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Hockey retailer expands footprint

BY Marianne Wilson

Pure Hockey, the largest hockey retailer in the U.S., is getting a bit bigger.

The company announced that it has acquired both of Bauer Hockey’s “Own The Moment” stores. With the acquisition, Pure Hockey will operate 53 retail locations under the Pure Hockey and HockeyGiant brands in 18 states, as well as three e-commerce sites focused on hockey and goalie equipment.

“As the leading hockey retailer in the U.S., we’re constantly striving to improve our shopping experience and connect with consumers in more meaningful ways,” said David Nectow, CEO, Pure Hockey. “Over the years, we’ve developed a very strong relationship with Bauer….and we’re excited to continue working with Bauer in our mission to bring great product and great shopping experiences to our customers.”

The acquired stores are located in Bloomington, Minn., and Burlington, Mass. They will operate under the “Bauer Hockey Experience” banner, and both will remain Bauer-exclusive locations.

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Analysis: Bon-Ton Stores appears headed toward liquidation

With the only two suitors at the court-supervised auction being liquidators, it looks increasingly likely that Bon-Ton Stores will largely go out of business.

Some locations may survive, especially if the liquidators receive offers from property companies like Namdar Realty Group and Washington Prime Group. Both firms have been working with the troubled department store chain, purportedly to keep stores open across the malls they operate.

A bid for the full Bon-Ton business from real estate players was always unlikely. The rationale behind such a move was not to acquire a viable commercial entity but to stop the loss of a significant tenant. In our view, such a move is like swallowing poison in an attempt to cure a mild disease — something that is neither sensible not practicable.

In truth, if Bon-Ton was a viable entity then there would have been far more interest in the auction. However, it is a weak player in a weak part of the retail market. Moreover, its disparate retail fascia means that it does not have the power of significant national brand recognition than any potential acquirer could build on.

We believe that the likely path ahead is that assets will be cherry-picked during liquidation. The brand name might be acquired, especially for use online. There may be interest in a handful of better stores — although how these would work as stand-alone entities or as part of a much smaller group is open to debate.

As such, this more-or-less looks like the end of the road for Bon-Ton. As sad as this is for staff and anyone commercially affected, it is part of the necessary restructuring of retail. Bon-Ton’s sales will be picked up by more productive and successful players.

Bon-Ton’s place in retail history is secure. Unfortunately, the company did not evolve enough to win a place in retail’s future.

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Convenience store chain expands New York footprint

BY Marianne Wilson

Speedway is growing through acquisition.

Speedway, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp., has signed an agreement to purchase 78 store locations held by Petr-All Petroleum Consulting Corporation. These stores are located primarily in the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo markets in New York and operate under the Express Mart brand.

“This acquisition is a great strategic fit for Speedway, and consistent with our growth plan,” said Speedway president Tony Kenney, president, Speedway, which operates 2,740 stores in 21 states. “These stores will enhance our existing network and expand our brand presence in a key growth market for Speedway.”

Following the acquisition, the Express Mart stores will be rebranded to Speedway. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

 

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