FINANCE

Focus Brands to buy Auntie Anne’s

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Focus Brands will buy soft pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s for an undisclosed amount.

The Lancaster, Pa.-based chain has about 1,100 stores. The deal should close later this fall.

Atlanta-based Focus runs Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

“We’ve been looking for a couple of years for another brand to bring under Focus Brands,” said Russ Umphenour, CEO of Focus Brands. “We want brands and products that are unique. This really fits it.”

Umphenour expects to grow the brand both domestically and internationally.

Auntie Anne’s, which will remain based in Lancaster, has about 200 international locations.

Focus Brands is unit of Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital.

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FINANCE

Syms loss widens in Q2 with impact of Filene’s acquisition

BY CSA STAFF

Secaucus, N.J. Syms Corp. reported late Thursday that it lost $10.9 million in the quarter ended Aug. 28, compared with a loss of $7.9 million in the year-ago period. The widened loss is mostly attributable to one-time charges related to Syms’ acquisition of Filene’s Basement in second quarter 2009, according to the company.

Revenues for the quarter surged 34% to $102.1 million, from $76.4 million in the prior-year quarter, reflecting the impact of Filene’s Basement.

Same-store sales increased 16% for the quarter.

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Kindle arrives at Staples

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples announced that the Kindle e-reader is available in all stores nationwide beginning Oct. 10.

“Kindle is just one example of a host of hot tech items customers can get at Staples this holiday season,” said Jevin Eagle, EVP merchandising and marketing at Staples. “From our hands-on displays to our knowledgeable associates, Staples makes buying technology easy any time of year.”

 

Staples now carries the following new Kindle devices:

 

    * Kindle ($139.00) – Wi-Fi, 6″ diagonal     * Kindle 3G ($189.00) – Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6″ diagonal     * Kindle DX ($379.00) – Free 3G, 9.7″ diagonal (available at Staples mid-November)

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