Monday, January 30, 2017

Accelerating

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid have entered into an agreement to sell 865 Rite Aid stores and certain assets related to store operations to Fred’s for $950 million. The transaction is subject to FTC approval, approval and completion of the acquisition of Rite Aid by Walgreens Boots Alliance, and other closing conditions. The agreement is in response to concerns by the FTC in its review of the proposed acquisition. Under the terms of the agreement, Fred’s Pharmacy will acquire 865 Rite Aid stores and certain assets related to store operations upon completion of the divestiture. Fred’s Pharmacy will continue to operate the acquired stores under the Rite Aid banner during a transition period. If the FTC requires divestiture of more than the 865 Rite Aid stores currently contemplated by the purchase agreement and Walgreens Boots Alliance agrees to sell the stores, the purchase agreement requires Fred’s to purchase the additional stores. Specific locations will be announced upon FTC approval of the Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid merger. The transaction now has an expected closing date of early 2017... Boscov’s Department Store will open a new location at Millcreek Mall, Erie, PA, the chain’s 46th…GNC closed 4,464 of its US owned and franchised locations on December 28 to revamp the brand, reopening December 29 as One New GNC. As part of the rebranding, GNC will offer the same price in stores and on GNC.com, replacing the system that included multiple price structures, and will introduce new brands and products in the coming year... The Tile Shop opened its first store in Washington, DC, and its 12th location in the Chicago metro area. The Tile Shop currently operates 123 stores in 31 states...Amazon will open a bookstore at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan in the spring, the 8th store the company has opened or announced. Stores in Portland, San Diego and Seattle are open now, and Amazon is working on stores in Chicago; Dedham and Lynnfield, MA; and Paramus, NJ... Party City Holdco Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire a master franchise group representing 18 franchise stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Party City’s retail operations include over 900 retail party supply stores (including approximately 160 franchise stores) throughout North America operating under Party City and Halloween City…Aéropostale is re-opening more than 500 USA stores this month. In February, Aéropostale will kick off its 2017 marketing campaign, designed to showcase the brand’s transformation under its new owners. Aéropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2016, and closed stores as it appeared headed for liquidation. But in September, a consortium led by Authentic Brands Group acquired the chain... Sprouts Farmers Market is slated to open 11 new US locations in the second quarter of 2017, and plans to grow its footprint by at least 35 locations in 2017. The retailer currently operates 252 stores and has said that its long-term goal is to operate 1,200 stores... There will be 59 new, expanded, and relocated Walmart and Sam’s Clubs locations in 2017. Wal-Mart currently has 11,593 stores in 28 countries…Bob’s Discount Furniture will open its first  West Coast store early next year in in San Bernardino, CA. A jump to the West Coast is the biggest geographic leap for the 78-store CT-based retailer, which has expanded from the Northeast into Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Chicago... L.L.Bean will open its fourth store in Virginia, scheduled  for the summer of 2017 at The Shops at Stonefield in Charlottesville. This will be Bean’s 32nd retail store outside of Maine... Whole Foods announced the first Northeast location for its 365 by Whole Foods Market value concept, at 300 Ashland, a mixed-use development in Brooklyn, NY. A date was not announced. Whole Foods debuted the 365 format in 2016, and has opened 3 to date…Belk continues to open new stores as it shutters underperforming ones: The retailer announced plans to open 2 new locations this year in Kentucky and Georgia. Belk has closed stores in VA, NC, SC, and FL and opened a store in Texas. Belk currently operates 293 stores in 16 southeastern states... Pep Boys has acquired Just Brakes LLC, a chain with 134 US stores, bringing the number of Pep Boys locations to more than 900…Eloquii, an online apparel retailer for women sizes 14-28, plans to test a “concept shop” in Arlington, VA,  scheduled to open in March…Warby Parker plans to open 25 retail locations this year, bringing its total store count to about 70.

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