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January 8 is deadline for Retail Store of the Year competition

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Due to the holiday rush and related closings, Chain Store Age has extended the deadline for its 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year Design Competition until Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

More than 20 competition categories are featured, including department stores, supermarkets, discounters, restaurants, convenience stores, specialty stores, service, sustainability and pop-up stores. This year, for the first time, the competition also includes the category of in-store digital innovation.

Retailers, design firms, architects and suppliers are all eligible to submit entries.

Click here for more information and for an entry form.

Any questions, please email Chain Store Age editor Marianne Wilson at [email protected].

Eligible projects are single location or multiple-unit stores/restaurants opened between November 30, 2012 and December 30, 2013.

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Report: Whole Foods Market to acquire six Dominick’s locations

BY Michael Johnsen

Chicago — Whole Foods has recently acquired six Dominick’s stores, the Sun-Times reported, citing real estate sources. And Jewel may buy as many as 16 Dominick’s locations.

The news comes as suitors for the remainder of Safeway’s Dominick’s stores in Chicago, which are now shuttering their doors, are beginning to come forward, according to a report published Saturday in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Regional operator Pete’s Fresh Market has been looking at as many as four locations, and will likely announce its intentions by Jan. 20, the Sun-Times reported.

The purchase of as many as 10 Dominick’s stores may be under consideration by independent grocery chains affiliated with the Centrella cooperative, Crain’s Chicago Business reported earlier this month, citing sources close to the deal.

Safeway announced in October its intended exit from the Chicago market altogether, where it at one time operated 72 Dominick’s stores, by early 2014. Now approximately 55 remain.

Four stores were sold to New Albertsons in October. In early December, Safeway announced it had reached a definitive agreement to sell 11 of its Dominick’s stores in the Chicago metropolitan area in a cash and lease assumption transaction to Roundy’s. Roundy’s will take possession of the stores during a transition period that will take place over the next two months.

And at least two Dominick’s stores have expiring leases, according to the Crain report.

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Roark Capital closes acquisition of CKE Restaurants

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta — An affiliate of Roark Capital Group has acquired a majority stake in CKE Restaurants Inc., owner of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and various other quick-serve restaurant chains.

We are pleased to welcome CKE’s brands to our restaurant family," said Neal Aronson, Roark’s managing partner. "Led by CEO Andy Puzder, CKE is a well-run business with an excellent management team and passionate franchisees. We look forward to working with Andy and the team as they build on their success and continue to execute their strategic vision for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s."

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

CKE’s properties include 3413 restaurants in 42 states and 30 foreign countries and U.S. territories.

Roark Capital’s portfolio includes such restaurant brands as Arby’s, Cinnabon, Corner Bakery Café and Moe’s Southwestern Grill, as well as the Atkins Nutritionals brand.

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