FINANCE

Applebee’s to launch remodeling effort

BY CSA STAFF

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar is set to launch a major remodeling program that includes upgraded exteriors and warmer color tones, Dow Jones Newswire reported.

Applebee’s is testing several variations of the facelift and plans to settle on one in the upcoming months, the report said.

The initiative is the latest prong, after upgrading food, marketing and operations, undertaken in revitalizing Applebee’s since IHOP purchased the bar-and-grill chain in 2007 for $2.1 billion, creating DineEquity (DIN).

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Sears wants to find you the perfect CE match

BY CSA STAFF

LAS VEGAS Sears announced that it will introduce two new online shopping tools — TvMatchMaker.com and CameraMatchMaker.com — at the International Consumer Electronics Show, taking place in Las Vegas, Jan. 7 to 10.

TVMatchMaker.com and CameraMatchMaker.com, according to the company, help customers find their perfect TV or camera by asking them a series of compatibility questions to find their perfect match. TvMatchMaker.com users interactively answer questions about their home and viewing habits. CameraMatchMaker.com users answer questions about the types of pictures they shoot, while addressing photography concerns such as red-eye reduction and blurred images.

“We know that there are a lot of confusing questions to consider when purchasing home electronics, especially for new televisions and digital cameras. With the TvMatchMaker.com and CameraMatchMaker.com solutions, the Sears Blue Electronics Crew asks participants targeted questions to quickly assess their needs and pair them with the best solutions,” said Karen Austin, president of home electronics for Sears Holdings. “Throughout both of the easy-to-navigate experiences, we have incorporated helpful tips and demonstrations to show Sears shoppers how the products can best fit into their homes and lifestyles.”

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BBBY posts strong quarter

BY CSA STAFF

In a strong earnings report that could be a sign of improving demand for spending on the home, Union, N.J.-based Bed Bath & Beyond posted third quarter earnings of $151.3 million, up 72.5% from $87.7 million in the same quarter last year.

Sales for the quarter ended Nov. 28 were $1.975 billion, up from 10.8% from $1.78 billion in the prior-year quarter. Comparable store sales in the quarter increased 7.3%.

 

Bed Bath & Beyond had a total of 1,086 stores, including 960 Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

 

The consumer continues to face challenges, said Leonard Feinstein, co-founder and co-chariman. Still, he described the company as “cautiously optimistic.” It opened 16 new Bed Bath & Beyond stores in the quarter, and closed one Bed Bath & Beyond store.

The company’s third quarter results exceeded even internal expectations, said CEO Steven Temares. Challenges persist, but the retailer’s fundamental strategy remains unchanged. He described the strategy as offering a broad mix of products at low prices and with high levels of service.

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