‘Explosive growth’ continues for Hampton by Hilton

The upper-midscale brand Hampton by Hilton continues its sector-leading momentum with the unveiling of 24 new properties. Read the TravelPulse story here

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Shopify opens store to show off retail hardware, services

Shopify has opened its first brick-and-mortar showroom in Los Angeles to demonstrate its new hardware and services. The Toronto-based company provides logistics and payment services and software to merchants of all sizes. Read the TechCrunch story here

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Chick-fil-A to cater to off-premise dining

Chick-fil-A will test a format in two markets starting this month to serve catering, takeout and delivery customers. The locations won’t have dining rooms or drive-thru windows, and they will not accept cash—only credit, debit or in-app payment. Read the QSR story here

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Trend: Stadium projects adopting mixed-use models

A number of professional sports teams are incorporating mixed-used components in their stadium and arena construction plans or already-built venues. Read the Construction Dive story here

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Hyatt plans acquisition of Two Roads

Hyatt Hotels says it plans to acquire Two Roads Hospitality for $480 million. Tommie, Joie de Vivre, Thompson, Alila and Destination are among Two Roads’ brands. Read the Skift story here

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What a future without Sears would mean for malls

The exit of Sears stores would be a positive thing for high-traffic malls while creating new challenges for struggling shopping centers, commercial real estate experts say. Popular malls that negotiated low-priced leases with Sears long ago would now have opportunities to sign new tenants at higher rates, but less-trafficked malls could find it hard to attract new stores. Read The Wall Street Journal story here

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Best Western adds Peel Hotels as soft brand

Best Western has added the nine properties of Peel Hotels to its inventory of soft brands. The company will continue to operate the hotels, with Best Western added to their names. Read the CatererSearch.com story here

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Plenty of upside seen in dual-branding

Dual-branding is on the rise in hospitality as developers and operators find it cost-efficient and conducive to diversifying guest experience and building loyalty. A challenge, experts warn, is keeping brand identities distinct. Read the Lodging magazine online story here

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IKEA maps moves into new global markets

IKEA has signed a franchisee to open its first stores in South America, as part of the Sweden-based furniture retailer’s plan to grow to about 12 new markets. In addition to traditional IKEA stores, the company will expand online and add new, smaller store formats to reach 3 billion global consumers by 2025. Read the Chicago Tribune story here

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Walgreens to launch in-store medical testing spots

Walgreens Boots Alliance will team with Laboratory Corp. of America to add medical testing locations inside 600 or more Walgreens stores. The move comes as rival CVS Health increases health and medical service offerings at its pharmacies. Read the Bloomberg story here

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