSA
Casey’s General Stores is expanding its presence in the Midwest.. . . more

Furniture Factory Outlet files for bankruptcy

Retail Dive
Regional home goods retailer Furniture Factory Outlet filed for bankruptcy Thursday citing tight cash and supply chain disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic.. . . more

Party City celebrates better-than-expected quarter

CSA
Party City swung to a profit in its third quarter and reported sales and earnings that topped Street estimates amid strength in its core categories. . . . more

Joann unwraps streamlined BOPIS, curbside in time for holidays

CSA
A specialty crafts and fabrics retailer has added mobile location capability to its omnichannel pickup service.. . . more

Rite Aid unveils new branding; testing ‘store of the future’ design

CSA
Rite Aid is piloting a new store design that puts the pharmacist up front in the shopping experience. . . . more

Friday, November 6, 2020

Fannie May marks 100th anniversary with remodeled stores

Plain Vanilla Shell
Fannie May is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with a new look, both on its packaging and in its retail stores.. . . more

Papa John's continued sales growth attracts lucrative franchisees

Restaurant Dive
Papa John's reported a revenue increase of 17% year-over-year to $472.9 million for Q3 and a net income of $15.7 million for the period, according to a company release Thursday, exceeding Wall Street expectations.. . . more

Dollar General announces single-day holiday sales event

Retail Dive
Dollar General will have a pre-holiday sales event on Nov. 13 with specials across its nearly 17,000 stores and online, the retailer recently announced. . . . more

How the pandemic pushed crafters toward Michaels

Retail Dive
For various nonessential retailers, including Michaels, the COVID-19 pandemic was particularly bleak in March.. . . more

New Jersey bans plastic and paper bags in one of nation’s most stringent laws

CSA
Supermarkets in New Jersey will no longer be able to give paper bags to customers starting in mid-2022.. . . more

Private equity company takes majority stake in Clarks

CSA
In a deal that ends family ownership after nearly 200 years, struggling footwear brand and retailer Clarks has sold a majority stake in the company to Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital.. . . more

Old Navy closes stores Thanksgiving, extends Black Friday

CSA
Old Navy is turning Black Friday into ‘Big Friday’ and giving store shoppers and employees the day off on Thanksgiving.. . . more

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Wingstop Opens Milestone 1,500th Restaurant

Restaurant News
Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING), the award-winning wing concept, celebrates the opening of its 1,500th restaurant, located at 8675 W. Rome Blvd. in Las Vegas. This major milestone follows the news of Wingstop’s 43 net new openings for Q3 2020 and adjusted guidance, increased from 120 to 130 net new openings to now 135 to 140 net new openings for 2020. . . . more

J.Jill Moves Forward With Reverse Stock Split — What This Means for the Struggling Chain

Footwear News
J.Jill Inc. is moving forward with a reverse stock split.. . . more

Furniture retailer EQ3 continues U.S. expansion

CSA
EQ3 is expanding its footprint in the U.S.. . . more

Talbots hears – and responds to – the voice of the customer

CSA
A women’s specialty apparel retailer is enhancing its customer experience based on social feedback.. . . more

Hook & Reel’s expansion extends close to Yankee Stadium

CSA
The Feil Organization’s renovation of Concourse Plaza, a 311,000-sq.-ft. center four blocks from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, continues four years after it began.. . . more

Ahold Delhaize ups U.S. store remodels, click-and-collect for 2021

CSA
A global supermarket conglomerate is accelerating the remodeling program for its U.S. Stop & Shop banner.. . . more

Pet Valu going out of business, closing all stores

CSA
Pet Valu plans to “wind down” its U.S. operations due to the severe impact from COVID-19.. . . more

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

7-Eleven parent could divest up to 300 locations

CSA
7-Eleven may be getting ready to sell off some locations as part of an acquisition. . . . more

First Look: Men’s Wearhouse opens ‘next-gen’ store concept

CSA
Men’s Wearhouse has unveiled a new store concept that incorporates digital elements and reflects the brand’s continued evolution of the customer experience. . . . more

Panera's second largest franchisee tests beer and wine

Restaurant Dive
Pan American Group, a subsidiary of Flynn Restaurant Group and Panera’s second largest franchisee, will test beer and wine sales at five of its Kansas City locations.. . . more

Bankrupt Stein Mart has a $4M bid for its IP

Retail Dive
Stein Mart has a $4 million bid for its intellectual property that would set the baseline for an auction, according to a court filing. . . . more

Target has opened 30 stores this year — here’s a rundown

CSA
Target Corp.’s unique style is on full display in the 30 new stores it has opened this year, with safety a constant across all the locations.. . . more

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Publix Q3 sales jump 18.3%; stock price increases

CSA
Publix Super Markets’ net and comparable sales surged in its third quarter, once again fueled by

coronavirus-triggered demand.. . . more

Chico’s shores up finances, strengthens liquidity

CSA
Chico's FAS said its amended and extended $300 million senior secured credit facility has closed. . . . more

PREIT files for Chapter 11 protection to enable restructuring

CSA
Big mall owner PREIT has filed for Chapter 11 protection to gain access to an additional $150 million to extend its debt maturity schedule and allow it to follow through with planned strategic moves.. . . more

Shake Shack plans to build up to 8 stores with drive-thru lanes

NRN
Though Shake Shack is not out of the woods, CEO Randy Garutti said the New York City-based fast-casual burger chain is ramping up menu innovation and unit growth with plans to open 35 to 40 new stores in 2021.. . . more

Monday, November 2, 2020

Grocery stores want to make it less of a nightmare to order online this winter

CNN Business
In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, finding an open slot for grocery delivery was like winning the lottery. . . . more

Pier 1 relaunches as online store

Retail Dive
After acquiring Pier 1's trademark name, intellectual property, data and e-commerce assets, new owner Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) is relaunching the retail brand as an online store, according to a Thursday press release. Pier 1 closed its brick-and-mortar stores earlier this year as part of its bankruptcy plan.. . . more

Taco Bell served 30M more cars year-over-year as drive-thru demand 'skyrocketed'

Restaurant Dive
Taco Bell's total system sales grew 5% in Q3 2020, driven by same-store sales growth and net new unit growth of 3%, respectively, according to Yum Brand's investor call Thursday. . . . more

Inspire Brands buys Dunkin' in $11.3B deal

Restaurant Dive
Inspire Brands acquired Dunkin' Brands Friday for $11.3 billion including the assumption of Dunkin's debt, in what is easily the largest deal between two restaurant companies of the year. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020. . . . more

J.C. Penney signs agreement with Brookfield, Simon

CSA
J.C. Penney has taken a big step towards its financial restructuring and emergence from bankruptcy.. . . more

Home Depot signs biggest retail lease Manhattan has seen in years

CSA

The Home Depot is going big in Manhattan.. . . more

Friendly’s To Be Sold After Filing For Bankruptcy Again

CBS Boston
Friendly’s is filing for bankruptcy again but this time it will be sold in an attempt to keep its restaurants open.. . . more