Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Industry News: Decelerating

Esprit Holdings is divesting its North American businesses. The company is actively looking for a partner to acquire its North American operations, which include 93 US stores…Yum! Brands Inc. has signed definitive agreements to sell Long John Silver’s Inc. and A&W Restaurants Inc. to two separate groups of franchisees. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. Yum Brands, which also franchises KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, said Long John Silver’s would be sold to LJS Partners, a consortium of franchisees and other investors. A&W Restaurants will be sold to A Great American Brand. Yum! Brands bought Long John Silver’s and A&W from Yorkshire Global restaurants in 2002. The two brands together accounted for 1,630 units...The 134-store arts and crafts chain A.C. Moore has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of arts and crafts distributor Sbar’s Inc. for about $40.8 million...Gap is on track for a 10% reduction in overall store square footage by the end of 2012. Gap will cut its square footage 34% overall, resulting in 700 US Gap stores and 250 Gap Outlet stores. Old Navy will have roughly the same number of stores in North America, but with a smaller footprint, and will remove another 1 million s/f by fiscal year end 2013. The company is growing its Athleta athletic apparel brand, which will have opened 10 stores by the end of 2011, and 50 by the end of 2013…Filene’s Basement is closing four MA stores, about 15% of the chain’s locations, by the end of the year. 3 Filene’s Basement locations in MA will remain, in the Back Bay, Newton, and Norwood…Lowe's will close 20 underperforming locations in 15 states. However, Lowe’s will open 10 to 15 stores annually from 2012 forward.

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