REAL ESTATE

Falcon announces restaurant expansions

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas Falcon Cos.’ Falcon Restaurant Advisors announced Wednesday that it has executed agreements with six national restaurant chains to help them find new locations in Texas and across the country.

Falcon has recently signed agreements with Brick House Tavern + Tap, which is seeking high-profile freestanding restaurant locations 6,500 to 8,500 sq. ft. with strong daytime populations; Celebrity Ventures, which in Dallas will be focused around Dallas Cowboy’s star Emmitt Smith and is seeking locations in Dallas/Fort Worth and Richmond, Va.; Joe’s Crab Shack, looking for freestanding or endcap sites of 5,500 sq. ft. to 7,000 sq. ft. in major Texas markets; Mariano’s and La Hacienda Ranch, seeking suburban land purchases in Dallas/Fort Worth; The Paxos Group, seeking national sites; and Smashburger, looking for locations Dallas/Fort Worth and other select markets in Texas and Oklahoma.

“Although the restaurant industry is always one of the first areas in commercial real estate to be hit by a recession, we find it is the first to bounce back as well,” said Cal Marsh, president of Falcon Restaurant Advisors. “Right now we are seeing a lot of restaurants in the mid-price range expanding rapidly because it is something the average American can enjoy and afford at the same time.”

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Eddie Bauer closes asset sale with Golden Gate Capital

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE, Wash. Eddie Bauer announced that it has completed the previously announced sale of its assets and operations to Golden Gate Capital for $286 million. Eddie Bauer will operate as a newly formed company, will continue to serve its customers as usual, and will be better positioned for future success.

Eddie Bauer will have the benefit of a much stronger balance sheet, little or no long-term debt and a substantially lower cost structure. Golden Gate Capital has indicated its support for management and their strategy of refocusing the brand on its rich outdoor heritage. Eddie Bauer plans to maintain the substantial majority of its stores and employees. Under Golden Gate’s ownership, Eddie Bauer will benefit from having a well-capitalized partner with extensive expertise in multi-channel specialty retail.

Neil Fiske, president and CEO of Eddie Bauer, said, “We are delighted to have Golden Gate Capital as our partner in building Eddie Bauer as a great American brand. Golden Gate has a proven track record and knows our industry well. We will benefit immensely from the value and capability they will bring to Eddie Bauer. With key new product launches slated for Fall and Holiday, a healthy balance sheet and a lower cost structure, we will be well positioned to grow Eddie Bauer. This is an excellent result for our people, our customers, our business partners and the communities we serve. We look forward to an exciting new chapter in the Eddie Bauer story.”

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Charming Shoppes broadens partnership with Wipro

BY CSA STAFF

BANGALORE, India Wipro announced that it has entered into a five-year strategic agreement to provide Charming Shoppes with end-to-end information technology services that include application management, remote infrastructure management and mainframe hosting. This partnership will be an integral component of Charming Shoppes’ transformation journey to optimize IT spend and improve business agility.

Under the agreement, Wipro will be responsible for application management of the entire suite of applications encompassing stores, supply chain, merchandising, marketing and analytics, business intelligence and corporate systems. Wipro will provide hosting services from its state-of-the-art U.S.-based data centers and manage infrastructure using a robust ITIL-based service management framework including data center operations, network and security operations and performance management. These services will be delivered across stores, distribution centers and the corporate brand offices of Charming Shoppes.

During the term of the agreement, Wipro will work with Charming Shoppes to affect year-over-year improvements in performance and efficiency thereby providing stable, flexible and scalable IT platforms to help the retailer achieve business objectives, focus on core brands and increase cash flow. Charming Shoppes will maintain a viable ongoing IT operation in Bensalem and retain key retail business and technical expertise.

“As the leading provider of women’s specialty plus apparel, our focus is on strengthening our brands and providing a superior customer experience,” said Denis Gingue, SVP and CIO of Charming Shoppes. “We rely on IT as a critical enabler for our businesses – and strategic partnerships are critical to our future success. We selected Wipro because of their retail and fashion experience, technical competency in infrastructure and applications and their process discipline in IT operations.”

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