News

Fast food goes high tech at The Melt

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Grilled cheese and soup is the signature calling card at The Melt, a start-up restaurant concept debuting in San Francisco with big plans for the future. The Melt expects to have five eateries up and running in the Bay Area by yearend — with plans to expand to over 500 locations nationally by 2015.

(Click here to see photos)

"Life is complicated enough…so a simple, affordable meal like grilled cheese and soup is an easy way to make people happy," said Jonathan Kaplan, founder and chairperson, The Melt. The entrepreneur is best known as the founder of Pure Digital, creators of the Flip Video camcorder.

The new venture is backed by some major players. Apple retail guru and soon-to-be J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is on The Melt’s board. Other members include Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz, chef and restaurateur Michael Mina and Benchmark Capital’s Bruce Dunlevie.

The Melt utilizes custom cooking equipment that expedites cooking time and maximizes flavor to deliver a custom-ordered toasted sandwich in under 90 seconds.

The restaurant uses location-based mobile technology that allows customers to remotely order items from their computers and mobile phones. After ordering, the customer receives a QR code that can be scanned in the restaurant, enabling the customer to skip the line and quickly pick up their freshly-made order in two minutes or less.

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Genesco narrows loss in Q2, raises full-year outlook

BY Staff Writer

Nashville, Tenn. – Genesco, parent to the Journeys, Lids and Johnston & Murphy banners, reported Wednesday a loss of $392,000 for the quarter ended July 31, compared with a loss of $3.2 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 29% to $471 million, from $364 million. Same-store sales surged 14%, with the Lids Sports Group up 12%, the Journeys Group up 15%, the Johnston & Murphy Group up 17%, and the Underground Station Group up 10%.

The company said it is raising its fiscal 2012 guidance, based on the performance.

In June, Genesco acquired British footwear company Schuh Group Ltd. for $113 million to expand its presence in the United Kingdom.

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Lowe’s launches iPhone and iPod app

BY Staff Writer

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s said Wednesday it has launched a home improvement app for iPhone and iPod, now available on the App Store.

The application is designed to support customers with their home-improvement projects, and provide tools to help simplify the shopping experience.

"With the Lowe’s App, we are leveraging the popularity of iPhone and iPod touch to help customers make more informed purchasing decisions on the go," said Gihad Jawhar, VP Lowes.com. "We’ve also included a wealth of interactive content to inspire consumers on their next home improvement project."

The Lowe’s App allows consumers to research and purchase products, locate stores, watch how-to videos, review product ratings, and more.

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