FINANCE

Michaels Completes Early Redemption of Notes

BY CSA STAFF

Irving, Texas, Michaels Stores has successfully completed the redemption of the company’s $200 million, 9 1/4% senior notes due 2009 at a price of $1.04625. Michael Rouleau, CEO, states, “The early redemption of the company’s senior notes is representative of our strong operating performance and strengthening financial position. This is an important part of our continuing efforts to build shareholder value through both operational improvements as well as enhancements to our capital structure.”

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Panera Bread to Expand in California

BY CSA STAFF

Richmond Heights, Mo., Panera Bread announced a franchise agreement with Pangenera, LLC for expansion in California. The group plans to develop 15 bakery-cafes in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties by 2010. Panera Bread currently operates 773 units (243 company-owned and 530 franchised).

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Chain Store Sales Fall in Latest Week

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, U.S. chain store sales fell 1% for the week ended May 28, compared to a 0.2% dip the previous week, according to a joint report from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and UBS. Cooler weather slowed consumer purchases of seasonal goods, taking the index to its lowest reading in nine weeks, according to the report. Sales for the same week a year ago rose 3.1%, after a 3.7% increase the preceding week.

“With the industry facing a tough comparison in May 2005 against May 2004’s 5.7% increase and less-than-favorable weather, the industry performed reasonably well over the past four weeks,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC chief economist and director of research, in a statement.

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