FINANCE

Dunkin’ Brands added 422 net new Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants in 2014

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Canton, Mass. — Dunkin' Brands Group, the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced that in 2014 its U.S. franchisees opened a total of 422 net new Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.

"This past year was another excellent year for domestic restaurant development for both of our brands and has resulted in Dunkin' Brands, once again being one of the fastest growing companies by unit count in the QSR industry," said Nigel Travis, chairman and CEO, Dunkin' Brands. "All told, Dunkin' Donuts franchisees opened 405 net new domestic restaurants in 2014, including our much anticipated restaurants in Southern California, and remodeled another nearly 500 locations. Baskin-Robbins franchisees opened 17 net new locations, marking this the brand's second consecutive year of positive net development. We believe these results are directly attributable to the appeal of our two strong consumer brands and our continued focus on franchisee unit economics. For 2015 in the U.S., we expect to open between 410 and 440 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and between five to ten net Baskin-Robbins locations."

In 2014, Dunkin' Donuts opened 405 net new restaurants in new markets such as California, Colorado, and Nevada, with 97% of domestic growth coming from existing franchisees. California continued to be a focus of growth for the brand with five new free-standing restaurants opening in Whittier, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Downey and Modesto, which opened ahead of schedule. The company said it is on track with its plan to open approximately 250 new restaurants in California over the next several years, with the long-term goal of having 1,000 restaurants in total throughout the state.

Dunkin' Donuts also signed agreements in 2014 with franchisees to open new future restaurants in markets, including Northern, Central and Southern California; Oklahoma City; Louisville, Kentucky; Phoenix; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Wichita, Kansas, among others.

In 2013, Dunkin' Donuts unveiled new restaurant design options and last year Dunkin' Donuts franchisees remodeled 482 restaurants with the new image. Dunkin' Donuts also recently announced the launch of DD Green Achievement, a green building program designed to help franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient restaurants. By the end of 2016, Dunkin' Donuts plans to have 100 new DD Green restaurants across the U.S.

In 2015, the company expects its franchisees to add between 410 and 440 net new Dunkin' Donuts U.S. restaurants and continues to believe that it can achieve the long-term goal of more than 17,000 restaurants in the U.S., more than doubling its current number of domestic locations.

Also In 2014, Baskin-Robbins achieved a second consecutive year of positive net new unit growth in the U.S., opening 17 net new restaurants in markets including Kentucky, California and Louisiana. Baskin-Robbins also signed agreements in 2014 with franchisees to open new future locations in markets, including Fresno, California; San Francisco; Phoenix; Tampa; Louisville, Kentucky; and Colorado Springs, Colorado, among others.

In 2015, the company said it expects its franchisees and licensees to open five to ten net new Baskin-Robbins restaurants in the U.S.

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MOBILITY

Study: 96% of retailers are ready for the Internet of Things

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Lincolnshire, Ill. — Zebra Technologies Corporation released survey results that revealed nearly all retailers are ready to make the changes required to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT). The survey, conducted in October 2014 by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Zebra Technologies, also showed that a majority of retailers believe IoT will be the most important technological initiative of the decade.

Some of the key findings from the survey include:

• Nearly 96% of retail decision makers are ready to make changes required to adopt IoT. 67% of respondents already have implemented IoT and another 26% of retailers are planning to deploy within a year.

• More than half of surveyed retailers expect IoT to provide operational and actionable data on the location and condition of tracked objects which can help empower process and cost optimization in the supply chains – and ultimately improve operations, create new revenue streams and enhance the customer experience.

• Retail decision makers listed real-time locating systems (RTLS), mobile computing and bar-coding as the most important technologies for enabling IoT implementations. Data analytics, security solutions and sensor devices were cited most often as required solutions for IoT adoption.

• Fifty-six percent of respondents listed integration challenges as the top barrier to IoT implementations, while 47% mentioned security and privacy as a chief concern.

"The advent of new technologies has completely changed the way shoppers interact with retailers, but the shopping experience can be the retailer's strategic differentiator,” said Nick D'Alessio, Global Retail Practice Leader, Zebra Technologies. “With the Internet of Things, retailers will be empowered with the intelligence to make strategic, informed business decisions that improve customer loyalty and associate effectiveness while creating exciting experiences for their shoppers."

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News

Body Central closes all stores, fires all employees

BY CSA STAFF

Apparently closing all of your stores and firing all of your employees is among the actions a retailer can take when it is “exploring strategic alternatives.”

Body Central Inc., which announced early this month that it was $18 million in debt and exploring strategic alternatives, has shuttered all 265 of its stores and fired 2,500 employees.

“The company wanted to reorganize as a smaller chain, but it was unable to raise the financing necessary,” said Gardner Davis, a lawyer who represents the retailer. “This is a tragic development. The company’s 2,500 loyal, hardworking employees are going to lose their jobs immediately.”

Body Central joins a number of women’s clothing chains dealing with default or bankruptcy in recent weeks. Deb Stores Holding LLC and Delia’s Inc. filed for bankruptcy last month, hurt by competition from online and fast-fashion retailers. Wet Seal Inc., meanwhile, said this month it will close about two-thirds of its locations as it strives to save cash after receiving a default notice.

Body Central was founded by Jerrold and Ronnie Rosenbaum, who opened their first store in Jacksonville in the early 1970s. It operates stores in 28 states under the Body Central and Body Shop brands, mostly within malls. The company lost $70.2 million in the 12 months ended in September. Body Central had only $4.5 million in cash and equivalents as of Nov. 3.

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