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NRF isn’t just for techies

BY Katherine Boccaccio

As I prepare to pack my bags for New York to spend a few days in the NYC office and attend the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show” held at Javit’s Center from Jan. 13 to 15, I feel compelled to bring up this point about the annual NRF convention: it isn’t just for techies.

Each year I attend, and each year I wonder why more folks in the real estate space don’t attend the show. Yes, I know the phrase “cloud computing” flows like water on the show aisles, but I also routinely meet with real estate software companies and witness first-hand solutions that will directly impact a retailer’s real estate.

And, in fact, doesn’t technology in general impact real estate? If I were still a retailer, I would feel it imperative to see the latest and greatest in retail technology, whether it be POS systems, traffic-counting devices or state-of-the-art in-store selling tools or communications solutions. Anything that is meant to drive sales and traffic directly impacts a retailer’s real estate.

I’ll be at the Big Show in mid-January, taking note of what will be unveiled in 2013. Maybe I’ll see you there.


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Apr-10-2013 01:41 pm

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Actor Patrick Dempsey’s group wins bid for Tully’s

BY Staff Writer

Seattle — TC Global Inc., which operates 47 Tully’s Coffee Shops, announced that it is a step closer to exiting from bankruptcy with the sale of its assets to Global Baristas, the investment group led by actor Patrick Dempsey, star of television’s Grey’s Anatomy.

Global Baristas was selected as the winning bidder late last night, with a bid of almost $10 million, at a private auction process on Thursday that included Starbucks Coffee and Baristas Coffee. Tully’s filed for protection under Chapter 11 on October 10, 2012, closing 19 unprofitable locations.

"We are very encouraged and excited that Patrick Dempsey ‘s commitment to Tully’s, to the company, the stores and perhaps most importantly, in keeping the members of Tully’s family in place as they are today," stated Scott Pearson , CEO and President of TC Global, Inc. "This is a big win for Seattle."

The hearing where it is expected that the sale will be finalized takes place on Jan. 11 in Seattle.

Tully’s Coffee currently operates 47 company-owned stores and 12 franchised stores.

Tully’s said the sale of TC Global does not impact the wholesale and online Tully’s Coffee business and brand, which were purchased by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. in 2009.

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Sweets and snacks event bucks trade show trend

BY CSA STAFF

Retailer and supplier consolidation has led to the demise of some conventional trade shows, but that’s not the case with the Sweets & Snacks Expo.

Record attendance is expected at the event scheduled for May 21 through May 23 in Chicago due in part to format changes by event organizer the National Confectioners Association and the strength of merchandise categories represented at the mega event.

Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the 2013 Expo is now in its 17th year and event organizers recently announced that exhibit space at Chicago’s McCormick Place is nearly sold out. The increased popularity is due in part to a format change seven years ago that added snacks to the mix of categories represented. As a result, a number of big-name items, including Frito-Lay’s Cracker Jack and Unilever’s single-serve frozen novelties will be on hand this year.

"Seven years ago, when the NCA board decided to incorporate snacks into the Expo, the thought was to increase the opportunities and efficiencies of those already attending," says Larry Graham, NCA president. "By adding respected brands like Cracker Jack, as well as new categories like ice cream, the Expo has become now, more than ever, a retailers’ one-stop-shop for candy and snack needs in a growing variety of product categories."
According to Tim Quinn, Expo chairman and vp of trade development at Mars Chocolate North America, "candy and snack category sales continue to outpace total store sales, and in a challenging economy, retailers increasingly rely on those categories that are proven sales performers. The Expo was designed to not only provide retailers access to more new and exciting products, but also to offer merchandising solutions and keynote topics designed to turn insights into actions," Quinn said.

Event organizers also said this year’s Expo will feature an unprecedented number of international exhibitors, with a new Ecuadorian pavilion joining Brazilian, Chinese, German and Mexican pavilions.

"It has become increasingly important that our industry continue to expand our markets to include other countries and regions," Quinn said. "The global marketplace provides an area of growth opportunity going forward, and our Expo is the place to connect with manufacturers from around the world to discover international products that can set retailers apart from the rest."

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