News

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Mount Prospect, Ill.

BY CSA STAFF
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There’s a new, farmers market-styled specialty grocer taking root in the Midwest: Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. With former Sunflower Farmers Market CEO Chris Sherrell at the helm, Fresh Thyme emphasizes organic foods and produce at value prices in a convenient neighborhood-store format. The company made its debut in April, in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, and went on to open six additional locations. A total of 60 stores are planned throughout the Midwest by 2019.

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Fresh Thyme’s signature offering is an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables. Designed by api(+), Tampa, the store is simple and easy to navigate (footprints average between 24,000 and 28,000 sq. ft.). In line with its name, design elements and materials such as low-profile fixtures, cedar planking and reclaimed barn siding are woven into the environment to reflect traditional farmers markets. Saturated in both color and texture, Fresh Thyme is designed to provide Midwestern hoppers with a year-round farmers market experience — regardless of the weather.

Branding designer, concept designer, architect of record: api(+), Tampa, Florida


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News

RadioShack’s net loss more than doubles

BY CSA STAFF

RadioShack posted a net loss of $137.2 million in its second quarter, more than double the $52.2 million loss reported in the year-ago period. It was the troubled retailer’s 10th straight quarterly loss.

RadioShack warned in a regulatory filing it may seek bankruptcy protection, with a possible sale or third-party investment as other potential avenues to remedy its ongoing financial woes.

“Details of a recapitalization haven’t been finalized. As a result, we may be required to seek to implement an in-court proceeding under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code,” the filing stated.

RadioShack is currently working to restructure its debt with existing creditors and landlords. Analyst firms including Moody’s and Wedbush have recently warned that RadioShack is in danger of running out of operating capital, and hedge fund Standard General LP, RadioShack’s second-largest shareholder, is reportedly trying to negotiate a “rescue package” by obtaining debt and equity financing from outside investors.

RadioShack’s net revenue for the quarter, ended Aug. 2, fell 22% to $673.8 million from $861.4 million. Same-store sales plunged 20%.

The retailer cited “lackluster consumer interest in the current handset assortment,” as well as heavy promotional activity among wireless carriers and a general decline in the consumer electronics market as factors in its continued poor performance.

“We are working to address our challenges head-on and focus on profitable sales by improving the technology we use to sell mobile phones and bringing in new wireless offerings,” said Joseph C. Magnacca, CEO of RadioShack. “We believe that, long-term, our adjusted approach to mobility will position it as an important contributor to our overall business."

RadioShack ended the quarter with $30.5 million in cash and $152 million available to it on its credit agreement. The company’s total debt was $658 million and doesn’t come due until 2018 and 2019.

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FINANCE

1-800-Flowers Q4 net income soars

BY Dan Berthiaume

Carle Place, N.Y. — 1-800-Flowers.com net income jumped to $3.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to $538,000 in the previous year period. Continued focus on leveraging its operating platform helped boost net income.

Total revenue increased 8.3% to $187.4 million, from $173 million. The increase primarily reflects the shift of the Easter holiday into the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, compared with the prior year when the holiday fell in the company’s fiscal third quarter, as well as continued solid growth in the company’s BloomNet wire service business and its gourmet food and gift baskets ecommerce channels. During the quarter, 1-800-Flowers attracted approximately 675,000 new e-commerce customers.

For the full fiscal year, the impact of severe winter weather helped reduce net income about 1% to $14.6 million from $15.7 million. Revenues grew 3% to $756.3 million from $735.5 million.

“During fiscal 2014 we continued to focus on managing those aspects of our business that we can control and where we can effect positive improvements,” said Jim McCann, CEO. “We grew revenues across all three of our business segments for both the quarter and the full year despite the continued uneven consumer economy.”

For fiscal 2015, 1-800-Flowers said it expects to achieve revenue growth across all three of its business segments with consolidated revenue growth for the year anticipated to be in the mid-single-digit range. The company expects to grow EBITDA and earnings per share at rates in excess of expected revenue growth, reflecting anticipated continued improvements in gross profit margin and operating leverage.

In addition, 1-800-Flowers expects to launch a new, consolidated customer database and multi-brand website in fiscal 2015, and complete its acquisition of Harry and David Holdings Inc. in October 2014.

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