STORE SPACES

Build-A-Bear unveils new high-tech store design in six markets

BY Katherine Boccaccio

St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop announced Tuesday that it is introducing a newly imagined store design in six markets across the U.S. in 2012.

The new store design, which has been over two years in the making, merges the Build-A-Bear Workshop hands-on bear-making process with technology to enhance the customer experience.

“I am very excited about the enhanced features that will allow us to continue to lead in the interactive retail space,” said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Among the locations to feature the new store design are:

  • West County Center in St. Louis;
  • Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton, Calif.;
  • Annapolis Shopping Mall in Annapolis, Md.;
  • The Somerset Collection in Troy, Mich.;
  • Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va.; and
  • Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis.

According to Clark, the chain collaborated with its Cub Advisors – a group of children – and their mothers to perfect the working model of the store design. “Our new stores will maintain the fun, memory-making and personal interaction for which we are known while adding new sensory and technological features,” she said.

Build-A-Bear Workshop will announce details and store opening dates this fall.

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FINANCE

Peet’s Coffee & Tea going private for $977.6 million

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Emeryville, Calif. — Coffee retailer Peet’s Coffee & Tea said it is being taken private for approximately $977.6 million.

German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser – a minority stakeholder in an international coffee and tea company D.E. Master Blenders 1753 – will reportedly pay a premium $73.50 per share, putting the deal’s total value at nearly $1 billion.

The current management and employees will remain with Peet’s, and its headquarters will stay in Emeryville, Calif. The acquisition, unanimously approved by Peet’s board, is expected to close in about three months.

Privately held Benckiser is the majority owner of Coty, and also owns Labelux, a luxury goods company with brands such as Jimmy Choo, Bally and Belstaff.

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News

The Little Clinic expands into Atlanta area with four new clinic openings

BY Michael Johnsen

Nashville — The Little Clinic on Monday announced the opening of two convenient care clinics within Kroger in the Atlanta area. Two additional clinic openings are slated for August, which would bring the total number of locations in Georgia to six.

“With the addition of four more locations in 2012, there will be a convenient location of The Little Clinic in several Atlanta-area communities,” stated Johnett Thompson, regional clinical director for The Little Clinic.

In related news, The Little Clinic also opened a location inside the Stapleton King Soopers store in Denver, Colo. There currently are 12 Little Clinic locations within King Soopers stores in Colorado.

The Little Clinic is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger.

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