Back Yard Burgers CEO David McDougall and his team have been working hard to get the chain back on track. Now, with same-store sales having grown 9.3 percent in the first half of this year, they have contracted with SMB Franchise Advisors to add to their 68-unit store base. Pennsylvania-based SMB has in the past helped dining brands Wing Zone and Go Bananas Frozen Yogurt, among others.
“We chose to work with SMB because they know how to design franchise-development blueprints that get results. Our goal is to have development plans in place by the end of the 3rd Quarter and begin signing new franchisees and opening new restaurants in 2015,” Chief Executive Officer David McDougall said.
SEE ALSO: Ship righted, Back Yard CEO eyes growth initiatives from April
Regional Apple products reseller MacAuthority has been acquired by tech retail giant GameStop, which last year launched an aggressive push into selling more than video games. Through the deal, GameStop's Simply Mac unit adds six stores in five cities as well as locations on the campuses of Vanderbilt and Belmont. In a memo obtained by Apple Daily Report, MacAuthority CEO Mark Gregory said he will transition into a new management role as Simply Mac looks to double its store base in short order.
GameStop (Ticker: GME) acquired a minority stake in Simply Mac in the fall of 2012 and bought its remaining shares last November. Simply Mac is now part of the company's recently organized Technology Brands segment, which runs more than 270 stores. In the fiscal quarter ended May 3, that group produced an operating profit of $6.0 million on net sales of $60.2 million.
Parnassus Books scores some love from CNN, with the media giant naming the Green Hills-based entity one of the world's "coolest" bookstores. Read more here.
Shares of Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) are up more than 12 percent in the last of hour of trading today after Dougherty & Co. analyst Brooks O'Neil lifted his rating on the company to 'buy' from 'neutral' and said he sees the stock climbing to $20. The move came after Healthways published its second-quarter profits and said it expects to put up better margins for the rest of this year. "We still believe the earning power of the business far exceeds its current level and we think the presence of the agitator group (now with 3 board seats) has put incremental pressure on management to deliver solid results this year," O'Neil wrote. "Our thinking has evolved over the past few months to include a realization that there is limited downside and potentially positive upside here."
Also benefiting from a post-earnings analyst call is Tractor Supply. Feltl & Co. analyst Brent Rystrom now rates the stock a 'buy' instead of a 'hold,' and Rystrom now sees the Tractor Supply shares (Ticker: TSCO) headed to $68 from their Wednesday close of $61.07.
Agero Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that markets roadside assistance and safety services, plans to add more than 100 people to its Clarksville call center. The company will hire its new employees throughout this year at the facility, which opened almost two years ago. Agero officials say they're also hiring for their Florida, Arizona and Ontario operations.
Local brand strategist Paul Jankowski has changed the name of his Access Brand Strategies agency to New Heartland Group, a move that builds on his work identifying and studying a "largely misunderstood and underserved" demographic that accounts for 60 percent of U.S. consumers.
Just one example of the agency’s success is Pizza Hut’s barbeque pizza campaign, where they connected the brand with country music superstar Blake Shelton. Blake’s engaging personality and universal likability aligned seamlessly with Pizza Hut’s new line of barbeque pizzas, including “Blake’s Smokehouse.”
Jankowski will in September publish Speak American Too: Your Guide to Building Powerful Brands in the New Heartland, a book written with help from local firm Prince Market Research.
The average per-gallon price of regular gas in Nashville on Sunday was $3.40, down five cents from the mark of a week ago and down 13 cents from the price of four weeks ago, according to AAA The Auto Club Group.
The drop marks the second consecutive week in which the city's average per-gallon price of regular gas dropped five cents from the mark of the previous week.
Relatedly, Tennessee’s average price was $3.36 Sunday, four cents less compared to the figure from the previous week and down one cent compared to the mark from a month ago. It is the lowest mark since the price on April 4.
For comparison, the national average Sunday was $3.58, down four cents compared to the figure of a week ago and the cheapest price since April. The national figure fell for the 23rd consecutive day on Sunday.
News that a Malaysian Airliner was shot down quickly put upward pressure on the price of oil last week. West Texas Intermediate closed the week at $103.13 a barrel on the NYMEX on Friday, an increase of $2.30 from last week.
"Oil rose on concerns that violence could spread in response to the crash," Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group, said in a release. "Gas prices are currently falling more than a half cent a day, but geopolitical tension could slow the rate of discount at the pump this week."
For comparison to Tennessee's mark of $3.36, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Florida ($3.51) is five cents less than it was last week and the lowest since March 25. In Georgia ($3.48), the average price is four cents cheaper than the mark of last week and the lowest since April 7.