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JoS. A. Bank profit rises 25% in Q2

BY Staff Writer

Hampstead, Md. — JoS. A. Bank Clothiers reported Wednesday that net income for the second quarter surged 24.7% to $20.6 million, compared with $16.5 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 22.4% to $230.7 million from $188.4 million. Same-store sales increased 14.7%.

“While sales are just one component of overall profit and August is a relatively small sales month, our comparable store sales in August are up slightly compared to the same period last year, despite the impact of the recent hurricane,” said R. Neal Black, president and CEO.

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Fresh Market profit up in Q2, to open 12-14 stores

BY Staff Writer

Greensboro, N.C. — Specialty grocer The Fresh Market reported Wednesday that net income for the second quarter rose to $10.5 million from $6.9 million a year earlier.

Sales rose 13.6% to $259.5 million and same-store sales increased 4.6%, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of comps growth of 4% or greater.

The grocer opened five stores and relocated one existing store during the quarter, including a new market entry in the state of New Jersey. Fresh Market says it is on track to open a total of 12 to 14 new stores during fiscal 2011.

“We are pleased with the momentum in the business through the first half of fiscal 2011,” said Craig Carlock, president and CEO.

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Fast food goes high tech at The Melt

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Grilled cheese and soup is the signature calling card at The Melt, a start-up restaurant concept debuting in San Francisco with big plans for the future. The Melt expects to have five eateries up and running in the Bay Area by yearend — with plans to expand to over 500 locations nationally by 2015.

(Click here to see photos)

"Life is complicated enough…so a simple, affordable meal like grilled cheese and soup is an easy way to make people happy," said Jonathan Kaplan, founder and chairperson, The Melt. The entrepreneur is best known as the founder of Pure Digital, creators of the Flip Video camcorder.

The new venture is backed by some major players. Apple retail guru and soon-to-be J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is on The Melt’s board. Other members include Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz, chef and restaurateur Michael Mina and Benchmark Capital’s Bruce Dunlevie.

The Melt utilizes custom cooking equipment that expedites cooking time and maximizes flavor to deliver a custom-ordered toasted sandwich in under 90 seconds.

The restaurant uses location-based mobile technology that allows customers to remotely order items from their computers and mobile phones. After ordering, the customer receives a QR code that can be scanned in the restaurant, enabling the customer to skip the line and quickly pick up their freshly-made order in two minutes or less.

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