REAL ESTATE

Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries announces 40+-unit development deal

BY CSA STAFF

Columbia, Md. — Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries said Tuesday it has signed a master franchise agreement with multi-unit restaurant developer Manu Patel to develop 40+ Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries restaurants in Delaware, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia metro area.

Fransmart is leading the franchise development plans for Boardwalk, which currently has restaurants open in Virginia; Maryland; Georgia; Pennsylvania; California; and Florida. Development plans are in place for Delaware, New Jersey and Michigan, with a total of 200 new restaurants in development nationwide.

Patel is a veteran owner and operator of Dunkin Donuts and Subway franchised units.

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FINANCE

Dots acquired by Irving Place Capital

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Private equity firm Irving Place Capital announced Tuesday that it acquired value-oriented women’s apparel and accessory retailer Dots. Terms of the transaction, which closed on Jan. 3, were not disclosed.

“This acquisition is a wonderful opportunity for Dots to capitalize on its brand and accelerate its growth through its partnership with IPC, one of the most successful investors in specialty apparel retail,” said Bob Glick, founder and outgoing CEO, Dots, Glenwillow, Ohio, which operates more than 400 stores within a 26-state footprint.

Glick will succeed as chief executive of Dots by Rick Bunka, a former president of the chain.

“With the strength of the Dots brand and the investments we have made in our teams, stores and infrastructure, we are excited about the significant growth opportunities we see ahead,” Bunka said. “We are confident that Irving Place Capital’s investment and expertise in growing retail companies into nationally recognized brands will help us achieve our goal of delivering affordable fashion to more customers than ever before.”

IPC’s notable retail investments have included Aeropostale, New York & Company, The Vitamin Shoppe, Seven for All Mankind, and Stuart Weitzman.

“Historically some of IPC’s most successful investments have been in high-growth specialty retailing companies,” said John Howard, CEO of IPC. “We are looking forward to working with Dots’ management team to grow the business and drive incremental value. With a strong position in the affordable apparel segment, a loyal existing customer base, and a committed management team, Dots represents a compelling investment opportunity.”

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News

Sears, Kmart get new head of retail services

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sears Holdings’ SVP procurement and finance has been promoted.

Deidra Cheeks Merriwether now holds the title of SVP and president retail services, succeeding James Haworth. In this role, Merriwether, who joined the corporation in 2001, will be responsible for the oversight and leadership of retail services for the broadline retailer’s Kmart and Sears stores.

Merriwether currently serves as a member of Sears Canada’s board of directors and is the executive sponsor of the company’s African-American Associate Network.

"Deidra is an accomplished leader," said Bruce Johnson, interim CEO and president of Sears Holdings. "She has a keen understanding of the retail business. Her past experiences within the company, along with a demonstrated success in creating and inspiring high performance teams that are focused on satisfying the customer, make her a perfect fit for this role."

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