Openings, Closings, & Other Key Industry Highlights

Retail News

Powered by

Premier Source For Location Data

aggdata header

May 22, 2024

Red Lobster

Red Lobster Management LLC, DIP filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The Company will continue to operate as usual during the bankruptcy proceedings, and plans to reduce its locations as well as pursue a sale of substantially all its assets. It has entered into a stalking horse purchase.

The Debtors filed motions seeking to:

  • use cash collateral and enter into a $275 million DIP Facility provided by the prepetition term lenders, of which $100 million is new money and $175 million is a roll-up of existing term loans,
  • designate Jonathan Tibus as Chief Executive Officer, and Nicholas Haughey as Chief Restructuring Officer, and
  • reject 228unexpired leases

On May 14, we reported that Red Lobster was planning to file for bankruptcy as early as the following week. We also noted that the Company abruptly closed 99 of its stores across the country, most notably including 17 units in FL, 11 in NY, 10 in TX and eight in CA.


In the Rue21, Inc., DIP case, the Debtors entered into a stalking horse asset purchase agreement for the sale of their intellectual property, personal property and leasehold interests that have not been assumed and assigned or rejected. The purchaser is YM Inc., a Canadian corporation which controls brands including: Charlotte Russe, Aeropostale, Urban Planet, Sirens, Bluenotes, Thriftys, Suzy, Urban Kids, Stitches, West 49, And Amnesia.

The Debtors also filed a motion to reject 58 unexpired leases.


Meijer opened two 159,000 square-foot supercenters in Northeast Ohio, in Alliance and North Canton. These are among the smaller supercenters opened by Meijer, which typically operates stores ranging in size from 150,000 to 250,000 square feet. By the end of 2025, Meijer will have invested nearly $500 million into the Ohio area by opening and remodeling nearly 20 stores. Meijer has 55 stores statewide as well as distribution and manufacturing facilities in Tipp City. In addition, Meijer opened a 159,000 square-foot supercenter in Hillsdale, MI; there are 126 Meijer stores in Michigan. 


H-E-B debuted a 55,000 square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center in Cibolo, TX, connected to a store which opened in January. It supports curbside pickup services and home delivery orders throughout Cibolo, New Braunfels, and surrounding cities in the San Antonio area. This is H-E-B's eighth e-commerce fulfillment center since opening its first in 2018. H-E-B plans to open additional facilities across the state. The Company operates more than 430 locations in Texas and Mexico, with curbside pickup and home delivery available at more than 270 stores across Texas. 

In other news, Joe V's Smart Shop is set to open in Dallas, TX on June 12. The 50,000 square-foot location replaces an Albertsons grocery store that closed in 2004. H-E-B announced last year that it planned to open two locations of its discount grocery chain in the Dallas area. This is the first location, and the second broke ground in March and is set to open in spring of 2025.

Trader Joes

On May 17, Trader Joe's opened a new store in San Francisco's Hayes Valley neighborhood, slightly ahead of its planned June opening. The 12,000 square-foot store is on the ground floor of a condominium building. The store was originally greenlit in 2019, but the opening was delayed by legal troubles surrounding the developer and the pandemic. 


Walmart reported robust results for the first quarter of FY25, leading management to lift its expectations slightly for the full fiscal year. Management highlighted that Walmart U.S. continued to benefit from the "trade down" effect, attracting higher-income households to its stores. Similarly, Sam's Club has seen gains driven by food and consumables, resulting in increased dollar and market share within grocery. Additionally, Sam’s Club membership income climbed 13.3%, marking another quarter of record-high total membership and plus penetration (premium membership). 

In other news, Walmart confirmed it is laying off hundreds of corporate employees. The Company stated in a memo that "the overall numbers are small in percentage." Walmart did not share how many employees were affected. 

Walmart's Neighborhood Market will be closing on June 7 in Aurora, CO, saying the location, which is near the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, did not meet financial expectations. 


Target plans to lower prices on 5,000 frequently shopped items across its assortment. So far prices have been reduced on about 1,500 items, with the remaining price drops to occur over the course of the summer. Popular items experiencing price drops include milk, meat, bread, soda, fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks, yogurt, peanut butter, coffee diapers, paper towels, and pet food. 

H Mart

H Mart will soon be opening its largest food hall in the Northeast. The 16,000 square-foot space is slated to open in late spring at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, NJ. H Mart currently operates more than 100 stores across 18 states, offering a full line of Asian foods as well as a broad range of Western groceries. The H Mart food hall will feature a collection of Asian fast-casual favorites across 11 unique dining options. 


Dillard's has announced the upcoming closure of its Eastwood Mall Clearance Center in Niles, Ohio (120,000 square feet) in July 2024. The Company operates 274 Dillard’s stores, including 29 clearance centers, spanning 30 states.

Bobs Stores EMS

According to our sources, Bob’s Stores and/or its sister company Eastern Mountain Stores (EMS) are working with advisors on “strategic alternatives,” which may include closing stores and/or raising additional capital. If sufficient additional funds cannot be raised, a possible bankruptcy filing or liquidation may ensue.

The APS for both Bob’s Stores and EMS has fallen to critical levels recently. It was 343 at Bob's Stores in April 2024, when only 32% of payments were within terms. The APS at EMS fell to 373 in April 2024 at a time when only 27% of payments were within terms.


Michaels revealed that it is leveraging its brick-and-mortar stores to fill digital orders. The Company launched its e-commerce site in 2018, and then began offering same-day delivery in 2020 and curbside pickup in 2021. In 2022, Michaels implemented its ship-from-store hub model. Initially, Michaels operated more than 1,000 active ship-from-store locations in a zone close to the customer's home. However, assortment inventory was spread evenly across stores, leading to split shipments, incomplete shipments, and higher fulfillment costs. To address these issues, Michaels has designated 50% of its stores participating in its omnichannel fulfillment program as "peak stores" due to their heavier order volume. The Company increased the inventory of standard SKUs in peak stores, and since then has taken several steps to optimize fulfillment for efficiency and to reduce costs. 

Container Store

The Container Store initiated a formal review process to evaluate strategic alternatives for the Company. The Board has established a Transaction Committee to oversee the process to ensure it maximizes the potential of the business and returns for stakeholders. The Company has suspended financial guidance during this process, and has not set a deadline or definitive timetable for the completion of this review process. The Container Store is being advised by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as its financial advisor, and Latham & Watkins LLP as its legal advisor.

The Container Store was notified by the NYSE that it is not in compliance with listing requirements because the average closing price of the Company's common stock was less than $1 over a consecutive 30 trading-day period. The Company responded that it intends to cure the stock price deficiency and return to compliance. It intends to consider available options including, but not limited to, a reverse stock split, subject to stockholder approval no later than at the Company's next annual meeting of stockholders, if necessary.

Rite Aid

In the Rite Aid, DIP case, the Debtors filed a third amended plan supplement, which includes a schedule of assumed executory contracts and 1,572 unexpired leases. The schedule remains subject to ongoing negotiations among the Debtors and certain interested parties in accordance with the terms of the Plan. The Debtors reserve all rights to amend, revise, or supplement this schedule, including the cure costs, at any time in accordance with the terms of the Plan.


Walgreens is reportedly contacting potential buyers to sell its U.K-based Boots drugstore chain. This is the second attempt at plans to sell Boots. According to the report, the Company is working with advisors to conduct preliminary discussions with prospective bidders for the unit, worth about £7 billion (US$8.78 billion). 

London Drugs

London Drugs has told its employees certain corporate files, which include employee information, may have been compromised in the cyberattack a few weeks ago. In an internal memo, London Drugs said its investigation into the cyberattack has found evidence which indicates some head office files have been compromised. “We are not yet able to provide any specifics on the nature of employee personal information potentially impacted,” the memo said. The Company said no customer information was breached.

The cyberattack led to the closure of 79 retail stores across Western Canada in early May. The stores have since been reopened.

Restaurant Brands International

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI) completed the acquisition of Carrols Restaurant Group, its largest Burger King (BK) franchisee. RBI paid $9.55 per share, representing a total enterprise value of about $1 billion, to acquire Carrols and its 1,023 BK and 59 Popeyes restaurants. RBI plans to invest an additional $500 million, funded by Carrols' operating cash flow, to remodel more than 600 of Carrols' BK locations and subsequently re-franchise the majority of the acquired restaurants to new or existing smaller franchise operators over the next seven years. RBI also plans to maintain ownership of about 200 to 300 BK restaurants for development and training purposes.

In conjunction with the deal, RBI amended its credit agreement to increase its existing term loan B facility from $5.20 billion to $5.90 billion, with no changes to other terms. Proceeds from the increase, along with cash on hand, were used to fund the acquisition, as well as the full repayment and redemption of Carrols' credit facility and 5.875% senior notes due 2029 ($132.3 million and $290.1 million outstanding as of March 31, 2024, respectively).


Wawa plans to open its first travel center in Hope Mills, NC in 2Q25. The site will have amenities that cater to professional drivers and families/RV travelers, like indoor seating and expanded parking and bathrooms. The news comes a year after Wawa's CEO Chris Gheysens said the Company was looking to test a larger store type in both new and existing markets. 

General Interest

April Online Grocery Sales... Grocery e-commerce sales totaled $8.5 billion in April, up 4% YOY, according to data released by Brick Meets Click and Mercatus. Pickup orders represented 43% of the U.S. online grocery sector, while delivery represented 38% of sales and ship-to-home accounted for 18%. Mass merchandisers continued to grow their share of the digital grocery sector, while traditional supermarkets experienced contraction in the market. Pickup sales were up 2% despite a volume drop and monthly active users declining. Delivery rose 4% as order volume increased against a flat order sizes. 


2023 U.S. Restaurant Sales... U.S. restaurant sales grew 7.5% in 2023 to $417.13 billion, aided by price increases, according to Dataessential's annual top 500 chains report. Unit count increased 2.1% to 238,152. By total units, Subway(20,133), Starbucks (6,346), and McDonald's (13,449) were on top. By systemwide sales, McDonald's topped the list at $52.9 billion, followed by Starbucks with $29.9 billion, and Chick-fil-A at $21.5 billion. Dataessential named Arkansas-based 7 Brew, a drive thru coffee chain, as the fastest-growing chain in the U.S., with annual unit growth of 373%. By segment, salad/healthy chains experienced the highest unit growth of 17%; chicken restaurants followed at 12%, while dessert/snack chains (10.1%) and coffee chains (9.8%) were not far behind. 


2023 Drug Spending Forecast... According to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science’s latest data, in 2023, total prescription use increased by 3% and reached 210 billion days of therapy. Use of medicines is growing across all autoimmune diseases, with Crohn’s disease and psoriasis contributing most to growth. Retail prescriptions reached 6.9 billion, a 2.9% increase from 2022 but slower growth than the prior year. In non-retail drug usage, use of medicines in clinics has grown 13% since 2019, while long-term care and hospitals remain below pre-pandemic levels. 
Spending on medicines at net manufacturer prices reached $435 billion in 2023, up $10 billion over the prior year. The U.S. market at net prices grew by 9.9% in 2023, not including the declining contribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, while spending growth including COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics slowed to 2.5%. Spending at list prices grew at 7.6% over the past five years, but payers’ spending grew at 5.2% and patients’ costs grew at 2.1%.
Specialty medicines now account for 54% of spending, up from 49% in 2018, driven by growth in immunology and oncology. Median annual costs of new medicines have been rising particularly those in oncology and rare diseases.
The U.S. spending forecast to 2028 reflects continued growth driven by innovation, offset by notable expiry events and characterized by a continued increasing gap between list price spending which will grow at 6–9% and manufacturer net revenues which will grow at 4–7%. New brand spending in the U.S. is projected to total $122 billion in the next five years, down from the $149 billion in the past five years. 
Net prices for protected brands are forecast to decline -1 to -4%, while list prices will grow 1 to 4% including impact of price cuts. The impact of exclusivity losses will increase to $93.6 billion over five years, including significant biosimilars. Oncology and obesity drive growth through 2028 while diabetes, immunology and COVID-19 contribute to slowing.


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.