L.L. Bean will open its first Michigan store at The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township this summer. Last month the retailer announced its first Rhode Island store, and now has 30 locations outside Maine...Aldi will make its CA debut this month with the opening of 8 Southland stores. Aldi plans to open approximately 45 stores in Southern CA by the end of 2016, part of a five-year strategic plan to open 650 new stores across the nation. By the end of 2018, the grocer expects to operate nearly 2,000 stores. Currently, Aldi operates nearly 1,500 US stores in 32 states...Macy’s will expand its off-price Macy’s Backstage format in 2016, opening one freestanding location and 15 in-store locations in traditional Macy’s stores. Macy’s will open 42 Bluemercury beauty stores, with 24 freestanding locations and 18 in-store shops in Macy’s stores. In addition, Macy’s will open a full-line store in Hawaii in 2016...Stein Mart plans to open 12 new stores this year, with 5 of those stores scheduled to open this spring. The spring store group includes the company’s first ever store in Delaware and a second store in Naples, Fl. Stein Mart has 278 locations from California to Massachusetts, as well as Steinmart.com...DSW will open 14 new US stores this year. As of February, DSW operates 468 stores in 42 states...Pet Supplies Plus will target California as part of its growth plan for 2016. The pet franchise has more than 330 locations in 26 states...Sprint plans to open a further 500 US retail stores in partnership with British retailer Dixons Carphone. Sprint and Dixons will each put up half the costs and have a 50-50 ownership in the stores, which will operate under the Sprint brand. The deal is in addition to Sprint’s move to co-locate inside RadioShack stores...Barnes & Noble will open four new prototype stores in its current fiscal year. The first is expected to open sometime this summer. The company ended the year with 640 stores...AMC Theatres has agreed to purchase all outstanding shares of Carmike Cinemas Inc. for $30 per share in cash. The transaction, valued at approximately $1.1 billion, creates the largest chain of movie theaters in the US and the world. AMC currently has 5,426 screens at 387 theaters, located primarily in the US, including many in the nation’s top markets. Carmike has 2,954 screens at 276 theaters, primarily located in mid-size, non-urban communities. Together, AMC and Carmike will have well over 600 theater locations in 45 states...Amazon.com Inc. will reportedly open a second physical bookstore, at the Westfield UTC mall in San Diego, expected to open this summer...Dollar General plans to open 900 stores in 2016 and an even greater number in subsequent years. In 2015, Dollar General opened 730 new stores and remodeled or relocated 881 stores. The company ended its fiscal year with 12,483 stores...Dick’s Sporting Goods plans to open approximately 36 stores and relocate 9 others. It also expects to open approximately 9 Field & Stream stores and 2 Golf Galaxy stores in 2016. The company currently operates approximately 644 Dick’s stores, 73 Golf Galaxy stores and 19 Field & Stream stores...Pei Wei Fresh Kitchen opened its 200th unit at the end of last year and has since hit 222. In 2016 the company will open another 15-plus restaurants...Ulta Beauty opened 103 new stores last year, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to end the year with 874 locations. Ulta plans to open 100 new stores this year...Ahold shareholders approved a proposal to merge with Delhaize Group. Ahold is buying Delhaize for $11 billion in a deal that will create one of the largest food retailers on the US East Coast. Ahold operates Stop & Shop and Delhaize operates Hannaford and Food Lion. The combined company, Ahold Delhaize, will have more than 6,500 stores across the US and Europe. The transaction is on track for completion in mid-2016...Rita’s Italian Ice is testing a cafe concept in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four additional Rita’s Cafe locations are in the works. In addition to Italian ices and frozen custard, the café features an expanded menu that includes freshly made donuts and an array of specialty beverages. The café concept will also be tested in Idaho, Minnesota, and California. Rita’s operates more than 600 locations around the globe...Ross Dress for Less opened 2 stores in Chicago this month, part of a 2016 expansion program totaling 70 new locations. Together, Ross Dress for Less and dd’s DISCOUNTS operate approximately 1,500 stores...SONIC Drive-In announced a new franchise agreement for Hawaii, the brand’s entrance in its 46th state. Franchisee group North Shore Provisions, LLC, plans to develop 7 SONIC Drive-Ins in Hawaii, with the first set to open on the island of Oahu in 2018. SONIC has 3,500 locations...Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. announced the signing of several franchise agreements for the development of 138 new restaurants. Arby’s expanded in 2015 with 61 new restaurant openings and 179 remodels, and has more than 3,300 restaurants worldwide...Online jeweler Blue Nile is set to open a store at Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County, VA its first physical location outside of NYC, part of a strategy to open 4 locations this year.