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Jos. A. Bank buying Eddie Bauer in $850M deal

Jos. A. Bank buying Eddie Bauer in $850M deal

HAMPSTEAD, Md. -- Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. is buying the parent company of Eddie Bauer in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $850 million.

The men's clothing company, which itself is being pursued by Men's Wearhouse Inc., made the deal with Everest Topco LLC to buy Everest Holdings LLC, Eddie Bauer's parent company.

Jos. A. Bank said Friday that the transaction includes $564 million in cash and about 4.7 million new shares of Jos. A. Bank stock issued to Everest Topco at $56 per share.

Everest Topco may also earn up to an additional $50 million in cash based on Eddie Bauer's adjusted earnings for fiscal 2014.

Jos. A. Bank may end the deal if it receives an acquisition offer for its company that it feels is superior.

Whole Foods to open in Kennesaw

Whole Foods to open in Kennesaw

KENNESAW, Ga. -- Whole Foods Market will open a new 45,000-square-foot store at the corner of Barrett and Cobb parkways, the company said.

The store is slated to open in 2016. Whole Foods now has eight locations in metro Atlanta and one in Savannah. A tenth store will open in Augusta later this year.

The store will go in a new mixed-use project being developed by Atlanta's Fuqua Development LLC. Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Feb. 3 that Fuqua was in discussions with Walmart, Whole Foods, Publix, Kroger and Sprouts Farmers Market.

"We're always looking for new locations around the Atlanta metro area," said Jeremiah Ryan, Whole Foods Market South region executive coordinator of operations, in a statement.

The new Kennesaw store is part of Whole Foods' continued national expansion. The company says it recently signed 21 new leases totaling approximately 920,000 square feet, increasing its development pipeline to a record 107 stores.

Tin Lizzy's could double its number of locations

ATLANTA -- Atlanta-based Tin Lizzy's Cantina is in a growth spurt.

The chain of "Flex-Mex" taquerias looks to more than double its number of locations over the next two years, according to Chief Operating Officer Tory Bartlett.

Tin Lizzy's today has six locations: Buckhead, Midtown, Grant Park, Perimeter, Emory Point and Mall of Georgia.

But, it wants to grow to 15 locations by the end of 2016.

That could bring the brand to new markets, such as Augusta, Ga. or Charleston, S.C. The company hopes to open its first restaurant outside of metro Atlanta in 2015.

"We want to grow the brand through the Southeast," said Bartlett, who was brought on late last year to aid Tin Lizzy's growth. He previously worked for Hooters of America LLC. In his 20-year tenure, he worked his way from dishwasher to director of operations, opening more than 120 Hooters locations.

RadioShack to close 500 stores

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- RadioShack scored big points with its comedic 1980s-themed Super Bowl ad that poked fun at the retailer's outdated image, but the mood was more somber on Tuesday when news broke that around 500 stores will close in the coming months.

WATCH | RadioShack Super Bowl ad

The Wall Street Journal says it isn't clear which of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company's 4,300 stores will be closed or when.

The closings are part of a restructuring. Says the WSJ, "The retailer has struggled to reverse a string of losses deepened by a sales strategy focused around smartphones, which failed to improve revenue over the past two years."

Bowling for Education fundraiser a striking success

Bowling for Education fundraiser a striking success

ATLANTA -- The lanes at 300 Atlanta were packed with nearly 35 Atlanta-area companies for the fifth annual “Bowling For Education” fundraiser, held on Thursday, Nov. 5. The event, which supports the Simon Youth Foundation, raised a record-breaking $112,250 this year, exceeding the initial fundraising goal of $100,000. 

“We could not be more thrilled about the success of this year’s Bowling for Education event,” said Leslie Bland, co-chair of Bowling for Education in Atlanta and Director of Marketing and Business Development for Phipps Plaza. “We’re so grateful for the incredible enthusiasm from our Simon family and for the generous donations from all our committed partners. The immense support for this annual event has helped Simon Youth Foundation provide more and more educational opportunities for our future Georgia leaders.”

Aaron's supports Cobb mentoring program

Aaron's supports Cobb mentoring program

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Aaron's Lease-to-Own has raised $15,000 for the Cobb County School District's Mentoring Matters program.

Cobb Mentoring Matters allows local residents, business owners and civic groups to mentor and donate money to students in need.

"I believe it is our responsibility to positively impact the lives of all individuals we encounter," Brett Ruffino, vice president of Aaron's in Marietta, said in a statement. "It is especially important to the youth that are willingly and enthusiastically lining up saying that they need and want mentorship."

Ruffino added that Aaron's is committed to making a positive impact on the community and the lives of its customers.

Aaron's employees participate in Cobb Mentoring Matters, but wanted to make an additional contribution -- hence, the $15,000 donation.

(CCSD CobbCast)

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

With all the hype and Black Friday campouts at Best Buys and Toys R Us, you'd guess that the majority of holiday shopping budgets go to purchases like electronics, toys and clothing. But according to new research, the biggest share what comes out of your holiday wallet actually goes to ... groceries and restaurants.

New data from Card-Linked Marketing leader Cardlytics -- collected from millions of U.S. households over the past two years -- shows what consumers actually spend their money on during the holiday season.  When it comes to holiday shopping Americans are spending 24% of their budget on groceries followed by restaurants and apparel.  Toy purchases are actually at the bottom of the list.

The Top 10 Share of Wallet (see link/attached for graphics and pie charts for 2011 and 2012 holiday spending):

1. Groceries - 24%