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News Briefs

  • 7/19/2024

    Report: Conn’s to close 100 stores, considers bankruptcy


    Conn’s may be downsizing its store portfolio. 

    The struggling, Texas-based retailer of furniture, mattresses, appliances and consumer electronics may close about 100 locations and liquidate the inventory as part of a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, reported Bloomberg.  

    Conn’s currently operates more than 550 stores across 15 states. Of the total, 378 are dealer-owned as part of its franchise model.  

    Conn's has been struggling amid increased competition and amid a general downturn in consumer competition spending on discretionary purchases, including furniture. The company's total consolidated revenue declined 7.8% to $1.2 billion in 2023, with a 9.1% decline in total net sales and a 3.6% reduction in finance charges and other revenues.

     In June, Conn’s  received a delinquency notification from the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, indicating it was not in compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250 (the Rule) because of the company’s delay in filing its most recent 10-Q report for the quarter ended April 30. Conn’s was given 60 days, or until Aug. 19, 2024, to submit to Nasdaq a plan to regain compliance.

  • 7/19/2024

    RetailROI ‘SuperSaturday’ 2025 open for registration, sponsorships


    RetailROI is hosting its annual SuperSaturday event the day before NRF 2025: Retail’s Big Show kicks off in January 2025.

    Celebrating its 16th year, RetailROI is once again bringing together retail thinkers for in-depth discussions on retail technology. Registration and sponsorships for the event, which in January 2024 featured keynote speaker Darryl McDaniels (“DMC” from pioneering New York City rap group Run DMC), are now open at

    Cost of Social Worker Turnover calculator gains traction

    RetailROI is also announcing early success with the new Cost of Social Worker Turnover calculator it developed with Avanade, a leading Microsoft solutions provider. 

    The free web-based tool is designed to address high turnover among child welfare workers by helping states, agencies and legislators accurately quantify the short- and long-term financial impacts of pervasive child welfare worker turnover, while also advocating for initiatives to reduce it. 

    In about three weeks since launch, RetailROI reports it has reached 30 states and U.S. territories and more than 90 different total people have used the tool thus far. 

    [READ MORE: RetailROI partners with Avanade to track turnover among children's social workers]

    RetailROI is a grassroots charitable organization made up of people in the retail industry who use their skillsets, networks, and funding to raise awareness and provide assistance for more than 400 million vulnerable children worldwide, including 143 million global orphans as well as foster children. 

  • 7/18/2024

    Mod Pizza acquired by Los Angeles-based restaurant group

    Mod Pizza

    Mod Super-Fast Pizza Holdings has a new owner.

    In a move that will help it avoid bankruptcy, fast-casual artisan pizza chain Mod Pizza has been acquired by Elite Restaurant Group, whose other brands include Patxi’s Chicago Pizza, Daphne's California Greek, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Marie Callender’s and more. The purchase price of the transaction was not disclosed.

    The deal comes after reports earlier this month that Mod Pizza was preparing a potential bankruptcy filing. The company, once considered one of the industry’s fastest-growing fast-casual brands, had more 540 locations across 29 states and Canada as of January.  Mod, which has been working to rightsize its portfolio and improve its customer experience, has closed 44 locations so far this year.

    “MOD has an outstanding culture and passionate, loyal guests and employees,” stated Michael Nakhleh, president and owner of Elite Restaurant Group, which is based in Los Angeles. “We recognize the inherent value this represents and look forward to helping MOD write the next chapter in its history.”

    In January, Mod Pizza named hospitality and restaurant veteran Beth Scott as CEO. Scott Svenson, who co-founded the company in 2008 with his wife Ally and led the business for the past 15 years, assumed the role of executive chairperson.

    [READ MORE: Mod Pizza names new CEO as founder moves on to new role]

    MOD is a beloved brand with a strong following,” Scott, said in a statement published by the Los Angeles Times. “We’re excited to work with Elite Restaurant Group to strengthen MOD.”

    Latham & Watkins LLP represents Mod Pizza in the transaction.

  • 7/17/2024

    Cushman & Wakefield names executive director of South Central office

    Hayden Littlefield

    Cushman & Wakefield has added new talent to its team.

    The real estate firm has announced that it has hired Hayden D. Littlefield as an executive director for its Valuation & Advisory practice in the South Central region. Based out of the firm’s Dallas office, Littlefield has over three decades experience in commercial and special use property appraisals, business development and third-party appraisal review services. He is a certified real estate appraiser in the states of Alabama, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas.

    “Hayden’s vast experience and deep understanding of the real estate market will significantly enhance our team’s capabilities,” said Kenneth B. Levenson, executive managing director and market lead – South Central Region. “His leadership and expertise in handling complex valuation projects will add tremendous value to our clients and our organization.”

    Littlefield joins Cushman & Wakefield from Newmark, where he served as a senior director and helped start the Newmark Valuation & Advisory group. He specializes in the valuation of retail properties, including a variety of property types, including apartments, industrial facilities, professional and medical offices, land and special purpose properties, including marinas. His previous roles include VP at CBRE Valuation Services and senior appraiser at Aaron & Wright.

    “Hayden’s addition to our team underscores Cushman & Wakefield’s market dominance in complex retail assets, particularly malls,” said Richard Latella, executive managing director and Retail Practice Group leader for Valuation & Advisory. “His extensive experience with high-profile retail clients and his ability to navigate intricate valuation challenges will further solidify our leadership in this sector.”

  • 7/17/2024

    Consumers oppose dynamic pricing unless...


    A sizable number of consumers are opposed to dynamic pricing, and will stop shopping at businesses that use it.

    A new survey from NerdWallet conducted by The Harris Poll found that more than a fifth (22%) of Americans say they would not spend money at a business that uses dynamic pricing. That number is higher among Gen Xers (29%) and Baby Boomers (26%).

    “Dynamic pricing refers to the practice of businesses adjusting prices up or down to account for supply and demand factors. It’s relatively common and growing in popularity,” wrote NerdWallet’s Joe Yerardi in a blog post about the findings. “In fact, you’re likely patronizing businesses that use dynamic pricing — regardless of where prices stand.

    However, a similar number (25%) of Americans say they would only spend money at a business that uses dynamic pricing when prices are down, giving them better deals on items. Younger generations (39% of Gen Z and 28% of millennials) were more likely to report their willingness to do so compared to older consumers (21% of Gen X and 20% of Baby Boomers).

    Yerardi noted that consumers are already used to dynamic pricing they may not be aware of, including when booking vacation dates at a cheaper time and going to a cocktail place for “happy hour” deals.

    [READ MORE: Wendy’s considers dynamic pricing pilot without 'surge pricing']

    “What’s more, you altered your behavior as a consumer in response to the lower price, which is exactly how dynamic pricing is supposed to work,” he added.

    The NerdWallet survey was conducted online April 15-17, 2024, by The Harris Poll and featured 2,082 U.S. adults.

  • 7/17/2024

    Smoothie King opens 18 stores, gets 34 commitments in Q2

    Smoothie King

    The world’s largest smoothie chain is continuing its growth.

    Smoothie King said it opened 18 new stores and signed 34 new store commitments during its second quarter of 2024,  The store openings include new locations across markets in Georgia, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Florida, New York, Kentucky, Colorado and Wisconsin. The new openings and commitments are in line with the brand's 2024 development growth goal of 100 new store openings for the year.

    Notably, Smoothie King’s newest Atlanta store features a brand-new franchisee: famed Atlanta rapper and entrepreneur 2 Chainz. The artist opened a Smoothie King kiosk inside Atlanta's State Farm Arena in June 2024 in partnership with longtime Smoothie King franchisee and friend Philip Jones. The company's next non-traditional unit is scheduled to open on July 21 with an airport store located in Terminal A of the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

    Smoothie King said the majority of its second quarter new store commitments (64%) were with existing Smoothie King franchisees. New agreements signed in the quarter will bring Smoothie King to the new markets of Grand Rapids, Mich. and Toledo, Ohio. The brand is slated to open six units in the Grand Rapids area and five units in Toledo.

    "We are pleased with the continued growth of our development pipeline and our reporting this quarter exemplifies the strategic plan to extend the Smoothie King market reach and bring our product to new guests around the country," said Chris Bremer, Smoothie King’s chief development officer.

    Founded in 1973, Dallas-based Smoothie King operates more than 1,300 units worldwide.

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