RM + AI = $$ (Retail Media Gets Smarter) Street Fight

RM + AI = $$ (Retail Media Gets Smarter)

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RM = retail media. It’s booming now as retailers, airlines, and restaurants launch their networks to enable in- and out-of-store marketing to consumers and prospects. AI = artificial intelligence (of course). MULO (multi-location) brands can have huge amounts of data and numerous ways to monitor in-store behavior, but if they’re not using automation to inform advertising […]

MULO Brands With Soul: A New Mini-Series Street Fight

MULO Brands With Soul: A New Mini-Series

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The term “soul” is all relative.  Many MULO (multi-location) brands today aim to stay in business and thrive. They incorporate new technologies into their operations, aim to hire and retain competent and loyal employees and ensure they are selling/serving the products/foods/services that today’s consumers want (and that their marketing is well-targeted and cost-effective). So, where […]

BOOM: Retail is Rising! Street Fight

BOOM: Retail is Rising!

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Shopping center occupancy rates have dropped for the first time in a decade. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the retail vacancy rate is 5.4%, as reported in the New York Times. The article goes on to report on new and expanded shopping centers and malls throughout the U.S. This is consistent with a recent Street Fight […]

30K Feet OOH! Targeted Airline Advertising Street Fight

30K Feet OOH! Targeted Airline Advertising

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United Airlines just announced a new advertising program, targeting personalized ads to flyers based on demographics. Advertising to a captive audience on planes is nothing new. The original airline magazines and catalogs were popular back in the day. Pre-wi-fi, all we had to do was read paper media and watch and listen to whatever was […]

Pump It Up! C-Store Innovations & News Street Fight

Pump It Up! C-Store Innovations & News

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The convenience store (C-store) is a MULO (multi-location) retailer we often take for granted. Most of us have stopped along the road for a hygiene break, a fuel refill (gas or electric), coffee, and perhaps even a snack and frosty beverage. Urban and suburban dwellers often rely on their neighborhood 24-hour MULO store for late-night […]

The Robot in Your Dressing Room Street Fight

The Robot in Your Dressing Room

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Walmart and Amazon are leading the charge in launching new technologies that use AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) to enable prospective shoppers to “try on” everything from cosmetics to eyewear to fashion. Called “the next step in retail evolution,” virtual try-on technology: May reduce online shopping returns because consumers can better understand how an […]

Cookie Plug: Baking With a New Recipe in a Crowded Space

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Last year, the global cookie market generated approximately $40B. That’s a lot of dough! But “oven racks” (number of brands) is growing! Enter Todd Saperstein,  a Phoenix-area franchisee of a relatively new cookie brand, Cookie Plug.  He’s not new to running a franchise brand, having owned five Dickey’s Barbeque Pits in Oregon for ten years. He […]

5 MULO Retail & Food Brands Who Are Trend-Spotting and Innovating Street Fight

5 MULO Retail & Food Brands Who Are Trend-Spotting and Innovating

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The most successful MULO (multi-location) retail and food brands are often those that know their core customers and are continuously innovating to meet their needs. However, the winners usually stay on top of (and ahead of) consumer trends and develop products, offers, and services that meet the needs of new segments without losing brand fans.  […]

The MULO Dozen: May Brands in Review Street Fight

The MULO Dozen: May Brands in Review

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The biggest news for the month of May is the announcement of the return of Street Fight LIVE! More than a decade ago, it’s original founders created this highly interactive leadership event as the place to be for brands, agencies, and technology providers. They knew that the screen (large and small) would be the gateway to […]

Will "Sneakerheads" Dash to Foot Locker's New Store Concept? Street Fight

Will “Sneakerheads” Dash to Foot Locker’s New Store Concept?

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The average American owns about 12 pairs of shoes. Many of those are sneakers. Sneakers represent about $80B in sales worldwide, and that spending appears to be on the upswing. Once reserved primarily for athletes, sneakers are now a wardrobe staple and are selected based on purpose, comfort, fashion statement, and various other factors. Foot […]

How Can IHOP Become an International House of Profit? Street Fight

How Can IHOP Become an International House of Profit?

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Fluffy pancakes are not the only thing being served at IHOP these days. Formerly known as International House of Pancakes, the MULO (multi-location) brand, run by California-based Dine Brands Global, Inc., has about 1,800 restaurants worldwide, including outposts in all 50 states, two U.S. territories, and 13 countries outside the U.S. The parent company also […]

Do Stores Need Walls? Wayfair Seems to Think So!

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While some retail brands (like Lord & Taylor and Bed Bath & Beyond) have transitioned to online-only models, others are heading in the other direction, building physical locations. The latest example is Wayfair, which will open its first store later this month in Edens Plaza in Wilmette, Illinois. The 150,000-square-foot outpost will take a page […]

What's New at The Cheesecake Factory? Street Fight

What’s New at The Cheesecake Factory?

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We’re not talking menu items (although that ahi tuna salad looks pretty amazing).  The company had a great first quarter ($891.2 million compared to $866.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2023). Fortune also named the Cheesecake Factory a “best company to work for” for the 11th year running. Cheesecake Factory’s performance is especially […]

Weight Loss Centers Firm Up Street Fight

Weight Loss Centers Firm Up

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The weight management industry in the U.S. generated $90B in revenue in 2023. Fed by demand for weight loss drugs (contributing close to $12B in sales), trimming down seems timeless, although brick-and-mortar centers have evolved over the years. Weight Watchers was founded in 1963 by Jean Nidetch and grew to thousands of locations worldwide. In 2018, […]

"Momentjacking" is the New Holiday Promotion Street Fight

“Momentjacking” is the New Holiday Promotion

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You may have heard of “newsjacking.” It simply means that brands and influencers plan their social media posting and content around current events and consumer trends.  However, as the world (and social media feeds) move faster than ever before and people jump on a wide range of “fauxlidays” (contrived holidays meant mostly for marketing purposes), reality […]

Pizza Industry Tech Street Fight

Pizza Industry Tech

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“Let’s order a couple of pies!”  … “Let’s grab a slice!” …  Those suggestions are alive and well, as evidenced by Americans eating an average of 156 slices each year.  The pizza industry is estimated at $46B. Local single-location pizza shops still exist, but the MULO (multi-location) giant Domino’s tops the list in terms of […]

MULO Outposts are In Vogue Street Fight

MULO Outposts are In Vogue

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What do we mean by a MULO (multi-location) outpost? It’s a brand that’s located within a “non-traditional” venue. For example, Hudson News is a standard airport tenant that sells magazines, treats, and travel-related incidentals for travelers to grab en route. They have more than 1,000 stores now in 37 states. Imagine this writer’s surprise when […]

Who is Today's Franchisee? Street Fight

Who is Today’s Franchisee?

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The answer is, “It could be anyone!”  Among the new breed of franchisee (in addition to celebrities and private equity firms) are what we call “corporate refugees.” Experienced business professionals are burning out and aging out of big businesses and seeking autonomy, ownership, and creativity; they seek ways to operate and scale businesses without some […]

Is Bankruptcy the New Normal for MULO Brands? Street Fight

Is Bankruptcy the New Normal for MULO Brands?

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Over the past year, we’ve featured many articles about multi-location (MULO) brands that declared bankruptcy (BUSTs). But we’ve also seen brands emerge from bankruptcy, become part of other companies (like Bed Bath & Beyond and Overstock), and/or change their business model to be online-only (as Lord & Taylor did with its iconic brand). Some other […]

BUST: No-Booze Retailers Street Fight

BUST: No-Booze Retailers

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Although the alcohol-free cocktail market is on the upswing (over $162B in revenue this year), MULO (multi-location) retailers devoted to booze-free beverages seem to be struggling. Boisson was founded in Brooklyn in 2021 and expanded to Miami and Los Angeles. Although the company was planning on international expansion, it recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy […]