REAL ESTATE

Panda Express debuts Panda Dry Cleaning format

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — The owners of the Panda Express fast-food chain, Andrew and Peggy Cherng, have partnered with Procter & Gamble, whose products include Tide laundry detergent, to open a dry cleaning chain, Panda Dry Cleaning, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The new concept made its debut under the Tide Dry Cleaners banner in Henderson, Nev., and as many as 200 franchised locations nationwide are planned for the next five years.

Panda is set to open at least five more Tide cleaners in 2012. Many of the future locations could be planned for California, where they have exclusive rights to develop the facilities, the report said.

"There isn’t any consolidation in this particular industry," Andrew Cherng told the Times. "There is no McDonald’s of dry cleaners. We see this as an opportunity."

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OPERATIONS

Barnes & Noble to sell Sterling publishing business

BY Staff Writer

New York City — A Wednesday report in the Wall Street Journal said that Barnes & Noble Inc. has put its Sterling Publishing business up for sale.

Barnes & Noble acquired Sterling in 2003 for about $115 million.

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FINANCE

Hot Topic holiday same-store sales up 1.2%

BY Staff Writer

City of Industry, Calif. — Hot Topic reported Wednesday that same-store sales for the nine-week holiday shopping period of November and December edged up 1.2%. The company upped its fourth quarter guidance based on the results.

In related news, Hot Topic has named Cindy Levitt as VP, general merchandise manager, effective Jan. 16.

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