C-SUITE

Teen retailer on hunt for new finance head

BY Marianne Wilson

The Buckle is losing its finance chief.

The apparel retailer on Thursday said that Karen B. Rhoads, senior VP of finance and CFO, will retire later this summer. She will continue to serve as a member of the board. Rhodes joined the Buckle in 1980, and has served as CFO since 1991.

The retailer has hired an executive search firm to assist with the search for Rhoads’ replacement. Rhoads will remain in her role to support the search and to assist with the transition.

Also on Thursday, the Buckle reported disappointing results for its first quarter amid an ongoing sales slump. Net income for the quarter ended April 29, 2017 was $16.3 million, or $0.34 per share, just missing Street forecasts.

Net sales for quarter decreased 12.8% to $212.3 million. Same-store store net sales fell 12.7%. Online sales decreased 7.2% to $21.8 million.

Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, Buckle operated 462 stores in 44 states at the end of first quarter.

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FINANCE

Small c-store chain with big ambitions acquires 35 locations

BY Marianne Wilson

Yesway has expanded its store network.

The convenience store company announced it has acquired 35 Wes-T-Go and Chillerz stores in Abilene, Texas. The acquired stores will be added to Yesway’s existing portfolio of 38 locations currently operating in Iowa and Kansas.

By the end of the second quarter of 2017, Yesway expects to have over 100 stores under management. The company also has a robust acquisition pipeline. It plans to acquire, improve and rebrand approximately 500 convenience stores as Yesway in selected regions of the United States over the next several years.

"With Yesway, customers will enjoy great customer service and redesigned stores that are true to our brand promise – they'll be efficient, inviting and friendly,” said Brian Trout, Yesway's senior VP of operations.

BW Gas & Convenience, which operates as Yesway, is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. The company plans to acquire, improve and rebrand 500 convenience stores in selected regions of the United States over the next several years.

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News

Home furnishings giant submits plans for new location

BY Marianne Wilson

Ikea is looking to expand in presence in North Carolina.

The retailer said it is submitting plans to the Town of Cary, N.C., for a potential Raleigh-area store, which would be the second Ikea location in the state. The proposed 15-acre site would be located adjacent to the existing Cary Towne Center, approximately 12 miles west of downtown Raleigh and two miles from downtown Cary.

This submittal of a development plan allows Cary to formally consider an Ikea-specific use at the location and begin the town council’s review of the proposal for an approximately 359,000-sq.-ft. store and a two-level parking structure with 1,000 parking spaces. If approved, Ikea Cary store could open as early as summer 2020.

“We are excited about the opportunity for a potential second North Carolina Ikea store at this location in Cary,” said Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson. “A store in the Raleigh area would complement our strong presence established in Charlotte and eventually provide customers in Central and Eastern North Carolina an Ikea store closer to them.”

After town approval, Ikea will evaluate potential on-site power generation to complement the current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations. Other U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; building with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, and selling only LED lighting. Ikea U.S. has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 16 locations and solar arrays at 90% of its locations in addition to owning two wind farms in the U.S.

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