OPERATIONS

Bojangles’ names new CEO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Charlotte, N.C. — Bojangles’ Restaurants Inc. has appointed Clifton Rutledge as CEO effective Jan. 24. Rutledge joins Bojangles’ from Texas-based hamburger chain Whataburger, succeeding current CEO Randy Kibler, who announced his plans to retire from this role in September 2013 but will remain active as chairman of the company’s board of directors. Additionally, Bojangles’ has promoted its senior VP of company operations Kenny Avery to COO.

Now at the helm of Bojangles’ leadership team, Rutledge will be responsible for leading the company’s ongoing expansion in its core markets concentrated in the Southeast and building upon the brand’s strong same-store sales following expansion and growth.

"I am proud to join the Bojangles’ team on the heels of many recent successes which have contributed to this company’s tremendous growth potential,” said Rutledge. “I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Bojangles’ leadership and it is an honor to be part of the team. We will remain committed to the brand’s vision of growth and look forward to taking Bojangles’ to the next level."

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OPERATIONS

Ace Hardware names CEO of largest chain

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. — Ace Hardware Corporation has appointed Tom Knox, 59, as president and CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware, Ace’s largest chain comprising 85 stores. Knox will be leaving his role as VP, retail business development, training & supply at Ace’s corporate offices and relocating to the Kansas City area to pursue his new role.

“As president and CEO of Westlake, Knox brings to the table years of experience as a former multi-unit hardware store owner and long tenure helping Ace retailers make more money in the hardware business will serve Westlake Ace exceedingly well,” said Sasha Bigda, Director Corporate Communications and Media Relations at Ace Hardware.

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News

ShopperTrak: December 2013

BY CSA STAFF

Despite the short holiday season, December was still the biggest shopping month of the year.

Shopper traffic up more than one-third over November

Shoppers visited more stores in December 2013 than they did in any other month of the year. Despite retailers’ best efforts to promote Black Friday sales heavily in November and open even earlier on Thanksgiving Day, they saw shopper traffic increase 35% in December 2013 compared to the previous month.

The week of Christmas, even with the low traffic Christmas Day wedged in the middle, featured four of the top 10 shopping days of the month: Dec. 22, Dec. 23, Dec. 26, and Dec. 28. Christmas week also produced the most shopper traffic of any week in 2013.

Weather and holiday timing push December shopper traffic down compared to 2012

As anticipated, although up over the previous month, December 2013 shopper traffic did not keep pace with traffic from December 2012, down 17.7 percent. With Hanukkah falling on Thanksgiving in 2013, the December traffic usually associated with this holiday was not a factor in the 2013 data. Winter also had a greater impact on shopper traffic in December 2013 than a year ago, with more snow and cold than the December 2012 shopping season, leading more consumers to stay home and shop online for holiday purchases versus last year.

“December continues to be the strongest month for retailers, with the weeks leading up to Christmas including many of the busiest retail days of the year,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “As anticipated, the shortened holiday season and timing of Hanukkah shopping led to a dip in shopper traffic versus last year. And, while weather and consumer preferences drove more people to buy online, brick-and-mortar sales remain retail’s largest profit opportunity. Retailers who deliver a seamless, high-quality customer experience across all channels will continue to capture more share of wallet.”

ShopperTrak’s data and analyses in this article are based on counting billions of shoppers in more than 60,000 locations across 90 countries. ShopperTrak counts more retail foot traffic than any other company in the world. The retail technology company collects and analyzes anonymous foot traffic, queue times and shopper demographics to identify revenue opportunities. Find out more at www.shoppertrak.com.

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