Aaron’s acquires Progressive Finance Holdings
Atlanta — Aaron’s Inc. has acquired Progressive Finance Holdings LLC, a merchandise lease-to-own company, from Summit Partners in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $700 million. Aaron’s expects the transaction to be double-digit accretive to cash earnings per share in 2014 and significantly more accretive in 2015.
Through this acquisition, Aaron’s gains an entry point into the virtual rent-to-own ("RTO") market and will operate Progressive as a wholly owned subsidiary of Aaron’s. John Robinson, Progressive’s CEO, will join the Aaron’s executive leadership team as executive VP and CEO of Progressive, reporting directly to Ronald W. Allen, CEO of Aaron’s.
"This is a highly complementary and transformative acquisition for Aaron’s, and we are eager to capture the significant opportunities this combination will provide for our customers, franchisees, and shareholders," said Allen. "We expect that with Progressive’s best-in-class virtual customer payment capabilities, coupled with our industry leading traditional lease-to-own model, we will create an omni-channel business, providing customers with better payment options, and enhancing Aaron’s competitive position."
Carrefour deploys Pricer solution for fully connected store experience
Atlanta — Pricer, which provides electronic shelf label solutions, has announced that Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer, will use Pricer’s latest retail technology for a fully connected store that significantly improves the customer experience.
Carrefour’s store in Villeneuve la Garenne is the first store worldwide that allows customers to benefit from Pricer’s integrated solution using indoor navigation, mobile shopping and SmartTAG graphic labels.
“Carrefour came to us six months ago searching for ideas to modernize the shopping experience in their stores,” says Arnaud Lecat, VP store solutions at Pricer, “Pricer delivered a solution enabling Carrefour to interact with their customers through their smartphones and the ESLs.”
The mobile App created for Carrefour called "C-où", which is available on Android and iOS, allows customers to create shopping lists, search products, get promotions and find recipe ideas. The solution also includes geolocalization – once inside the store, it helps you find any product, and optimizes your shopping route through indoor navigation.
The store has been equipped throughout with over 55,000 Pricer NFC-enabled ESLs. Not only do these bring all the benefits of ESLs – including centralized price automation – but customers can even ‘like’ a product with their phone and the label will display the total number of ‘likes’.
Englewood Construction completes Harry Carray complex in Chicago
Chicago – Englewood Construction ‘s food service and restaurant group has completed Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. The national general contractor has also completed a Native Foods Café in Chicago’s Hyde Park and is working with Native Foods Café to roll out its concept nationally.
Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group hired Englewood to build a new complex that pays tribute to Harry Caray, the Chicago Cubs baseball broadcaster. The 22,928-sq.-ft. complex houses Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch, a restaurant serving American cuisine, and the new Chicago Sports Museum.
The destination, which opened April 2, combines dining, entertainment, private event venues and retail. Designed by the Chicago-based firms Barker/Nestor Architecture + Design and Ingrassia Design, the urban industrial aesthetic pays homage to Chicago’s historic Water Tower.
The dark wood walls of the 250-seat restaurant and bar are covered with photographs from Harry Caray’s private collection as well as authentic sports memorabilia. HDTVs throughout the space will be tuned to sports channels. Newly installed windows offer views of the city skyline to the north and the east.
In addition to this downtown Chicago destination, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, Englewood recently completed an interior build-out for Native Foods Café. This is the fourth location in Chicago for the fast-casual vegan restaurant chain. Chicago-based Norr Illinois Inc. was the project architect.