Friday, April 9, 2021

GameStop to name Ryan Cohen as next chairman

Retail Dive
GameStop's board has formed a new strategic committee tasked with "accelerat[ing] the Company's transformation." Already the committee has hired a new chief technology officer and executives to lead customer care and e-commerce fulfillment. . . . more

Tailored Brands left bankruptcy and quickly unravelled. What's next?

Retail Dive
George Zimmer opened the first Men's Wearhouse with $7,000 of his own money and $30,000 borrowed from his father, a raincoat manufacturer. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods updating Golf Galaxy stores; opens 34 in-store soccer shops

Dick’s Sporting Goods is doubling down on two popular sports: golf and soccer. It’s also expanding its warehouse store format. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods unveils new store concept — complete with outdoor track

Dick’s Sporting Goods has gone experiential. . . . more

Costco sales rise 17.6% in March

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported stronger-than-expected sales for March. . . . more

Mall vacancy rate increases by a record margin

Mall vacancy rate in the United States rose from 10.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 11.4% in the first quarter of 2021, according to Moody’s Analytics. . . . more

Regal Cinemas to re-open 500 locations this spring

After six months of closed theaters and an operating loss $2 billion, Regal Cinemas will be re-opening some 500 theaters beginning this month. Attendance will be capped at between 25% and 50% of capacity, depending upon location. . . . more

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Best Buy pilots $200 membership

Retail Dive
Best Buy on Tuesday announced that it is piloting a paid membership program called Best Buy Beta, according to a company announcement. . . . more

Restaurants could see up to 30% check boost from latest stimulus, Rabobank predicts

Restaurant Dive
The $1,400 stimulus checks rolling out to consumer's bank accounts as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan are expected to lift restaurant sales by as much as 20% to 30% during the next several weeks, according to a report from Rabobank using Earnest Research. . . . more

Good news for stores: Consumer sentiment about COVID-19 recovery improving

The number of consumers who are ready to pursue normal activity is on the rise. . . . more

Discount Tire hits the road with mobile tire inspections

The world’s largest independent retailer of tires and wheels is deploying a proprietary tire tread depth-reading mobile solution. . . . more

Tropical Smoothie Café expansion heats up

Tropical Smoothie Café is on track for another strong year. . . . more

NY mall faces financial woes from theme-park investments, but vaccine rollout gives hope

Fox Business
In some of the country’s largest shopping malls, the strategy to add theme-park-like attractions to make up for declining foot traffic looks less like a lifeline and more like a burden. . . . more

More retail pain ahead: UBS predicts 80,000 stores will close in the U.S. by 2026

CNBC Business
Although the pace of store closures has slowed from its 2019 peak, don’t expect the reprieve to last long, according to a new UBS report that suggests America still has far too much retail space per capita. . . . more

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Commercial Real Estate at a Crossroads

IMF Blog
Empty office buildings. Reduced store hours. Unbelievably low hotel room rates. All are signs of the times. The containment measures put in place last year in response to the pandemic shuttered businesses and offices, and dealt a severe blow to the demand for commercial real estate—especially, in the retail, hotel, and office segments. . . . more

Mall vacancies jump at fastest pace on record, hitting new high, as retailers cull store counts

CNBC Business
If you noticed more darkened windows and empty stores at the mall recently, you’re not alone. . . . more

Walmart to expand mobile wellness fleet to help with vaccinations

Walmart is ramping up its efforts to vaccinate folks in vulnerable communities. . . . more

Restaurant chain winners in 2020 included….

Some restaurant chains fared better than others amid the pandemic — a lot better. . . . more

Kohl’s opens sixth e-commerce fulfillment center

Kohl’s is supporting its rapidly-growing digital sales with a new dedicated fulfillment center. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods launching concept store as competition heats up with Nike and other big brands

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. DKS, +1.82% said Monday that it is launching a new concept store, Dick’s House of Sport, in Victor, NY on April 9. . . . more

Amazon is snapping up disused shopping malls and turning them into fulfillment centers

NBC News
Malls that buckled due to e-commerce or suffered during the pandemic are being given new life by the very entity that precipitated their decline — Amazon. . . . more

Monday, April 5, 2021

Walmart, H&M among retailers in US most exposed to Suez Canal disruptions

Retail Dive
Europe is the region expected to experience the largest impact from the days-long blockage of the Suez Canal with the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey and Austria expected to take on the most repercussions, according to an analysis emailed by Dun & Bradstreet. . . . more

For Supermarkets and Big Box, a Change of Scene in Design

Better designs for large-format stores are essential for success during the pandemic recovery phase in 2021 and long after. That’s one reason new retail setups and renovations are such a strong focus now. . . . more

Trader Joe’s is first grocer to use special app to help shoppers with austism

Trader Joe's is offering a free app designed to make the world a more accessible place for people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. . . . more

Consumer confidence jumps to highest level in a year

Consumer confidence surged in March as Americans grew more optimistic about the economy and labor market. . . . more

Popular Discount Retail Store Coming To Western New York With Three Locations

Plain Vanilla Shell
According to WGRZ (first reported by Buffalo Business First), there's a discount retail chain called Gabe's that will be bringing not one, but three new locations to Western New York. . . . more

Friday, April 2, 2021

Joann swings to Q4 profit as sales rise 21%

Joann swung to a profit in its fourth quarter and full-year as consumers spent more time at home and invested in crafting projects amid the pandemic. . . . more

Walgreens to launch digital bank accounts this year

Retail Dive
Walgreens plans to launch bank accounts that will be available to customers online and at 9,000 of its retail stores in the second half of 2021, the company announced Tuesday. . . . more

Malls tout proposed changes to REIT rules as good for retailers

Retail Dive
More retailers could end up in the coffers of their mall landlords if a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last month gains any traction. . . . more

Hy-Vee goes chainwide with COVID-19 vaccinations

Supermarket News
Midwestern grocer expands immunization capabilities with allocation of more doses. . . . more

Instacart continues to expand beyond grocery in partnership with Michaels

Supermarket News
Crafts chain launches pilot of same-day delivery service, adding to Instacart’s roster of non-grocery retailers . . . more

How Flynn Restaurant Group renovates underperforming Arby's units with little down time

Restaurant Dive
Whenever Ron Bellamy, Flynn Restaurant Group's chief improvement officer, drives by his local Arby's in Cleveland, he is reminded of a glaring issue with the QSR's system. . . . more

Boston restaurant owner says COVID created workforce dilemma

Fox Business
Chris Coombs, co-owner of Boston Urban Hospitality, said Monday, that he's facing a staff shortage amid a "surge in business" one year after coronavirus lockdowns. . . . more

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Report: 10% of all restaurants have closed during pandemic

Over 10% of U.S. restaurants have closed permanently since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, according to Datassential research. This equates to 79,438 shuttered restaurants out of the 778,807 in operation since the onset of COVID-19. The data does not include restaurants that have opened during the pandemic.
. . . more

Months out of bankruptcy, Neiman Marcus refinances $1.1B in debt

Retail Dive
Neiman Marcus refinanced $1.1 billion in debt after emerging from Chapter 11 last fall, buying the company time and adding funds for a turnaround. . . . more

Travel retailer’s newest store model is an interactive vending machine

Hudson is offering 24/7, contactless shopping for hurried airport shoppers. . . . more

Staples exploring options to acquire certain assets of Office Depot parent company

Staples is once again looking to acquire a rival. . . . more

Study: In-store shopping rises amid vaccinations

Early shopping trends among consumers who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are promising. . . . more

Topgolf founders launching mini-golf, entertainment concept in the U.S.

An entertainment concept that combines tech-infused mini-golf with food and drink is set to open its first U.S. location. . . . more

American Freight Introduces Franchise Model Backed by 25+ Years of Growth and Profitability

Plain Vanilla Shell
American Freight is an established brand in the furniture, mattress and appliance industry backed by more than 25 years of proven success. The company is well established with a nationwide footprint of more than 350 stores and poised for even more exponential growth in 2021 through its new franchise model.  . . . more

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

As E-Commerce Sales Surge Triple Digits, Shoe Carnival Seeks to ‘Modernize’ Stores — What That Means

Footwear News
Shoe Carnival Inc. is zeroing in on the growing importance of omnichannel by embarking on ambitious plans to revamp its stores. . . . more

Bed Bath & Bath taps Walmart, Wayfair execs to drive digital sales

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has made two key hires as it looks to drive growth of its $3 billion digital business. . . . more

Retail groups seek to protect merchants in ongoing swipe fee litigation

The nation’s two largest retail trade are objecting to the scope of proposed class-action swipe fee litigation. . . . more

Saladworks to open 90 sites across U.S., Canada — mostly in Walmart stores

Saladworks is doubling down on the concept of ghost kitchens. . . . more

Report: American Dream fallout as lenders to take equity stake in Mall of America

Bankers are reportedly set to take a minority stake in the two largest malls in North America after their owner defaulted on its massive, 3.3 million-sq.-ft. retail and entertainment development in New Jersey. . . . more

Bridgestone to open nearly 60 stores in 2021

Bridgestone Retail Operations is continuing to expand its U.S. footprint. . . . more

Dunkin’ hits 'Next Gen' store milestone; upcoming locations in the works

Dunkin’ continues to roll out its updated “Next Gen” store format. . . . more

Friday, March 26, 2021

Should online purchases picked up in stores count in percent-of-sales leases?

David Simon, chief executive of the largest mall-owner in the United States, wants tenants with percentage-of-sales leases to count merchandise purchased online but picked up in their stores to count those receipts in their monthly tallies. . . . more

Foot Locker names new CFO

Foot Locker has ended its search for a new finance head. . . . more

J.C. Penny closing 18 stores in May…here are the locations

J.C. Penney is almost finished with its store closures. . . . more

Bed Bath & Beyond overhauls inventory management as part of tech plan

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is focusing on inventory management in the next phase of its $250 million program to drive modernization and innovation in its technology platforms. . . . more

Gap Inc. in deal to sell Janie and Jack

Gap Inc. is selling a children’s wear brand it acquired about two years ago to an investment platform. . . . more

110-Plus Unit Swim School Accelerates Franchise Expansion with Multi-Unit Partner Adding Proven-Business to Diversified Portfolio

Plain Vanilla Shell
Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC, the premier learn-to-swim franchise concept, has announced a signed area development agreement that will bring 19 new schools to Florida, Texas and Virginia. This new agreement contributes to the brand’s overall explosive nationwide growth, having closed out 2020 with 19 signed agreements, 14 new school openings, with five more schools projected to open by the end of Q1 2021. Multi-unit signings have played a strategic role in the brand’s recent expansion, coming off the heels of three other multi-unit development announcements in Arizona, New York and Texas. . . . more

Little Caesars Wants to Increase Development in New York Metro Area

Little Caesars, the global, family-owned pizza chain with franchise and company-owned stores in each of the 50 U.S. states and across 27 countries and territories, is looking to grow its New York metro presence with a goal set to sign on at least a dozen new franchise units in the market in 2021. . . . more

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Shake Shack rolls out in-app delivery nationwide

Restaurant Dive
A Shake Shack spokesperson provided additional details about the app, noting that it would provide for more personalization by remembering previous orders and making reordering easier for customers.  . . . more

Williams-Sonoma to expand manufacturing, distribution capacity by up to 30%

Retail Dive
Williams-Sonoma plans to increase its manufacturing and distribution capacity by 20% to 30% over the next year, President, Director and CEO Laura Alber said on the company's earnings call last week. . . . more

Destination XL gets $17.5M lifeline

Retail Dive
Big and tall men's apparel retailer Destination XL Group has a new $17.5 million term loan facility with private lender Pathlight Capital as the agent. . . . more

Rhone opens New York flagship, expanding to Boston

Rhone is expanding its brick-and-mortar footprint. . . . more

First Look: Newest 7-Eleven ‘evolution’ store features drive-up restaurant

Customers at a new 7-Eleven can get Slurpees and tacos without having to leave their cars. . . . more

Taco Bell Fuels Pipeline with Multiple 'Restaurant of the Future' Designs

Taco Bell is once again reimagining what the restaurant of the future may look like. . . . more

Wayback Burgers Proves It Can Win in Any Environment

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Wayback Burgers, and the company is as strong as it’s ever been. . . . more

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Alimentation Couche-Tard puts 306 stores in North America up for sale

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is downsizing its portfolio in the United States, putting hundreds of Circle K stores on the selling block. . . . more

Planned Store Openings Are Outpacing Closures This Year — Here Are the Retailers Debuting New Locations

Footwear News
Following a year of record store closures amid the coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are now hatching big plans to expand their brick-and-mortar footprints in the United States. . . . more

Publix passes 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations

Supermarket News
Publix Super Markets has administered its 1 millionth dose of COVID‑19 vaccine in Florida. . . . more

Amazon's grocery chain is growing. It isn't Whole Foods

CNN Business
Four years after Amazon bought Whole Foods, the e-commerce giant is making another major push to sell shoppers groceries. But this time, Whole Foods isn't the focus of the strategy. . . . more

Chipotle will open first Canadian restaurant since 2018 as it accelerates international expansion

CNBC Business
Chipotle Mexican Grill said Tuesday that it’s planning to accelerate its Canadian expansion over the next 12 months. . . . more

Rediscovering restaurants: putting yours on the map as consumers venture out

Restaurant Dive
As consumers begin to emerge from a long winter (and year) of hibernation, they are eager to venture out, having tired of their own four walls and cooking for themselves. Restaurants have a prime opportunity to welcome them back – but the challenge will be staying top of mind as customers assess their options. . . . more

American Eagle in store expansion of Aerie and new activewear brand

American Eagle Outfitters is expanding the footprint of its intimates and loungewear brand, Aerie, and the brand’s new spin-off concept. . . . more

Monday, March 22, 2021

Shoe Carnival names new CEO

Retail Dive
Shoe Carnival on Thursday announced that its board unanimously elected Mark Worden as the retailer's new CEO, effective Sept. 30, according to a company press release. Worden has been serving as the company's president and chief customer officer. . . . more

Survey: The most popular social media platform for purchases is…

Almost half of all social media users have made a purchase via social media, and show clear preference for one provider. . . . more

L.L. Bean had record year amid outdoors boom

L.L. Bean reported its largest net revenue increase in the past nine years — and busiest holiday season in 20 years — as consumers sought out gear for outdoor adventures during the pandemic. . . . more

Pandemic impacting Easter spending

Some things never change — even amid a pandemic. . . . more

Friday, March 19, 2021

Cicis emerges from bankruptcy, finalizes sale

Restaurant Dive
Cicis has emerged from Chapter 11 protection, completing the process in less than two months, according to a press release. Its reorganization coincides with its agreement to be acquired by D&G Investors, a newly formed affiliate of SSCP Management and Gala Capital Partners. This new ownership group owns and operates over 200 restaurant locations across its portfolios. The sale to D&G Investors includes Cicis Enterprises, JMC Restaurant Distribution and all of its assets and subsidiaries. . . . more

50% of restaurants plan to incentivize employees to get vaccinated, survey says

Restaurant Dive
Half of restaurant operators plan to encourage and provide incentives for their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a survey from BlackBox Intelligence. Thirty-nine percent plan to encourage vaccinations, but not provide incentives. Just 5% will not require or encourage vaccination among employees, while 6% have not finalized their plans yet. . . . more

Williams-Sonoma finishes year strong fueled by soaring digital sales

Williams-Sonoma reported better-than-expected sales and earnings as consumers continued to invest in their homes amid the pandemic and provided an upbeat outlook for the current year. . . . more

Fabletics in new retail expansion

Fabletics is ramping up its store growth in 2021. . . . more

Dollar General to open 1,050 stores this year; expand two new formats

Dollar General reported strong sales in its fourth quarter and revealed aggressive expansion plans that include opening larger stores and expanding its more upscale Popshelf concept. . . . more

Five Below opening 170 to 180 stores; expanding new, higher-priced in-store concept

Five Below finished an ‘unprecedented’ year with earnings, net sales and comparable sales that topped analysts’ expectations. . . . more

At Home Opens Three New Stores in March

Plain Vanilla Shell
At Home Group Inc. (NYSE: HOME), the home décor superstore, announced today that it has opened three new home décor stores in March, bringing the retailer’s store count to 225. . . . more

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Stop & Shop now offering COVID-19 vaccines in Massachusetts

Stop & Shop is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents in Massachusetts. . . . more

Designer Brands Q4 sales fall; cites ‘room to grow’

The parent company of DSW ended the year on a tough note as the pandemic continued to impact its store traffic and sales of dress shoes. . . . more

Scotch & Soda accelerating store expansion

Scotch & Soda is growing its portfolio around the globe. . . . more

First Look: Primark makes Chicago debut

Primark has opened its first store in the Midwest, on N. State Street in Chicago. . . . more

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Retail sales fall in February amid winter storms; quick rebound expected

U.S. consumers cut back on spending in February as harsh winter weather across the country took a bite out of sales. But a rebound is likely this spring due to increased vaccinations and the new round of stimulus checks. . . . more

Nordstrom debuts platform for shoppable shows as more retailers experiment with livestreaming

The department store chain Nordstrom said Wednesday it will debut its own Livestream Shopping channel, as part of its broader ambitions to delve into e-commerce livestreaming, which is already a huge phenomenon in Asia. . . . more

Phenix Salon Suites Opens 300th Salon Location

Plain Vanilla Shell
Phenix Salon Suites enters 2021 with sweeping achievements and continued expansion, embodying its reputation as the leading salon suite rental franchise now with 300 locations nationwide. . . . more

ShopRite passes 100,000 mark in COVID-19 vaccinations

Supermarket News
ShopRite has reached a milestone in its coronavirus vaccine program, topping 100,000 vaccinations administered. . . . more

Burger King hires Domino's exec as COO

Restaurant Dive
Tom Curtis, who most recently served as executive vice president, U.S. operations and support at Domino's, will join Burger King Americas as its chief operating officer in mid-May, according to a press release. . . . more

Nostalgia Sells. Give It a Try

CStore Decisions
Between promotions for deals and discounts, Frank Beard suggests that retailers try a new strategy: merchandise that appeals to nostalgia. . . . more

Ahold Delhaize helps launch CPG promotional tool

Ahold Delhaize USA isn’t just the co-developer of the new Quotient promotion amplification solution, it’s also a client. . . . more

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

BJ's sees surging curbside pickup business

Retail Dive
BJ's Wholesale Club has seen interest in its curbside pickup surge since launching the service chainwide in 2020, with more than half of online orders delivered through that channel in the fourth quarter, Robert Eddy, the club retailer's chief financial and administrative officer, said Wednesday during an investor conference hosted by UBS. . . . more

Loft to drop plus sizes

Retail Dive
Loft on Monday faced an onslaught of criticism on social media after the apparel retailer revealed in comments that it will phase out plus sizes. Customers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter lambasted the brand for limiting sizes, with many noting that it leaves many U.S. women unable to shop there. . . . more

Who's the 'department store' now?

Retail Dive
There's a rumor in Chicago that Target is thinking of taking over space being vacated by Macy's on the Magnificent Mile shopping district, at the Water Tower Place shopping center, according to a recent report in the Chicago Tribune. . . . more

Starbucks launches technology to make stores more accessible to visually impaired

Starbucks Corp. is partnering with a technology company to make it easier for customers with vision problems to shop its stores. . . . more

Inside The Call: Tilly’s Scores Strongest Fourth Quarter Since 2012

SGB Media
Tilly’s Inc. logged the strongest fourth-quarter EPS performance since its 2012 fourth quarter. The gains were helped by strong performances in women’s and footwear supported by introducing several new brands. The chain, however, warned that product arrival delays could curtail sales growth in the first half. . . . more

Boston-area staple Kelly's Roast Beef aims to expand into NH, other states

Union Leader
Kelly’s Roast Beef — an iconic Boston-area chain for more than 70 years — is branching out to the Granite State through its new franchising business. . . . more

Toys R Us Is Coming Back, Again: New Owner Plans to Open Stores in North America

Toys R Us is looking to mount another comeback. The retail chain is planning to open stores in North America again under the new ownership of WHP Global, a New York-based brand management company. . . . more

Friday, March 12, 2021

Costco membership fees poised to increase

Fox Business
Costco shoppers may soon pay more for access to coveted items like the warehouse retailer's in-house rotisserie chicken, Kirkland bacon and big cheese wheels. . . . more

CVS expands Covid-19 vaccine to 12 more states

CNN Business
CVS has added 12 new states to its Covid-19 vaccine rollout as more supply becomes available. . . . more

Restaurants win $28.6B relief fund in Biden's stimulus. Here's how it works.

Restaurant Dive
After a year of devastating closure rates, job loss and economic upheaval that will scar the hospitality industry for years to come, restaurants have finally won the targeted federal relief they have sought since the pandemic's outset. . . . more

Lord & Taylor to make a comeback — online

Lord & Taylor is making a return to the retail scene under new owners. . . . more

The 10 most innovative companies in retail are…

From Depop, a GenZ-fave social shopping platform for secondhand clothing to athletic goods global powerhouse Nike, Fast Company’s annual ranking of “The Top 10 Most Innovative Retail Companies of 2021” shows how broad the retail landscape had become — and the changing nature of retail innovation. . . . more

7 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed Food Retailing

Progressive Grocer
In hindsight, salad bars and touchscreens were always kind of icky. . . . more

H Mart to Make a Big Splash in Florida

Progressive Grocer
The dreams of every foodie in Florida are about to come true at a former SuperTarget space in Orlando. . . . more

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Red Robin diversifies with 3 delivery-only brands

Restaurant Dive
Red Robin recently started a national rollout of three new delivery-only brands, Chicken Sammy's, The Wing Dept. and Fresh Set, Paul Murphy, Red Robin president and CEO, said in an email to Restaurant Dive. . . . more

What is the new retail playbook in a post-pandemic world?

Retail Dive
For retailers, COVID-19 may not have ultimately changed the industry so much as hurdled it several years into the future. . . . more

Target partnering with CVS to administer vaccines in discounter’s stores

Eligible Target shoppers and employees will soon be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations in the discounter’s stores. . . . more

Aldi’s aggressive new sustainability goals include continued shift to renewable energy

Aldi is embarking on a number of initiatives designed to lower emissions, reduce waste and increase recycling in an effort to substantially reduce its environmental impact by 2030. . . . more

Walgreens automates COVID-19 vaccine scheduling

Walgreens is extending access to COVID-19 vaccine information and scheduling with an artificial intelligence (AI)-based bot. . . . more

Dollar General may partner with CDC to distribute COVID vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in talks with Dollar General as the organization looks to accelerate the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in rural areas. . . . more

Express testing non-mall store concept; targets $1 billion in online sales by 2024

Express reported a loss in the fourth quarter that was smaller than expected and sales that missed expectations as the pandemic continued to bite into its results. . . . more

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

RCS deal will keep all Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lane Bryant stores open in Simon malls

After Sycamore Partners’ Premium Apparel unit bought Ascena Retail Group for $540 million in a Chapter 11 auction last December, it approached Simon Properties and requested rent relief for some 235 Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lane Bryant stores in the company’s malls. The relief offered didn’t suit Premium’s needs, and it announced it would have to shutter 185 of the brands’ locations in Simon properties. . . . more

How the Consumer Exodus From Cities Is Driving Big Business at Dick’s Sporting Goods

Footwear News
While it’s still unclear whether the 2020 exodus from big cities like New York and San Francisco is a short-term blip or a long-term shift, one thing is clear: Retailers with a large presence in the suburbs are benefiting. . . . more

Grocery stores' pandemic boom is over

CNN Business
Last year, people were stockpiling food and essentials at stores and ordering a lot more groceries online. That was great news for America's biggest grocery chains. . . . more

Domino's, Papa John's sales soar on pandemic delivery demand, but complications loom

Restaurant Dive
The competitive advantages pizza chains like Domino's and Papa John's had in 2020 are coming to an end. The pandemic propelled many restaurants to pivot to online ordering and delivery, allowing them to start to catch up to the two pizza giants. . . . more

Children’s Place Q4 tops Street; to close 122 stores in 2021

Children’s Place reported fourth-quarter profit and sales that topped estimates as it continues to downsize its store footprint. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods to open experiential prototype; Q4 sales rise 19.8%

Dick’s Sporting Goods ended its fiscal year on a strong note, maintaining momentum as consumers continue to focus on outdoor activities and home workouts amid the pandemic. It But it struck a cautionary note regarding the current year. . . . more

Code Ninjas Celebrates 300 Open Locations

Plain Vanilla Shell
Code Ninjas celebrated having 300 locations simultaneously operating for the first time in company history, the week of February 22, 2021. Code Ninjas reached this notable milestone in less than five years. . . . more

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Franchise industry specific platform Woven to aid rapid growth for local fitness leader

Plain Vanilla Shell
Crunch Fitness Franchise announced today its partnership with Woven, a workplace management platform specializing in the franchise gym and fitness space. This partnership comes at a critical time as Crunch continues its aggressive growth of 50 gyms throughout Texas. . . . more

Burger Lovers, Start Your Engines! MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes Will Launch Its First Drive-Thru Location in 2021

Restaurant News
The 86-unit “better-burger” franchise MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is all revved up and ready to announce that it’s launching its first drive-thru location by late-2021, a year earlier than it originally anticipated. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods shares fall as retailer predicts slowing sales in year ahead

Dick’s Sporting Goods on Tuesday topped Wall Street’s fourth-quarter estimates, as shoppers continued to buy equipment and apparel for outdoor activities and home workouts during the pandemic. . . . more

GameStop Forms Committee to Lead E-Commerce Shift, Including Former Chewy CEO

GameStop appears to be gearing up for a major strategy shift, seemingly away from its existing brick-and-mortar store model and into embracing e-commerce. . . . more

Old Navy, Athleta push Gap into the black

In a report that highlighted the stark differences among its brands, Gap Inc. on Thursday said fourth quarter net sales fell 5% to $4.4 billion. Online sales rose 49% year over year and as a percentage of net sales rose more than 17 points to 46%, while store sales fell 28% due to both pandemic-related and permanent closures. . . . more

Monday, March 8, 2021

Amazon opens its first brick-and-mortar store outside the U.S.

Amazon has brought its cashier-less store format across the pond. . . . more

Sprouts plots more store expansion, including new smaller format

Sprouts Farmers Market has its eye on Florida — and smaller stores. . . . more

Why Apple, Sephora and Nordstrom are jumping on this trend to pull in shoppers

CNN Business
As the pandemic drags on, big chains like Target and Nordstrom are looking for ways to keep consumers coming back to their stores. . . . more

Simply Mac continues store expansion

A retailer whose locations must be approved in advance by Apple is growing coast to coast. . . . more

Ross Stores to open 60 stores in 2021; ‘very optimistic’ about longer-term growth

Ross Stores remains committed to growing the national footprint of its two store banners in fiscal 2021, but at a more modest pace compared to recent years when it routinely opened some 100 stores annually. . . . more

Friday, March 5, 2021

Big Lots Q4 mixed; accelerating store openings

Big Lots reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ expectations and provided an upbeat outlook for the first quarter. . . . more

Gap swings to Q4 profit but sales fall; bullish on 2021

Gap Inc. reported disappointing fourth-quarter sales amid global store closures and ongoing declines at its namesake and Banana Republic brands. . . . more

Bojangles' largest franchisee plots 45-unit expansion

Restaurant Dive
Bojangles Opco and franchisee Jeff Rigsby of BOJ of WNC have agreed to a development deal to open 45 new locations over the next seven years, according to a press release. Bojangles currently has over 760 restaurants in the Southeast. . . . more

BJ’s more than doubles Q4 profit, launches online EBT program

BJ’s Wholesale Club had a generally strong fourth quarter and is accepting federal benefit payments for online orders in select locations. . . . more

The Story at Wendy’s is Still About Breakfast

Wendy’s closed 2020 with its two highest global same-store sales quarters in the last 15 years. And it’s off to a stellar start in 2021, with domestic comps up 6 percent through February 21 on a one-year basis, and nearly 10 percent from a two-year view. . . . more

Disney plans to close at least 60 Disney stores in digital shift

Mickey Mouse and friends are heading out of the mall. . . . more

Burlington Stores to open 100 stores in 2021; cites ‘significant market share opportunity’

Burlington Stores Inc. reported fourth-quarter sales and profit that beat Street estimates and said it was doubling its store count potential. . . . more

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Sephora keeps top spot for personal experience

A familiar name is ranked number one in the fourth annual Retail Personalization Index. . . . more

Dollar Tree to open 600 stores in 2021; expanding new ‘combination store’ concept

Dollar Tree reported Q4 sales that missed Street estimates and said it is ramping up its store growth and remodeling, with a push for a new format that combines both its banners. . . . more

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Michaels to be acquired for $3.3 billion

The Michaels Companies is being acquired in a deal that values the arts-and-crafts retailer at $5 billion.  . . . more

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Target Keeps Pandemic Momentum Going

Progressive Grocer
It's clear that Target's "multi-channel shopper strategy" is working after the retailer reported a blockbuster holiday quarter of impressive sales and traffic growth. . . . more

Ahold Delhaize USA completes step one in shift to self-distribution

Supermarket News
As part of a major supply-chain expansion, Ahold Delhaize USA has launched the first of six distribution centers with integrated self-distribution, for both stores and e-commerce operations. . . . more

Indianapolis’s first mall is about to enter its third phase with residential units

When Glendale Shopping Center opened in 1958 with a concourse connecting the William H. Block and L.S. Ayres department stores, it was the city’s first mall. It was designed by Victor Gruen, the architect who had designed America’s first mall, Southdale Center, in Edina, Minn. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods opening four stores in March

Dick’s Sporting Goods continues to expand its national footprint. . . . more

Post-pandemic values of malls fall by 60%

America’s premier owner and operator of malls, Simon Property Group, marked 13 of its properties as “non-core” in its last earnings report. Just weeks before, it gave its 1.2 million-sq.-ft. Town Center at Cobb back to the bank when no one bid on it at auction. . . . more

Nordstrom opening in-store shops dedicated to at-home fitness product Tonal

Nordstrom is jumping into the at-home fitness trend. . . . more

Walmart eliminates order minimum from Express Delivery

Walmart is continuing its efforts to draw shoppers away from the Amazon Prime Now same-day delivery service. . . . more

Friday, February 26, 2021

As restaurants recover, their success formula will change

Restaurant Dive
There's a light at the end of the tunnel for the restaurant industry, analysts with global advisory firm Duff & Phelps say in a report. . . . more

Ruby Tuesday emerges from bankruptcy

Restaurant Dive
Ruby Tuesday announced Wednesday that it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy allowed the casual chain to "shed liabilities, including leases from closed locations that were significantly impacted by COVID-19, and to strengthen its core business of 209 corporate-owned and operated locations," according to a company release. . . . more

Hooters' fast casual chain Hoots Wings signs first franchise deal

Restaurant Dive
Hoots Wings, Hooters' fast casual concept, struck a 60-unit franchise deal with Dallas-based AE Restaurant Group, according to a press release. This is the chain's first franchise agreement since parent company HOA Brands announced in December it would expand Hoots Wings through franchising. . . . more

Victoria's Secret to close as many as 50 more stores this year

Retail Dive
L Brands on Wednesday reported that fourth quarter net sales rose 2.4% to $4.82 billion as comps rose 10% (up 22% at Bath & Body Works and down 3% at Victoria's Secret). E-commerce at Bath & Body Works rose 74% and at Victoria's Secret rose 33%, according to a company press release. . . . more

Best Buy earnings top Street but sales growth slows; cites ‘uncertainty’ as spending shifts

Best Buy Co.’s fourth-quarter earnings topped expectations but its revenue fell short as sales growth started to slow from earlier in the pandemic. . . . more

Amazon opens 10th high-tech Amazon Fresh grocery store

Amazon is continuing to expand its high-tech grocery format with a new location in California. . . . more

Sephora to open 60-plus freestanding U.S. stores in 2021

Sephora is embarking on the largest store expansion plan in its 21-year history in the United States. . . . more

Thursday, February 25, 2021

How 7-Eleven became the world’s biggest convenience store

CNBC Business
7-Eleven, home of the 50-ounce Double Gulp and the Pina Colada Slurpee, has helped revolutionize the way we shop at convenience stores. . . . more

Target to open mini Apple shops inside 17 stores in latest move to woo customers

CNBC Business
Target wants to give shoppers another reason to skip trips to the mall: It’s adding mini Apple stores to some locations, with more space devoted to iPhones and other popular gadgets. . . . more

88% of restaurants considering swapping to digital menus, survey says

Restaurant Dive
Seventy-six percent of restaurants said they will continue offering contactless tech this year, according to Square's Future of Restaurants 2021 report, which includes findings from a survey of 500 operators. . . . more

Tuesday Morning, Casper, Vince on S&P's latest 'most vulnerable retailers' list

Retail Dive
S&P Global Market Intelligence included Tuesday Morning, which went through a Chapter 11 restructuring last year, in its latest monthly list of the most vulnerable retailers. . . . more

Kroger Data Breach Now Includes Sensitive Consumer Info

Progressive Grocer
Kroger has reported a data breach that could include social security numbers of customers who use the grocer's pharmacy services. . . . more

Pandemic Category Sales Poised to Outlast Pandemic

Progressive Grocer
A year after COVID-19 paralyzed the nation, shoppers are still buying a lot of face masks, hand sanitizer and household cleaner, and demand in those categories shows no signs of easing. . . . more

Japanese Retailer PPIH to Acquire Gelson's Markets

Progressive Grocer
Japanese retailer Pan Pacific International Holdings (PPIH) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Gelson’s Markets, signaling a possible period of accelerating growth for the upscale California grocery chain. . . . more

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

How to Improve Your C-Store Security

CStore Decisions
While certain crime significantly increased over the last year, robberies were reported to decrease by 7.1 percent in the first half of 2020. . . . more

TJ Maxx Parent’s Store Closures in Q4 May Have Caused $1.05 Billion in Lost Sales

Footwear News
The TJX Companies Inc. fell short of earnings and sales expectations as renewed COVID-19-related restrictions kept many of its stores closed during the fourth quarter. . . . more

Fry's Electronics suddenly went out of business

CNN Business
Fry's Electronics suddenly closed all of its stores overnight, ending a nearly four-decade run in business. . . . more

Covid live updates: CVS to offer vaccines in six more states; stay-at-home DIY trend could ease

CNBC Business
The United States is set to see a substantial boost in Covid-19 vaccines shipped out and ready to administer in the coming weeks. Executives from Pfizer and Moderna told Congress on Tuesday the drugmakers are preparing to nearly double their current output. And on Wednesday, Food and Drug Administration staff endorsed Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, clearing the path for an emergency use authorization as soon as this week. A J&J executive said once the drug is authorized, the company would be ready to ship more than 20 million doses by the end of March. . . . more

Estée Lauder to acquire beauty retailer Deciem in $1 billion deal

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. has agreed to buy a majority stake in indie beauty brand Deciem Beauty Brand Group Inc. . . . more

Skincare company Heyday wants to open ‘hundreds of stores’ in next five years

Heyday plans to ramp up its brick-and-mortar expansion via franchising. . . . more

Lowe’s Q4 tops Street as sales jump 27%; cites broad demand across all departments

Lowe’s Cos. reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations as spending on home projects continues to surge amid the pandemic. . . . more

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Movie theaters in New York City can open in March at 25% capacity

CNBC Business
After nearly a year of closures, New York City cinemas will be permitted to open on March 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. . . . more

Home Depot tops estimates as sales surge 25%, but shares fall on worries pandemic gains won’t last

CNBC Business
Home Depot’s fourth-quarter earnings surged past investors’ expectations as consumers poured more money into home improvement due to the pandemic and strength of the real estate market. . . . more

What big-box retailers have to gain from DTC brands

Retail Dive
Scattered among the CPG mainstays at a Walmart or Target are a crop of direct-to-consumer brands. . . . more

Subway streamlines global payment infrastructure

Subway is connecting franchisees to universal payment software. . . . more

Macy’s posts first profitable quarter in a year on strong holiday, digital sales

Macy’s Inc. ended a year of “unprecedented disruption” on a very upbeat note, topping Street estimates and reporting quarterly sales improvements across all three of its brands. . . . more

Bloomin' Brands takes virtual brand Tender Shack national

Restaurant Dive
Bloomin' Brands has rolled out its virtual brand, Tender Shack, nationwide through a partnership with DoorDash, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. . . . more

Steak 'n Shake dodges bankruptcy, sues lender for alleged takeover scheme

Restaurant Dive
Steak 'n Shake on Friday repaid the remaining balance of the $220 million loan it owed its debtors, including Fortress Investment Group, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people with knowledge of the payment. By paying off its debt, which had been reduced to $153 million and was due March 19, the burger chain avoided a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, which it had been preparing for with advisers FT Consulting Inc. and Latham & Watkins while negotiating its debt with Fortress. . . . more

Monday, February 22, 2021

Nearly Half of Americans Expect COVID-19 Shopping Habits to Be Permanent — Here’s What Changed

Footwear News
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spate of changes in consumer preferences, from tighter budgeting for discretionary expenses to the accelerated adoption of digital platforms. Now, a new study suggests that those habits might have been altered for good. . . . more

The running list of 2021 retail bankruptcies

Retail Dive
The pace of bankruptcies in retail hit a high-water mark last year, after years of elevated filings that tracked with a major shakeout in the industry. . . . more

Noodles & Company plots multi-unit franchise expansion

Restaurant Dive
Noodles & Company is seeking multi-unit franchise partners to grow its footprint in the South and Southwest, according to a company release. The chain is targeting Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas, specifically. . . . more

Massachusetts to open 2 more mass vaccination sites

Westport News
Massachusetts is opening two additional mass vaccination sites this month, in Natick and Dartmouth, as the state ramps up its effort to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday. . . . more

Walgreens to receive 480,000 COVID vaccines a week

Walgreens Boots Alliance has administered more than 3 million COVID-19 vaccinations across long-term care facilities and other identified vulnerable populations. And now its in-store efforts are ramping up. . . . more

Walmart just boosted pay to $15. It's not what you think

CNN Business
Walmart announced pay bumps Thursday that will bring its average hourly wage to over $15 an hour. But the move still falls short of the $15 minimum wage announced by some of its largest competitors. . . . more

Tanger Outlets says foot traffic is back to normal

Retail Dive
Tanger Outlets this week said that in January, footfall at its U.S. shopping centers returned to pre-pandemic levels, thanks to their outdoor orientation and value proposition. . . . more

Friday, February 19, 2021

Why an emboldened Walmart is looking to beyond retail for future growth

Walmart wants to tap what it sees as its greatest asset: its reach. . . . more

Why mall landlord Westfield is leaving the US

In the U.S., an increasing number of retailers have decided to leave the traditional mall. Now one mall owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is leaving the U.S. . . . more

Under Chicken Salad Chick drives expansion in new market

Chicken Salad Chick is growing its footprint in Indiana. . . . more

Ulta Beauty to open its second Manhattan store — in Herald Square

Ulta Beauty will open its second store in the Big Apple in one of the city’s most prominent retail corridors. . . . more

Giant to open two-level flagship in downtown Philadelphia

The Giant Company is expanding its portfolio in the City of Brotherly Love. . . . more

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Report: Loyalty customers spend more than twice as much on takeout meals

Restaurant Dive
Diners who are members of loyalty programs spent more than twice as much on takeout in 2020 than those who are not part of a loyalty program, according to a report from Paytronix Systems, done in partnership with . . . more

P&G's Old Spice to open first barbershop

Old Spice, the men's grooming brand marketed by Procter & Gamble, next month will open its first barbershop that will also serve as a digital content studio, retail store and test lab to help develop new products. . . . more

Retail sales increased sharply in January, with gains across the board

Retail spending  rose well ahead of expectations in January, boosted by a new round of stimulus checks. . . . more

Neiman Marcus and JCPenney Are Among the Texas Retailers Forced to Close Stores as Winter Weather Deals $50B Economic Blow to Southern US

Footwear News
Neiman Marcus and JCPenney are adding their names to the growing list of Texas-based firms feeling the impact of treacherous winter weather that has lead to nearly two dozen deaths and dealt a heavy economic blow to the area. . . . more

2020 Was Wingstop's Year

Restaurant Business
It’s clear Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison isn’t losing much sleep over the recent proliferation of delivery-only chicken wing brands. . . . more

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Study: Top priorities for grocery shoppers post-pandemic will be…

Shopping and eating behaviors dramatically changed last year, and many shoppers plan to continue at least some of their new habits post-COVID-19. . . . more

Old Navy leases 13,000 s/f at Garden City Center

Old Navy is coming to Garden City Center in 2021, joining its Gap, Inc. sister stores, Athleta, Banana Republic, and Gap at Rhode Island’s premiere outdoor shopping center. . . . more

Best Store Design Awards: Davis Oil

CStore Decisions
Headquartered in Battle Creek, Mich., Davis Oil is a third-generation family-owned company with 20 c-stores in Michigan that operate under the ‘C-Store’ banner. . . . more

Tractor Supply acquires 167-store Orscheln Farm and Home

Tractor Supply Company is expanding its footprint in the Midwest through an acquisition. . . . more

One year later: How COVID-19 upended retail and what it means for 2021

Retail Dive
This time last year, U.S. retailers could only guess how the rapidly spreading coronavirus would impact operations. . . . more

Joann files for IPO

Joann is leveraging the surge in arts-and-crafts amid the pandemic to file to go public. . . . more

Ahold Delhaize sets ambitious sustainability, health goals

Supermarket conglomerate Ahold Delhaize USA is unveiling a detailed strategy to provide healthier products with a more sustainable supply chain. . . . more

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

9 Retailers That Could Get a Boost From a New Round of Stimulus, According to Analysts

Footwear News
Another round of fiscal stimulus could give a much-needed lift to a range of retailers as the persistent COVID-19 health crisis continues to slam the sector into the new year. . . . more

Five Below to open 170 to 180 stores in 2021

Five Below isn’t letting the pandemic stop its national expansion. . . . more

Swiss chocolatier to assume leases of 34 U.S. Godiva stores

Läderach – chocolatier suisse is expanding its fledgling U.S. footprint. . . . more

Friday, February 12, 2021

Walmart steps up reusable plastic container packaging for fresh produce

Supermarket News
Walmart has entered a multiyear pact to package fresh produce in reusable plastic containers (RPCs) from IFCO Systems. . . . more

WSJ: Best Buy cuts jobs, hours for some store workers as it pivots to digital

Retail Dive
Best Buy told employees it was reducing jobs and hours for an unspecified number of store workers, according to a Wall Street Journal report. . . . more

Captain D’s to open 15 new locations; launching new ‘Express’ format

Captain D’s is looking to expand its footprint via a new format. . . . more

Bed Bath & Beyond begins $250 million tech program with ERP upgrade

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is selecting Oracle as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology provider. . . . more

Dick's Sporting Goods expands clearance store concept

Retail Dive
Illustrating that the athletics retail market is not slowing down, Dick's Sporting Goods is opening five new locations this month, according to a company press release. . . . more

Nike brings ‘Live’ store format to its birthplace

Nike has expanded its small-format Nike Live retail concept to its birthplace of Eugene, Ore. . . . more

Retail sales to rise 8.1% in 2021, according to CGP forecast

Retail sales in 2021 will increase to a record $4.26 trillion, up 8.1% year-over-year, which is the highest this century. . . . more

Thursday, February 11, 2021

True Food Kitchen to open its first restaurant in New Jersey

True Food Kitchen, co-founded by Dr. Andrew Weil and co-funded by Oprah Winfrey, announced it will open a new location at The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, N.J. -- just five miles from the George Washington Bridge. . . more

Party City eyes $725M bond sale to buy it time

Retail Dive
Party City plans to issue $725 million in new secured bonds due 2026 that it would use to pay off a term loan facility that matures next year, the company said in a press release. . . more

Boston area market gets $33.5 million re-finance to add a supermarket

Saugus Plaza Shopping Center, a northern suburb of Boston, has won a $33.5 million refinancing to add a new supermarket anchor. The new tenant was not named. . . . more

Sola Salon Studios Opens 60 New Locations And Achieves 15% Increase In Stylist Lead Volume In 2020

Plain Vanilla Shell
Sola Salon Studios, the world's largest salon studios franchise, is reporting significant growth in 2020, opening 60 new locations and signing 43 franchise agreements to develop 113 new salons throughout the U.S. and Canada over the next several years. . . more

DICK'S Sporting Goods Announces Grand Opening of Five Stores in Five States in February

Plain Vanilla Shell
DICK'S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), the largest U.S.-based, omni-channel sporting goods retailer, will expand its nationwide footprint with the opening of one DICK'S Sporting Goods store and four Warehouse Sale stores in February. . . more

Last Kmart Store In Massachusetts To Close

CBS Boston
The last Kmart in Massachusetts is closing soon. The Hyannis store is listed on a liquidation firm’s website along with 32 other Sears and Kmart stores. . . . more

Aldi adding 100 stores in the U.S. in 2021

Plain Vanilla Shell
German grocer Aldi is expanding in the U.S., with plans to add 100 stores in 2021. . . . more

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Burger King loyalty program test includes rewards via self-delivery

Restaurant Dive
Burger King is the latest QSR to launch a loyalty program, and is testing its offering in Los Angeles, Long Island, Miami, New Jersey and New York City, according to a company release Tuesday. . . . more

Ralph Lauren to shrink office and store footprint as sales remain sluggish

Retail Dive
As COVID-19 and brand issues continue to drag on Ralph Lauren's sales, the luxury apparel seller is cutting costs, including by shrinking its corporate office space and closing stores. . . . more

Kohl's turns to Eddie Bauer as outdoor sales surge

Retail Dive
Kohl's on Monday announced a tie-up with Eddie Bauer to launch this coming fall. . . more

The inconvenient truth about drugstores

Retail Dive
Cigarettes, tobacco alternatives, salty snacks, candy, packaged beverages and beer. . . more

Simon CEO: The suburbs will be ‘hot’

A big change coming out of the pandemic will be the shift from urbanization to suburban growth. . . more

Price Chopper/Market 32, Tops Markets to merge

Supermarket News
Northeastern grocers Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets plan to merge, creating a supermarket retailer with nearly 300 stores in six states. . . . more

Guy Fieri's Flavortown Kitchen Now Operating Out of Boston-Area Bertucci's

NBC Boston
It looks like one of the best-known celebrity chefs and restaurateurs in the country has quietly started to run ghost kitchens out of a chain with roots in the local area. . . . more

Monday, February 8, 2021

Carvana opens six new markets in three states

An omnichannel platform or buying and selling used cars is debuting in Louisiana and extending its reach in Texas and New Mexico. . . . more

El Pollo Loco Heats Up Franchise Expansion Plans

Restaurant News
El Pollo Loco, Inc. (“El Pollo Loco” or “Company”) (Nasdaq: LOCO), the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken chain, is gearing up for aggressive expansion in 2021, driven by two new restaurant designs. . . more

Target’s activewear brand hits $1 billion in sales, as retailer gains ground in apparel

Target launched its own line of workout clothes and exercise equipment about a year ago. Two months later, the pandemic turned much of the country into stretchy pants-wearing remote workers who converted garages into home gyms and cut back on shopping trips. . . more

AMC Entertainment CEO's unusual plan to keep theater chain afloat praised

Fox Business
But getting on the right side of the “Reddit rally” wasn’t always easy and sometimes required Aron to clash with his powerful Wall Street allies, including his friends at private equity giant Apollo Global Management, sources said. . . . more

Pizza Hut's momentum continues in Q4 with 8% same-store sales growth

Restaurant Dive
Yum Brands reported Q4 earnings Thursday, including an 8% increase in same-store sales at its Pizza Hut U.S. division. This marks the brand's best quarterly performance in 10 years, since U.S. same-store sales rose 10% in Q4 2010, analyst analyst Mark Kalinowski told Business Insider. . . . more

First Look: Men’s Wearhouse expands digitally enabled ‘next-gen’ store

Men’s Wearhouse is moving forward with a new store design that offers shoppers an omnichannel experience in a physical environment. . . . more

Simon seeks to block approval of Ascena Retail reorganization

Simon Property Group is sounding the alarm over Sycamore’s latest retail venture. . . . more

Friday, February 5, 2021

Taco Bell owner Yum Brands earnings top estimates, despite blow of international Covid restrictions

Yum Brands on Thursday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analyst predictions, despite international dining room closures weighing on same-store sales growth at KFC and Pizza Hut. . . . more

Dollar Tree’s Family Dollar taps Instacart to make same-day deliveries

Third-party delivery company Instacart said Thursday that it will start making same-day deliveries for Dollar Tree-owned Family Dollar, a discount retailer that’s seen growth during the pandemic. . . . more

Sears is closing 13 more stores, further shrinking its footprint

Retail Dive
Transformco, the owner of the Sears and Kmart banners, is moving to close more stores after years of steady retrenchment. . . . more

30-year-old BurgerFi president thinks the chain can be the Shake Shack of the South

Business had dimmed for the Burger King in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., and the location closed up in 2011. It’s a small seaside town and the BK just couldn’t sustain its base volume. But in moved another burger joint nobody had ever heard of called BurgerFi. The fast-casual’s menu of fresh burgers, hand-cut fries, chicken, hot dogs, and custard scored a hit with local diners and is still in business today--it and 124 other BurgerFi restaurants stretching from Texas to Florida to Upstate New York. . . . more

Nordstrom long-term growth strategy focuses on smaller-format stores, Rack and digital

Nordstrom expects its revenue to grow more than 25% in 2021, with digital claiming approximately 50% of total sales. . . . more

Stop & Shop introduces pickup locker at Boston store

A Northeast regional grocer is debuting a new contactless option for fulfilling online orders. . . . more

Family Dollar goes national with same-day delivery

A leading discounter is the latest in a growing line of retailers outside the grocery sector l to partner with Instacart. . . . more

Thursday, February 4, 2021

For Neiman, Saks, Nordstrom the retail battle is getting more personal

Personal shopping services once reserved for the wealthiest consumers are becoming increasingly popular amid the pandemic as high-end retailers shift online and consumers make more retail purchases from home. . . . more

Tarka Prepares for 2021 Following Impressive Sales Year

Plain Vanilla Shell
Despite trying times for the restaurant industry in 2020, Tarka Indian Kitchen proved to be a best-in-class brand that has staying power. . . more

McDonald's expands loyalty test to New England restaurants

Restaurant Dive
McDonald's said on Wednesday that it added restaurants in New England to its U.S. loyalty program pilot several weeks ago, entering the next phase of the test before the program launches nationwide, CNBC reports. The chain started the trial in Arizona and Nevada in November, and about 900 of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. locations are part of the test as of Wednesday. . . . more

Coach parent company Q2 beats Street; ‘optimistic’ on 2021

Tapestry Inc. reported second-quarter earnings and sales that beat estimates as its turnaround plan continues to gain momentum. . . more

At Home resumes national growth strategy

At Home Group has opened its first new stores of the year. . . more

L Brands on hunt for new CFO; to complete separation of brands by August

A 20-year veteran of L Brands is retiring but will remain long enough to see the company separate its two brands — Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works — by this summer. . . more

Kohl’s sees Q4 sales down but earnings to top Street; cites gaining momentum

Kohl's Corp. reported better-than-expected earnings and strong digital sales in a preliminary look at its fourth-quarter performance. . . . more

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

What 2021 means for sports marketing — and how Foot Locker's approaching it now

Retail Dive
The athletics market has been crowned one of the winners of the pandemic, but the picture is more complicated than that narrative suggests. According to a joint report from McKinsey & Company and the World Federation Sporting Goods Industry, the global sporting goods market contracted in 2020 for the first time since the financial crisis. . . . more

PGA Tour Superstore to continue expansion

On the heels of a record 2020, PGA Tour Superstore expects to reach an important store milestone this year. . . . more

Where to run a store now

Retail Dive
Where to run a store now. . . . more

GameStop's stock exploded, but traffic to its stores is still down

Retail Dive
GameStop's stock has famously exploded over the past two weeks or so. At the video game retailer's stores, however, the company's challenges continue. . . . more

Jeff Bezos to step down as CEO of Amazon

Jeff Bezos is stepping down from the helm of the company he founded in 1994. . . . more

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Chipotle pilots carside pickup

Restaurant Dive
Chipotle announced Thursday the chain is testing carside pickup at 29 California restaurants, according to a company release. Diners can select "Carside Pickup" at checkout through the Chipotle app to use the service at participating locations. . . more

Do malls have any business getting into retail?

Retail Dive
In the past several months, continuing a practice begun with the 2016 acquisition of teen apparel retailer Aeropostale, Simon Property Group acquired a slew of retailers. In a way, bankruptcy courts last year served as shopping centers of a sort themselves. Simon, in partnership with licensing and brand management firm Authentic Brands Group (via their 50/50 joint venture, Sparc), bought Lucky Brand and Brooks Brothers; earlier in the year, with rival Brookfield, they bought Forever 21. At the end of the year, Brookfield and Simon snapped up J.C. Penney for a cash payment of $692 million and new term debt. . . more

Britain’s JD Sports in $495 million deal to buy another U.S. retailer

JD Sports, the owner of The Finish Line, continues to expand its U.S. retail portfolio. . . more

McDonald's plans to open 500 US restaurants in 2021

Plain Vanilla Shell
During its recent Q4 earnings call, McDonald's announced plans to open about 500 new restaurants in the U.S., part of a bigger plan to open more than 1,300 new locations around the world. During the call, CFO Kevin Ozan said the company will spend nearly half of its $2.3 billion of capital to open those restaurants, calling new restaurant development an "important driver of our growth.". . . more

Monday, February 1, 2021

Pandemic derails Toys 'R' Us store comeback

Toys “R” Us has reportedly closed the two stores it opened under its new owners. . . more

H&M Q4 Profit Declines, Online Sales Climb; To Close 350 Stores In FY21

Plain Vanilla Shell
Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB or H&M Group (HNNMY.PK, HMRZF.PK, HEN.L) reported Friday that its fourth-quarter profit after tax fell to 2.49 billion Swedish kronor from 4.21 billion kronor. Earnings per share were 1.50 kronor, lower than 2.54 kronor a year ago. . . . more

New Studio Fitness Brand, Volofit, Adds 15 New Units to Franchise Network

Plain Vanilla Shell
Unique fitness studio brand, Volofit has announced 15 new units that span Minnesota, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. . . more

Friday, January 29, 2021

Express is 'hemorrhaging cash' even as investors gobble up its stock: report

Retail Dive
After Express' stock price nearly quadrupled from Friday to Monday, analysts at Wedbush threw cold water on the fervor in an emailed research note that said the company is "hemorrhaging cash." . . more

Walmart announces overhaul of ad business

Retail Dive
Walmart rebranded its media network from Walmart Media Group to Walmart Connect, part of a larger overhaul the retailer is enacting as it looks to scale the offering into a top-10 advertising platform, according to a company announcement. . . more

Occupancy costs plagued non-essential retail tenants in 2020

For retail renters and landlords in 2020, there was little middle. Grocery and essentials providers like Walmart, Lowe’s, and CVS grew their businesses during the pandemic and widened their distribution channels on the web and in parking lots. Fitness, apparel, and cinema chains, meanwhile, struggled to pay the rent. . . more

Tropical Smoothie Café on track to hit store milestone

The pandemic didn’t stop Tropical Smoothie Café from having a record-breaking year in 2020. . . more

5Qs for Joe Coradino on Malls in the 21st Century

What mall owners everywhere started doing during the pandemic—replacing lost anchors with health care facilities, adding experiential tenants, giving failing properties back to the bank—Joe Coradino began doing almost 10 years ago at PREIT. . . . more

Kelly’s Roast Beef Plans Expansion to The Granite State
Boston’s famous Kelly’s Roast Beef wants to expand the brand to neighboring New Hampshire, across New England and beyond. The beloved staple which has been in Boston for over 70 years has announced plans to develop new restaurants across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and now New Hampshire. The brand is announcing they want to open three new franchise locations in the Concord and Manchester areas of the state. . . more

Market Basket eyes major renovation for Stadium Plaza in Tewksbury, Lowell

Lowell Sun
Stadium Plaza in Tewksbury and Lowell may soon be getting a major face-lift. Officials from DSM Realty, a division of the DeMoulas Super Market company (also known as Market Basket), presented the Tewksbury Planning Board with a concept plan for a new and improved shopping center on Monday, an ambitious proposal that could breathe new life into the strip mall. . . . more

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Small format 'Bloomies' to open this fall

Retail Dive
Macy's-owned Bloomingdale's is experimenting with a 22,000 square-foot store format dubbed "Bloomie's," a Bloomingdale's spokesperson said in an email. . . . more

Franchise Group acquires Pet Supplies Plus for $700M

Retail Dive
Pet Supplies Plus has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Franchise Group for around $700 million in cash, the company announced Tuesday. Pet Supplies Plus is currently owned by private equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners, which acquired the retailer just over two years ago. . . . more

Apple bites back to overtake Amazon as most valuable global brand

Apple has reclaimed its title as the world’s most valuable brand for the first time in five years, with Amazon coming in second. . . . more

Beauty retailer L'Occitane files Chapter 11

Retail Dive
The U.S. arm of beauty and wellness brand L'Occitane filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday in hopes of reducing its physical footprint. . . . more

Belk files for bankruptcy; looks to cut debt by about $450 million

Belk on Tuesday said it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a plan to recapitalize its business and reduce its debt burden by approximately $450 million. . . more

CiCi’s Pizza Declares Bankruptcy

Plain Vanilla Shell
The 318-unit pizza chain agreed to sell itself to D&G Investors as part of a pre-packaged and expedited bankruptcy process. . . more

MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes Closes Out 2020 By Welcoming 18 Stores into the Million Dollar Club

Plain Vanilla Shell
Despite a year rife with challenges for the restaurant industry, fast-growing franchise MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes announced that 18 of its stores joined the franchise’s Million Dollar Club – a group of restaurants who have pulled in at least $1 million in sales – by the end of 2020. . . more

Monday, January 25, 2021

Restaurants succeed in raising guest sentiment in December, despite downturn in sales and traffic

Nation's Restaurant News
The fourth quarter was not good for restaurant sales; each month posted worse same-store sales growth than the previous month. . . . more