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News Briefs

  • 7/2/2024

    Chain Store Age to close on Independence Day

    American flag

    The Chain Store Age offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. We will reopen, and resume publishing Daybreaker, on Friday, July 5. 

    We wish our readers a happy and safe holiday!

  • 7/2/2024

    Layne's Chicken Fingers plots new growth in home state

    Layne's Chicken Fingers

    Layne’s Chicken Fingers is planning to substantially grow its store count through a new franchise agreement.

    The Texas-based quick-serve chicken restaurant will open 25 new units in East Texas through a deal with Taylor Thomas, a veteran franchisee who operates multiple Whataburgers in the state. Layne currently operates 13 locations in Texas, along with one in West Virginia and two in Pennsylvania.

    “We were out eating one night and one of our buddies brought up Layne’s,” Thomas said. “We didn’t even know the brand. We went to check it out, started talking with the team, visited some locations in Dallas and fell in love with the product. It was really everything we were after.”

    Layne’s has already signed on for 91 new restaurants through eight franchise agreements in the first quarter of 2024 alone and expects 10 more openings this year, including locations in Nashville, Janesville, Wis.; and Roswell, Ga., the brand’s first locations in the new states.

    "We are thrilled to welcome Taylor to the Layne's family as he embarks on this exciting venture in East Texas,” said Samir Wattar, chief operating officer of Layne’s Chicken Fingers. “His extensive experience in the franchise industry and dedication to excellence are exactly what we look for in our partners. Together, we are looking forward to making Layne's a beloved household name in East Texas and beyond.”

    Founded in 1994 in College Station, Layne’s is known for its chicken fingers and secret sauce.

  • 7/2/2024

    Report: Iconic music retailer Sam Ash to be acquired by Mexican retailer

    Sam Ash

    Sam Ash has reportedly found a new owner.

    The iconic music retailer, which filed for bankruptcy in May with plans to close is being acquired by Mexican retailer Gonher Music Center, reported Guitar.com. According to the report, which cited a new filing to the court overseeing Sam Ash’s bankruptcy, Gohner will purchase “substantially all” of the chain’s remaining assets, excluding its closing-down sale stock for $15.2 million, plus liabilities and fees.

    In filing for bankruptcy, Sam Ash said it was closing all its 42 stores and evaluating potentially selling its e-commerce operations and related intellectual property as well as its wholesale business in the bankruptcy proceedings.   

    “We believe that a restructuring of our liabilities and a potential sale of the business or portions of the business is the best path forward to unlock and maximize value for the benefit of the company's stakeholders,” David Ash, CEO of the privately-owned, New York-based retailer, said in May. 

    The deal with Gonher will not affect Sam Ash’s physical stores, which are all closing. But the agreement does state that some employees are eligible to be transferred to Gonher, presumably to keep the online side of Sam Ash running, reported Guitar.com.

  • 7/1/2024

    Target takes deep dive into sleepwear, intimates

    Auden

    Target Corp. is doubling down on its private label intimates and sleepwear brand. 

    The discounter is relaunching its Auden brand, with the refresh including more than 100 new sleepwear items in addition to brand staples such as bras and bralettes, underwear and bodysuits. It also is introducing an expanded line of elevated intimates, called the Auden Luxury Collection, crafted with innovative fabrics.

    The refreshed Auden brand will be unveiled in stores and online starting Sunday, July 7. All items are $40 or less.

    Target noted that most of its Auden products are independently tested and certified to be free from over 350 harmful chemicals in accordance with Oeko-Tex standards.

    “After speaking with thousands of women, we saw an opportunity to provide a wider range of quality, on-trend intimates and sleepwear products at affordable price points for life’s many moments,” says Jill Sando, Target’s executive VP and chief merchandising officer of apparel and accessories, home and hardlines. “With the new Auden, we’re delivering just that with more than 600 items all under $40 in one cohesive brand – making it even easier for consumers to shop.”

    The Auden refresh comes as Target continues to emphasize its exclusive brands.

    Earlier this year, the company introduced a new private brand, “Dealworthy,” targeting budget-minded consumers. It 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.

  • 7/1/2024

    Cullinan Properties bolsters marketing leadership

    Kristy Johns

    Real estate firm Cullinan Properties has added to its leadership team with a new hire.

    Kristy Johns will join the company as VP, director of marketing, and will work at the firm’s East Peoria, Ill. office. Johns has over 15 years of marketing and leadership experience, and served as VP of marketing for Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center for more than five years, where she was responsible for the implementation and execution of state-wide strategic marketing plans.

    “We are excited to have Kristy join us. Her vast experience in all levels of marketing and communications are essential in moving our company forward,” said Michael Gold, president, Cullinan Properties. “Her leadership experience and track record of developing and implementing successful marketing strategies makes her a welcome addition to the Cullinan team. Kristy’s strength lies in her ability to plan and execute plans that will continue to grow Cullinan Properties and all its current and future developments.”

    With offices in Peoria and Burr Ridge, Ill. and St. Louis, Mo., Cullinan Properties develops, manages, and owns mixed-use, retail, multi-family, office, governmental, and medical properties throughout the United States.

  • 7/1/2024

    Rite Aid restructuring plan approved, slashes debt

    Rite Aid

    U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved Rite Aid Corp.’s restructuring plan, setting the stage for the pharmacy retailer to stay afloat and emerge from bankruptcy.

    Under the plan, which was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan at a court hearing in Trenton, N.J, Rite Aid will cut its debt by about $2 billion and turn over control to its key creditors.  The judge said the restructuring had saved the company from having to shut down and liquidate operations, reported Reuters. Rite Aid plans to exit from bankruptcy in about a month, funded by $2.55 billion in financing provided by its lenders, according to the report

    Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy in October, listing estimated assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion in its court filing. Since the filing, the company has closed hundreds of stores. (As of Feb. 29, Rite Aid operated 1,704 stores across the United States, according to its website.) It is expected to emerge from bankruptcy with about 1,300 locations. 

    In January, Rite Aid won court approval to sell its pharmacy benefit manager business Elixir Solutions for $575 million. In March, the company  entered into an asset purchase agreement for the partial sale of its Health Dialog business to Carenet Health, a provider of healthcare engagement, clinical support, telehealth and advocacy solutions, as it continues to sharpen its focus on its retail pharmacy business. 

    Rite Aid's restructuring will provide $47.5 million to junior creditors, including individuals and local governments that have sued the company allegedly contributing to the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic. Before it filed for bankruptcy, Rite Aid faced 1,600 opioid lawsuits, including one by the Department of claiming that it knowingly processed “unlawful prescriptions for controlled substances,” which stands in violation of False Claims Act and Controlled Substances Act.

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