News

Things Remembered acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners has purchased Things Remembered from Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. (BRS) and GB Merchant Partners for $295 million.

“GBMP and BRS were excellent partners, providing valuable strategic guidance and capital support throughout the investment period,” said Michael Anthony, CEO of Things Remembered, Highland Heights, Ohio, which operates 640 stores in the United States and Canada. “We now look forward to working with Madison Dearborn and benefitting from its expertise, as we remain focused on supporting our customers with the highest service and quality.”

BRS and GBMP jointly acquired Things Remembered, which specializes in personalized gifts, in 2006 from Luxottica Group S.p.A.

“Things Remembered is a truly differentiated retailer with a number of attractive growth opportunities through its stores and its direct commerce channel,”” said Rob Selati, a managing director of Madison Dearborn Partners.

Regarding the successful exit of their investment, GBMP Partner, Jamie Dworkin, said: “This was an extremely complicated transaction. It involved a carve-out from a large corporate parent, and the re-positioning and re-merchandising of a 50 year old, specialty retailer. Michael Anthony and his team accomplished all of that in the face of the recession with the assistance of a strong board and a patient lending group.”

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OPERATIONS

Toronto bans plastic bags

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Toronto has become the first major city in Canada to ban the use of plastic shopping bags.

The ban was passed by the city council in a surprise move that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denounced as “ludicrous,” The Globe and Mail reported.

The vote bans plastic bags, including biodegradable ones, from Toronto vendors starting in 2013. But the mayor predicted the ban will face a legal challenge.

The ban calls for the city “to prohibit all City of Toronto retail stores from providing customers with single-use plastic carryout (shopping) bags, including those advertised as compostable, biodegradable, photodegradable or similar.”

In May, Los Angeles became the largest city in the United States to pass a ban on plastic bags.

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REAL ESTATE

Bob Evans to remodel 150 restaurants

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Bob Evans Farms Inc. plans to remodel 150 restaurants to its “Farm-Fresh Refresh” format in its current fiscal year. The remodels will include 40 sites in the Columbus, Ohio, market in the first quarter.

In its recently completed fiscal 2012, the chain remodeled 87 locations, with sales up 5% in the updated restaurants compared to the rest of the chain, executives said on the company’s fourth-quarter conference call.

The Farm Fresh format includes a bakery, a carry-out area and a redesigned retail area. It also has murals in the entryway depicting the heritage of Bob Evans and an updated dining room, with modern furnishings, light fixtures and brighter color schemes.

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D.Brisbane says:
Feb-27-2013 08:50 pm

Remodeling 150 restaurants is
Remodeling 150 restaurants is not a simple task, the team from Bob Evans Farms Inc. should take a lot of factors in consideration. If there will be problems like bathroom mildew or stain on the walls then the company will lose a lot of money.

D.Brisbane says:
Feb-27-2013 08:50 pm

Remodeling 150 restaurants is not a simple task, the team from Bob Evans Farms Inc. should take a lot of factors in consideration. If there will be problems like bathroom mildew or stain on the walls then the company will lose a lot of money.

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