FINANCE

Kroger to invest $150 million in Dallas expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas — During the next 24 months, Kroger will invest $150 million in North Texas to build five new Marketplace stores and to expand three locations, along with opening multiple fuel centers and remodeling existing properties. The growth initiative will create more than 1,700 full- and part-time career opportunities that offer competitive pay, healthcare plans, retirement options, product discounts and other incentives.

New stores will include Marketplace locations in Forney, Bartonville, North Richland Hills, Lewisville, and Granbury; as well as expanded stores in Flower Mound (22,000 new square feet and a fuel center), Irving (37,000 new square feet and an expanded fuel center), and Rockwall (17,000 new square feet). All new and expanded stores are expected to be completed no later than 2015.

"Kroger is a company that is focused on smart, strategic growth and providing a highly-satisfied customer shopping experience. Dallas is a market that continues to attract new residents and retailers because of its economic strength and stability," says Bill Breetz, president of Kroger Southwest. "We’ve operated here since 1958. In that period, we’ve grown our footprint to 85 stores and 43 fuel centers. We’ve successfully reached this point by closely monitoring the unique needs of this market and evolving to meet the requests of our customers."

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REAL ESTATE

RadioShack opens concept store in Houston Nov. 9

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack will open its newest Houston location as a concept store on Nov. 9. All concept stores in the company’s portfolio feature an upgraded shopping experience, which showcases the company’s new look, and incorporates interactive areas designed to help shoppers improve their technology profile.

Some features include:

  • A speaker wall where customers can shop and compare 13 different speakers using music installed on in-store tablets or played from their own Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices;
  • Interactive displays that enable shoppers to find and compare products, including headphone demo stations where they can listen to leading brands; a remote control (RC) toy exploration center; and a GoPro camera display demonstrating the capabilities of several models of GoPro cameras;
  • Technology that makes shopping interesting and playful, like touch-screens and apps that help shoppers understand the benefits of products;
  • Newly configured displays highlighting in-demand brands like Apple, HTC and Samsung, as well as mobile carriers such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon; and
  • A Do-It-Yourself area where consumers can plan projects.

RadioShack is opening a select number of these highly experiential stores in neighborhoods throughout the nation. The Houston location is one of more than a dozen concept stores to open since the company began converting to such stores. By the end of 2013, RadioShack will have more than 100 concept and brand statement stores open and will have made improvements to nearly all 4,300 stores throughout the nation.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Home Depot attempts to rectify racist tweet

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – The Home Depot is taking steps to make amends for a racist tweet it sent from its official account on Nov. 7. The tweet, a promotion aligned with ESPN college football coverage, showed a photo of two African-Americans playing the drums along with a person wearing a gorilla mask and the caption: “Which drummer is not like the others?”

Home Depot quickly pulled the tweet, but not before it was widely circulated on the Web and covered by several major news agencies. The retailer took to Twitter the evening of Nov. 7 to apologize.

“We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive,” says a tweet posted to the official Home Depot Twitter account at approximately 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 7. “Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it.”

Home Depot has also publicly stated it is reviewing its social media policies to determine how this tweet was authorized and to make sure no similar messages are ever released again.


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