Archive for the ‘Business newsmakers’ Category
You’ve got another week left for your chance to win more than $2,000 worth of prizes from downtown Tupelo merchants. Between now and Dec. 12, shoppers who spend at least $20 at participating merchants gift certificatess, cupcakes, clothing, a gas card, gift baskets, framed art and more.
It’s the second annual “Win the Window”Christmas promotion sponsored by the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association.
You can see all the prizes in the window at 207 Main Street, the office of the Laher Law firm.
Every purchase of $20 or more gets you an entry into the contest.
Last year, some 2,500 entries were received. So far, more than 1,000 entries have been received.
The drawing will be held next Friday, Dec. 13.
Participating businesses include Bar-B-Q by Jim, Cafe 212, Caron Gallery, Fairpark Grill, Farmhouse on Main, His Hers Antiques & Collectibles, J. Edward Design Co., MLM Clothiers, Pava V’s, Park Heights, Reed’s Regions Bank, Rosie’s, SprintPrint, Swirlz, The Dance Studio, The Main Attraction, Tupelo Community Theatre, Tupelo Hardware and Voe’s Boutique.
Now that bankrupt Furniture Brands International has completed the sale of most of its assets to KPS Capital Partners, it’s time to wind down what’s left of the company.
To that end, Furniture Brands is now FBI Wind Down Inc.
Former FBI chief administrative officer, general counsel and corporate secretary Meredith Graham, 41, is leading FBI Wind Down as it closes its books and ties up loose ends. She’ll be paid her base salary of $286,000 on a pro-rated basis. She’ll be employed up to six months.
KPS completed its $280 million purchase of Furniture Brands on Nov. 25, getting Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Maitland- Smith, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Pearson, La Barge and Lane Venture.
KPS put all of the brands under control of a new company, Heritage Home Group, which has assumed Furniture Brands’ former website.
Lane Furniture Industries employed about 1,400 people in Northeast Mississippi prior to Furniture Brands’ Sept. 9 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It’s not known how many remain employed at Lane or at the other brands. However, KPS said it would offer employment to most of the employees of the brands.
Also as a result of the KPS purchase, Ralph Scozzafava, the former CEO of Furniture Brands, and Vance Johnston, its former CFO were ousted from the company. Also let go were the presidents of Lane and Hickory Chair.
In addition, the former board of directosr for Furniture Brands – Ira D. Kaplan, Ann S. Lieff, Aubrey B. Patterson, Dr. George E. Ross and Scozzafava – was let go. Read the rest of this entry »
The Tupelo Craft Beer Festival‘s second run will be held at a later date and a different location than this year’s inaugural event.
The festival will be held March 22, three weeks later than it was this year. Also, it will be held in the Fairpark District instead of Veterans Park.
Matt Leff of Rhizome Productions, which is putting together the festival for the second straight year, said this year’s event was a success, even though attendance was short of the 1,500 he had hoped for.
“This was our first year, craft beer in Mississippi was a fairly new concept, it had snowed the day before. … all in all, it did well,” he said.
Veterans Park is an ”underutilized site,” and moving the festival to downtown Tupelo in Fairpark was ideal.
Leff said the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association approached him about moving the event to Fairpark, an idea he favored.
“We wanted to go there last year, but due to some scheduling conflicts we weren’t able to,” he said. “We also had to prove ourselves. … and I think we’ve done that.”
Debbie Brangenberg, the executive director of DTMSA, said having the Tupelo Craft Beer Festival to Fairpark, is a “perfect fit for downtown.”
According to the National Retail Federation, there were more people than ever before shopping from Thursday-Sunday – about 2 million more this year, to 141 million – yet overall spending was down.
The NFR said shopping totaled $57.4 billion during the four-day holiday, or about $407.02 per person, down from $423.35 a year ago.
In another report, it was a successful Small Business Saturday.
According to the 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday across the U.S. jumped to 71 percent from 67 percent during the same period a year ago. Of those aware, 46 percent said they shopped on Small Business Saturday.
With awareness up, the end result was increased spending at small businesses. This year, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, an increase of 3.6 percent from a strong $5.5 billion in 2012.
As for the NRF’s report about the weekend shopping:
More than 141 million unique shoppers have already or will have shopped by the end of the big Thanksgiving weekend, up from 139 million over the same time frame last year. For those who shopped multiple times over the weekend, the survey found more than 248 million waited in line, took advantage of big discounts offered throughout the mall and shopped on retailers websites, up from 247 million shoppers last year.
According to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend, traffic on Thanksgiving Day itself grew 27 percent as nearly 45 million shoppers, or 31.8 percent of holiday shoppers, took advantage of special “turkey day” savings offers, up from 35 million in 2012. Black Friday was the biggest day: more than 92 million people shopped (65.2 percent) for apparel, electronics and more, up from nearly 89 million last year.
The NRF did say that the results don’t necessarily mean sales will be down overall for the entire two-month holiday season. It still forecasts a 3.9 percent increase overall compared to 2012.
Some 33 million people were expected to shop today on Thanksgiving, and among them was Stormey Billiot.
“We didn’t preorder the PS4, so I hope one of us can get it,” Billiot said. “It’s for him. We don’t have any kids. I want a diamond bracelet.”
Billiot came up empty at Toys R Us, which opened at 5 p.m., but she was hopeful her husband got what he wanted.
Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday selling season. “Black Friday” still is the biggest shopping day of the year, but more retailers are opening on Thanksgiving to get a jump on the competition. And with seven fewer shopping days this year than last between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many have dubbed Thanksgiving as “Gray Thursday.”
Ahead of her at Toys R Us were Whitney and Dustin Kenton. Thanksgiving lunch consisted of a trip through the drive-through at McDonald’s. They were helping Santa out by getting a Power Wheels Jeep that cost $150 less than regular price.
Meanwhile, April Otts and Matthew Palmer were looking to get three LeapPad 2 devices, for their kids. They were third in line and were able to get two of the LeapPads, the maximum.
“They only had 20 and we could only get two,” Otts said. “It was just crazy in there. It was like a maze.” Read the rest of this entry »
If you missed it in today’s Daily Journal, here’s a story about restaurants open on Thanksgiving. If you’re outside Tupelo, be sure to check with your local favorite eatery. Just didn’t have time to call everybody in Northeast Mississippi, so we concentrated on where a lot of folks will be shopping on Turkey Day.
- The Hilton Garden Inn will serve breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. – but it won’t serve lunch or dinner.
- At the Summit Center, serving a Thanksgiving meal has been a tradition, and owner Jimmy Pappas expects several hundred people to enjoy turkey, fried catfish, pork medallions, ham, roast beef, soups, salads and desserts.
- For some Greek, Italian as well as some Thanksgiving fare, Vanelli’s is open all day.
- Woody’s is again serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with ham, roast turkey, deep fried turkey, vegetables, breads and desserts.
- Todd’s Big Star will be open, and its deli will have turkey and ham among its choices. The store is open from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
- Dodges, Cracker Barrel, Ryan’s, Waffle House, Huddle House and IHOP are open with regular hours.
- Most fast-food restaurants will be closed, but all McDonald’s locations are open 24 hours.
- Sonic on West Main Street will open at 3 p.m., while the location on North Gloster Street opens at 9 a.m. and stays open until 3 a.m. Friday.
- Pizza Hut on West Main Street is open at 4 p.m., but other locations are closed all day.
- JP’s Funky Little Shack opens at 4 p.m., as does Applebee’s and Subway locations.
- Some stores at The Mall at Barnes Crossing will open at 8 p.m. – the mall itself opens at midnight – and some food court restaurants will open as well. Sbarro, Peppers Express and Steak Escape will open at 8 p.m., while Chick-Fil-A and Magic Wok open at midnight.
KPS Capital Partners, which received bankruptcy court approval to purchase Furniture Brands International for $280 million on Friday, has moved quickly to change the company’s image and leadership.
Furniture Brands is now called Heritage Home Group.
Former CEO Ralph Scozzafava has resigned effective today, replaced by Ira Glazer. Former CFO Vance Johnston was replaced by Jeff Zappone, another turnaround expert and managing director of Conway MacKenzie advisory firm.
Lane Furniture Industries president Dan Masters also is out, but a replacement has not been named. Jay Reardon, formerly president of Hickory Chair, another division of Furniture Brands, also was let go.
More from the KPS:
Heritage Home Group will operate as an independent company with the long-term support of KPS, a private equity investor with more than $6.0 billion of assets under management and a long track record of successfully transforming businesses and creating profitable, growing companies. Heritage Home Group owns an iconic collection of the furniture and design industry’s leading brands, including Thomasville, Broyhill, Lane, Drexel Heritage, Hickory Chair, Henredon, Pearson, Lane Venture, Maitland-Smith and LaBarge.
Heritage Home Group launches as a well-capitalized company, with no legacy obligations and access to the financial resources necessary to execute its ambitious business improvement and growth plans.
KPS also announced that Ira Glazer has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Home Group. Mr. Glazer is an executive with three decades of successful turnaround experience and has previously partnered with KPS on a very successful platform.
Raquel Vargas Palmer, a Partner of KPS, said, “This is the beginning of a new era for Heritage Home Group and its brands. The company has a new owner, a new CEO, a new Board of Directors and a new strategic direction. Heritage Home Group launches with truly iconic brands, a solid financial structure and access to KPS’ financial resources and expertise. We strongly believe in the fundamental value of this business and the significant growth potential that can be unlocked through focused investment in our brands. We are proud to welcome the many Furniture Brands associates who are joining Heritage Home Group, and we look forward to working together to build a thriving and profitable company.
“KPS is delighted that Ira Glazer will serve as President and CEO of Heritage Home Group. Ira is an outstanding business leader with a demonstrated track record of transforming and growing companies. We have worked successfully with Ira in the past and look forward to collaborating again to build the value of Heritage Home Group.
“We are grateful to all of Furniture Brands’ stakeholders for their assistance and cooperation through the transaction process and the formation of Heritage Home Group,” Ms. Palmer concluded.
Mr. Glazer said, “I am honored to lead Heritage Home Group. Free of Furniture Brands’ burdens and liabilities, and with a rock-solid balance sheetand many outstanding associates who are joining our company, we have an exceptional opportunity to build a true industry leader. I am also pleased to partner and collaborate again with KPS, a firm that has distinguished itself as a global leader in turnaround investing and is ideally suited for this exciting venture.
“I would like to commend Ralph Scozzafava, who informed us this morning that he resigned as CEO of Furniture Brands, for his efforts over the past several years. Ralph worked hard to ensure that Furniture Brands’ assets would be well-positioned for growth and we thank him for his contributions,” Mr. Glazer concluded.