REAL ESTATE

Cold Stone Creamery enters Kenya

BY Dan Berthiaume

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Kahala Brands, the parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, has signed a 10-year master franchise agreement with Om Nom Nom Mauritius Ltd. (ONN Ltd.) in Kenya. There are seven stores slated to open during a five-year period and the first location will be in the capital city of Nairobi, scheduled to open in late September.

ONN Ltd. will offer luxury products as well as ice cream to Kenyan consumers.

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FINANCE

Mattress Firm rolls out Genesis Credit financing option

BY Dan Berthiaume

Houston — Mattress Firm Holding Corp. has completed its rollout of Genesis Credit second-look financing, which is powered by Genesis Financial Solutions. Genesis Credit allows customers with less-than-perfect credit to purchase goods and services from any Mattress Firm location.

Genesis Credit offers second-look financing solutions to customers with near- and non-prime credit. In addition to providing a financing product that looks and feels like the retail partner’s prime lender, including deferred interest promotions, the program supports repeat purchases.

“We’ve experienced encouraging sales results in the Genesis test markets since the pilot program began,” said Ken Murphy, COO, Mattress Firm. “We conducted a test with multiple second-look financing options to ensure we picked the right partner and Genesis came out on top in terms of increasing sales, delivering a process that is easy-to-use for our sales associates, and most importantly, a financing program that is customer-friendly resulting in deeper loyalty to Mattress Firm.”

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OPERATIONS

NRF forms Small Business Council

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) has formed the Small Business Retail Council to organize, recruit and engage Main Street merchants and independent community retailers in grassroots advocacy activities. The Council will represent and be responsive to the needs, concerns and interests of local shops, and provide the association’s small business members a forum to discuss the most pressing public policy issues and priorities.

The Small Business Retail Council will consist of two co-chairs that will lead a five-to-seven member steering committee that will identify priorities, propose strategies and solutions, and participate in the coordination of grassroots advocacy. Membership on the council will be comprised of independent retailers from around the country as well as small retailers that currently serve on the NRF board of directors, including Dave Ratner of Dave’s Soda and Pet City of Agawam, Massachusetts and Beth Aberg of Random Harvest, Inc. of Washington, D.C.

“We are bringing together some of the retail sector’s best small business leaders to build upon their integral role in drafting and shaping public policy,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Working with our state retail association partners, we hope to amplify the voice of small retailers in advancing the retail community’s agenda. The Small Business Retail Council will enhance and strengthen the partnership between small business owners and NRF, and optimize industry engagement on our common goals.”

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