News Briefs

  • 2/14/2024

    Whataburger names chief marketing officer

    Scott Hudler

    Texas-based burger chain Whataburger has named its new chief marketing officer.

    Scott Hudler is the company’s new senior VP and chief marketing officer, bringing 30 years of experience to the role. Most recently, Hudler served as the president and chief growth officer of Cotton Patch Cafe, a Dallas-based restaurant chain with locations in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

    Hudler’s past experience also includes roles at Torchy’s Tacos, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Dunkin’, where he spent 11 years and was ultimately elevated to senior VP and chief digital officer.

    "Among the many qualities that impressed us about Scott was his remarkable blend of marketing acumen and experience leading a business," said Alexander Ivannikov, Whataburger’s chief administrative officer. "His insight into how marketing and operations must work in unison to drive growth and ensure the brand's vitality is significant, highlighting their essential collaboration for success."

    ​​Hudler's will begin chief marketing officer duties on Feb. 21. He will work in Whataburger's San Antonio Home Office.

    Founded in 1950, Whataburger operates more than 1,000 locations across a 15-state footprint.

    "As a longtime Whataburger fan, I am excited to join the team and take this iconic brand to new markets and new generations," Hudler said. "It's thrilling to be joining a storied 73-year-old company that is equally committed to its legacy and to innovation and growth."

  • 2/14/2024

    Chain Store Age will be closed on Presidents' Day

    Presidents' Day

    The offices of Chain Store Age will be closed Monday, Feb. 19 in observance of Presidents' Day. DayBreaker will resume publication on  Tuesday, Feb. 20.

  • 2/14/2024

    New McDonald's concept CosMc’s deploys enterprise cloud platform


    CosMc’s, the new small-format, beverage-led concept from McDonald’s, has deployed a cloud-based technology ecosystem to power its operations.

    The drive-thru only restaurant, which made its debut in December with a four-lane location in Bolingbrook, Ill., is utilizing a cloud point of sale (POS) solution from Xenial, a subsidiary of Global Payments. The solution, as well as Xenial’s drive-thru digital menu board products and camera-based speed of service timer (“Vision”), enable an innovative drive-thru traffic management system that supports four lanes and multiple pick-up windows, optimizing restaurant operations in a dynamic and flexible way, according to Xenial.

    Utilizing Global Payments’ unified commerce payment platform, CosMc’s customers can pay at the menu board or the cashier window. Customers can also order and pay ahead — or pay using their card or mobile wallet at the restaurant.

    CosMc's also utilizes Xenial’s back office suite, providing real-time reporting and management of inventory, sales, labor, projections and scheduling.

    Xenial is a leading hospitality technology platform for quick service, casual and fast-casual  restaurants, as well as food service industries.

  • 2/12/2024

    Express reportedly considering bankruptcy filing


    Express may be heading towards Chapter 11 as it looks for a way to restructure its debt.

    The fashion  retailer is prepping for a debt restructuring that includes the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.  The report said Express has hired restructuring adviser M3 and law firm Kirkland & Ellis to advise it on how to restructure nearly $280 million of debt. 

    The Journal report also said that Express is trying to avoid a filing for bankruptcy by restructuring debt outside of filing for Chapter 11.

    In January 2023, Express and WHP Global entered into a strategic partnership that included an intellectual property joint venture to scale the Express brand through new category licensing and international expansion opportunities.  In November, WHP signed long-term licensing deals to bring the Express brand to new markets, including Indonesia (with PT MAP) and Paraguay (with Kemsa).  WHP will also expand the brand’s presence in Mexico.

    Also last year, Express and WHP Global entered into an agreement to acquire direct-to-consumer menswear retailer Bonobos from Walmart for a combined $75 million.

    Express operates approximately 530  and Express factory outlet stores in the United States and Puerto Rico; approximately 60 Bonobos Guideshop locations and 12 UpWest retail stores in addition to e-commerce sites.

  • 2/12/2024

    Petco names new chief human resources officer

    Holly May

    Petco Health and Wellness Company has tapped a retail veteran as its next chief human resources officer.

    Holly May will fill the role effective Feb. 4, leading the pet retailer’s HR strategy. Prior to joining Petco, May served as executive VP & global chief human resources officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance for over two years, where she led all aspects of the organization's global HR and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) functions. Previously, she held executive leadership roles at Starbucks, Abercrombie & Fitch, Visa and more, totalling two decades of HR experience.

    "Our knowledgeable and passionate partners (employees) are Petco's most valuable asset and differentiator — everything we do begins with their expertise and ability to deliver hands-on pet care," said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin. "Holly brings an impressive track record of driving comprehensive HR strategies that align with business objectives and deliver transformational growth. On behalf of the entire Petco leadership team, we look forward to working alongside her to continue supporting our 29,000 purpose-driven partners." 

    May is based at Petco's National Support Center in San Diego. She graduated from Wellesley College and earned her master of finance degree from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.

    "Over the past week, I've had the pleasure of meeting many Petco partners, and I've directly observed their passion for taking care of pets and pet parents," said May. "I look forward to helping this high-impact team further harness that passion to fuel both personal and business growth across the organization."

    Based in San Diego, Calif., Petco operates more than 1,500 pet care centers across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.

  • 2/12/2024

    E-commerce marketplace giant Temu spends big on Super Bowl

    Temu returned to the Super Bowl this year with an ad blitz.

    The Boston-based online discount marketplace, owned by Chinese conglomerate PDD Holdings, launched in the U.S. in fall 2022 and made its Super Bowl debut last year, with a 30-second spot, entitled “Shop Like a Billionaire” that ran several times.

    This year, Temu ran a series of ads during the Big Game. The ads featured a colorful animated shopper virtually trying on clothes and dancing through deals (starting as low as 99 cents) while an updated version of the company’s “Shop like a Billionaire” jingle played in the background. (Commercials for the 2024 Super Bowl sold for $6.5 million to $7 million per 30-second spot, reported CNN).

    As part of its Super Bowl campaign, Temu encouraged viewers to download its app by offering  $15 million in coupons and other giveaways.

    With hopes of taking on Amazon, Temu has ramped up its U.S. advertising since its launch, coming second only to Amazon in spending on Facebook last quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Temu app had more than 50 million monthly U.S. active users as of January, according to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

    While its app has proved very popular with U.S. consumers, Temu has come under considerable scrutiny for allegations of forced labor and of noncompliance towards illicit products entering the U.S. market.

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