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News Briefs

  • 3/8/2024

    MG2 launches new advisory service


    Global architecture and design firm MG2 has expanded its offerings.

    The firm has launched MG2 Advisory, a new service designed to provide strategy and insights to empower emerging and established DTC retail brands, national retailers and mixed-use developers working with retail tenants. MG2 principal and retail strategist Melissa Gonzalez leveraged her early years on Wall Street with trend-setting retail experiences and proprietary consumer insights research to develop the new service.

    MG2 Advisory is an outgrowth of services that the company has provided to a select number of design clients for many years. Now also available as a standalone offering, Advisory provides clients with the added benefit of a library of consumer insights reports and years of proprietary research.

    Combining hands-on, tactical project experience, industry knowledge, and established positioning as thought leaders, MG2 Advisory will support clients at all stages of the project lifecycle and provides customized solutions based on their distinct needs and goals.

    A proprietary model serves as the foundation for every project and partnership, with a holistic, four-stage methodology exploring the sociological, psychological, and emotional needs of target personas. The process is designed to clients unlock competitive differentiation and uncover new ways to elevate and reimagine brand experience and environmental design.

    “Our four-step approach does more than provide solutions to specific, agreed-upon objectives but also uncovers additional opportunities for brand positioning and differentiation as well as future iteration and optimization," said Gonzalez.

  • 3/6/2024

    Wawa in summer hiring offensive

    Wawa will open its first stores in Ohio in mid-2025.

    It’s only March, but Wawa is already thinking summer.

    The convenience-store chain has launched  hiring efforts for the summer season with the goal of hiring close to 1,500 new employees for roles at Wawa stores from the New Jersey Shore to the beaches of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.  With more than 60 stores located in those areas preparing for the summer season, the recruiting campaign will continue through the summer season. 

    The annual employment effort is focused primarily on filling the seasonal jobs needed to support summer store operations and bolster Wawa’s growing family of associates. 

    “It’s never too early to start planning for summer and that includes lining up seasonal work while spending time at the beach or shore,” said Maria Kalogredis, chief people officer, Wawa. “We have many associates that start with us during the summer and enjoy their experience so much that they stay with us and go on to soar to new heights in their careers.” 

    In February, the retailer announced plans to open more than 70 new stores in 2024. The openings will include Wawa’s first locations in three new states: Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. 

    The privately held Wawa operates nearly 1,000 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. It has more than 40,000 employees.


  • 3/7/2024

    Express delisted from New York Stock Exchange

    Express store

     Express, Inc. is no longer trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

    The trading of the fashion retailer’s common stock on the NYSE was suspended after the market closed on Wednesday, March 6.  The NYSE reached its decision to delist Express after the company failed to comply with a rule that requires listed companies to maintain an average global market capitalization of at least $15 million over a period of 30 consecutive trading days.  Express stock will now trade publicly on the OTC Pink Market under the symbol "EXPR."  

    In February,  The Wall Street Journal reported that Express was prepping for a debt restructuring that includes the possibility of filing for bankruptcy.  The report also said that the retailer was trying to avoid a filing for bankruptcy by restructuring debt outside of filing for Chapter 11.

    Express operates approximately 530 Express  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.

    "Over the past several months, we have taken decisive steps to position Express for the long term, including implementing a series of cost-saving initiatives and streamlining our process to enhance operational efficiency," said Stewart Glendinning, CEO, in a statement on Wednesday. "We remain focused on continuing to serve our customers and positioning our organization for the future."

    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.


  • 3/6/2024

    Ashley Home acquires Resident Home Inc.


    Ashley Home has acquired a leading digital mattress retailer.

    The furniture chain, an affiliate of Ashley Global Retail, will acquire Resident Home Inc., a digital retailer and wholesaler of mattresses and bedding accessories whose brands include Nectar, DreamCloud, Awara and Siena. The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, provides Resident with an opportunity to expand its home furnishings assortment and global footprint.  

    Through Ashley's affiliate company, Ashley Furniture Industries, Resident will experience improved sourcing and efficiencies to foster additional growth in both its direct-to-consumer and wholesale businesses. 

     In addition to Resident's digital presence, Resident's mattresses are sold at over 2,500 U.S. retailers nationwide as well as in Canada and the U.K. As part of the transaction, Resident co-founders and co-CEO's Eric Hutchinson and Ran Reske, will remain in their positions post-closing.

     “This partnership marks a significant milestone for our team and our journey,” stated Hutchinson. “We believe that together, we can achieve even greater heights and deliver unparalleled value to our customers. Joining forces with Ashley enables new opportunities for growth and our team is excited about the possibilities ahead.”

    "We are incredibly excited about the possibilities that Resident brings to Ashley.  In only a few years, Resident has established itself as a premier destination for mattresses, and we believe this merger will strengthen both companies and accelerate our growth trajectories, together bringing more products to more homes," said Todd Wanek, CEO of Ashley.

    Ashley the largest furniture store brand in North America, with more than 1,125 locations in 67 countries.

  • 3/4/2024

    Joann reportedly considers filing for bankruptcy


    Joann may be looking to restructure. 

    The fabric and craft supplies retailer is reportedly considering a bankruptcy filing, with it coming as soon as this week, reported Bloomberg News. The deal would give control to its lenders while reducing the company’s debt and shoring up its finances, according to the report. (Joann’s long-term net debt was $1,148.2 million as of Oct. 28, 2023.).

    According to the report, Joann is hoping to get enough support from lenders to exit Chapter 11 quickly via a process called a prepack filing.

    Joann, which operates approximately 830 stores across 49 states,  has been without a permanent chief since May when Wade Miquelon retired as president and CEO. Chris DiTullio, executive VP and chief customer officer, and Scott Sekella, executive VP and CFO, are leading the “interim office of the chief executive officer” while the company searches for a permanent chief.

    For its third quarter, ended Oct. 28, Joann’s net sales fell 4.1% to $539.8 million with total comparable sales decreasing 4.1%. The company reported a net loss of $21.6 million compared to a net loss of $17.5 million in the same quarter last year.

  • 3/1/2024

    First Look: Leica Camera opens immersive flagship in NYC

    Leica Camera

    Leica Camera has opened a destination space that is part retail store and part photo gallery.

    The German camera and optics company, has opened a flagship store and gallery in New York City's Meatpacking District. The new location is intended to serve as a destination for the art and culture of photography, offering an immersive retail experience for customers to explore and purchase Leica's full range of products.

    Located steps away from the Highline and The Whitney Museum of American Art, the two-floor, 3,000-sq.-ft. flagship is designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers, from professional photographers to photography enthusiasts.  The ground floor is home to the Leica Store, with an assortment that includes the brand’s portfolio of cameras, lenses and sport optic products, along with its watch collection and new smart laser TV. 

    The ground floor is also home to the Leica Gallery NYC, with exhibitions showcasing the work of renowned photographers and emerging talent.

    The second floor features a photo studio where photographers can test and experiment with Leica's cutting-edge technology. In the Leica Library, visitors can browse through an extensive collection of photography book.

    "This new space will open up the world of Leica to the public and give people more opportunities to engage with up-and-coming talent, fellow Leica fans, and renowned photographers,” said Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of Leica's supervisory board.

    The flagship is the brand's seventh Leica Store and third gallery in the United States, located at 406 W 13th St.

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