News Briefs

  • 2/15/2024

    True Religion reportedly exploring a sale

    True Religion opened its 46th U.S.-based store -- it's first new store in four years.

    True Religion’s return to growth may be leading it to new owners.

    The denim and apparel brand’s owner, hedge fund Farmstead Capital Management, is considering selling the company, reported CNBC. Farmstead has hired Baird to run the sale process, according to the report. 

    True Religion has had an up-and-down time of it since its heyday in the early 2000s, including filing for bankruptcy twice, in 2017 and 2020. But it’s been on an upward trajectory the past few years under the leadership of CEO Richard Buckley.  In September, the company opened its first new store — and 46th U.S. outpost — in four years, at Atlanta’s Cumberland Mall.  

    The company is also adding new product categories, including the home market through a parternship with Envogue to license True Religion-branded products for the bed, bath, living room, and kitchen. 

    True Religion is also expanding its global reach. In March 2023, the chain announced it was expanding into China with partner Aurorae Group, owner of Evisu Group. Plans call for the opening of 65 stores (a mix of freestanding locations and shop-in-shops) by 2026, growing to a total of 108 by 2028. The Chinese market is expected to represent 10% of True Religion’s global brand volume by 2026.

    In addition, the brand is expanding its international presence in new markets that include India, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, South Africa, Lebanon and Qatar, bringing its total number of markets outside the United States to 26.

  • 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.

  • 2/15/2024

    Target launches low-price private brand — with some items under $1

    Target Dealworthy brand

    Target Corp. is targeting budget-minded consumers and moving into the dollar and extreme discount space with its newest private label — or "owned" — brand. 

    The retailer is launching Dealworthy, which features nearly 400 "everyday" products across four categories: apparel and accessories, essentials and beauty, electronics, and home items. Prices start at less than $1, with most items under $10.

    Target said the prices of Dealworthy items are among the lowest customers will find across its assortment. In electronics, some items will be priced 50% lower than any other brands sold at Target.

    Dealworthy products will be available in Target stores and on its website starting on Feb. 18. New products will continue to be introduced through early 2025, including power cords, undergarments, socks, laundry detergent, dish soap and more.

    "We know that value is top of mind for consumers, and Dealworthy, backed by our owned brand promise, will not only appeal to our current guests but position us to attract even more new shoppers to Target,” said Rick Gomez, executive VP and chief food, essentials and beauty officer.

    Target’s owned brands now account for nearly $3 billion in annual sales. The news about Dealworthy comes days after Target said it was relaunching and expanding its up+up brand, which it launched 15 years ago. Hundreds of new products are being added to the assortment

    The retailer offers a generous return policy on its owned brands.  If a consumer is not satisfied with any Target owned brand item, they can return it within one year with a receipt for an exchange or a refund.

  • 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

    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.

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