Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Industry News: Accelerating

The Wilson Farms Inc. convenience store chain, acquired by 7-Eleven Inc. this year, has begun its transition to its new brand. A handful of the 188 locations have begun flying the 7- Eleven banner. 7-Eleven has about 8,800 stores in North America and about 42,700 worldwide…Sur La Table has been acquired by global asset management firm Investcorp. Sur La Table operates 86 stores nationwide, and no management changes are expected. Investcorp’s past investments include luxury brands Gucci and Tiffany & Co…Dunkin’ Donuts has begun an expansion in the Washington, DC market. Dunkin’ plans to boost its number of stores from its current 125 to nearly 200…Kohl’s Department Stores opened 30 stores across 20 states last month. The company is also remodeling approximately 100 stores this year…Family Dollar plans to open as many as 500 new stores over the next 12 months as the retailer pursues an aggressive expansion plan. Family Dollar has about 7,000 stores…T-Mobile USA announced the rollout of a new design for nearly 400 new and remodeled stores across the country. T-Mobile is opening or remodeling in 65 markets across the country, led by openings in Boston, and Washington, D.C…H&M will add 265 new stores, up from the 250 previously planned…Best Buy will open its 250th Mobile store next month and is on track to have 275 of the stand-alone specialty shops open by Thanksgiving. The company currently operates 240 freestanding Mobile stores, having added more than 30 new locations over the past two months alone, and plans to ultimately operate 800 stores within five years. Best Buy also maintains Mobile departments within all 1,104 of its big-box stores...Subway opened more than 400 shops in August/September. The new restaurants bring the total number of Subways to just over 35,300 locations in 98 countries. The chain also opened 5 new “Green” Subway Eco-Restaurants, making 14 in all...Buffalo Wild Wings opened its 500th US franchised location last month, one of nearly 800 total restaurants in Buffalo Wild Wings’ portfolio. The brand foresees 1,400 US locations, and this year’s plans call for 55 company-owned and 60 franchised restaurants…Uniqlo plans to launch 200 to 300 new stores worldwide each year, with two set to launch in New York this month. Uniqlo has nearly 1,000 stores in 12 countries...Ruby Tuesday entered a deal with Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a 10-unit fast-casual Mexican chain based, to franchise the brand east of the Mississippi River. For fiscal 2012, Ruby Tuesday will close three to five company-owned restaurants; convert six to eight low-performing, company-owned restaurants to other casual dining concepts; open one new Truffles Grill unit; and open six to eight Lime Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants…Auntie Anne’s pretzel chain projects to open 120 stores in 2011, of which over 60 will be in the US. In November 2010, Auntie Anne’s was acquired by FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Seattle’s Best Coffee locations...The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is partnering with Ares Management to buy 99 cent Only Stores, which has 289 western US stores…JCPenney will acquire the worldwide rights for Liz Claiborne brands. The deal includes Liz Claiborne, Claiborne, Liz, Liz & Co., Concepts by Claiborne, LC, Elizabeth, LizGolf, LizSport, Liz Claiborne New York (LCNY) and Lizwear brands. Once its brands are divested, Liz Claiborne will focus on its Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and kate spade brands…Stage Stores will launch a new off-price concept, called Steele’s. The first three stores are slated to open in November. The company plans to open an additional 25 to 35 new Steele’s stores in 2012. Stage also plans to open 30 to 35 new department stores in 2012. The company currently operates 805 stores in 40 states under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage names…Chester's International LLC has recently added 14 more stores in the US and Puerto Rico...Darden Restaurants, Inc. and Eddie V’s Restaurants, Inc. announced an agreement for Darden to purchase the Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Wildfish Seafood Grille brands. Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, includes The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. Eddie V’s currently owns and operates eight Eddie V’s restaurants and three Wildfish restaurants. Darden owns and operates more than 1,900 restaurants.

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