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 […]

Flying Fries: Autonomous Delivery Takes Off! Street Fight

Flying Fries: Autonomous Delivery Takes Off!

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Imagine this… You use your phone to order your pizza or burger (or perhaps a t-shirt because you didn’t pack properly for the weather) from a remote location. Within the hour, a drone, driverless car, or other autonomous “thing” brings you your food and beverage or fashion statement. What was considered sci-fi a mere few […]

The MULO Dozen: April Brands in Review Street Fight

The MULO Dozen: April Brands in Review

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Another April …another 12 innovations, booms, busts, and leadership changes in the MULO (multi-location) world. Retailers and restaurants are always scaling, shrinking, and experimenting with new innovation, footprints, business models, and technologies. In addition to covering many of them throughout the month, these end-of-month wrap-ups are designed to give you even more news and ideas. Speaking […]

BUST: A Timeless Ice Cream Brand Melts Street Fight

BUST: A Timeless Ice Cream Brand Melts

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Oberweis Ice Cream and Dairy was founded in 1927 and is an iconic Midwest retail brand. It recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is in the process of reorganizing. The company operates 43 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. While other ice cream brands thrive, Oberweis owes about $4 million to 20 creditors […]

Self-Checkout Grows Up (and Sometimes Phases Out) Street Fight

Self-Checkout Grows Up (and Sometimes Phases Out)

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As the cost of labor skyrockets (especially in California) and the size of the qualified talent pool shrinks for MULO (multi-location) brands, retailers and restaurants are looking for ways to automate and streamline all aspects of their operations. Self-checkout was introduced in the 1980s but didn’t take off and proliferate until 2001. Since their mass roll-out, […]

Another 'Tainment Category Sprouts Up Street Fight

Another ‘Tainment Category Sprouts Up

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You’ve likely heard of eatertainment and sportstainment. But a new category of ‘tainment is out in the field — agritainment! A huge complex in Arizona (on the site of a family farm) has been converted into a space where people can eat, learn about farming, participate in fun activities, and pick fruits and vegetables in season. […]

Fat Brands Blasts Off for Success

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This writer was honored to be invited to an all-franchisee gathering of Fat Brands corporate team members, franchisees, and partners. Live events have made a comeback, as illustrated by the attendance of close to 2K people who enjoyed a close-up view of the Las Vegas Sphere, which was in keeping with the space theme of […]

How B2C Marketers are Spending in 2024 Street Fight

How B2C Marketers are Spending in 2024

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A new study among senior-level B2C marketers was just completed by Stirista, a company that offers data-driven performance marketing. Among the highlights of this 200-executive survey are: Marketers are optimistic. An overwhelming 91% of respondents have a positive outlook on meeting or exceeding marketing goals over the next year. Although 81% of marketers have seen […]

AI and the Drive-Thru Street Fight

AI and the Drive-Thru

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The drive-thru was an innovation when it first appeared in 1921 at a place called The Pig Stand. Fast-forward to 1947, when the two-way speaker box debuted at In-N Out Burger. Car culture has always been popular in the U.S., and the pandemic accelerated the desire for consumers to stay in their cars while picking […]

This Brand Isn't Snoozing on Earth Day Street Fight

This Brand Isn’t Snoozing on Earth Day

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Snooze A.M. Eatery is a Colorado-based breakfast brand with 71 locations. Founded in 2006, they have long been committed to sustainable practices and community involvement. This year, they will continue their traditions around Earth Day (April 22nd) but reinforce their belief that every day should be an earth-friendly moment. Although many brands view sustainability as […]