Openings, Closings, & Other Key Industry Highlights

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March 6, 2024


Macy's confirmed that it has received a revised, unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Arkhouse Management Co. LP (Arkhouse) and Brigade Capital Management, LP (Brigade) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the Company for $24 per share in cash or approximately $6.60 billion. That is up from the $21 per share offer the group submitted on December 1. The new offer represents a roughly 33% premium to Macy’s $18.01 closing share price on Friday.

The Company's board said it will carefully review and evaluate the latest proposal consistent with the Board’s fiduciary duties and in consultation with its financial and legal advisors. However, Macy’s previously expressed doubts regarding Arkhouse and Brigade’s ability to finance their offer; it has refused to provide any due-diligence information and has not agreed to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

In other news, Macy's announced a new strategy called "A Bold New Chapter," which involves closing 150 underproductive locations, including 50 by the end of the fiscal year, and prioritizing investment in 350 go-forward locations and the continued expansion of small-format stores. It also plans to grow its presence in the luxury market with the opening of 15 Bloomingdale's nameplate stores and at least 30 new Bluemercury stores, along with roughly 30 Bluemercury remodels, over the next three years. In addition, the Company plans to rationalize and monetize its supply chain asset portfolio, streamline fulfillment, improve inventory planning and allocation, and deliver a scalable technology platform. 

Sam Ash

Sam Ash Music Corporation is planning to close a significant number of its 45 stores, according to our sources. Management acknowledged that it is closing a number of underperforming locations around the country as it right-sizes its store footprint to accommodate the shift to online shopping. The Company is still in lease negotiations so it is unclear how many stores will ultimately close. The original plan was to close seven or eight units, but that number could double, such that only 30 stores may remain in business. The Company’s stores are located in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Childrens Place-3

The Children's Place announced a new financing agreement with its majority shareholder Mithaq Capital SPC (Mithaq), which consists of a $78.6 million interest-free, unsecured and subordinated term loan. The Company plans to use a portion of the proceeds to support operations, including payments to vendors and service providers to address overdue payments, given that, "as a result of delayed payments, certain of its vendors and service providers material to the business have informed the Company that they have halted or plan to halt service to the Company.” The Company also expects to close the previously announced $130 million term loan from Gordon Brothers in March 2024, and is "continuing to pursue alternative financing on terms no less favorable in the aggregate to the Company."

Metropolitan Theatres

Metropolitan Theatres Corp., a family-owned business operating 16 theatres in California, Colorado, and Utah, filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles). The Company said in court papers that the Covid pandemic and its aftermath on the movie industry stressed its liquidity. In addition, last year's writer and actor strikes mean fewer film releases for the next two years. As a result, it does not have enough cash to make up for this year's poor box office sales (North American ticket sales are down roughly 20% this year) without reducing rent at its remaining locations. The Company intends to negotiate rent reductions with landlords (it currently pays about $2.6 million in annual rent) and close locations it can no longer afford.

party city

Party City announced it is accelerating the introduction of a new store format based on early success in pilot stores. Management said the new store design provides a reinvented balloon shopping experience, giving customers easy access to the balloon assortment, which has a dedicated service area. The latest design also enhances birthday shopping. Management stated, "With this introduction, we have moved away from the traditional aisle experience and have developed two birthday worlds within each store. One is dedicated to kids birthdays, and one for general birthday celebrations. These are complete mini-shops, with everything brought together in one place."

The new format also allows testing of new product assortments, especially focused on categories related to children’s celebrations; such as trending favors and toys. Additionally, the updated queue experience makes it easier to feature various products.


Joann may file Chapter 11 as soon as next week, according to our sources. The filing would include an agreement under which lenders would take control of the Company, while enabling debt reduction. Reports state that management has been in negotiations with lenders for new cash to improve liquidity. Discussions are ongoing and plans aren’t final, but the Company is trying to get enough support from lenders to enable a prepackaged filing, which would enable a quick exit from Chapter 11.

Rite Aid

In the RITE AID CORPORATION, DIP case, an amended final order was issued authorizing the Debtors DIP financing. To facilitate ongoing restructuring negotiations among the Debtors and the DIP Agents, the Ad Hoc Secured Noteholder Group, and the Committees, the Debtors and the DIP Agents agreed to certain extensions of the Chapter 11 Case Milestones as follows:

Motion to Approve an Alternate Sale 3/11/2024 (may be extended to 3/25/2024)
Disclosure Statement & Voting Procedures 3/15/2024
Plan of Reorganization Confirmation 4/1/2024 (may be extended to 4/15/2024)
Alternate Sale 4/2/2024 (may be extended to 4/16/2024)
Sale of Retail Assets & Plan Effective Date 4/10/2024 (may be extended to 4/24/2024)

The Debtors filed a monthly operating report for the period from December 31, 2023 to January 27, 2024 in which they reported revenue of $1.46 billion and net loss of $115 million. The Debtors also identified two stores for closure, in Marion, OH and Detroit, MI, bringing the total of announced closures to 428. 


WalgreensVillageMD is closing six Chicago, IL clinics, five standalone and one co-located with a Walgreens store. The closures are set to take place April 19. These closures are in addition to the recent news that VillageMD exited the Florida market.


PriceSmart opened its newest warehouse club in Santa Ana, El Salvador on February 15. This brings the Company's total number of warehouse clubs in operation to 54. The Santa Ana location is the fourth club in El Salvador. 


Costco is opening a new showroom-style store format in Anchorage, AK displaying big ticket items like appliances and furniture. Products include large kitchen appliances, mattresses, gym gear, grills, TVs, and washing machines. The Anchorage store will be located in a former 58,000 square-foot Toys R Us location, about one third the size of a typical warehouse. Costco also has a Home Showroom in San Juan, PR. 

Kroger 2023-1

Kroger has reached a tentative agreement with UFCW Local 455, which has over 13,000 grocery store employees at more than 100 stores in the Houston area, on three-year deals for retail clerks and meat department workers. The deals include wage increases for all Kroger employees, a 40% drop in health insurance premiums, and a cut in the minimum hours requirements to qualify for health care coverage. Union members will vote on the deals through March 12. 

In related news, the UFCW Local 400 announced that its 3,000 union workers at 38 Kroger grocery stores in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio have rejected a new contract proposal and authorized a strike that could take place "at any moment."

Grocery Outlet

Grocery Outlet reported 4Q23 sales increased 6.3% to $989.8 million, and comps were up 2.7%, driven by a 7.5% increase in the number of transactions, partially offset by a 4.5% decrease in average transaction size. The Company opened 13 new stores, ending the quarter with 468 stores in nine states. The Company plans to open 15 to 20 stores in 2024. 

Big 5 Sporting Goods

Big 5's sales totaled $196 million during 4Q23, down 18%, as same store sales fell 17.7% and the Company closed two stores during the year. During FY23, the Company opened two new stores and closed four, ending the year with 430 stores. Big 5 currently has 424 locations in operation, reflecting six closures in 1Q24 to-date as part of ongoing efforts to optimize the store base. During the remainder of FY24, management expects to open five stores and close four additional units.

Red Robin

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers completed a third sale-leaseback transaction with Essential Properties Realty Trust to sell and lease-back 10 owned properties. The transaction generated gross proceeds of $24 million. The Company anticipates net proceeds of $23 million, which will be used to repay debt. 

4Q23 sales increased 6.7% to $309 million, inclusive of an additional week in the quarter. Comps decreased 2.7%, with guest traffic down 7.6%. 

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.