Shasa, a Mexican retail chain that sells contemporary fashions, opened its first U.S. store in Houston this week. Owners of the inexpensive, trendy shop hope to have 100 U.S. locations by 2012. "We identify ourselves as a global brand," one of the founders said.
A group of investors acquired six Balducci's stores, in addition to the retailer's licensing, catering and gift-basket operations. The stores sold are in Bethesda, Md.; Alexandria and McLean, Va.; Scarsdale, N.Y.; and Westport and Greenwich, Conn., while the unsold stores will stay open temporarily.
Original Penguin is part of a plan to bring pop-up stores tied to a charitable cause to college campuses. The stores will be set up for a few days at each school, often in connection with outdoor events. Local charity groups will benefit from merchandise sales.
Ace Hardware made gains in 2008 in its online sales. More than three-quarters of Ace's online shoppers use the company's in-store pickup program, and some of those customers often buy additional items when they arrive at the store.
Burger King plans to increase its U.S. ad presence by 20% to 25% in 2010. "We are confident that this increase will enable the brand to continue its record positive comparable sales growth trend," an executive said.