Openings, Closings, & Other Key Industry Highlights

Retail News

Powered by

Premier Source For Location Data

aggdata header

February 28, 2024


The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block Kroger's $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons, alleging that the deal is anticompetitive. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Oregon, alleges the deal would lead to higher food prices and lower wages for workers; the FTC requested the court to block the companies from closing their deal on antitrust grounds. It also said the companies’ plan to address the government’s concerns by selling hundreds of stores in Washington, Colorado and other states won’t solve the problem. The FTC must now demonstrate to the court that the companies’ planned divestitures don’t address the loss of competition in some local markets.

Attorneys general in Washington and Colorado have already sued to stop the merger. Nine states joined the FTC’s case on Monday. Kroger and Albertsons operate stores in many of the same areas in those states.

“This supermarket megamerger comes as American consumers have seen the cost of groceries rise steadily over the past few years,” said Henry Liu, director of the FTC’s bureau of competition. “Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons would lead to additional grocery price hikes for everyday goods, further exacerbating the financial strain consumers across the country face today.”

The companies said they look forward to presenting their arguments in court. A Kroger spokeswoman said the FTC’s decision makes it more likely that America’s consumers will see higher food prices, fewer grocery stores and that it will strengthen nonunionized retailers. Meanwhile, an Albertsons spokesman said the deal would lower prices for consumers, increase worker pay and allow the combined company to better compete with Amazon, Walmart and Costco.

Rite Aid

In the RITE AID CORPORATION, DIP case, Rite Aid filed an amended Plan of Reorganization (Plan) and Disclosure Statement. The Debtors also filed an amended motion seeking conditional approval of their Disclosure Statement and related solicitation procedures to allow them to proceed expeditiously toward confirmation in accordance with the milestones set forth in their DIP financing documents. In response, certain distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies filed a limited objection to the Debtors amended motion. The objection argues that the procedures are unreasonable and do not provide adequate time to respond to an initial confirmation brief.

In other news, the Debtors notified the Court that the auction for the sale of the retail assets has been rescheduled to February 29, 2024. A hearing to approve any sale transaction will occur on March 15, 2024.

Sprouts Farmers Market-1

Sprouts' 4Q23 sales increased 7.7% to $1.70 billion, driven by comp growth of 3.3%, as well as 21 net new stores. During the quarter, the Company opened six new stores, resulting in 407 stores across 23 states as of December 31, 2023. Looking ahead, management anticipates FY24 sales growth of 5.5% to 6.5% with comp growth of 1.5% to 3.5%. Additionally, Sprouts is looking to open 35 new stores in FY24, representing 10% unit growth.

FLoor & Decor

Floor & Decor's 4Q23 sales were flat at $1.05 billion, with comps down 9.4%, which the Company described as better than expected as flooring industry sales continue to contract amid record low existing home sales. The Company opened 14 new locations, ending the quarter with 221 warehouse stores and five design studios. Subsequent to quarter end, the Company opened a store in Mansfield, TX in late December 2023. The Company expects to open 30 to 35 new stores in FY24, and aims to operate 500 warehouse stores in the U.S. on a long term basis. 


Walgreens is closing its remaining VillageMD clinics in Florida. In October, Walgreens said it planned to close approximately 60 VillageMD clinics, exiting five markets. VillageMD had operated 52 clinics in Florida, and 14 have already gone dark. Florida is VillageMD's third largest market behind Texas and Arizona. All clinics in Florida are co-located in Walgreens stores. 

Jack in the Box-1

Jack in the Box signed new franchising agreements to expand its store count in two states, including five stores in the new market of Michigan and 10 stores in Orlando, FL. The first of the five Michigan stores will open in Battle Creek, with the rest opening over the next five years. The expansion follows recent successful openings and development agreements in areas throughout Utah, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and Wyoming. In 2023, Jack in the Box signed 123 new restaurant agreements. 

BJs Restaurants

BJ's Restaurants received a letter from activist investor PW Partners calling for immediate actions to create long-term value for shareholders. PW beneficially owns 4.9% of BJ's outstanding shares, and stated in the letter that it believes the Company's stock price is materially undervalued. Its recommendations include:

  • reduce the current cost structure by $50 million by the end of 2Q24, with a focus on G&A, labor, and purchasing.
  • execute a $100 million stock buyback. PW calculates the replacement cost of the Company's assets at $55 per share.
  • reduce the board size to seven members.
  • appoint PW representatives to the board. 

Big Lots

Big Lots inked a deal to acquire the entire inventory of the Hearthsong brand of children's toys. The inventory, valued at more than $22 million, will bring more than 500 new SKUs to Big Lots stores across the U.S. Inventory spans the entire collection of indoor and outdoor toys, inflatables, playscapes, games, arts & crafts, STEM, nature and science, and kids decor. Items will be offered at 50% to 70% less than original retail. 


Buc-ee's will open a 74,000 square-foot location in Johnstown, CO, just north of the Denver metro area, on March 18. This is the chain's first location in Colorado, and first outside of the South. Buc-ee's operates stores across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Dollar General

Dollar General opened its 20,000th store in Alice, TX under the DG Market banner. 

Franchise Group

According to reports, Franchise Group has disposed of its interest in Sylvan Learning for $185 million to Unleashed Brands. Further details of the transaction were not disclosed. 


Chuy's reported 4Q23 comps inched up 0.3% on revenue growth of 11.8%. The Company opened one new restaurant during the quarter, with plans to open six to eight new restaurants during the year primarily in existing markets. 

Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory marked a strong finish to FY23, with positive comp growth and margin expansion contributing to record annual revenue and solid earnings growth, according to CEO David Overton. During 4Q23, the Company opened nine new restaurants, including three Cheesecake Factory restaurants, three North Italia restaurants, and three FRC units. In addition, two Cheesecake Factory units were opened internationally under licensed agreements in China and Thailand. Subsequent to quarter end, the Company opened one North Italia restaurant, one Flower Child, and one Culinary Dropout, as well as one Cheesecake Factory restaurant opened internationally in Mexico. 

Bloomin Brands-1

Bloomin Brands reported comps decreased 0.2%. By brand, Carrabba's U.S. comps were up 2.5%, but comps were down 0.3% at Outback, 3% at Bonefish Grill, and 0.3% at Fleming's. During 1Q24 the Company will close 36 predominantly older, underperforming restaurants and three U.S. and two international Aussie Grill restaurants. The Company will also open 40 to 45 restaurants during the year. 

The information contained in this newsletter is compiled from sources which RetailStat, LLC (“RetailStat”), does not control and unless indicated is not verified. Its contents are not to be divulged. RetailStat, its principals, and writers do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information provided nor do they assume responsibility for failure to report any matter omitted or withheld because of their negligence.