Johnny Rockets opens new restaurant in Kuwait
Aliso Viejo, Calif. — Continuing its opening march through Kuwait, Johnny Rockets has opened a new restaurant at the Divonne Restaurant Complex in Kuwait City.
Franchisee Haidar Al-Naqeeb is expanding the American chain in the Arabian Gulf; his first unit opened in December 1995 at Salem Al-Mabarak in Salmiyah, Kuwait. Since that time, he’s grown his portfolio to now include over a dozen franchises in Kuwait, as well as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain with additional openings planned.
Divonne is the eighth Johnny Rockets to open in Kuwait and the third to open in the capital of Kuwait City, an area bolstered by a strong economic infrastructure. Ranked as one of the 25 largest GDP cities in the world, Kuwait City is among the world’s top financial hubs – a distinction also shared with New York, Tokyo, Moscow and Dubai.
"With a keen eye and perceptive outlook of what guests are seeking in a restaurant experience, Haidar has successfully brought a multitude of Johnny Rockets franchises to the Middle East," said John Fuller, CEO of Johnny Rockets. "The consistent quality of his restaurants is a testament to the passion that Haidar brings to his ownership role and will continue to offer guests of this new location."
Francesca’s sees Q4 profit, comps slip; 85 stores on tap for 2014
Houston — While 91 new stores boosted sales for the final fiscal quarter and year-end, Francesca’s Holdings Corp. saw net income for the 13-week period ended Feb. 1 slide to $10.6 million, from $14.9 million last year.
Same-store sales fell 6%, swinging from a 10% increase in the prior year quarter. Revenue surged to $92.1 million from $86.7 million, helped by 91 new boutique openings since the prior year quarter. Five of the 91 opened during the fourth quarter.
According to CEO Neill Davis, weather played a huge role in the disappointing fourth quarter results.
"Sales results for the fourth quarter were below our revised guidance driven by the impact of 370 full and partial daily boutique closings during January due to extreme weather conditions,” he said.
The company predicts ongoing softness in the first quarter, based on weakened traffic, but Neill said he expects an improving trend in the second half of the year.
For the full year, profit dipped to $44.8 million from $47.1 million, comps fell 2%, and sales increased 15% to $340.3 million.
Francesca’s said it plans to open approximately 60 new stores during the first quarter as compared to 56 openings during the prior year quarter. For the full year, the company will open about 85 stores, down slightly from its 91 openings in the previous year.
Kanga app set to trigger local same-day delivery
Atlanta — Crowd-sourced delivery company Kanga has launched a new iPhone and Android app that will place on-demand delivery options in the hands of local customers. The first market to pilot the on-demand shipping solution is Kanga’s home base of Atlanta.
The solution, which leverages crowd-sourced labor, is designed to connect customers and retailers with local delivery drivers.
To initiate the delivery process, customers upload a description of an item via the Kanga mobile app, select a delivery timeframe and set a price for the service. Simultaneously, Kanga drivers access an app-based mobile map that displays the delivery requests by location and bid for delivery jobs in their area. For retailers, the solution integrates directly with popular e-commerce and point-of-sale systems.
The launch, said Kanga president and co-founder Everett Steele, enables users to “save money and empowers our drivers to be entrepreneurs. Each Kanga user joins the millions of Americans who benefit from the collaborative economy."
Atlanta’s fast-paced, urban lifestyle, high-traffic volume and emerging technology scene make the city the optimal environment for the launch of new companies, according to Kanga, which also said it is leveraging the city’s commitment to small businesses and the local economy to build an infrastructure of retail partners throughout the metropolitan area.
Following its Atlanta launch, the company said it plans multi-city expansion with national reach by early 2015.