Blue Delta Jean Co. to open Oxford studio

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The owners of Blue Delta Jean Co. (BDJ) announced their plans to open a studio in Oxford.

The expansion marks the clothing manufacturer’s first retail location that will be open to the public. bdj_logo

“Oxford was an easy choice for our first retail venture.” says BDJ CEO Josh West, “It’s been a strong market for us from the beginning and the town has an atmosphere for fashion that rivals cities much larger in size.”

According to the company,

Located in the heart of downtown Oxford the bespoke studio will provide customers the opportunity to customize their jean by selecting from a collection of raw materials including denim, thread, and hardware. The experience will include a fit session with a BDJ designer. The studio will also carry custom shirts, limited runs of hand-sewn leather goods, and other unique American Made fashion products.

“The community has been very receptive to the concept.” says Oxford resident and BDJ COO Nick Weaver, “Downtown Oxford is already providing some remarkable options in southern style. We feel that our premium bespoke denim will fit right in.” (more…)

Written by Dennis Seid

April 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Coldwater Creek to liquidate all stores starting May 11

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Women’s retailer Coldwater Creek is liquidating, which means it will be closing all of its stores. Coldwater Creek

The company, which hasn’t posted a profit since 2007, said is will begin going-out-of-business sales at its nearly 400 stores by Mother’s Day, May 11.

Officials at The Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo said they didn’t know when the Coldwater Creek location there – which opened in 2008 – would close.

Said Bloomberg:

The company listed assets of $278.5 million and debt of $361.3 million in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del..

The chain said revenue peaked at $1.1 billion in 2006. It expanded from 198 stores in 2005 to 336 locations in 2007 before the global economic downturn stunted its financial success and triggered a series of management changes, according to court filings. Sales at stores open at least a year plunged 17 percent in the quarter ended Nov. 2.

The company joins women’s clothing chains Dots LLC and Ashley Stewart Holdings Inc. in bankruptcy. Dots, with 400 stores, shut down after filing in January. Ashley Stewart, with 168 stores in 24 states, sought Chapter 11 protection on March 10. A drop in mall traffic also has helped to drive pizza seller Sbarro LLC, toasted-sandwich chain Quiznos and the owner of Hot Dog on a Stick to seek court protection since February.


Written by Dennis Seid

April 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Sonic to move on South Gloster in Tupelo, have double drive-thru

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You may remember about a year ago Biz Buzz revealed that the Sonic on South Gloster Street in Tupelo was moving a

Sonic near the South Gloster/Cliff Gookin intersection will move to this site near McAlister's Deli on Gloster. Construction is expected to be completed by August.

Sonic near the South Gloster/Cliff Gookin intersection will move to this site near McAlister’s Deli on Gloster. Construction is expected to be completed by August.

little farther north on Gloster, in the old Chips and Salsa/Peggy’s Place/Guthrie’s Chicken site in the parking lot adjacent to McAlister’s Deli.

Well, I drove by this morning, and Mark Welch with Jaco Foods in Columbus, which owns the franchise, was surveying the site with some Sonic corporate folks.

Welch said he hopes to break ground in mid-May, with construction taking about 90 days.

“So, we’re looking at opening sometime in August,” he said.

Welch said the project is a $1.5 million investment, and the relocated restaurant will feature double drive-thrus, a first in the area. There will be nine standard parking bays as well at the site.

Here’s the site plan:

Sonic site plan



Written by Dennis Seid

April 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

Work begins on CarMax site in Tupelo

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As promised, CarMax has begun construction of its new store in Tupelo. CarMax site workd 4.10.14

Well, maybe not actual construction, but site work. As you can tell by the photo, it’s a bit of a muddy mess as construction  crews were working the site this morning.

In February, CarMax officials said construction would begin this month, with a plan to finish in September.

The store will be a total of 7,467 square feet, with 4,394 dedicated to the sales area. The service area will have 2,439 square feet, and a future car wash will cover 936 square feet.

An uncovered “presentation area” will take up the remaining 634 square feet.

The dealership will have 54 parking spaces for customers, while there are 151 spaces for vehicles that will be on sale.

It’s located adjacent and to the south of Fairfield Inn and Suites on Tom Watson Drive.

Written by Dennis Seid

April 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

BancorpSouth Insurance acquires Louisiana agency

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BancorpSouth Insurance  Services has acquired Lafayette, La.-based Knox Insurance GroupBXSI Insurance logo

In December, BancorpSouth Insurance, a subsidiary of BancorpSouth Inc., acquired GEM insurance agencies of Houston, Texas.

Terms of the Knox deal were undisclosed, and BancorpSouth said the deal was expected to close “immediately.”

Said BancorpSouth:

The Knox acquisition gives us an opportunity to meaningfully expand our market share in Southwest Louisiana,” commented Dan Rollins, CEO of BancorpSouth. “Knox has a strong track record of revenue growth as well as a number of large commercial relationships adding significant value to our current book of business.”

Knox was formed in 1972 and currently produces annual revenues of approximately $3 million. For the past 15 years, Knox operated under the leadership of current owners/brokers Dwayne David and Randall Bonaventure. Knox will continue to operate under their leadership in its current location at 2014 West Pinhook Road #610 in Lafayette. Knox has a diverse client base including agricultural processing, construction, energy, manufacturing, marine, medical, and transportation. Product specialties include, but are not limited to, workers compensation, business auto, property and casualty, and general/umbrella liability. (more…)

Written by Dennis Seid

April 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Silver Airways to end service to Tupelo, other Mississippi cities

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Silver Airways is ending its service to Tupelo, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based airline announced today in a move that wasn’t unexpected. Silver Air plane

Said Silver in a news release:

As part of its plan to strengthen operations, increase revenue, reduce costs, and better position the airline for future growth and other opportunities, Silver Airways today announced plans to exit much of its Atlanta network and redeploy its aircraft and team members to other key markets.

Silver has provided the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with the required 90-day notice of its intent to discontinue scheduled service between Atlanta and five communities, including Muscle Shoals, Alabama (MSL); Greenville, Mississippi (GLH); Laurel/Hattiesburg, Mississippi (PIB); Tupelo, Mississippi (TUP); and Meridian, Mississippi (MEI).

Tupelo Regional Airport executive director Josh Abramson said Silver flights will continue, however.

“The next step is that the U.S. Department of Transportation will issue a hold-in-service order, which means Silver has to continue service until a suitable replacement is found,” he said.

Abramson said Silver will continue to fly its schedule, and the airport will have a webpage dedicated to the process in which a new carrier will be selected.

Ironically, Silver was picked by the USDOT two years ago as a replacement for Delta Air Lines, when it announced in July 2011 it was ending service in Tupelo. Delta said it could no longer serve 24 small airports across the country. Other Mississippi cities at the time included Greenville and Hattiesburg. Delta received federal Essential Air Service subsidies to fly in those cities. In Greenville, it received $1.6 million a year; in Hattiesburg nearly $1.4 million; and in Tupelo, more than $920,000.

Silver received a two-year guaranteed subsidy totaling nearly $16.1 million to provide service to Tupelo (with a link to Greenville), Hattiesburg and Meridian. The Hattiesburg  cost $2.97 million, while the Greenville-Tupelo subsidy  cost $7.04 million. The DOT at the time also raised concerns about Silver’s higher subsidy but chose the airline anyway.

Silver began service in October 2012, taking over subsidized service from Delta. But Silver stumbled from the start, with a delayed service launch, website issues, flight delays and cancellations and an inability to code share with Delta as had been expected.

It’s Silver’s second time this year to announce it was ending service. In February, Silver  provided the Department of Transportation with a federally required 90-day notice of its intent by May 15 to end service between Cleveland and DuBois, Bradford and Franklin in Pennsylvania as well as Jamestown, N.Y and Parkersburg, W.Va.

Silver blamed a pilot shortage and low passenger numbers for that move. It said in February that it would retire its 19-seat Beech aircraft and redeploy those pilots and maintenance team workers to the rest of its 28 Saab 340 turboprops that served its other markets, including Tupelo.

Abramson said DOT will announce a timeframe for bids from airlines interested in providing service – the same procedure that it followed when Delta made its announcement in 2011. Four airlines ultimately bid to provide service in Tupelo, with the finalists being Silver and Air Choice One.

Abramson said he expects some of the same airlines to bid for service again. He also is meeting with “six or seven” other airlines to gauge their interest. (more…)

Written by Dennis Seid

April 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Toyota recalling nearly 6.4 million vehicles, including Corollas

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Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.39 million vehicles, including the Corolla, which is built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi facility in Blue Springs. The Japanese automaker is recalling the vehicles globally for a variety of models, which include 30 models in Japan, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Toyota logo 2

From the Associated Press:

No injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls announced Wednesday. But two reports of fires are linked to one of the problems, a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running.

Some vehicles were recalled for more than one problem. The recall cases total 6.76 million vehicles for 27 Toyota models, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, produced from April 2004 through August 2013.

The Pontiac Vibe, which is a General Motors Co. model, is also involved because Toyota and GM made cars at the same plant in California and the recalled model is the same as the Toyota Matrix. It was recalled for a problem with a spiral cable attached to an air-bag. It is unrelated to a separate GM recall over ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

Subaru is partly owned by Toyota, and the model was the same as the Toyota Ractis.

For the recall, Toyota also reported problems with seat rails, the bracket holding the steering column in place, the windshield-wiper motor and a cable attached to the air-bag module.

The recalls affect a large range of models, including the Corolla, RAV4, Matrix, Yaris, Highlander, and Tacoma. (more…)

Written by Dennis Seid

April 9, 2014 at 11:06 am