REAL ESTATE

Corner Bakery Café expands in Pittsburgh

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas — Corner Bakery Café is expanding in Pennsylvania with the addition of eight stores throughout northern Pittsburgh. A group of franchisees with extensive real estate and retail experience is opening the new stores.

Corner Bakery Café is also targeting southern Pittsburgh for franchise growth. The retailer has more than 190 company-owned and franchise stores currently open, and franchise agreements representing commitments for 398 units.

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Whole Foods shares the love with shoppers

BY CSA STAFF

Whole Foods Market is sharing the love with its consumers, across channels.

From Sept. 9 to Nov. 3, the Whole Foods Love Fest will offer special deals and events including surprises on its local and national social media channels.

Other features will include weekly $500 giveaways in stores, weekly product offers, and customized events and giveaways.

“We are looking forward to deepening our connections with customers and saying ‘thank you’ and ‘we love you’ during this special Love Fest season,” said Whole Foods Market executive VP of operations David Lannon. “We can’t wait to surprise and delight shoppers with some of our best-ever deals, weekly giveaways and a few other surprises in our stores as well as in our social media channels.”

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Ollie’s sees post-IPO sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet delivered strong sales growth in its first quarter as a public company and expects the second half of the year will see more of the same from its rapidly expanding store based and extreme value positioning.

Harrisburg, Pa.-based Ollie’s operates 190 stores and sales for its second quarter ended Aug. 1 increased 19% to $182 million thanks to a 7.8% same store sales increase and the addition of 15 new stores during the first half of the year. Net income increased 12.3% to $6.4 million from $5.7 million. Earnings per share were flat compared to the prior year second quarter at 12 cents.

"We had a strong second quarter and are pleased with our results. Comparable store sales increased 7.8% and the increase was very broad based, with a vast majority of our 21 departments generating positive comparable store sales and most of those being in the mid-single-digit or higher range,” said Mark Butler, Ollie’s chairman, president and CEO. “With our growing size, scale and visibility, we continue to gain better access to products, and the second quarter benefited from a great assortment of both every day and seasonal products. The result was strong sales across the business with all geographic regions and departments such as, lawn and garden, food, electronics, bed and bath and hardware leading the way.”

Looking forward, Ollie’s said it expects the combination of between 25 and 30 new stores and same store sales growth in the range of 3.3% to 3.8% will enable it to reach full year sales of as much as $741 million.

The company went public on July 21 when it sold more 10.3 million shares at $16 a share.

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