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  • 8/14/2023

    Panera Brands names CFO

    Paul Carbone has been appointed CFO of Panera Brands. (Photo: Business Wire)

    Panera Brands Inc. has named a seasoned retail executive as its new finance head.

    The company, whose brands include Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros., has appointed Paul Carbone as CFO, effective August 15, 2023. 

     Carbone brings decades of operational, IPO and public company experience, according to the company release. Most recently, he served as CFO of SharkNinja. Prior to that, was CFO of Yeti Coolers, from 2018 to 2022, and COO of Talbots.

    Carbone also spent nine years at Dunkin’ Brands, where he was CFO from 2012 to 2017 and during which the company doubled its market capitalization.

    “I am excited for Paul to join the team as we continue to focus on long-term value-creation for Panera Brands,” said José Alberto Dueñas, who took the reins as CEO of Panera Brands and Panera Bread last month. “Paul’s depth of knowledge and history of success across multiple industries, particularly in the restaurant space, and his dynamic leadership qualities make him an ideal partner as we take Panera Brands to the next level.”

    Panera Brands generated more than $4.8 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2022. 

    “I could not be more thrilled to join this dynamic and innovative company at such an energizing and exciting time for the business,” said  Carbone, who will be based out of Panera Bread’s support center in Newton, Mass. “I look forward to joining an already outstanding leadership team and accelerating the momentum of Panera Brands to deliver long-term growth and success.”

    Panera Brands is one of the world’s largest fast casual restaurant platforms, with 3,852 locations and approximately 120,000 employees, including franchisees, across 11 countries.

  • 8/14/2023

    Destination XL Group extends contract of CEO

    Harvey Kanter

    Harvey S. Kanter is staying put — at least for three more years.

    Destination XL Group said that its board has entered into an amended employment agreement with Kanter to extend the term of his role as president and CEO of the men’s big and tall retailer into “at least” mid-August 2026.  His term was originally set to end in April 2025.

    Kanter has served in the position since April 1, 2019. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of digitally native jewelry retailer Blue Nile.

    “The company has embarked on a long-range growth plan, and we expect that the success which the company has achieved since navigating the pandemic will be just a stepping stone to even greater levels of success,” said Lionel Conacher, chairman, Destination XL Group. “With Harvey’s proven track record of creating shareholder value, we look forward to his continued successful leadership.”

    In a Q&A with Chain Store Age in January, Kantar discussed the chain’s growth strategy, which includes the remodeling of its DXL stores, and how it is using technology to better serve customers.

    “I am thrilled to be able to be leading the company on its long-term growth initiatives,” said Kanter in the release about his contract.  “DXLG has a lot of “blue sky” ahead and with our efforts to achieve our long-term growth goals, I believe the positive results will be transformative.”

    Based in Canton, Mass., Destination XL Group subsidiaries operate DXL Big + Tall retail and outlet stores and Casual Male XL retail and outlet stores throughout the United States.

  • 8/14/2023

    Home Depot sales fall as consumers put off big-ticket purchases

    home depot

    The Home Depot topped second-quarter Street estimates even as its earnings and revenue fell amid a pull back in big-ticket spending. 

    The home improvement giant reported net income of $ $4.659 billion, or $4.65 per share, in the quarter ended July 30, down from $5.173 billion, or $5.05 per share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had been expecting earnings per share of $4.45. 

    Sales fell 2% to $42.916 billion from $43.792 billion a year ago, topping estimates of $42.193 billion. Same-store sales fell for the third consecutive month, decreasing 2% from the year-ago quarter.  

    The average ticket was nearly flat, at $90.07. Sales per retail square foot were $684.65 versus $700.62 in the same quarter last year. 

    "We were pleased with our performance in the second quarter," said Ted Decker, chair, president and CEO. "While there was strength in categories associated with smaller projects, we did see continued pressure in certain big-ticket, discretionary categories. We remain very positive on the medium-to-long term outlook for home improvement and our ability to grow share in a large and fragmented market.”

    The retailer said that its board of directors authorized a new $15 billion share repurchase program, effective August 15.

    The Home Depot reiterated its full-year guidance, which it lowered last quarter.

    At the end of the second quarter, the company operated a total of 2,326 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. 

  • 8/13/2023

    Walmart turns its parking lots into retro playgrounds for customers

    Walmart summer rewind

    Walmart is again leveraging its huge parking lots to provide some summer fun for customers.

    The retail giant is launching “Summer Rewind,” a a 33-city, cross-country installation that lets customers travel back in time and do all the things they were never allowed to do in Walmart stores  — right in the parking lot of their local store.   In June 2020, Walmart partnered  with Tribeca Enterprises to temporarily turn 160 of its U.S. store parking lots into contact-free drive-in movie theaters as the COVID-19 pandemic put many vacation plans on hold. 

    Customers are invited to bring the whole family and immerse themselves in what the retailer calls “peak Walmart Y2K nostalgia.” First, they’ll walk through an oversized Smiley entrance, complete with Walmart’s OG emoji . From there, they’ll encounter a number of fun throwback activities, from taking be  turn at the Walmart vending machine for the chance to win an  surprise to walking into a freezer “speakeasy,” complete with frozen summer treats. 

    And for those who really want to feel like a kid again, they’ll  get to experience what it’s like to climb into the famous Walmart ball cage. They can also jump into a life-size toy box for a fun photo opp., play with an oversized Lite Brite installation and contribute to a giant paint project designed to take them straight back to art class.

    Walmart will kick off its Summer Rewind road tour on Aug. 18 in Austin, with stops in cities throughout the country during  the next several weeks. Go to walmartsummerrewind.com to see the complete list of locations and other information on the event.  

     

  • 8/13/2023

    C-store chain Buc-ee’s to enter Ohio

    Buc-ee’s is making its move north as it continues to expand its footprint.

    Based in Lake Jackson, Tex., Buc-ee’s is known for its smiling beaver mascot, massive stores and amenities, which range from its signature clean restrooms and showers to an extensive array of merchandise and specialty food options. The company is planning to open its first store in Ohio, in the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights.

    The Ohio location was announced by Jeff Gore, the mayor of Huber Heights, on his Facebook page.  

    “The rumors you have heard are true! The very first Buc-ee’s in the state of Ohio is coming to Huber Heights,” Gore wrote in his post.

    In addition to Ohio, Buc-ee’s is entering Colorado, with its first store opening there later this year, in Johnstown, along Interstate 25 between Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado.

    In June, Buc-ee’s opened its largest store to date, a 74,000-sq.-ft. location in Sevierville, Tenn., close to tourist-attraction Dollywood. But it won’t hold the title all that long.  A 75,000-sq. Buc-ee’s is currently under construction in Luling, Tex.

    The company is also planning an 80,000-sq.-ft. site in Central Florida, in Ocala, with an opening expected in 2025.   The Florida location — the company’s third in the Sunshine State — will feature 120 fueling stations  and 750 parking spots. 

    According to a report by Placer.ai foot traffic data, Buc-ee’s is outperforming the already strong c-store category nationwide. Its January 2023 visits were 112.1% higher than three years prior.

    Founded in 1982, Buc-ee’s opened its first non-Texas location in 2019, launching o an aggressive expansion into additional Southern states.  It currently operates more than 50 locations in Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

  • 8/10/2023

    Rally House in expansion mode

    Rally House operates more than 160 stores in 17 states.

    After opening some 45 stores in 2022, Rally House continues to expand its footprint. 

    The Kansasi-based,  family-owned sports apparel and gifts retailer has opened a second location at Grapevine Mills in Grapevine, Tex.  The opening comes after Rally House set a record for itself in early August with the opening of  seven stores in five states over one weekend, including its first location in Arizona. (Locations at end of article.) 

    Rally House specializes in apparel, hats,giftsand homedécorrepresenting local NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS teams as well as locally inspired items.  The new Grapevine Mills location will be dedicated to collegiate teams, while the original Rally House store will focus on pro teams.

    The new location carry a wide array of popular college teams, including  the Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Texas A&M Aggies and more. It will also feature an assortment of local Texas merchandise as well as items representing local high schools.

    Here are the seven locations that Rally House opened earlier this month.

    Baytowne Square, Champaign, Ill.;

    Fox Valley Mall, Aurora, Ill.;

    St. Clair Square, Fairview Heights, Ill.;

    Coralville, Iowa;

    Manhattan, Kan.;

    Sooner Mall, Norman, Okla.; and

    Arizona Mills, Tempe, Ariz.

    Rally House operates more than 160 stores in 17 states.

     

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