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Consumers seek healthy QSR choices

BY Dan Berthiaume

Kansas City, Mo. – Healthy options are becoming increasingly important to customers of quick-service restaurants (QSRs). These latest trends are detailed in a new white paper, "QSRs and America’s Changing Tastes," by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink.

Key takeaways from this white paper by SHS FoodThink that hint at a desire for more from QSRs:

• Forty-eight percent of consumers want more opportunities to customize orders.

• Fifty-one percent want QSRs to give them more options for sides.

• Fifty-eight percent say healthy options are important when selecting a QSR.

"Consumers want it all. They want their fast food to be convenient and low-cost, but now it also has to be of higher quality, healthier and use interesting flavor combinations," said Erika Chance, senior FoodThink researcher. "QSRs that have a mixture of these unique qualities, in addition to the basics, will be able to differentiate themselves."

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Signet Jewlers closes $400 million senior notes offering

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hamilton, Bermuda – Signet Jewelers Ltd. has closed the offering of $400 million senior unsecured notes due 2024 by Signet U.K. Finance PLC (a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Signet). The notes will bear interest at a rate of 4.7% per year and mature on June 15, 2024.

Interest on the notes will be payable semi-annually on June 15 and Dec. 15 of each year, commencing December 15, 2014. The sale of the notes closed May 19, 2014. Signet intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to pay a portion of the consideration for its proposed acquisition of Zale Corp.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Fifth Third Securities, Inc. and PNC Capital Markets LLC acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.

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HP releases new POS systems

BY Dan Berthiaume

Palo Alto, Calif. – HP has expanded its retail solutions portfolio with POS systems designed to maximize space and increase efficiency. The new HP RP2 All-In-One (AIO) features a small footprint, combined with flexible mounting options to help boost employee productivity, while the updated high-performance HP RP5, Model 5810, provides seamless control of operations from the store floor to the back office.

“In today’s dynamic marketplace, flexibility and reliability are critical for retailers and hospitality operators to meet the needs of their customers,” said Ray Carlin, VP and general manager, retail solutions, HP. “The RP2 and RP5 deliver performance and functionality while being designed to withstand harsh retail and hospitality environments.”

The HP RP2 is expected to be available worldwide in July, and the HP RP5 is now available worldwide.

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