Whole Foods stores in 13 states are selling mini-meals and ready-made lunches prepared by fast-casual company Kidfresh. Kidfresh opened in New York City last year after the founder was inspired by a need to provide his son with convenient and nutritious lunchtime meals.
Lowe's was ranked highest for customer service in a recent study focused on appliance retailers. The study measures customer satisfaction based on installation service, sales staff, store facility, delivery service, merchandise and price.
ALDI is expanding as customers seek deep discounts on their groceries without sacrificing quality. The retailer plans to open more than 100 stores across Connecticut, Florida, Missouri and Texas in the next few years.
DineEquity, parent of the IHOP and Applebee's brands, is developing a centralized purchasing cooperative with its franchisees to gain an advantage in vendor price negotiations. "When you combine what Applebee's is buying with what IHOP is buying, we are a very big customer," a DineEquity spokesman said.