FINANCE

GE Capital provides Brookstone with $115 million in working capital

BY Marianne Wilson

Norwalk, Conn. — GE Capital announced it is providing Brookstone, the product development company and specialty retailer, with a $115 million senior credit facility. The financing will be used to support the company’s recent acquisition by Sailing Innovation (Sailing) and general working capital needs.

Brookstone operates more than 240 retail locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, a direct-to-consumer catalog, an e-commerce website and a wholesale business retail locations. Under the Sailing umbrella, Brookstone will continue to operate as a stand-alone business in the U.S., as well as focusing on expanding the brand globally.

“GE Capital helped to develop a financing solution that was tailored to our needs,” said Jim Speltz, president & CEO of Brookstone. “Their in-depth retail experience will continue to support our objectives while we remain focused on delivering a robust pipeline of innovative and useful products to our customers.”

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OPERATIONS

Founder of Aldi dies at 94

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Karl Albrecht, who along with his brother Theo, created the Aldi supermarket chain from a small shop owned by his mother, has died at the age of 94, the New York Times reported.

Click here for the full story.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap to enter Slovenia, Austria

BY Marianne Wilson

San Francisco — Continuing its global growth, Gap Inc. on Monday announced that it will introduce the Gap brand to Slovenia and Austria through agreements with new and existing franchise partners. Magistrat International, a new partner, has been selected for the launch of Slovenia. Gottex, which currently manages the Gap franchise business in Israel and Hungary, will launch Austria.

Gap has signed a new agreement with Magistrat International to open three stores in the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana. City Park, Slovenia’s largest shopping center, will be the location for the first two free-standing stores; one for adult and one for kids and baby. The Emporium department store will feature the full collection of mens, womens, kids and baby. All locations are scheduled to open by September this year.

Gap will open its first store in Vienna, Austria this October. The free-standing location will be located at the Donauzentrum Mall.

“Gap is known all over the world and we have grown our store presence significantly in recent years to help bring our casual style to more and more customers. We launched into five new markets last year; Hungary, Paraguay Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica, and with the opening of stores in Slovenia and Austria we now bring our iconic brand to customers through stores in almost 50 countries,” said Gap brand president, Steve Sunnucks.

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