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News and analysis on new brick-and-mortar concepts, store design, construction and facilities management.

Virtual SPECS 2020

Retailers, suppliers connect at SPECS 2020

Retailers from more than 100 retail, restaurant and specialty chains registered to attend Chain Store Age’s annual SPECS show, which took place August 4-6, 2020, in an all-virtual format. At a time of unprecedented industry change and upheaval, SPECS provided attendees with the solutions an

Cumberland Farms store interior

Cumberland Farms debuts new in-store shop concept

Cumberland Farms has unveiled an in-store addition inspired by European cafes.  The convenience store retailer, which was acquired last year by European c-store operator EG Group, parent company of EG America, opened its first-ever  Farmhouse Fresh To Go concept, in Westborough, M

J. Crew sign

J.Crew Group has joined Time to Vote, a non-partisan effort led by CEOs whose goal is to increase voter participation. As part of the effort, J.Crew will close all J.Crew and Madewell stores, corporate offices, its distribution center and customer service center for the full day on Election Day,

Chicken Salad Chick storefront

Chicken Salad Chick is bolstering its executive team amid ongoing store expansion. The southern-inspired, fast-casual chicken salad restaurant chain, which was acquired by Brentwood Associates in November 2019,  has more than quadrupled in size since 2016. Chicken Salad Chick has opene


As retailers deal with the unexpected loss in revenue due to COVID-19, the bottom line — and FM budgets — are coming under close scrutiny.

Silver Diner

Silver Diner has made a commitment to clean air as well as “clean” food in all its restaurants. The farm-to-table chain, which has 20 locations in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey and is known for its emphasis on healthy eating and fresh, local ingredients, is billed as the first rest

Dick’s Sporting Goods is opening 11 new stores in August.

7-Eleven has made the largest acquisition in its history and one of the largest to be announced since the pandemic began. 

Coldwater Creek is holding a sale — a big sale — amid strong signs that it may be going out of business. 

Retailers who outperform their peers are much more likely to see a wide variety of remedial steps for COVID-19 as important.

Ascena Retail Group is reducing its store footprint from about 2,800 stores to some 1,200 stores.

Smoothie King continues to grow its footprint. 

A struggling women’s apparel retailer is closed, although a message on its e-commerce site implies a return is possible.

Safety is moving to the forefront of store design as retailers continue to grapple with the challenges of COVID-19.

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