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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

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

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

CSA
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?

CSA
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

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

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

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

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

CSA
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

CSA
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

QSR
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

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

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

CSA
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

QSR
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

QSR
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

CSA
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

CSA
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…

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

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

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

CSA
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

CSA
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

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

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

CSA
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

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

First Look: Primark makes Chicago debut

CSA
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

CSA
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

CNBC
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

IGN
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

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

The 10 most innovative companies in retail are…

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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%

CSA
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

CNBC
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

IGN
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

CSA
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.

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

Sprouts plots more store expansion, including new smaller format

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

QSR
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

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

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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

CSA
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

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

Post-pandemic values of malls fall by 60%

CSA
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

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

Walmart eliminates order minimum from Express Delivery

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