OPERATIONS

RadioShack CEO Julian Day retiring

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack said Monday its chairman and CEO Julian Day is leaving and announced disappointing fourth-quarter guidance. Day, 57, will retire as chairman, CEO and a director as of its annual shareholder meeting on May 16.

The company brought on former investment banker Day — best known for pulling Kmart out of bankruptcy — as chairman and CEO in 2006 to help turn around results.

Since then the company has shifted its focus to smart phones and wireless plans and mobile phone kiosks with some success. But Monday it said "disappointing performance" from its T-Mobile business and a shift in sales toward lower margin handsets hurt results in the fourth quarter.

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REAL ESTATE

TCBY in long-term deal with Lone Star Yogurt to open 200 stores

BY CSA STAFF

Salt Lake City — On the heels of a new self-serve prototype, TCBY, announced an agreement with Lone Star Yogurt to open 200 stores over the next 10 years with area developer.

Lone Star Yogurt plans to open its first TCBY self-serve store in January in Lone Star’s hometown of Tyler, Texas. It has committed to open another 24 TCBY self-serve stores in East Texas, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston in the next 18 months.

“With frozen yogurt operators continuing to outpace their ice cream counterparts within the U.S. frozen dessert segment, TCBY’s announcement to open 200 new stores comes as no surprise,” said Darren Tristano, executive VP at Technomic. “With many American consumers continuing to look for healthier alternatives to traditional desserts, frozen yogurt will likely continue a positive growth pattern for years to come. As a well-established brand with decades of history, TCBY will have a leg up within the yogurt segment.”

Self-serve model driving interest
Since testing the self-serve model in both corporate and franchise-owned stores earlier this year, coupled with a new store design and brand identity, TCBY is on track this year to achieve its best franchise sales numbers in more than a decade. While the self-serve model seems to be giving the entire industry a boost, TCBY’s foray into self-serve and its competitive advantages in taste and health attributes, make it the formidable player in the industry again.

“We are making an important statement with a deal of this magnitude,” explains Tim Casey, CEO of TCBY. “We have seasoned area developers and franchisees who believe as we do that TCBY is once again the fro-yo brand of choice among franchisees and consumers. We feel like we have always owned taste. Today we have the most relevant store model in self-serve, coupled with a modern design that’s resonating with our customers who have experienced it in our prototype stores. Not only will we carry tremendous momentum into 2011, but we anticipate the release of some significant category innovation to support record growth.”

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FINANCE

Developers Diversified Realty and MasterCard Worldwide launch gift card in Puerto Rico

BY CSA STAFF

Beachwood, Ohio — Developers Diversified Realty Corp. announced a new gift-card partnership with MasterCard Worldwide in Puerto Rico.

The MasterCard program, called the Isla Plus Card, represents an extension of a significant, long-term partnership between the two companies in Puerto Rico. The Isla Plus Card is designed to promote even greater acceptance among merchants and consumers, and provide the flexibility consumers demand in gift-card programs.

"We are very pleased to partner with Developers Diversified to launch our new gift card," said Ricardo Perez, VP Latin America & Caribbean commerce development for MasterCard Worldwide. "Because the Isla Plus Card can be used everywhere MasterCard is accepted, the recipient has significantly more options to redeem, making the card an ideal gift for family and friends in Puerto Rico, as well as those living in or traveling to the United States."

Developers Diversified is the largest retail landlord in Puerto Rico, owning and managing 15 shopping centers on the island. Collectively known in Puerto Rico as Centros Isla, these shopping centers total 5 million sq. ft., and together these centers are nearly 97% leased.

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