Report: Restaurant industry sales trend positive in 2011
Washington, D.C. — A report released Tuesday by the National Restaurant Association said that restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record $604 billion and post positive growth in 2011 after a three-year period of negative real sales growth.
The Association’s 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast projects an industry sales increase of 3.6% over 2010 sales, which equals 1.1% in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.
The nation’s 960,000 restaurants will continue to be strong contributors to the recovery of the nation’s economy, according to the report, with industry sales representing 4% of the U.S. gross domestic product and employees comprising nearly 10% of the U.S. work force.
“As the national economy is slowly improving, the restaurant industry is climbing out of its most challenging period in decades to post positive real sales growth in 2011,” said Hudson Riehle, senior VP of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. “As in 2010, restaurant industry job growth is expected to outpace the national economy this year, emphasizing the importance of industry to the nation’s economy.”
Continuing the trend from last year, the quick-service restaurant segment is expected to post slightly stronger sales growth than the full-service segment. Quick-service restaurants are projected to post sales of $167.7 billion this year, a gain of 3.3% over 2010. Sales at full-service restaurants are projected to reach $194.6 billion in 2011, an increase of 3.1% over 2010.
Merlin Entertainment to debut attractions in Texas
Dallas — X Team International, an international alliance of retail real estate advisors, said Tuesday that Venture Commercial, through its Venturetainment division, assisted with site-selection efforts and completed two leases for global visitor attraction operator Merlin Entertainments Group to bring two of its iconic attraction brands to the Texas market for the first time.
Legoland Discovery Center and a Sea Life aquarium will open later this year in the Mills/Simon-owned Grapevine Mills Mall, located just north of DFW Airport. The mall is anchored by AMC Theatres, J.C. Penney, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Marshalls and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.
The Legoland Discovery Center will be approximately 35,000 sq. ft., while Sea Life will occupy two levels at approximately 45,000 sq. ft.
Venture Commercial assisted Merlin’s national advisor Samuels & Co.
Williams-Sonoma authorizes $125 million stock buyback
San Francisco — Williams-Sonoma said Tuesday that its board has approved a $125 million stock repurchase program.
The retailer said the new program will likely be completed by January 2012. It does not have an expiration date. The company said it had completed a $65 million stock repurchase program approved in September 2010.
Williams-Sonoma, which runs Pottery Barn, West Elm, its namesake stores and other brands, had about 105.1 million outstanding shares as of Nov. 28, 2010.