Friday, January 15, 2021

Corlex Capital Buys 10 Wingstop Locations, Plans to Open 13 More

Plain Vanilla Shell
Corlex Capital, a minority-owned private equity and consulting firm, announced that its affiliate, in partnership with Prospect Capital Restaurants, has acquired 10 Wingstop restaurants in two markets and signed an agreement with Wingstop Inc. to develop or acquire an additional 13 restaurants. . . . more

Just Like Its Menu Options, Saladworks Franchise Expansion Showed Endless Possibilities in 2020

Plain Vanilla Shell
Saladworks has grown by more than 40 restaurant locations in 2020. Showing creativity in the process, Saladworks not only entered more traditional restaurant franchises, but it also expanded into non-traditional retail presences such as grocery, universities, ghost kitchens, combo kitchens and coming soon, Military bases. It’s also using REEF Technology’s food vessels, primarily as parking lot-based mobile ecosystems, as a means to accommodate a larger number and wider area of delivery orders.  Finally, Saladworks is testing “Sally” the world’s first salad robot for use in hospitals and other vending-related foodservice locations. . . . more

Domino’s Wants to Become the ‘Dominant No. 1’ Pizza Brand

Plain Vanilla Shell
From a revenue standpoint, Domino's is the No. 1 pizza chain in America, but the brand isn't satisfied with that position. . . . more

Nordstrom Saw Digital Gains Over the Holidays As COVID Hurt Brick-and-Mortar Business

Footwear News
Sales at Nordstrom Inc. took a tumble during the holiday shopping season, but the retailer’s digital business continues to pick up more shoppers. . . . more

Watch out, Chewy. This 55-year-old pet store is coming for you

CNN Business
Petco is hoping the third time is the charm. . . . more

U.S. convenience store counts stands at 150,274; state with most c-stores is…

CSA
There are plenty of convenience stores in the U.S., but not as many as there were a year ago. . . . more

Ten retailers among 100 best places to work in 2021 — two made the top 10

CSA
Lululemon Athletica and H-E-B are in the top 10 of an annual ranking of the 100 best places to work in the U.S., coming in at No. 8 and No.10 respectively. . . . more

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Target’s Explosive Holiday Sales Growth Was Driven By Curbside Pickup & These Same-Day Services

Footwear News
It was a stellar holiday season for Target Corp., whose sales both online and in stores surged even as the COVID-19 health crisis gripped the country. . . . more

Christopher & Banks files for bankruptcy; in talks with buyers

CSA
Christopher & Banks Corp. may close all its stores. . . . more

GameStop stock whips skeptics with surge of up to 94%

Fox Business
GameStop Corp. shares soared to their highest level in more than five years Wednesday as short-sellers betting against the stock scrambled for the exit. . . . more

Costco is shutting down all of its photo centers

CNN Business
Costco is closing its photo centers at all of its roughly 800 stores next month, ending a number of services that have a decidedly retro vibe. . . . more

Noodles & Company, Fat Brands plan ghost kitchen openings in 2021

Restaurant Dive
Noodles & Company plans to open a ghost kitchen operation during Q1 2021 in addition to new units that would be company-owned and just offering off-premise, Dave Boennighausen, CEO at Noodles & Company, said during an ICR presentation on Monday. . . . more

Kitchen United to open 16 centers this year

Restaurant Dive
Kitchen United expects to grow its total kitchen centers from four currently to 20 by the end of the year, representing 500% growth in total units, Michael Montagano, Kitchen United CEO, said during an ICR presentation on Wednesday. . . . more

Macy’s opening second location of new, smaller format

CSA
Macy’s is returning to Texas with its off-mall concept. . . . more

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Wawa Opens First Standalone Drive-Through Location

CStore Decisions
Wawa announced the opening of its first standalone drive-through store, located in Morrisville, Pa. . . . more

Bankruptcy court approves By Chloe's plan to sell company

Restaurant Dive
A bankruptcy judge approved a plan submitted by BC Hospitality Group, parent company of By Chloe to sell the company on Thursday, according to a court filing. . . . more

Simply Mac to ramp up store expansion

CSA
A retailer whose locations must be approved in advance by Apple is growing its store footprint. . . . more

Restaurants like Olive Garden and Applebee's were in trouble even before the pandemic

CNN Business
If you grew up in the 1990s, you might remember a trip to Olive Garden or Applebee's as the highlight of your week. . . . more

Christopher & Banks inches closer to the brink as it defaults on multiple obligations

Retail Dive
Christopher & Banks disclosed on Thursday a cascade of defaults earlier this month on financial obligations, including key loans and the lease on its headquarters, according to a securities filing. . . . more

PREIT’S re-make of its mall platform will begin at Moorestown

CSA
The re-invention of its business platform that helped win PREIT a swift exit from Chapter 11 protection in December will see one of its first executions at Moorestown Mall in the Philadelphia metro area. . . . more

Furniture chain files for bankruptcy after less than a year in business

CSA
That didn’t take very long. Love’s Furniture and Mattresses has filed for bankruptcy protection several months after it opened its first round of stores. . . . more

Monday, January 11, 2021

Checkers & Rally's parent lands $20M in private equity funding

Restaurant Dive
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, the parent company of Checkers & Rally's, has landed a $20 million capital injection from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, according to a company release. The funds will be used to fuel the restaurant chain's five-year growth plan. . . . more

Ikea debuts new small store format

CSA
Ikea has unveiled its first store to open in the U.S. with a smaller format. . . . more

Staples moves to acquire Office Depot for $2.1B

Fox Business
Staples is at it again. On Monday, the Framingham, Mass.-based office-supply chain company said it intended to acquire its competitor, Office Depot, for $40 per share in cash, an 11% premium to Friday's closing price. . . . more

LVMH shakes up Tiffany ranks as the ink dries on $15.8B deal

Retail Dive
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Thursday announced the completed $15.8 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co. and an immediate shakeup of the American jeweler's executive and creative leadership. . . . more

AlixPartners: Ten retail predictions for 2021

CSA
Consumers will be calling the shots. And operations will get a much-needed makeover. . . . more

Westfield sells Long Island mall for $30 million

CSA
Sunrise Mall, the first two-level mall in Long Island when it opened in 1972, was sold by Unibail Rodamco Westfield for $29.7 million. Westfield paid $140 million for the 1.2 million-sq. ft. property when it acquired it in 2005. . . . more

Covid Vaccinations Offer CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid a Chance to Showcase How Drugstores Have Changed

NECN
CVS Health, Walgreens and Rite Aid are getting ready to administer Covid vaccinations in the months ahead, and this effort will give the three largest drugstore chains a chance to show off the work that's been underway to revamp their businesses and respond to huge changes in consumer behavior. . . . more

Friday, January 8, 2021

NYC saw most chain store closures in over a decade in 2020: report

Retail Dive
Over 1,000 chain stores, or a little less than one in seven stores, in New York City permanently or temporarily closed last year, according to the Center for an Urban Future's annual report. . . . more

Pokeworks Unveils Prototype for Innovative Cruise-Thru Lane to Serve the Modern Consumer

Restaurant News
Pokeworks, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing poke franchise, has released a prototype for its first-ever Cruise-Thru™ Lane – a mobile order pick-up lane developed with ‘on-the-go’ guests in mind. . . . more

Mall of America is no longer delinquent on $1.4 billion mortgage

CNBC
Mall of America has modified the terms of its $1.4 billion mortgage and is current on the loan, after missing months of payments during the Covid crisis as stores shut temporarily and tenants failed to pay rent. . . . more

Phenix Salon Suites Bolsters Multi-Unit Growth in 2020

Plain Vanilla Shell
Phenix Salon Suites, the leading suite rental franchise with 290+ locations, is wrapping up a monumental year with more than 30 new openings, 57 signed agreements and a robust pipeline for new growth slated for 2021. . . . more

NPC International agrees to $801M sale of its Wendy's, Pizza Hut assets

Restaurant Dive
NPC International and Flynn Restaurant Group entered into an asset purchase agreement on Thursday in which NPC’s Wendy’s restaurants in Salt Lake City, Central Maryland, North Baltimore and South Baltimore — about half of NPC's 393 Wendy's units — will be sold to Flynn, according to an SEC filing. Flynn will also acquire all of NPC’s roughly 925 Pizza Hut units and NPC’s shared service assets, according to a press release. This sale totals about $553 million, according to a court filing. . . . more

Sensormatic: Store traffic down 33.1% in six-week holiday period

CSA
Black Friday continued to live up to its reputation as the busiest shopping day despite the pandemic. . . . more

Report: Bed Bath & Beyond to close 43 stores by end of February

CSA
Bed Bath & Beyond is moving on its previously announced plans to close about 200 locations by 2022. . . more

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Del Taco bulks up off-premise channels with new prototype

Restaurant Dive
Del Taco released a new "Fresh Flex" restaurant design on Tuesday that will improve restaurant accessibility, speed of service and brand transparency, according to a press release. . . . more

Burger King prioritizes digital with first rebrand in more than 20 years

Restaurant Dive
Burger King has introduced a new visual design that will roll out across all consumer touch points, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive. The update is the brand's first complete rebrand in more than 20 years. . . . more

As comfort clothing grows, Athleta launches into sleepwear

Retail Dive
Amid a consumer behavior shift toward comfortable clothing, Gap-owned Athleta on Tuesday launched its first sleepwear collection, according to a company press release. . . more

The new retailer-landlord relationship

Retail Dive
The retailer-landlord relationship may be entering not just a new year, but a new era. After a contentious 2020, many store tenants and landlords are reshaping their leases based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. . . more

Family Video, the last video store chain in the U.S., is closing all 250 stores

Plain Vanilla Shell
Family Video, the last video store chain in the country, is closing all 250 of its locations. . . . more

Jewel-Osco pilots automated grocery pickup kiosk

CSA
An Albertsons banner is the first American grocer to let customers pick up online grocery orders at a contactless kiosk. . . . more

Victoria’s Secret parent reports robust holiday sales; offers upbeat guidance

CSA
L Brands reported holiday sales that beat its expectations, boosted by another strong performance from Bath & Body Works. . . more

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Despite Store Closures, Prada Saw ‘Progressive Recovery’ in Sales to End 2020 on Positive Note

Footwear News
Prada ended the year 2020 on an a positive note, reporting on Tuesday that retail sales showed “a full recovery to 2019 levels” in the month of December. . . . more

Will Shopping Malls Make a Comeback in 2021?

Footwear News
Suffice it to say, 2020 was hardly anybody’s year. When it comes to business, shopping malls — with their enclosed spaces and classification as nonessential retail — are among the retail categories that faced the most pressure. . . . more

Walgreens in $6.5 billion deal to sell pharmacy wholesale operation

CSA
Walgreens Boots Alliance is selling the majority of its pharmacy wholesale operation in a move to help it grow its core pharmacy and healthcare businesses. . . . more

3 tips to win over millennials and Gen Z at checkout

Retail Dive
Today the consumer drives the retail world. With millennial (24-40 year olds) and Gen Z (18-23 year olds) shopping expectations and shopping power on the rise, it’s important to appeal to the requirements these shoppers set for retailers. Mainly, Gen Zers and millennials look for a seamless shopping experience according to Accenture. . . more

Macy’s to close 45 stores by mid-year as part of previously announced plan

CSA
Macy’s to close 45 stores by mid-year as part of previously announced plan. . . more

Tuesday Morning exits Chapter 11 with reduced store footprint

CSA
Tuesday Morning has completed its financial and operational reorganization and emerged from bankruptcy protection. . . more

Not Your Average Joe’s Closes 4 Massachusetts Restaurants For The Winter

CBS Boston
Not Your Average Joe’s, a chain restaurant based in Milton, has closed four Massachusetts restaurants for the winter, a company executive tells WBZ-TV. Locations in Arlington, Burlington, Methuen and Randolph were in the process of shutting down on Monday. . . more

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Ex-Simon Outlets chief Yalof takes the helm of Tanger Outlets

CSA
Stephen Yalof, who directed Simon’s Premium Outlets division for six years before joining Tanger Factory Outlets as COO, has transitioned into the CEO spot at the company. He replaces Stephen B. Tanger, now chairman of Tanger’s board of directors. . . more

Epic Games to convert North Carolina shopping mall into new global headquarters by 2024

Fox Business
Epic Games has reached an agreement with Turnbridge Equities and Denali Properties to purchase North Carolina's Cary Towne Center. . . more

6 restaurant trends that will shape 2021

Restaurant Dive
Though 2020 has been a year of incredible disruption and instability, the trends that dominated the restaurant space were already in motion long before the pandemic struck. With no end in sight for widespread dining room restrictions or consumer wariness of traditional restaurant experiences, analysts expect these trends to further crystallize in 2021. . . more

Applebee's franchisee pilots drive-thru

Restaurant Dive
An Applebee's franchisee is adding a drive-thru pickup window to an existing restaurant in Texarkana, Texas, early this year. The franchisee will gauge feedback from guests and operators to inform future store design, Nation's Restaurant News reports. . . more

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop to Acquire Wing Zone

Plain Vanilla Shell
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop announced Monday that it has acquired 67-unit fast casual Wing Zone. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. . . . more

Holidays in review: What defined the season in 2020

Retail Dive
As with everything else this year, the pandemic upset the holidays for retailers, forcing them to adjust to changing consumer behavior and safety demands. In a year that was heavily focused online, that meant taking many mainstays of the holiday season virtual and introducing more convenient (and touch-free) pickup options for wary consumers. . . . more

Northeast fast-casual chain adds cloud to store operations recipe

CSA
Hale & Hearty Soups is streamlining and centralizing store management and analytics with a new cloud-based POS system. . . more

Monday, January 4, 2021

CSA Exclusive: Spotlight on store sanitization

CSA
The pandemic forced retailers to rethink how to sanitize shared spaces. Committed to supporting employee and customer health, retailers are creating new health policies and procedures, and adopting new equipment, such as innovative air filters, to deliver safer shopping environments. . . more

AMC aims to sell $125M in stock due to coronavirus pandemic, say SEC filings

Fox Business
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc is going to sell up to 50 million additional shares to try to survive the coronavirus pandemic. . . more

This extremely intense gym is expanding even as Covid cases soar

CNN Business
During the depths of the pandemic, all 1,400 Orangetheory Fitness studios around the world went dark. The future looked bleak for this fitness brand known for its intense indoor workout classes, along with the entire gym industry. . . . more

Chuck E. Cheese parent emerges from bankruptcy protection

Restaurant Dive
CEC Entertainment announced on Dec. 30 that the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reduced debt obligations by about $705 million. This marks the completion of the company's financial restructuring process, and CEC has over $100 million of liquidity to fund operations and growth plans. The company also has a new seven-member board of directors. . . more

Save A Lot sells 51 stores to Fresh Encounter

CSA
Save A Lot continues its transformation to a wholesaler. . . more

Simon’s Taubman acquisition is made final

CSA
Simon Property Group has completed its purchase of 80% of Taubman Realty Group. . . more

Home Depot completes $8 billion acquisition

CSA
The Home Depot has completed its acquisition of a business it sold some 13 years ago. . . . more