Monday, August 30, 2021

Build-A-Bear comeback continues with its highest Q2 profit ever

Build-A-Bear Workshop’s maintained its momentum in the second quarter, leading to the company’s strongest first six months performance in its nearly 25-year history. . . . more

Gap posts highest Q2 net sales in 10-plus years

Gap Inc. reported second-quarter earnings that crushed Wall Street expectations and sales that topped $4 billion, led by its Old Navy and Athleta brands. . . . more

A tale of two dollar stores: Dollar Tree hit by freight while Dollar General mostly shrugs off costs

Retail Dive
Shipping bottlenecks and freight costs are hitting retailers across the board. While many players have responded with price increases for consumers, when your proposition is a single price point — say $1 — the options for mitigating costs are more limited. . . . more

Off-price retailers brace for uncertainty despite healthy Q2

Retail Dive
Off-price stores tend to thrive even when external forces are pressuring other retailers because they appeal to consumers regardless if the economy is up or down. . . . more

First Look: Check out Bloomingdale’s new small-store concept

Bloomingdale’s has opened its first-ever location under the “Bloomies” banner. . . . more

Friday, August 27, 2021

Stop & Shop now accepting EBT payments for online SNAP purchases

Supermarket News
Stop & Shop on Thursday became the latest Ahold Delhaize USA supermarket chain to allow customers using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits the option to pay with an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card when placing online orders for pickup and delivery. . . more

Home Depot improves inventory depth with focus on high-velocity SKUs

Retail Dive
The Home Depot is prioritizing high-demand categories and chartering ships to build its inventory levels and mitigate the effects of supply chain disruptions, company executives said on the company's Q2 earnings call. . . more

Ulta 'thrilled' with Target partnership as first 58 stores open

Retail Dive
Ulta is back on track after the lows of the pandemic, posting a record second quarter that included $1.97 billion in net sales (up 60.2%), a comp sales increase of 56.3% and net income of $251 million (a more than 3,000% increase). . . . more

Best Buy lets advertisers directly target its customers

A consumer electronics giant is signing on with a digital third-party ad network. . . . more

Gap continues size inclusion push with virtual fit tech acquisition

Gap Inc. is purchasing Drapr, a startup that enables customers to create 3D avatars and virtually try on clothing. . . . more

Amazon opens first high-tech grocery store in Maryland

Live from Chevy Chase, Md. - it’s the latest Amazon Fresh location. . . . more
Dollar General Q2 beats Street; on track to open 1,050 stores. . . more

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Lululemon to raise minimum wage as it looks to hire more than 8,000 employees

Lululemon Athletica Inc. is the latest retailer to raise its minimum hourly wage. . . . more

Nearly half of consumers prefer to shop in-person — here’s why

A positive in-store experience is  critical to repeat business. . . . more

Self-serve food bars are ready for their comeback

Supermarket News
One of the areas of the supermarket that saw the biggest drop-off in business during the pandemic was the deli department — more specifically, the self-serve soup, salad and hot bars that were once a thriving part of the deli. . . . more

Increased use of online grocery shopping ‘here to stay’

Supermarket News
Grocery shoppers have taken a definite online turn since the onset of COVID-19, and many still see the pandemic’s impact on store shelves, a new study from CPG sales and marketing firm Acosta finds. . . . more

Ace Hardware on track to open more than 170 stores in 2021

Ace Hardware is riding the home spending wave. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods has record-breaking Q2 sales, profits

Dick’s Sporting Goods is raising its full-year outlook as its momentum shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. . . . more

Dollar General Q2 beats Street; on track to open 1,050 stores

Dollar General reported second-quarter profit and sales that beat analysts’ estimates but edged down over last year’s second quarter. . . . more

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

KeyPoint Partners Negotiates Sale of Brighton Storeblock at 2-20 Tremont Street

Boston Real Estate Times
KeyPoint Partners represented the seller and procured the buyer in the sale of 2-20 Tremont Street in Brighton, Massachusetts for $2.5 million, announced Jonathan Aron, Vice President of Investment Sales for the firm. . . . more

Best Buy flexes ongoing strength in Q2 as online sales drop

Retail Dive
A clear preference for shopping in stores was seen in Best Buy's second quarter report Tuesday, as U.S. consumers — which CEO Corie Barry noted have been bolstered by government support — continue to acquire and upgrade their home theaters, appliances, computing, mobile phones and services. . . . more

Walgreens provides flu shots nationwide

Walgreens is now offering flu shots for everyone ages three and up by walk-in or appointment at more than 9,000 store locations across the U.S. . . . more

Cuffy’s of Cape Cod is expanding, ‘creating a fantasy’ for shoppers
Dominick “Cuffy” Albano’s store has become a Cape Cod tradition for many. . . . more

Disney Store to close more retail locations, find out if your location is on the list

Boston 25 News
Disney Store has announced that more retail locations will be closing in the coming weeks. . . . more

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

This Amazon Fresh store is only blocks from a Whole Foods. Why?

Retail Dive
On a July day in Washington, D.C., the latest Amazon Fresh store opened. . . . more

Publix’s new GreenWise Market opens in downtown Tampa

Publix Super Markets continues to expand its specialty natural and organic foods banner. . . . more

Target adding more than 100 Disney shops

Target Corp. is expanding its partnership with Disney in time for the holiday season. . . . more

Monday, August 23, 2021

BJ’s Blows Past Cautious Q2 Outlook

Plain Vanilla Shell
BJ’s Wholesale Club, which surprised itself with second-quarter sales figures that were considerably better than forecast only a few months ago, is using that momentum to get in front of concurrent challenges in the supply chain and the labor market. . . . more

Friday, August 20, 2021

David's Bridal Announces the Expansion of Their Retail Footprint Now with 300+ Locations Globally

Plain Vanilla Shell
David's Bridal, the nation's leading bridal and special occasion authority announced today the opening of their newest retail location in Naperville, Illinois. . . . more

Amid E-Commerce Boom, TJX Set to Launch HomeGoods Website in Q3

Footwear News
Like many retailers, TJX Companies is expanding its e-commerce offerings. . . . more

BJ’s Wholesale Club builds on prior-year gains in Q2

Supermarket News
BJ’s Wholesale Club topped the high end of Wall Street’s earnings forecast for its fiscal 2021 second quarter, as the company added to COVID-19-driven growth from a year ago. . . . more

Petco sales up 19% as category demand remains high

Retail Dive
Petco has been able to continue its sales momentum and lap 2020's numbers despite heightened demand in the category last year. . . . more

Amazon reportedly planning to open small department stores

Amazon’s next foray into brick-and-mortar retail will reportedly center on large spaces akin to department stores. . . . more

Jack in the Box has 64 new locations in the pipeline

Jack in the Box Awards is accelerating its expansion following the relaunch of its franchising program. . . . more

Toys R Us is coming to more than 400 Macy’s stores next year

Macy’s is joining forces with the owner of Toys R Us to bring an assortment of toys, games and other gadgets for kids to more than 400 of the department store chain’s locations and online. . . . more

Thursday, August 19, 2021

How Walmart and Target Are Tackling Supply Chains Woes and Coming Out on Top This Earnings Season

Footwear News
Supply chain issues and port congestion have been major themes this retail earnings season. Target and Walmart both said this week that they are working on solutions to strongly position them for success in the second half of 2021. . . . more

Why winning brands like Taco Bell still look to agencies for help on culture

Restaurant Dive
Few national brands attract the level of cult-like devotion as Taco Bell. . . . more

Target keeps up growth pace in Q2

Supermarket News
Boosted by increased store traffic, Target Corp. generated strong net and comparable sales growth in its fiscal 2021 second quarter, atop big pandemic-fueled gains a year earlier. . . . more

Walmart takes on Best Buy with Tech Services Initiative

The Best Buy Geek Squad has some new nerds moving into its turf. . . . more

Old Navy rolling out size-inclusive shopping experience — in stores and online

Old Navy has launched a major initiative in body inclusivity that includes a major change in its stores. . . . more

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Popeyes Approved For Woburn's Mishawum Road

Over two months after they first came to the city, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has won approval for a location at 305 Mishawum Road. . . . more

Malls are rebounding but Q2 shows how cloudy their future is

Retail Dive
It's all part of the plan. That's the assurance that executives at major retail REITs gave in recent weeks about the higher levels of uncertainty to be found in their leasing agreements and tenant mixes these days. . . . more

Casino to replace Macy’s at mall in State College, Pa.

Just last year, mall owner CBL made a Live! Casino the new anchor of Westmoreland Mall outside Pittsburgh. . . . more

Plus-size fashion retailer in name change; to open freestanding stores

Altar’d State is upping its game in women’s mid-size and plus-size fashions. . . . more

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Retail sales drop worse-than-expected 1.1% in July as rising Covid fears hit consumers

Shoppers in the U.S. cut back their purchases in July even more than expected as worries over the delta variant of Covid-19 dampened activity and government stimulus dried up. . . . more

Home Depot says it sold out of an early drop of Halloween decor almost immediately

Home Depot said Tuesday it quickly sold out of an early release of Halloween products, offering a signal that consumers will be eager to decorate their homes this fall and winter. . . . more

Dillard's swings to profit in Q2 as women buy clothing and shoes

Retail Dive
Department store Dillard's on Thursday demonstrated its strength in a troubled segment with its second quarter report. . . . more

Walmart looks for a cryptocurrency strategy leader

Retail Dive
Walmart is seeking a leader for digital and cryptocurrency products, according to a recent job post. . . . more

Demolition of Greendale Mall in Worcester underway; Amazon warehouse in store

Telegram & Gazette
Construction equipment clawed away at the exterior walls of the Greendale Mall Monday morning, the latest step in the transformation of the site from a shopping hub to a package distribution center. . . . more

Survey: Retail leasing will expand, rents will stay flat

More than two-thirds of commercial real estate investors and experts surveyed by Transwestern Real Estate Services expect leasing velocity and tenant walkthroughs to increase in the retail sector, while rents will remain flat. . . . more

Dunkin’ continues to accelerate non-traditional expansion

Dunkin’ continues to focus on opening non-traditional locations. . . . more

Monday, August 16, 2021

Subway's CMO on why the brand's transformation is just beginning

Restaurant Dive
Subway last month rolled out the largest menu update in its history, which was accompanied by an updated visual identity, store remodels, a revamp of its digital ordering and the introduction of direct delivery. . . . more

Abercrombie & Fitch to bring apparel to Zappos

Retail Dive
In a bid to expand its reach, Abercrombie & Fitch has partnered with Zappos to distribute its apparel through the platform starting Aug. 16, the two companies announced on Thursday. That includes Abercrombie & Fitch's denim offerings and "essential tops." . . . more

Chicken Salad Chick expansion on track

Chicken Salad Chick is on a roll. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods set to open its first Golf Galaxy Performance Center

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

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The demise of the department store? Not so fast

Retail Dive
It's no secret that department stores in the U.S. are in a steady decline, with stores closing left, right and center. The critics have been vocal about the viability of this format longer term. . . . more

Nordstrom moved to New York, then came a pandemic. Now what?

Retail Dive
Moving into New York City had been a Nordstrom family goal for years, when, in October 2019, the latest generation of executives running the department store finally reached it. . . . more

Taco Bell preps new ‘Defy’ frictionless drive-thru concept for ‘22

A quick-service Mexican food chain will pilot a store model that offers enhanced drive-thru service for customers who order via mobile app or third-party delivery platform. . . . more

IHOP Is Adding Beer, Wine To The Menu At Some Locations

CBS Boston
If you visit an IHOP in the not-too-distant future, chances are you may encounter some unexpected menu items that weren’t available before: beer, wine and bubbly. . . . more

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

What Franchises Need To Know Before Expanding Into a New State

Plain Vanilla Shell
Ask any franchisor what their ultimate goal for the business is, and you’ll likely get the same answer — growth. Whether a franchise is looking to be a household name nationwide or simply within a region of the country, growth likely includes expanding into new states. . . . more

Planet Fitness, Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results

Plain Vanilla Shell
Today, Planet Fitness, Inc. (NYSE:PLNT) reported financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2021. . . . more

Stop & Shop to keep some in-store People’s United bank branches

Supermarket News
Stop & Shop will retain 27 of 140 People’s United Bank in-store branches previously slated for closure as part of the financial institution’s pending acquisition by M&T Bank. . . . more

Coworking space with child care, gyms and even dog care is floated as a possible new use of former Lord & Taylor store at Westfarms

Hartford Courant
Where department store customers once bought clothing and housewares at the Westfarms shopping mall, office workers could one day arrive at their desks and also take advantage of amenities such as gyms and massages. . . . more

IHOP explores virtual brands, new loyalty program

Restaurant Dive
IHOP plans to launch a new loyalty program in Q4 and is evaluating the addition of virtual brands, IHOP president Jay Johns said during parent company Dine Brands' Q2 earnings call on Thursday. . . . more

JLL: These two retailers are most popular for back-to-school shopping

Cost reigns supreme as the top factor for parents in deciding where to shop for back-to-school and two retailers far outstrip all the competition. . . . more

First round of Sephora shops in Kohl’s open; here’s where

The Sephora-Kohl’s partnership has officially launched. . . . more

Monday, August 9, 2021

Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works officially part ways

Retail Dive
The last vestiges of Les Wexner's "Limited" conglomerate were swept away on Tuesday as L Brands officially switched its name to Bath & Body Works and began trading on the stock market under the symbol BBWI, apart from Victoria's Secret. . . . more

Macy's wipes away $1.3B in debt

Retail Dive
In another sign of financial recovery after the pandemic took a toll on its operations, Macy's is wiping away a good portion of its debt. The retailer Tuesday said that on Aug. 17 it will redeem the entire $1.3 billion principal of its 8.375% senior secured notes that were due in 2025. . . . more

Rite Aid to launch Shipt delivery chainwide

Supermarket News
Rite Aid is bringing Shipt same-day delivery of nonprescription products to all of its 2,100-plus stores in 17 states. . . . more

Saladworks comes to more Kroger stores

Supermarket News
This summer, fast-casual restaurant chain Saladworks plans to wrap up the opening of four more locations inside Kroger supermarkets in Ohio and Kentucky. . . . more

Panera, Caribou, Einstein Bros. Bagels combine under Panera Brands platform

Restaurant Dive
Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels have formed Panera Brands, a platform of fast casual restaurants, according to a press release. The combined company will have nearly 4,000 locations.  . . more

The Container Store notches its first Q1 profit in more than a decade

Retail Dive
Buoyed by interest in the home (which has risen during the pandemic) and in organization (which has been fostered by Netflix programming), The Container Store this week reported a profitable first quarter for the first time in over a decade. First quarter net income rose significantly year over year to $17.7 million from a net loss of $16.7 million a year ago. . . . more

Costco sales surge in July even as online cools

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported strong same-store sales growth in July even as its digital sales growth inched downward. . . . more