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Cold Stone Creamery debuts Lebanese presence in Beirut

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Ice cream lovers in Lebanon will soon have a new confectionary option, as Cold Stone Creamery has announced plans to open multiple locations throughout the country over the next few years, beginning with the capital city of Beirut.

Kahala Brands, the parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, has granted MNM Investments Lebanon SAL, part of M1 Group, the master franchise rights to Lebanon under a 10-year master franchise agreement.

"M1 Group is a well-established organization in Lebanon with a great reputation in all of its diverse business sectors, including food & beverage and retail," said Eddy Jimenez, senior VP of international operations and development at Kahala Brands. "Moreover, its expertise in the Lebanese real estate market allows it the knowledge and experience to secure strategic locations for the Cold Stone Creamery brand and bring our premium ice cream Creations, energetic environment, and unique culture to the country."

M1 Group owns and manages investments and subsidiaries in diverse sectors such as telecommunications, real estate, aviation, energy, fashion, financial asset management, infrastructure and manufacturing. MNM Investments was recently established as a new division of M1 Group with the purpose of owning and operating food and beverage establishments in Lebanon and abroad that fit within its portfolio.

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Petco to unveil four new stores this month

BY Katherine Boccaccio

August is a busy month for Petco, as the pet specialty retailer will celebrate the grand opening and re-opening of four stores, including one new location, one remodeled store and two store relocations.

In keeping up with its fast-paced 2016 growth plan, which includes 31 new Petco stores and one new Unleashed by Petco store year-to-date, Petco will open one new Petco store in West Virginia in August. In addition to the new store, the company will also re-open one remodeled store in California and two relocated stores in Texas and in New Jersey this month.

Each new, remodeled and relocated store will offer dog training areas, adoption centers and grooming salons.

The one new store is located in Liberty Square Shopping Center, Hurricane, West Virginia. The California remodeling project is in Bakersfield, and the two relocated stores are in Humble, Texas, and Eatontown, New Jersey.

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Children’s lifestyle brand acquired with plans to expand retail footprint

BY Katherine Boccaccio

A premium children’s brand is planning a growth spurt.

Private equity firm L Catterton has acquired Hanna Andersson for an undisclosed sum, with the intent of expanding the Swedish children’s apparel retailer across its channels.

Hanna Andersson currently operates a robust e-commerce and catalog business in addition to 55 retail stores and 11 outlet locations.

In partnership with L Catterton, Hanna Andersson plans to rapidly expand its retail store presence by adding to its footprint both domestically and internationally over the coming years. Hann Andersson CEO Adam Stone will continue in his current role.

"We are thrilled to partner with L Catterton, whose deep knowledge of the consumer market, significant operational expertise and value-added approach will enable Hanna Andersson to enter our next phase of rapid growth and success," said Stone.

"Having already achieved significant growth since 2010, Hanna Andersson is primed for even greater expansion as it continues to enhance its traditional product categories while adding new offerings and elevating the brand,” added Nik Thukral, co-managing partner of L Catterton's Buyout Fund. L Catterton current and past investments include PIRCH, Sweaty Betty, Worth, TABI, Restoration Hardware, Baccarat, John Hardy and Sandro & Maje.

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