Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Vaccine releases boost retail REIT stocks

The release of two vaccines against COVID-19 turned out to be the best Christmas present for retail real estate investment trusts. . . more

Saladworks parent buys 2 fast casual chains, forms holding company

Restaurant Dive
The parent company of Saladworks has acquired Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Frutta Bowls, according to a press release. The three companies will form a new holding company called WoWorks, with brands focused on healthy meals. . . more

10 of the most impactful restaurant M&A deals of 2020

Restaurant Dive
While 2020 was expected to be a strong year for M&A, the pandemic brought deal-making to a halt for several months. As businesses get a better gauge of what to expect in 2021, there has been conviction about making transactions in recent months, Josh Benn, managing director and global head of restaurant, food and consumer corporate finance at Duff & Phelps, said. . . . more

New England grocer unifies customer experience at point-of-sale

Big Y is combining payment processing, loyalty and merchandising on a single platform. . . more

Mango in deal with Simon to jumpstart U.S. expansion

A Spanish fashion giant is looking to grow its U.S. presence starting in early 2021. . . . more

Sportsman’s Warehouse to be acquired by owner of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s

Great American Outdoors Group is adding another retail banner to its portfolio. . . more

Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz announces the sale of Legal to PPX Hospitality Brands
As 2020 comes to a close, a behemoth in Boston’s restaurant industry has changed hands. On Tuesday, Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, announced the sale of his company to Boston-based PPX Hospitality Brands, a holding company that includes the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group and Strega Italiano. . . more

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Most shoppers plan on making a return after the holidays

Retail Dive
The more retailers sell this holiday season, the more will likely boomerang back as returns in the new year. . . . more

Report: Apple temporarily closes one-quarter of global stores

In response to surging COVID-19 infection rates, Apple is reportedly temporarily shuttering all of its 53 stores in California, as well as more than 50 other locations in the U.S. and globally. . . . more

Rent-A-Center makes $1.6 billion acquisition

Rent-A-Center Inc. is purchasing a virtual lease-to-own solutions provider. . . . more

Monday, December 21, 2020

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Instacart partner for same-day delivery — but only in these states

Fox Business
Instacart has made it easier to order last-minute gifts. On Friday, the delivery platform announced it has partnered with Dick’s Sporting Goods to offer same-day delivery in select locations. . . . more

Luby's sells 13 Fuddruckers locations to franchisee

Restuarant Dive
Luby's, Inc., has agreed to franchise 13 of its 24 currently company-owned Fuddruckers stores to Black Titan Holdings, which is an affiliate of foodservice entrepreneur Nicholas M. Perkins, according to a press release. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. . . . more

Burger King teams up with Google to add online ordering

Restaurant Dive
Burger King will roll out its first Google integration on Monday, which will allow customers to search for the nearest location, order and pay, according to Nation's Restaurant News. . . more

Bankruptcy alum Rue21 plans to open 15 new stores

Retail Dive
Rue21 plans to open 15 new brick-and-mortar stores starting in January, a little more than three years after emerging from bankruptcy. . . more

Rebag debuts ‘micro’ store concept

Rebag is capitalizing on the resale boom with a new, flexible store format. . . . more

Unusual Start to Holidays Evident in New Data

Retail Leader
Retail sales in November were better than last year, but not as good as last month, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, that highlights an unusual seasonal sales cadence caused by COVID-19 and a pull forward of demand due to online promotions in October. . . . more

At Home CEO says retailer can increase its store count almost threefold

At Home CEO Lee Bird on Thursday told CNBC’s Jim Cramer that business has grown exponentially during the pandemic and that the company has expansion plans on the horizon. . . . more

Friday, December 18, 2020

With an end to pandemic struggles in sight, beauty looks toward a prettier future

Retail Dive
Unlike apparel, which will face a longer recovery, beauty could be back to 2019 levels by the first half of 2021, according to McKinsey.. . . more

Rite Aid Q3 strong as revenue jumps 12%

Rite Aid Corp. reported third-quarter revenue and profit that easily beat expectations. . . . more

Guitar Center’s restructuring plan gets court OK

Guitar Center Inc. is close to emerging from bankruptcy. . . . more

Aldi expands same-day SNAP delivery program with Instacart

Discount grocer Aldi and on-demand delivery platform Instacart are accepting federal benefit payments for online orders at nearly 1,000 more stores. . . more

Walmart to debut livestream shopping on TikTok in U.S.

Walmart is moving ahead with e-commerce on the TikTok short video platform in a big way. . . more

Rue21 continues growth plan, refinances with Bank of America

Plain Vanilla Shell
Warrendale, Pennsylvania-based retailer Rue21 has refinanced its existing term loan, increased its available liquidity and lowered its cost of capital. . . . more

Planet Fitness Southeast Franchise Group Hits Major Growth Milestone, Announces 100th Club Opening

Plain Vanilla Shell
Sunshine Fitness Growth Holdings, LLC (“Sunshine Fitness”), a leading owner and operator of Planet Fitness clubs in the Southeast United States backed by TSG Consumer Partners (“TSG”), today announced its 100th Planet Fitness club opening with new locations simultaneously opening in South Carolina and North Carolina. . . . more

Thursday, December 17, 2020

How to meet consumer expectations in a post-pandemic world

Restaurant Dive
Among other lessons, COVID-19 has reinforced the evergreen value of menu transparency and the importance of sourcing premium ingredients. Both consumers and operators are re-evaluating these ideals through the prism of their pandemic experience. . . more

Emerging from bankruptcy, California Pizza Kitchen hires new CFO

Restaurant Dive
Following its recent restructuring efforts stemming from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing this summer, California Pizza Kitchen on Tuesday named Judd Tirnauer its new CFO. . . . more

Rue 21 in deal to retire debt, extend credit agreement

Rue 21 has a new capital structure as its looks to accelerate its digital transformation and also open new stores. . . more

Super Saturday: Here’s what retailers should expect

Super Saturday, Dec. 19, is poised to set an all-time daily record. . . . more

Monthly retail sales from the US Commerce Department

Retail Dive
Every month, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, releases its first calculation of the previous month’s retail sales. At Retail Dive, we report these figures by grouping the key segments that define “retail” in a way that we hope is most meaningful to the industry. . . more

Bluedot: Five key trends, predictions for 2021

Remaining flexible through technology, mobile, personalization and curbside will be key for retailers in 2021. . . more

Walmart battles bots to protect gaming consoles

Selfish grinches are out to automatically buy up the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles, but Walmart is fighting back with advanced technology. . . more

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Goldfish Swim School Opens Newest Location in Boise, ID

Plain Vanilla Shell
Goldfish Swim School, the leading premier learn-to-swim concept, recently opened a new location in the state of Idaho. The Boise school, located at 1001 N Milwaukee St. provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children ages four months to 12 years. . . . more

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

By Chloe declares bankruptcy

Restaurant Dive
By Chloe, a plant-based fast-casual chain with 14 units, filed for voluntary financial restructuring and Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, according to a press release. . . . more

What Retailers and Shoppers Can Do to Minimize the Impact of Holiday Shipping Delays This Year

Every year, consumers and retailers alike expect to experience delays in shipping around the holiday period. This year, the high volume of holiday shipping will combine with the broader growth of e-commerce, creating an unprecedented number of packages in transit. For retailers, being proactive about fulfilment could make the difference in keeping customers satisfied. . . more

Emerging Chains See Opportunity Amid The Pandemic

Plain Vanilla Shell
Similarly, Guzzetta said some of BurgerFi’s new stores got pushed back to early 2021. By the end of this year, though, the chain plans to have 10 new locations, plus 10 new ghost kitchens.. . . more

Global Partners to Acquire Wheels C-Stores

Plain Vanilla Shell
Global Partners LP has signed an agreement to purchase the retail fuel and convenience-store assets of Consumers Petroleum of Connecticut Inc. The acquisition includes 27 company-operated gas stations with Wheels-branded c-stores in Connecticut. . . more

What's selling in 2020's holiday season

Retail Dive
The coronavirus pandemic has altered nearly every aspect of consumers' lives — canceling in-person events, halting travel and moving everyday activities, like work and school, into the home. This, in turn, affected not only how shoppers spent their money, but what they spent it on. . . more

New Malls for a New Reality

Shopping malls have been an important part of people’s lives for decades.  . . more

Best Buy testing remodeled stores designed primarily for fulfillment

Best Buy has redesigned four stores to facilitate delivery and pickup of online orders. . . . more

Monday, December 14, 2020

Fat Brands to merge with Fog Cutter Capital Group

Restaurant Dive
Fat Brands has entered into an agreement to combine with Fog Cutter Capital Group, the company’s controlling stockholder, according to a press release. . . more

Should you close, sell or declare bankruptcy? What restaurants need to know.

Restaurant Dive
The restaurant industry is set to end 2020 with more distressed businesses than it had during the Great Recession, according to an AlixPartners report. . . . more

'Trouble brewing' for malls, including Brookfield and Simon: S&P Global

Retail Dive
The bankruptcy filings last month by mall developers CBL Properties and Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust shocked very few observers, considering their struggles even before the pandemic curtailed indoor shopping. They were widely seen as among the most vulnerable mall landlords, without the financial wherewithal, or the property quality, of the likes of Simon Property Group and Brookfield. . . more

Shopify: The five leading retail trends for 2021 are…

E-commerce platform Shopify advises retailers to prepare for trends including increasing influence of younger consumers in the coming year. . . more

Bed Bath & Beyond in deal to sell Cost Plus World Market

Bed Bath & Beyond has found a buyer for its last remaining non-core banner. . . more

Friday, December 11, 2020

It’s a record! 11,000 closed stores and 40 retailer bankruptcies in 2020

It may be a record, but it’s not a surprise. . . . more

Grocers offer contactless photo printing kiosks

Grocery chains including Kroger, Wegmans, Bashas’, and Fry’s Food Stores are deploying self-service photo printing solutions. . . more

Starbucks plans to open about 22,000 stores in the next ten years

CNN Business
It may seem like there's already a Starbucks on every corner. But the company is still planning on adding tens of thousands more locations in the coming decade. . . . more

Massachusetts restricts table size, dining duration — not capacity

Restaurant Dive
Massachusetts announced new restrictions Tuesday to manage rising coronavirus cases in the state, including requiring restaurant customers to wear masks except when they’re eating or drinking. The state is also limiting dining times to 90 minutes and restaurant parties to six people. Food court seating and live music are also suspended. . . . more

Sycamore snaps up Ann Taylor, other remaining Ascena brands for $540M

Retail Dive
Over objections from the U.S. Trustee, a judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond on Tuesday approved Ascena's sale of the Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey brands to Sycamore Partners for $540 million. . . . more

Designer Brands mulls the closure of as many as 80 stores

Retail Dive
Designer Brands on Wednesday reported that third quarter net sales fell 30.1% year over year to $652.9 million. Online sales rose 3%, executives said during their earnings call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.. . . more

Private equity firm acquires direct-to-consumer jewelry retailer

Ross-Simons has a new owner. . . . more

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Company of the Year: Chipotle

Restaurant Dive
Diners walking into a Chipotle sometime between 2015 and 2017 in New York would have been welcomed by a sign telling them where they could pick up faxed orders. . . . more

Resilient Retailer of the Year: Costco

Reatil Dive
You can't talk about Costco for too long without inevitably discussing hot dogs. . . . more

Company of the Year: Target

Retail Dive
In August 2019, Target expanded its Drive Up service to every state in the U.S. Target launched the service, which allows customers to pick up via curbside delivery items ordered online, less than two years earlier. . . . more

$70.5 billion worth of online purchases will be returned this holiday season

In the first three quarters of 2020, third-party logistics companies leased 27% of warehouse space at properties sized 100,000 sq. ft. or more. They’ve been ramping up to handle the billions of returns sure to deluge retailers that will be processing more than 30% of their sales online this holiday season. . . . more

Seasonal retail hiring slows in November

Hiring for seasonal retail jobs in November declined 35% year-over-year. But seasonal jobs in transportation and warehousing surged. . . . more

Kroger breaks into top 10 U.S. e-commerce companies for first time

The Kroger Co.’s digital investments are paying off. . . . more

Foot Locker takes poison pill

Foot Locker Inc. has adopted a short-term shareholder rights plan after a private equity firm controlled by a Czech billionaire upped his stake.. . . more

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Restaurants reported a net loss of jobs for the first time since April

Restaurant Dive
Restaurants and bars lost over 17,000 jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report released Friday.  . . more

Small and mighty: How independent retailers are navigating the holidays

Indie players' challenges mimic those of larger retailers. But, small businesses are finding creative solutions for customers during an unpredictable season. . . . more

Big Lots delivers record-setting comps in Q3; holiday off to ‘strong start’

Big Lots reported third-quarter profit, net sales and same-store sales that beat expectations, helped by its ongoing reconfiguration of its food and consumable categories and expanded online assortment. . . . more

Francesca’s to close 97 more stores

Francesca’s Holdings Corp. is planning to close more stores on top of the 137 locations it closed prior to filing for bankruptcy. . . . more

CBL opens 1.4 million sq. ft. of new retail in emergence from Chapter 11

Through the pandemic and a Chapter 11 restructuring, one of the nation’s largest owners of regional malls reports that it put tenants in 1.4 million sq. ft. of newly leased space as it attempts to transform its portfolio into suburban town centers. . . more

Market Basket announces opening of new Massachusetts store

Market Basked announced Monday that its newest store is now open for business in Massachusetts. . . more

AMC Theaters Slams Warner Bros' HBO Max 2021 Movies Release Plan

AMC Theaters CEO, Adam Aron, believes Warner Bros. is sacrificing studio, production, and filmmaker profitability with its new HBO Max 2021 release plan. . . more

Monday, December 7, 2020

Dollar General Sets 2021 Expansion Plans

Plain Vanilla Shell
The New Year will again bring significant store expansion for Dollar General as the retailer continues to rollout its DG Fresh food offerings along with other merchandising initiatives. . . more

Best Buy expands holiday fulfillment options

Best Buy is extending the hours and reach of omnichannel programs such as contactless curbside pickup for holiday shoppers. . . . more

J.C. Penney exits Chapter 11

J.C. Penney has turned the page and opened a new chapter in its 118-year history. . . . more

Restaurants in free fall

The tide of restaurant closures and bankruptcies continues to rise amid the pandemic. . . . more

Pandemic closures hit Ulta's loyalty member growth in Q3

Retail Dive
Shortly after reporting a blockbuster partnership with Target, Ulta reported a somewhat muted Q3, beating FactSet expectations for adjusted earnings, but falling short on net sales. However, pandemic-related services like e-commerce and BOPIS both grew, with online comps increasing 90% and BOPIS totaling 16% of e-commerce sales, according to company executives. . . more

Petco files to go public

Retail Dive
Petco on Thursday filed an S-1 for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. . . more

Francesca's files Chapter 11 with plans to sell company

Francesca’s Holdings Corp. has filed for filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the latest apparel retailer whose business has been undone amid the pandemic.. . . more

Friday, December 4, 2020

Jamba debuts autonomous smoothie kiosk in Walmart

Restaurant Dive
Just a few weeks after unveiling a Blendid smoothie-making robot at a Walmart in Fremont California, the retailer and AI startup have debuted another contactless alternative to smoothie bars that this time is co-branded with Jamba. . . more

Cyber Monday draws $10.8B in sales: Adobe

Retail Dive
Consumers spent about $10.8 billion online by the end of Cyber Monday, a 15.1% increase in online sales from last year, according to a report from Adobe emailed to Retail Dive. Mobile accounted for 37% of Cyber Monday sales, according to the report.. . . more

Pandemic tees up dollar stores for favorable post-crisis future

Retail Dive
Like most retailers, dollar stores saw traffic plummet early in the pandemic, but in recent weeks major players Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Five Below have all staged a comeback. . . more

L Brands on track to separate Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret in 2021

Retail Dive
L Brands plans a spinoff of its Bath & Body Works business some time next year, CEO Andrew Meslow said during a Morgan Stanley Virtual Global Consumer & Retail Conference Wednesday. . . more

Thanksgiving weekend spending trends

Overall, 194 million U.S. adults shopped this past weekend from Thursday through Monday. . . . more

Michaels tops estimate as online surges; to pay holiday bonuses

The Michaels Cos. reported a better-than-expected third-quarter performance, driven by strong demand in its stores and online, where sales surged 128%. . . more

Express loss widens; cuts 10% of corporate staff

Express Inc. continues to struggle amid the pandemic. . . more

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Atlantic Retail and The Dartmouth Company Merge, to Operate Under Atlantic Retail Umbrella

Boston Real Estate Times
The partners of Atlantic Retail and The Dartmouth Company announced an agreement to join forces and operate under the Atlantic Retail umbrella with a focus on delivering real estate advisory services to tenants, landlords, developers, and investors throughout the East Coast and Southern California. . . more

Costco sales up 15.1% in November

Costco Wholesale Corp.'s sales continued to rise in November, but at a slightly lower pace than in the two previous months. . . . more

Yesway opens first store in its accelerated real estate and remodel push

Yesway is ramping up expansion. . . more

Walgreens ramps up VillageMD clinic rollout

Walgreens Boots Alliance is escalating its rollout of VillageMD health care clinics. . . more

Walmart+ becomes more like Prime with removal of shipping minimum

Members of Walmart’s paid membership program no longer have to spend $35 to get free shipping on non-grocery items. . . more

Men’s Wearhouse owner exits Chapter 11

Tailored Brands is ready for its next chapter. . . more

Pier 1 parent company buys SteinMart for $6 million; to relaunch online

The company that has been buying bankrupt brands has added another retailer to its growing portfolio. . . more

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

25,000 jobs at risk as Debenhams closure follows Topshop collapse

CNN Business
Debenhams, Britain's biggest department store chain, is permanently closing its UK operations.. . . more

Aldi Opens Third Store in Florida This Fall

Plain Vanilla Shell
Aldi revealed an all-out market blitz this fall, targeting Miami, Florida, as its next hub for aggressive expansion. Following the recent launch of stores in Kendall and Fort Lauderdale, Aldi is now opening a third Miami-based location in Princeton. . . . more

Stonewall Kitchen opens new store, cafe

Stonewall Kitchen has opened up shop in Boston. . . . more

Northeast supermarket operator personalizes customer promotions

The Golub Corp. is obtaining a single view of customers at its Price Chopper banner to tailor interactions across direct mail, weekly flyers, and digital/email programs.. . . more

Is America Yearning for American Dream?

The 2020 pandemic wore hard on American retail centers. They are now all trying to re-invent themselves as entertainment and dining centers. . . . more

J.C Penney to unveil new beauty concept

The news that Sephora plans to open hundreds of in-store shops at Kohl’s stores has brought a reaction from its longstanding retail partner, J.C. Penney. . . . more

Sephora to open hundreds of in-store shops at Kohl’s

Kohl’s Corp. is betting big on beauty — and Sephora. . . . more

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tropical Smoothie Café in store milestone

The pandemic has proved no match for Tropical Smoothie Café’s expansion. . . . more

Target shifts from Black Friday into Cyber Week

 Target is running its largest-ever Cyber Week digital sales event through Saturday, Dec. 5. . . . more

As JCPenney exits bankruptcy, its long-term outlook remains grim

CNN Business
JCPenney has survived to see its 119th holiday shopping season. How many more it has ahead of it is tough to say. . . . more

Best Buy tests limited SKUs on store floor to make space for fulfillment

Retail Dive
Best Buy is testing new store formats at four locations in Minneapolis as a proof of concept for stores as fulfillment hubs. The remodels limit SKU assortment on the floor to the most popular items and reduce shoppable area nearly by half, allowing space for pickup and ship from store, CEO Corie Barry said on the retailer's Q3 earnings call Tuesday. . . . more

Black Friday weekend breaks e-commerce records

Consumers may have avoided stores during Black Friday weekend, but they didn’t stop holiday shopping . . . more

In-store shopping on Black Friday down 52.1% year-over-year

Traffic plunged in stores on the official start of the holiday shopping season even as it set new records online. . . . more

Costco Eyes Florida and Tennessee for Expansion

Plain Vanilla Shell
While Costco has never been one to slow down, its expansion efforts have certainly sped up as of late. . . . more