March 30, 2022
The Save Mart Companies announced it was acquired by Kingswood Capital Management. Kingswood is an operationally focused private equity firm based in Los Angeles, which most recently acquired Cost Plus World Market from Bed Bath & Beyond in January 2021 for $110 million. Save Mart, at just over 200 stores and nearly $5 billion in sales, would represent Kingswood’s largest retail investment by far; it generally focuses on companies with sales of $100 million - $500 million and equity investments of up to $75 million. Save Mart also operates its own refrigerated transportation company and is a partner with Raley’s in its wholesale distribution through Super Store Industries.
Publix Super Markets remains one of the 10 largest grocery chains (and the leading employee-owned supermarket chain) in the U.S., with nearly 1,300 retail stores throughout the southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina. More than 800 of the grocery stores are in Florida, Georgia is home to nearly 200, and the other five states each have less than 100. Our report takes a closer look at the Company’s operational and competitive status, including market position, real estate and sales trends, and provides visual competitive analyses as well as key real estate metrics like store count, average sales per square foot, and the new Real Estate Intelligence analytics solution.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet finished off what has been a tough fiscal year, with 4Q21 revenue falling 2.8%, and comps declining 10.5%; comps were down 2% compared to 4Q19. This was the third consecutive quarter of declining sales and comps. The Company faced another tough quarterly comparison of 8.8% comps in 4Q20. For the year, Ollie’s added 43 net new stores, bringing its total to 431 units in 29 states. Full-year sales declined a more modest 3.1%; however, comps were down 11.1%.
Kohl’s received a letter from Wisconsin’s Senator Tammy Baldwin, urging the retailer not to accept any offers that would entail dramatically growing debt levels, shaving off assets or increasing shareholder payouts at the expense of reinvesting in the business. The letter came days after Kohl’s acknowledged it received multiple non-binding proposals from companies interested in acquiring the chain. The Company, which in February 2022 adopted a “poison pill” shareholder rights plan, has authorized Goldman Sachs to assist with further due diligence on select bid proposals.
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Grupo Comercial Chedraui is in integration mode after closing on its acquisition of Smart & Final from Apollo Global Management in July 2021; Smart & Final now operates as a division of Bodega Latina, the Company’s U.S. subsidiary, along with the El Super and Fiesta Mart chains. In late December 2021, Bodega Latina announced a name change to Chedraui USA to more closely align it with Grupo Comercial Chedraui. Altogether, Bodega now has 377 locations across California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Our report takes a closer look at the Company’s operational and competitive status, including market position, real estate and sales trends, and provides visual competitive analyses as well as key real estate metrics like store count, average sales per square foot, and the new Real Estate Intelligence analytics solution.
Founded in 1903, KPH Healthcare Services is a national provider of pharmaceutical and health care services, with businesses in both the retail and commercial segments of the industry. Doing business as Kinney Drugs, the Company operates stores in rural and urban communities in central and northern New York and Vermont. Kinney’s store count has remained unchanged at 97 during the last three years and down from 99 in 2018. Stores average 11,500 square feet; although some locations are as large as 15,000 square feet to handle an expanded front-end offering.
Nordstrom announced plans to open two new Rack locations this fall, in Phoenix, AZ and Riverside, CA. This brings the Company’s store count to nine in Phoenix and 35 in Los Angeles (see our Store Trends chart below). The 23,500 square-foot Phoenix store will be located in Desert Ridge Marketplace, and the 30,000 square-foot Riverside store will be in Canyon Springs Marketplace. During FY21, Nordstrom opened one and closed three Rack stores, ending with 247 locations.
In December, reports indicated the Company was consulting AlixPartners to review strategic options for its Rack business, including spinning it off as a separate unit. Rack represents about 33% of Nordstrom’s sales. Since then, there has been no discussion from management, and earlier this month, the Company added three new leadership appointments within its merchandising and supply chain at Nordstrom Rack: Nancy Mair (previously Burlington Stores), Kelley Wotton-Gantner (previously Macy’s, Bealls and TJX), and Stacy Lippa (previously Five Below).
Around 48,000 grocery workers voted to authorize a strike if Kroger and Albertsons fail to meet their wage demands, as negotiations on a new contract resume in the coming weeks. The vote could lead to walkouts at some Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Ralphs in Southern California. The UFCW has been seeking significantly higher and equal pay, and sufficient staffing in their negotiations with the two grocers, which began on January 28. The union said bargaining would resume on Wednesday, and if talks failed, it would decide on next steps. It warned the workers not to walk out until notified and said it would have strike benefit funds available to support members if the companies forced the union to take action.
Meijer will open two new supercenters in Northeast Ohio on April 28, in Brunswick and Canton, marking its first new supercenters in nearly a year. Meijer Express gas stations adjacent to both of the new stores are slated open on March 31.
Victoria’s Secret & Co. announced the acquisition of a minority interest in Frankies Bikinis, LLC for $18 million. The Company does not anticipate this investment will have a material impact on its 1Q22 outlook. Frankies Bikinis is a women-founded beachwear and lifestyle brand based in Venice, CA.
Sbarro plans to open 100 new restaurants this year, both Company-owned and franchised. This expansion strategy includes franchise partnerships with ARKO Corp.’s GPM Investments, EuroGarages, EG America and Travel Centers of America. These partnerships will allow Sbarro to extend its reach in the convenience store segment. GPM already offers Sbarro at three Village Pantry c-stores in Indiana. EuroGarages and EG America operate gas stations and c-store brands Turkey Hill and KwikShop. Sbarro is primarily located in shopping malls, airports and travel plazas.
Hy-Vee revealed that its first store in Tennessee will be located in Spring Hill. The Company submitted initial plans to the city, calling for a 160,000 square-foot store that is tentatively scheduled to open in 2023. In December, Hy-Vee announced it would expand south and east, moving into four new states with more than 20 new stores by 2025. Along with Tennessee, the Company announced its first locations in Indiana and Kentucky, and expects to enter Alabama as well.
Last week, Amazon opened a new Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks, CA, the second of the chain’s more than 500 stores to feature Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology.
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Pet Supplies Plus (PSP) announced that franchisee US Retail Holdings will add 20 stores to its portfolio over the next five years. The majority of new stores will be opened in Tennessee and Texas. US Retail currently owns and operates 49 PSP stores across Alabama, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Texas.
Southeastern Grocers will open a new Winn-Dixie in Arlington, FL, a market that is considered a food desert, with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. The store is set to open in 2023.
Winn-Dixie unveiled four newly remodeled stores in Baton Rouge (2), Destrehan and Franklinton, LA this month. Over the past five years, the Company has remodeled 24 stores in Louisiana and operates 28 total units in the state.
PriceSmart has begun construction on a new club in Medellín, Colombia, expected to open in the summer of 2023. It will be the Company’s tenth club in the country.
Chico’s FAS released financial targets for FY24, ending February 1, 2025. The Company expects to reach sales of $2.50 billion, up from $1.81 billion in FY21; this includes digital sales in excess of $1 billion. For FY22, Chico’s expects to generate sales of $2.085 billion – $2.115 billion and EPS of $0.40 – $0.50. It also expects capital and cloud-based expenditures of $65 million – $70 million. As of January 29, the Company operated 1,266 stores in the U.S., 59 international franchise locations in Mexico and two domestic franchise airport locations.
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants announced that franchisee Falcons Burger has purchased 30 Rally’s restaurants from fellow franchisee Joe Hertzman following his retirement announcement. The acquisition of units in the Kentucky and Indiana markets makes Falcons Burger the largest Checkers & Rally’s franchisee, with 57 restaurants across several states.
Darden’s 3Q22 sales increased 41.3% to $2.45 billion, driven by blended same-restaurant sales growth of 38.1% and the addition of 33 net new restaurants. By segment, same-restaurant sales increased 29.9% at Olive Garden, 31.6% at LongHorn Steakhouse, 85.8% at Fine Dining, and 55.2% at Other Business. Operating income was $301 million, up from $148 million last year.
After raising its EPS forecast last quarter, Darden lowered FY22 EPS guidance, as it expects food and labor costs will keep rising. It now anticipates EPS of $7.30 – $7.45, down from its prior outlook of $7.35 – $7.60. The Company now expects sales to be $9.55 billion – $9.62 billion, total sales growth vs. pre-COVID of 9% – 10%, same-restaurant sales vs. FY21 of 29% – 30%, and total capital spending of $425 million. The Company plans to open 35 new restaurants.
Vail Resorts inked a deal to purchase a 55% ownership stake in Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG from Andermatt Swiss Alps AG. The CHF 149 million (US$159.4 million) investment is comprised of CHF 110 million (US$117.6 million) for capital investments in Andermatt-Sedrun to enhance the guest experience, and CHF 39 million (US$41.7 million), which will be paid to Andermatt Swiss Alps and fully reinvested into the real estate developments in the area.
The transaction is expected to close prior to the 2022-2023 ski season, subject to certain third-party consents. Andermatt-Sedrun is a ski resort in Central Switzerland, located less than 90 minutes from three major metro areas, Zurich, Lucerne and Lugao. This marks Vail’s first strategic investment in a ski resort in Europe. Andermatt Swiss Alps will retain a 40% ownership stake, and a group of existing shareholders will comprise the remaining 5% ownership. The pre-investment valuation for the Andermatt-Sedrun resort is estimated to be CHF 215 million (US$230 million), including CHF 54 million (US$57.7 million) of debt. Vail anticipates the resort will generate CHF 5 million (US$5.3 million) of EBITDA in FY24, the first full year following the expected closing, and CHF 20 million ($21.4 million) in five to seven years. A representative of Vail will assume the board chair of Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG. Vail Resorts currently operates 40 mountain resorts and regional ski areas in 15 U.S. states, Canada and Australia.
Wendy’s announced it will significantly expand its presence in Mexico, with plans to combine traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants with non-traditional development, such as drive-thru only platforms, curbside pickup and mobile ordering.
Sweetgreen plans to open its first ‘sweetlane’ drive-thru concept in Schaumburg, IL within the next year, part of its effort to increase convenience for digital customers.