Ashley Furniture HomeStore, the largest furniture retailer in the U.S., celebrated the opening of its 500th store in Longview, Texas, on Feb. 21. It is the chain’s 48th store in the Lone Star state.
The company, whose sales exceeded $3 billion in 2013, has 50 additional HomeStore openings on tap in 2014.
“When the first HomeStore opened in 1997 (in Anchorage, Alaska), we were confident that this business model would be capable of providing complete home furniture solutions that would meet or exceed consumer expectations in price, delivery and service,” said Todd Wanek, president and CEO of Ashley and Ashley Furniture HomeStore.
“It is with a tenacity to never stop innovating that our teams – from the local level to our corporate headquarters – have propelled our growth throughout the last two decades, and with the latest improvements to our operations and customer fulfillment systems, I’m confident that this trend will continue into the future.”
Ashley Furniture Industries employs about 3,000 workers at its facilities in Northeast Mississippi: Ecru, Ripley and Verona.
The 16th Tupelo Elvis Festival is three months away, and the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association is putting the call out to get additional sponsors.
At today’s monthly board meeting of DTMSA, it was noted that the festival – to be held June 5-8 – is looking to secure another big sponsor to contribute $50,000 or more. The Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau already is the presenting sponsor of the festival with its $50,000 commitment, but festival organizers would like to add another.
Having several smaller sponsors is another option as well to help fill that funding level. Sponsorships are critical in securing the entertainment for the festival.
There are several levels of sponsorship available. Each level includes special amenities including VIP tickets, tents, T-shirts, framed posters:
- Platinum – $50,000 or more
- Gold – $25,000
- Silver – $10,000
- Bronze – $5,000
- Festival Friend – $4,999 and below
For more information about becoming a sponsor, contact Jessica Hollinger at (662) 841-6598 or email@example.com.
Meanwhile, sales for the Festival have gone well in the early going. In January, a limited offer of special ticket pages garnered about 350 purchasers. Individual tickets went on sale Feb. 10 at the BancorpSouth Arena and Ticketmaster, yielding nearly 300 sales.
In a change for this year’s festival, the Elvis Tribute Artist competition has been moved to the BancorpSouth Arena to accommodate more fans. In the past, the event was held at the Lyric Theater.
When’s the last time you’ve been in a RadioShack? Yeah, me either.
And apparently that’s the case with the chain, which announced today it’s closing 1,100 of its stores, leaving about 4,000 locations, including about 900 dealer-franchise locations. The company hasn’t announced which stores it’s closing.
You may remember the company’s Super Bowl ad ( “The 80′s called – they want their store back), which gave the struggling chain a bump in exposure. It needs it.
According to Reuters, RadioShack’s net loss widened to $191.4 million, or $1.90 a share, in the fourth quarter, from $63.3 million, or 63 cents, a year earlier. Sales fell to $935.4 million in the quarter covering the all-important holiday season, from $1.17 billion in the year-ago period.
The location opened in January 2013.
We had heard there was a sign on the doors recently that said it was closed for the season.
But it’s now gone for good, and the space is available for lease.
Those two franchise locations opened in 2012.
Tutti Frutti, which was founded in California in 2008, has more than 580 locations in the U.S. and worldwide, including Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Tahiti and Mexico.
We told you a couple of weeks ago that Grady’s is opening on the corner of Daybrite and South Green, and it looks like it will open during Spring Break week.
Biz Buzz stopped by the restaurant yesterday, and the owners were working in the kitchen, getting things set up. The building still needs a little paint and trim on the exterior, they said.
Out front is the famous bull that adorned the original Grady’s, which happens to be this very same spot.
The location was most recently Jed’s Gumtree Cafe, and before that, Gumtree Cafe. It’s also been Spencer’s and Whiteside’s.
The bull – which has seen better days – will stay outside, welded to a trailer, so it’ll be tougher to take it and say, put it on the roof of the high school.
As a reminder, the new Grady’s won’t be quite like the old Grady’s 10-cent Hamburger place. Instead it will offer a daily lunch buffet from which diners can choose and entree and vegetables.
Here’s what we said a couple of weeks back:
Some of the old family recipes will be employed, including its country fried steak, bone-in pork chop sandwich, homemade mustard relish and sauces and vegetables. A southern food buffet line will be in place like the other restaurants that have been there. And of course the hamburger, but rest assured it won’t be selling for 10 cents.
From the Natchez Trace Parkway:
A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2012 shows that 5.6 million recreational visitors to the Natchez Trace Parkway spent $125.9 million in the communities surrounding the Park. This spending supported over 1,550 jobs in the local area.
“The Natchez Trace Parkway extends 444-miles through 41 county and municipal jurisdictions in the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi,” said Parkway Superintendent Mary Risser. “We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world. We are delighted to share the story of this place, the experiences it provides, and to use the Park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National Park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the Nations Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.” (more…)