Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Target Seeks To Entice Workers With Pay Of Up To $24 An Hour

CBS Boston
Workers at Target stores and distribution centers in places like New York, where competition for finding and hiring staff is the fiercest, could see starting wages as high as $24 an hour this year. . . . more

New Balance Opens New $20 Million Factory In Methuen

CBS Boston
New Balance officially opened a new $20 million factory in Methuen Monday. . . . more

4 casual, fast casual drive-thru innovations in Q1

Restaurant Dive
Fast casual and casual dining chains are proving drive-thrus aren't just assets for fast food restaurants. . . . more

Popeyes Unveils New Digital-Centric Design as Growth Ramps Up

Over the past couple of years, as Popeyes rode its chicken sandwich fame to some of fast food’s top results, the brand kept in touch with guests, brand president Sami Siddiqui says. . . . more

The mall operator that just set a sales per square foot record is…

PREIT, the mall owner which years ago set a minimum average sales-per-sq.-ft. number as a marker for dispossession, now finds itself with record-high receipts. . . . more

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Mayor Wu, North End Restaurant Owners May Have Compromise In Outdoor Dining Fee Dispute

CBS Boston
There may be a potential compromise for outdoor dining in the North End. . . . more

Pet Supplies Plus Multi-Unit Operator Signs Deal for 20 Additional Franchises
When a business shows consistent strong performance and its owners are having fun, the logical strategy is to continue growing. That’s the philosophy of pet-passionate, entrepreneurial business partners Aaron Young, Chad Bush and Doug DeLozier. . . . more

Burger King rolls out new mobile delivery service

Burger King is heating up its on-demand delivery offering. . . . more

Report: Walmart to stop selling cigarettes in select stores

Walmart will no longer sell tobacco products, but only in select markets. . . . more

BJ’s expands same-day grocery delivery options

BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. is adding a new partner to its online delivery portfolio. . . . more

Ulta Beauty, PayPal expand in-person returns

Ulta Beauty and PayPal are both leveraging the same third-party online returns solution. . . . more

First Look: Orangetheory Fitness opens first-of-its kind flagship

Orangtheory Fitness’s new flagship comes with an added offering. . . . more

Monday, March 28, 2022

Title Boxing Club Restarts Franchise Growth

SGB Media
One year after being acquired by BoxUnion, Title Boxing Club is relaunching its franchise expansion with plans to open more than 300 clubs by 2025 in the U.S. . . . more

Sbarro will open 100-plus units with c-store focus in 2022

Restaurant Dive
Sbarro plans to open more than 100 new restaurants, both company-owned and franchised, this year, the pizza chain announced Thursday. . . . more

Consumer survey finds brick-and-mortar making a comeback — with safety in mind

Men are helping to lead the resurgence of the IRL (in real life) shopping experience. . . . more

Ahold Delhaize USA expands CPG promotional platform

CPG brands have new opportunities to send targeted communications to shoppers of Ahold Delhaize USA grocery banners. . . . more

Robotic burger joint comes to Simon mall location

An automated “restaurant in miniature” is serving up hamburgers at the Newport Centre, a Simon mall in Jersey City, N.J. . . . more

Chico’s targets total revenue of $2.5 billion-plus by 2025

Chico’s FAS is confident that its turnaround strategy has taken hold. . . . more

CT’s first proposed Wegmans store faces no opposition at first Norwalk hearing

The Hour
Plans to build Connecticut’s first Wegmans grocery store off Connecticut Avenue faced no opposition from local residents at a public hearing this week. . . . more

Friday, March 25, 2022

Panera Steps Into Chicken Sandwich Craze

Panera announced on Tuesday its entrance into the chicken sandwich game, a significant move that will create more daypart versatility and capture new audiences, the company said. . . . more

Plant-based food sales reach record high of $7.4 billion in 2021

Supermarket News
Sales of plant-based food at retail grew three times faster than total food retail sales in 2021, according to data released Thursday by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), The Good Food Institute (GFI) and wellness-focused data company  SPINS. . . . more

Can brands stay safe in the metaverse?

Retail Dive
As the metaverse makes the leap into reality, marketers are eager to figure out where this new frontier fits into their strategies. . . . more

Inside Macy's plan to scale its budding retail media business

Retail Dive
Macy's is betting bigger on its retail media network at a transitional point for digital marketing that has seen rivals chase similar ambitions. . . . more

J.Jill swings to profit again; expects net store closures

For the second straight quarter, women’s apparel and accessories retailer J.Jill Inc. went from net loss to net income. . . . more

Petco eyes revenue growth, rural store format

Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc. is confident that shoppers will keep spending on their pets even amid inflation and other economic challenges. . . . more

Sweetgreen to open at least 35 locations, pilot drive-thru in 2022

Sweetgreen is diving into one of the restaurant industry’s hottest trends — drive-thru — but with an added tweak. . . . more

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

GameStop's loss widens in first year of transformation under Ryan Cohen

Retail Dive
GameStop's fourth quarter sales increased 6.2% year to year to just under $2.3 billion while full-year sales rose 18% to $6 billion, the company said in release Thursday. . . . more

Target, Amazon debut sustainable store concepts

Retail Dive
With consumers prioritizing environmental sustainability, Amazon and Target unveiled stores that aim to use less energy than they produce, the retailers announced last week. . . . more

Allbirds opens store in New York's Flatiron District

Retail Dive
As it continues with its brick-and-mortar expansion plan, Allbirds announced Friday that it opened a new 7,100-square foot storefront in the Flatiron District of New York City. . . . more

Foot Locker names new global brands head

Foot Locker Inc. is tapping a brand expert from the toy industry to run its global brands operation. . . . more

Survey reveals consumer frustration with out-of-stocks

Consumers see a deteriorating situation with product out-of-stocks. . . . more

First Look: Bristol Farms unveils new store concept

Bristol Farms has debuted a new grocery market concept complete with a food hall. . . . more

Saugus boards discuss plans for Kowloon

Item Live
Permitting of the 198-unit residential housing project at the Kowloon restaurant site will take approvals from several permit-granting bodies, but the restaurant is planning to stay open throughout construction. . . . more

Monday, March 21, 2022

P.F. Chang’s COO: ‘We’re taking takeout to the cities and the suburbs’

P.F. Chang’s Bistros generally do about $1 million in takeout business each year. So in 2020, the star Asian food tenant of malls and lifestyle centers decided to open P.F. Chang’s To Go in downtown locations in major metros—just as downtown residents were escaping COVID by moving to, or staying in, the ‘burbs. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods expanding House of Sport store concept

Dick’s Sporting Goods is bringing its immersive store concept to Minnesota. . . . more

Joanne earnings drop; freight costs jump

Joann Inc. was challenged by increased freight costs and other supply chain disruptions during its first full year as a public company. . . . more

How Restaurants Can Manage Cash in a Digital World

According to the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, an annual research report conducted by the Federal Reserve, cash accounts for 19 percent of all payments in the U.S. During the height of the pandemic, the amount of cash carried by consumers increased by $20, to an average of $74. . . . more

What new ownership could mean for Kohl's

Retail Dive
Kohl's, with a robust loyalty program, off-mall presence and knack for forging winning partnerships, once seemed immune to many of the troubles befalling department stores. . . . more

Amazon bolsters same-day delivery infrastructure in Massachusetts

Amazon Prime members in the Greater Boston area can now receive orders as fast as three to five hours from when they make their purchases. . . . more

L.L. Bean boosts revenue in record-setting FY ’21, approves bonuses

L.L. Bean is sharing the good fortune it experienced in fiscal year 2021 with performance bonuses for employees. . . . more

Friday, March 18, 2022

Some new Captain D’s restaurants to have only drive-thru, walk-up windows

Produce Blue Book
Captain D’s, the nation’s leading fast-casual seafood restaurant, announced today it has an impressive slate of new openings underway in the first half of 2022, capitalizing on continued franchise development interest from both new and existing franchisees. . . . more

El Pollo Loco Alters Franchise Plan after Disappointing 2021

In March 2021, El Pollo Loco officially announced the beginning of its “acceleration agenda”—a three-year strategy envisioning aggressive franchise growth in new markets. . . . more

Chipotle tests Chippy, a tortilla chip-making robot

Retail Dive
Chipotle has teamed with Miso Robotics to create Chippy, an autonomous kitchen assistant that cooks and seasons tortilla chips, the chain announced Wednesday. . . more

After nearly 2 decades of decline, what's next for office supplies stores?

Retail Dive
The pandemic has turned millions of consumers around the country into office managers, fashioning workspaces out of portions of their homes and stocking them with all the things necessary to get their jobs done. . . . more

Amazon opens second Whole Foods store with cashierless technology

Amazon is expanding the availability of its “Just Walk Out” autonomous checkout experience in its Whole Foods Market grocery chain. . . . more

Men’s Wearhouse parent company names permanent CEOs; new president

Tailored Brands’ interim leadership team is now permanent. . . . more

Warby Parker to open 40 stores in 2022; posts tough Q4 as loss widens

Warby Parker reported a challenging fourth quarter as the omicron variant slowed its in-store traffic. . . . more

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Giant Food makes online grocery pickup a free service

Supermarket News
Giant Food has dropped its click-and-collect fee to make pickup free for all online grocery orders. . . . more

Macy’s rebrands with customer-focused brand platform

Macy’s is putting a big new emphasis on personalization, in-store and online. . . . more

KeyPoint Partners Negotiates First Apple Cinemas Movie Site in New York

6 Park News
KeyPoint Partners has negotiated a new lease with Apple Cinemas, its expanding movie theater client, for a premier movie theater location at Pittsford Plaza in Rochester, New York. . . . more

Kmart: And then there were…

A retailer that once had about 2,400 stores across the United States and is moving closer to being a relic of the past. . . . more

Grocery prices up 11.5% year-over-year

A new study confirms that prices of everyday goods have risen significantly — but not the same for everyone. . . . more

Citi Trends to continue store growth, remodels in 2022

Citi Trends remains bullish store growth and upgrading its in-store experience. . . . more

Starbucks to phase out iconic cup; launch pilot EV charging network at its stores

Starbucks Corp. is doubling down on its commitment to cut its waste and carbon emissions from direct operations in half by 2030 as part of its goal to one day be “resource positive.”. . . more

Monday, March 14, 2022

The Seaport’s Newest Outdoor Shopping Space Will Span an Entire Block

Boston Magazine
The offerings of the Seaport District are about to get even more expansive. Boston-based WS Development announced plans to open a European-inspired retail space in the waterfront district by summer 2022. . . . more

Restaurant Menu Price Inflation Keeps Rising

Restaurant consumers in February were once again hit with menu price inflation not seen in years. . . . more

Express, ready for a comeback, is opening more stores

Retail Dive
Express reported that Q4 net sales rose 38% year over year to $594.9 million, as comps (stores plus e-commerce) rose 43% from 2020 and 4% from 2019. E-commerce grew 33% year over year and 21% from 2019, on track to reach $1 billion by 2024, per a company press release. . . . more

Friday, March 11, 2022

Walmart adds free Spotify to Walmart+, gives membership free to staff

Retail Dive
Walmart is partnering with Spotify to offer the retailer's Walmart+ members free access to Spotify Premium for six months. . . more

Spending momentum rebounds in February, fueled by older Americans

Consumer spending resumed its robust pace of expansion in February amid declining COVID-19 case counts. . . . more

Walgreens enables cash bill payments at stores

Walgreens is expanding its financial services portfolio. . . . more

Ulta Beauty posts strong year as quarterly, annual sales soar

Ulta Beauty turned in better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue as its sales jumped higher consumer confidence, government stimulus payments and the easing of COVD-19 restrictions. . . . more

Thursday, March 10, 2022

The pandemic rattled off-price retail in Q4

Retail Dive
Off-price retailers often rise above the challenges that tend to hurt most stores. . . . more

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Lego revenue jumped 27% in 2021, as kids and adults continue to build

CNBC Business
Sales of Lego building kits continued to soar in 2021, as kids and adults stayed home to build “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” models long after the coronavirus lockdown ended. . . . more

Meat dollar sales reach record high in 2021, but volume is down

Supermarket News
Following the record-breaking sales of meat due to the impact of the pandemic in 2020, dollar sales continued to rise in 2021, with an 0.3% increase for a total of $81.8 billion in sales — though those numbers were driven by significant inflation, according to the 2022 Power of Meat report released Tuesday. Tellingly, volume and unit sales fell short of the prior-year record levels, at -5.6% and -4.4%, respectively. . . . more

Petco swings to profit; enhances paid wellness program

Petco Health & Wellness Co. Inc.’s emphasis on pet health and wellness services is paying off. . . . more

Your new bank account could be at Dollar General

Dollar General is making big moves in financial services with a banking platform, buy now pay later (BNPL) payment, and a new rewards redemption option. . . . more

Here’s how shopping habits are changing

Supply chain issues and massive inflation during the past year are directly impacting the way consumers say they shop. . . . more

Mall Deep Dive - 2021 Yearly Review

The pandemic seems to have reinvigorated consumer demand for the mall experience, with 2021 foot traffic data proving once again that malls still play an important role in the broader retail landscape. But while many malls are thriving, others are struggling to adapt to the significant changes in consumer behavior and expectations in an almost-post-pandemic world. . . . more

Kohl’s says it’s no longer a department store

Kohl’s is under intense pressure from Wall Street raiders and up against stiff competition from Amazon, Target and others. Now it’s hoping that overhauling its brand image can beat back those threats. . . . more

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Potbelly outlines its big growth goals

Restaurant Business
Since its birth 45 years ago, Chicago-based sandwich chain Potbelly has based its business on a portfolio of largely urban, company-owned stores. . . . more

Burlington continues N.J. expansion, another store planned for 2022
Burlington, the department store chain formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, has announced it will open a store in Paterson, adding to its recent New Jersey expansion. . . . more

Friendly's opens its first fast casual restaurant

Restaurant Dive
Casual dining chain Friendly's Restaurants is launching a new fast casual concept called Friendly’s Cafe, the company announced Tuesday. . . . more

Dick’s Sporting Goods expects more profit momentum after solid holiday quarter

CNBC Business
Dick’s Sporting Goods on Tuesday reported profits and sales growth in its holiday quarter that topped analysts’ estimates, as the company laps massive gains from the prior year that were fueled by pandemic purchases of outdoor equipment and fitness accessories. . . . more

The future of Best Buy: At-home gyms, e-bikes and outdoor grills

CNN Business
Best Buy built a retail empire selling TVs and laptops. But to keep growing and fend off rivals like Amazon and Walmart, the company needs new ways to attract customers. . . . more

Ross Stores to open 100 new stores in 2022

Ross Stores is accelerating its physical growth. . . . more

Monday, March 7, 2022

Gymja Warrior Signs 11,345 SF Retail Lease in Peabody, Massachusetts

Rebusiness Online
Boutique fitness operator Gymja Warrior has signed a 11,345-square-foot retail lease at Route One Marketplace in Peabody, a northeastern suburb of Boston. . . . more

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Apple Cinemas brings firsts to Warwick

The Warwick Mall has a movie theater again, and it's not like the old one. . . . more

Nordstrom joins in-house media ranks with Walmart, Target, Best Buy

An upscale department store retailer is the latest retailer to launch its own media company. . . . more

American Eagle takes marketing into the metaverse

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is spreading its wings into Roblox and flying higher with Snapchat as part of its spring campaign. . . . more

REI relaunches lifetime membership program

REI Co-op is making some major changes to its loyalty offering. . . . more

Muscle-building gym aimed at the 40+ market is going nationwide

Surely, you’ve seen lots of small-space fitness boutiques that teach barre, biking, and yoga. How about one that teaches 70-year-old men to deadlift 385 pounds? . . . more

Abercrombie & Fitch return to profitability; to open 50 stores

Abercrombie & Fitch ended a strong year with a drop in net income amid inventory delays and fallout from Omicron. . . . more

Amazon Closing Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores And 4-Star Shops

CBS Boston
Amazon is closing all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as its 4-star shops and pop up locations, including four locations in Massachusetts. . . . more

Stop & Shop, union agree to 4-year contract that boosts pay, including to $19 an hour for workers who fill online orders

Hartford Courant
Stop & Shop workers, battered by COVID-19 and eager to avoid a second strike in three years, have ratified a four-year contract that delivers a $15 minimum hourly wage a year before Connecticut’s higher wage takes effect and boosts pay significantly for workers who fill online orders for curbside pick-up. . . . more

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Domino's CEO Ritch Allison to Retire

Domino's announced Tuesday that CEO Ritch Allison plans to retire this summer. . . . more

Kohl’s issues better-than-expected outlook as margins withstand supply chain strain

CNBC Business
Kohl’s on Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales that came in below analysts’ estimates for the key holiday quarter, but investors lifted shares as the company issued upbeat revenue outlook for 2022 despite ongoing supply chain obstacles that roiled retailers and shrunk inventories. . . . more

Taco Bell's subscription service increased rewards members by 20%

Restaurant Dive
Members of Taco Bell’s subscription service, Taco Lover’s Pass, are three times more likely to visit a Taco Bell restaurant per month, according to data the company emailed to Restaurant Dive. . . . more

Krispy Kreme to open delivery-only shops in US and Mexico

Restaurant Dive
Krispy Kreme is planning to build delivery-only locations in the U.S. and Mexico this year, the company said during its Q4 2021 earnings call. This announcement follows a pilot in the United Kingdom, which grew to include more than 50 "dark shops." . . . more

TJX cruises past pre-pandemic sales levels

Retail Dive
TJX Cos. posted a comparable sales increase of 13% (for open stores only) against the same period two years ago, before COVID-19 disrupted the off-price sector. Net sales, at $13.9 billion in Q4, were up 27% over last year and up 14% from two years ago. . . . more

What happened to Nordstrom Rack?

Retail Dive
Nordstrom didn't invent the bargain basement — its first Rack opened in the cellar of its Seattle flagship store in 1973, more than six decades after Boston department store Filene's innovated that method of unloading excess inventory. . . . more

Target Seeks To Entice Workers With Pay Of Up To $24 An Hour

CBS Boston
Workers at Target stores and distribution centers in places like New York, where competition for finding and hiring staff is the fiercest, could see starting wages as high as $24 an hour this year. . . . more