REAL ESTATE

Cabela’s to open in Fort Mill, S.C.; plans 20 new stores in two years

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sidney, Neb. – Cabela’s plans to open a new store in Fort Mill, S.C., a suburb of Charlotte, N.C. Construction on the 97,500-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to begin in 2014 and Cabela’s anticipates a spring 2015 opening.

It will be Cabela’s second store in South Carolina, joining the Greenville location scheduled to open in spring 2014. The company also recently announced plans to open a store in Garner, N.C., in 2015. Currently, Cabela’s operates 50 stores across North America with plans to open an additional 20 during the next two years.

“The overwhelmingly positive response to our recent Greenville and Garner announcements, coupled with the passion North and South Carolinians have for outdoor recreation, encouraged us to open a store in Fort Mill,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO. “We are thrilled to get to work on the project and look forward to opening the doors.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: LLBean.com tops November e-retail customer service ranking

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – LLBean.com provided the highest-rated customer service of all major online retailers during the month of November 2013. According to the Stella Monthly Ranking from the StellaService customer service analysis firm, L.L. Bean was ranked number one for overall customer service and also in the email customer service area.

SierraTradingPost.com took top honors for phone customer service, Sears.com had the highest ranked shipping customer service and Bloomingdales.com has the best returns customer service.
Five retailers maintained their spots in the top 10: LLBean.com, RalphLauren.com, JCrew.com, Shopbop.com and Net-A-Porter.com. Meanwhile, SierraTradingPost.com, Zappos.com, ToryBurch.com, BrooksBrothers.com and SaksFifthAvenue.com improved to join the top 10.

“LLBean.com is always a strong performer in our evaluations, but they are particularly impressive around the holidays,” said Kevon Hills, StellaService director of research. “Their well-trained seasonal employees are among the best in retail.”

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FINANCE

Frederick’s of Hollywood plans to go private

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hollywood, Calif. — Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc. has entered into a definitive merger agreement that provides for the acquisition of the company by a consortium consisting of HGI Funding LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harbinger Group Inc., and certain of the company’s other common and preferred shareholders. The members of the consortium as a group beneficially own approximately 88.6% of the company’s common stock.

The acquisition will be accomplished through FOHG Holdings, LLC, an entity controlled by the consortium that was formed for the purpose of the transaction. Under the merger agreement, the company’s shareholders who are not members of the consortium will receive $0.27 per share in cash upon completion of the transaction.

In addition, in connection with the execution of the merger agreement, Frederick’s and Holdings entered into a new employment agreement with Thomas Lynch, CEO, which will take effect only upon the consummation of the merger. Under the new employment agreement, Lynch agreed to continue to serve as CEO for three years following the merger.

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