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March 13, 2024


Aldi announced plans to add 800 stores nationwide by the end of 2028 through a combination of new openings and store conversions. As a key part of its plans, Aldi also announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of Southeastern Grocery and its roughly 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations. 

ALDI said it will invest more than $9 billion over the next five years on its national expansion, adding new locations across the country. As part of its growth trajectory, the Company will strengthen its presence in the Northeast and Midwest, adding nearly 330 stores across both regions by the end of 2028. ALDI will also grow its presence in the West by adding more stores in Southern California and Phoenix, and by entering new cities, like Las Vegas.


Amazon's Whole Foods announced it would be opening a new, small-format store, Whole Foods Market Daily Shop. The quick-shop store format will be built around convenience, designed to provide customers in urban neighborhoods a quick, convenient shopping experience with easy access to fresh, high-quality offerings such as produce, meat and seafood, prepared foods, pre-packaged meals, breads, alcohol, and supplements.

The new format will initially launch on the Upper East Side in Manhattan with additional locations in New York City to follow before expanding to other urban centers. The first store, located at 1175 Third Avenue, is expected to open this year. Ranging between 7,000 to 14,000 square feet, the quick-shop stores are a fraction of the size of an average 40,000 square foot Whole Foods Market store. Whole Foods noted this smaller format will “pave the way for expansion in dense, metropolitan areas.”

Whole Foods further noted, the new format stores will not replace the traditional Whole Foods Market store format. Whole Foods currently has more than 530 stores in the U.S., U.K. and Canada with more than 75 stores in the pipeline.

Rite Aid

In the RITE AID CORPORATION, DIP case, a hearing on the amended Disclosure Statement was adjourned to March 15, 2024. A hearing on the motion seeking approval to extend the exclusive periods to file and solicit acceptances for a Plan of Reorganization will be held on March 26, 2024. As order was issued approving procedures for exiting leased real property. Store closings may continue through May 31, 2024. 

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and Official Committee of Tort Claimants filed a joint objection to the Debtors’ notices of assumption of certain unexpired leases. The objection requested the Court to deny the Debtors’ lease assumption notices until consideration of a Plan of Reorganization and/or a sale transaction, or at least have the Court defer any hearing on those notices until the Plan confirmation hearing date or related sale hearing.

Regarding the proposed sale of Health Dialog business to Carenet Health, the sale agreement is for $2.75 million plus assumption of certain liabilities.

Reports indicate that according to an internal memo, Rite Aid delayed severance payments to laid off employees. The decision was made "to further preserve cash in the short-term." The payments were expected to be made by next week. 

Bed Bath & BeyondZulily

Beyond announced the acquisition of the intellectual property and other brand assets of Zulily, including website and domain names, trademarks, tradenames, customer database, social media accounts, software to run the Zulily website, and goodwill associated with the brand, for $4.5 million plus acquisition-related costs, funded entirely with cash on hand. The transaction excludes all of Zulily’s liabilities, liens, and debts. The new Zulily site is expected to be fully functional by the end of 2Q24 and contribute to Beyond’s 24-month revenue goal without adding any additional incremental fixed expense.

Management believes the acquisition will strengthen Beyond's position in the off-price market, complementing its suite of brands, including Overstock, which is scheduled to relaunch later this month.


Express was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 6. The delisting is based on the NYSE's requirement that listed companies maintain an average global market capitalization of at least $15 million over a period of 30 consecutive trading days. The Company’s common stock will now trade publicly on the OTC Pink Market under the symbol “EXPR.”

Childrens Place-3

The Children's Place received the $48.6 million second tranche of the previously announced interest-free unsecured financing provided by its majority shareholder Mithaq Capital. Mithaq provided the initial tranche of $30 million to the Company on February 29. The Company continues to expect to be in a position to close the $130 million term loan in March 2024. On March 8, the size of the board was reduced to six.


Equinox announced it has secured $1.80 billion in new capital to refinance its maturing loans as well as to fund future growth including additional clubs. Equinox had previously extended its revolver on three separate occasions; however, the major concern was addressing its first lien term loan ($1.02 billion) and second lien term loan ($200 million) both due March 8, 2024. The investment is being led by Sixth Street; it also includes investments from Ares Management, HPS Investment Partners, and L Catterton.


Academy Sports and Outdoors extended the maturity of its $1 billion asset-based revolving credit facility to March 8, 2029, from November 6, 2025. As of October 29, 2023, there were no borrowings outstanding and $988 million in remaining availability under the facility with JP Morgan Chase Bank. 

Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops plans to open a 100,000 square-foot store in South Fayette Township, PA, in the southwest suburbs of Pittsburgh. This is the Company's third store in Pennsylvania and first in western Pennsylvania. 


Scheels is opening a 250,000 square-foot store in Tulsa, OK this fall, creating more than 500 jobs. The store is currently being built on the west side of Woodland Hills Mall, with the aim to open by October 19. 


REI will open a 23,000 square-foot store in Loveland, CO this summer, joining nine other locations in the state. In January 2024, REI detailed plans to open 10 new stores in 2024, including units in New York, Arizona, and Oregon. Looking ahead to 2025, REI has plans to open two locations in Durango, CO and St. George, UT. 


Barnes & Noble Education delayed the filing of its quarterly report and raised substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern given its losses and projected cash needs, combined with its current liquidity levels and the maturity of its ABL credit agreement, which becomes due on December 28, 2024. The Company added that its ability to continue as a going concern is contingent upon the successful execution of a refinancing, or other transaction, to sufficiently enhance liquidity.


Bob’s Discount Furniture is planning to open over 20 new stores this year, expanding on its current 171 stores in 24 states. From a growth perspective, the Company had 60 locations in 2015. This implies an average annual growth rate of 20% over that period, and a 12% rate of anticipated growth in 2024. Approximately 16% of the current stores are located in California, 11% are in New York, 9% are in Pennsylvania, and 8% are in Illinois. Management said its long-term goal is to expand throughout the lower 48 states with a target of 500 stores, although no timetable was given.


Wawa celebrated the official groundbreaking of its first two stores in Georgia, the Company's seventh state. In addition to these two stores, located in Brunswick and Jesup, expected to open in late 2024, ​​​Wawa revealed future expansion plans in the state, with upcoming groundbreaking events scheduled on May 1 for new stores located in Hinesville and Pooler.

Management noted the Company continues to build a pipeline of sites in southern and Coastal Georgia, with current contracts in: Brunswick, Jesup, Hinesville, Pooler, Waycross, Bainbridge, Tifton, Valdosta and Albany. Over the next 5 to 8 years, Wawa plans to open 26 new stores in the state, averaging three to four store openings a year. The Company will invest approximately $7 million to open each store and will employ an average of 35 associates, expecting to create almost 1,000 new jobs in the region.



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