PetSmart to open 70 stores
New York — PetSmart plans to open some 70 net new stores, including approximately 50 of its standard prototypes, 20 micro stores and three PetsHotels, this year.
News of the expansion comes in conjunction with the retailer’s fourth quarter results. Net income increased 14% to $132 million in the quarter, compared to $115 million in the year-ago period,
Net sales increased 2.9% to $1.8 billion. Same-store sales, including Internet sales, grew 1.2%.
Services sales, which are included in net sales, grew 2.6% to $186 million.
Corner Bakery Café to enter Indianapolis
Dallas — Corner Bakery Café has signed a new multi-unit development agreement to open its first restaurants in Indianapolis beginning later this year and the remaining sites over the next six years.
The new franchisee joins a roster of 27 franchise partners, with 53 open cafes and development commitments for more than 300 more, as Corner Bakery Cafe continues on its goal to more than double its U.S. footprint in the next three years. Corner Bakery Cafe restaurants are owned and operated by CBC Restaurant Corp. with more than 160 company-owned and franchised locations around the country.
Last month, the company announced plans to open nine new restaurants in the Central Valley, Calif., area.
Currently, the rapidly growing fast-casual chain is also looking to expand to new markets in Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee, among others.
Google Capital invests $50 million in Auction.com
Irvine, Calif. — Auction.com, the world’s largest online real estate marketplace, has received a $50 million investment from Google Capital. As part of the investment, one representative from Google Capital will join the company’s board of directors and another will take a board observer position.
“Google is the world’s greatest Internet company and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with them. This will give us an opportunity to tap into their deep expertise in digital marketing and mobile, as well as in building world-class products,” said Jeff Frieden, CEO and co-founder of Auction.com. “More than $7 billion of commercial and residential real estate traded through our online marketplace in 2013, and we believe that having Google Capital’s support will help us expand our industry leadership, and carve out a bigger share of the global real estate market.”
Google Capital joins other strategic shareholders in Auction.com including Starwood Capital Group, Starwood Property Trust, Stone Point Capital and funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group. Auction.com annually handles tens of thousands of transactions across commercial and residential real estate for customers ranging from the largest financial institutions to individuals and brokers.
“Auction.com has quietly built one of the largest marketplaces on the web,” said David Lawee, partner at Google Capital. “We think Auction.com can fundamentally change how real estate, and particularly commercial real estate, can be bought and sold, leveling the playing field for smaller investors.”
Google Capital was formed in 2013 and previously invested in Survey Monkey, Lending Club and Renaissance Learning. It is a growth equity fund backed by Google. Google Capital invests in companies that use technology to change the way people experience the world. JPMorgan Securities LLC served as sole private placement agent for Auction.com in conjunction with the transaction.