News Briefs


Belk expanding outlet banner with 10 new stores — here are the locations


Belk is wasting no time in expanding its new shopping format.

The department store retailer will open 10 Belk Outlet stores in May, giving it a total of 16 outlet destinations. (Locations listed at end of article).

Belk debuted its first outlet in January 2023, converting its store in Greeneville, Tenn., to the format. In March and April, the retailer converted an additional five  locations to Belk Outlet, with stores in Laurens, S.C.; Cedar Bluff, Va.; Russellville, Ark.; Clarksville, Tenn.; and Douglasville, Ga.

Belk Outlets feature discounted items that come directly from traditional Belk stores, including high-end and designer brands that the locations may not have carried in the past.

The next 10 Belk Outlet locations are:

•Cordele, Ga. (opened 5/12);;

• Land O Lakes, Fla. (opened 5/16);

• Palm Coast, Fla. (opened 5/16);

•Saint Marys, Ga. (opened 5/16);

• Bossier City, La. (opens 5/23);

•Westminster, Md. (opens 5/23);

•Stillwater, Oak. (opens 5/23);

•Sherman, Tex. (opens 5/23);

•Franklin, Va. (opens 5/23); and

•Parkersburg, W.Va. (opens 5/23).

Based in Charlotte, N.C., the privately-owned Belk operates nearly 300 stores in 16 Southeastern states. In September 2022, the company named Don Hendricks as CEO. He had been serving in the role on an interim basis since May 2022, following the resignation of Nir Patel, who left to join GameStop.



Shipley Do-Nuts taps industry veteran as new CEO

Shipley Do-Nuts named Flynn Dekker as CEO.

There’s been a changing of the guard at Shipley Do-Nuts.

The fast-growing, 87-year-old specialty foods retailer has. He succeeds Clifton Rutledge, who has served in their role since May 2021. Rutledge, the former CEO of Bojangles, will return to Shipley’s board of directors.

Dekker most recently served as CEO of Bonchon, a global franchisor of Korean chicken restaurants with more than 420 locations across nine countries. Before that, he served as chief marketing officer of Wingstop Restaurants, where he led all strategic advertising, franchisee communication, branding, media and marketing efforts. 

Dekker has 30-plus years of executive leadership experience in the restaurant and retail industry and a strong track record of executing significant growth, Shipley said.

“Flynn is an exceptionally strong leader and brings an impressive background across numerous executive roles, and his experience and talent will help to continue driving significant growth in the business through new unit expansion, same-store sales growth and enhanced operations,” said Robert Strauss, senior managing director at Peak Rock Capital and member of the Shipley board of directors. “We are also grateful for Clifton’s leadership over the past two years as he drove transformational growth at Shipley.”

Since 2021, Shipley has added more than 200 units to its development pipeline and executed multiple strategic initiatives to accelerate growth, including launching online ordering, rolling out new branding and establishing a new systemwide coffee program. 

Founded in 1936, Houston-based Shipley Do-Nuts franchises over 330 restaurants to a diverse group of operators across 12 states.

“It has been my honor to serve as Shipley’s CEO,” said Rutledge.”We’ve accomplished so much as a brand, and I am confident that Flynn is the ideal person to build upon the momentum we’ve developed over the past several years. I look forward to continuing to support the company’s strategic and transformational growth initiatives as I return to my role on the board.”


Floor & Decor in milestone store opening

Floor & Decor

Floor & Decor continues to expand its store footprint.

The retailer, which specializes in hard-surface flooring for homeowners and professionals, has opened its 200th store, in Metairie, La.  The 71,437-sq.-ft. store is Floor & Decor’s fourth location in Louisiana. The company plans to open approximately 32 to 35 stores in fiscal 2023.

In April 2023, Floor & Decor was among the top five companies on Yelp’s “Most Loved Brands” list, the company's first-ever list honoring the 50 most loved retail, restaurant and foods brands on its platform.

We are so excited to expand our footprint in Louisiana and to celebrate this 200th store milestone in Metairie,” said Tom Taylor, CEO of Floor & Decor. “We are eager to get to know the Pro customers and the homeowners in the area. We look forward to welcoming everyone into our store and helping them turn their vision into reality.”

Founded in 2000, Atlanta-based Floor & Decor operates 194 warehouse-format stores and five design studios across 36 states. Stores offer a broad in-stock selection of tile, natural wood, natural stone, laminate and luxury vinyl plank, along with free design services.

 In addition, Floor & Decor stores carry the necessary tools, decorative materials, wall tile and related accessories for hard-surface flooring projects

In its most recently completed year, Floor & Decor’s net sales increased 24.2% to $4.264 billion from $3.433 billion in fiscal 2021. Comparable store sales increased 9.2%. Net income increased 5.3% to $298.2 million. Earnings per share were $2.78 compared to $2.64 in fiscal 2021.


Walgreens sells some AmerisourceBergen shares — for $644 million

village md

Walgreens Boots Alliance has sold additional shares in drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp.

The pharmacy and health care giant has sold some of its shares in AmerisourceBergen for $694 million, with proceeds from the sale being used primarily to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.

In addition, AmerisourceBergen will repurchase about $50 million of its common stock from Walgreens in the transaction, said Walgreens and its ownership of AmerisourceBergen's common stock would remain at 17%. (In December, Walgreens sold some AmerisourceBergen shares for $1 billion last December, cutting its ownership in the company from 20% to 17%.)

The sale has no impact on the long-term partnership between the two companies, stated Walgreens, which said it remains fully committed to the “strategic, mutually beneficial” relationship with AmerisourceBergen. Ornella Barra, COO, International, of Walgreens, will continue to serve on AmerisourceBergen’s board of directors.

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s ownership of AmerisourceBergen’s common stock has decreased as a result of the concurrent share repurchase by AmerisourceBergen but remains at approximately 17%.


Walmart names longtime exec as chief merchant

Latriece Watkins

Walmart did not waste any time in filling a critical role in its C-suite.

The retail giant named company veteran Latriece Watkins as executive VP, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. She succeeds Charles Redfield, who stepped down from the role (as of May 1), but is continuing in an advisory role. 

According to Walmart’s web site, Watkins joined the company 24 years ago. She has served in a variety of key leadership roles within Walmart U.S. merchandising, human resources and store operations. Most recently, she was the executive VP of the Walmart U.S. consumables division.

Watkins steps into her new role as the retail giant and other retailers are challenged by a weak sales environment as consumers cut back on discretionary spending. In February, Walmart offered weak guidance for the year ahead.

“Because she has worked in so many different areas of the business, Latriece brings a 360-degree approach to her leadership, all while keeping customers at the center,” the company said on its website.


PepsiCo. exec to head marketing at Sephora U.S.

About half of CEOs report some problems attracting qualified workers.

Sephora U.S. is getting a new chief marketer whose resume includes eight years at Google.

The beauty powerhouse has appointed Zena Srivatsa Arnold as its new chief marketing officer, effective early this summer. She succeeds Deborah Yee, who held the role for nearly eight years, until December and is still with Sephora as global chief purpose officer.  (Sephora is owned by global retail conglomerate LVMH.)

Srivatsa Arnold joins Sephora’s U.S. division as it is being led by a new CEO. Guillaume Motte took the reins of the company in January 2023. He previously served as deputy CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group, and was CEO and president of Sephora’s Europe and Middle East division.  (Sephora is owned by fashion conglomerate LVMH.

Most recently Srivatsa Arnold served as  senior VP, carbonated soft drinks at PepsiCo. Prior to that, from 2020 to 2022, she was chief digital and marketing officer at Kimberly-Clark.

Before Kimberly- Clark, Srivatsa Arnold spent seven years at Google, including serving as global head of growth, ChromeOS.   She also held senior leadership roles at Kellogg Company and Procter & Gamble. 

In March, Sephora teamed up with with TikTok and digital marketing agency Digitas to roll out the Sephora x TikTok Incubator Program. The initiative connect TikTok creators with select beauty brands with the goal of helping them learn social content strategies through a series of educational training modules.