In May 2003, Steve Bigari opened a McDonald’s call center in Colorado Springs. Six of his 12 stores tested the idea of off-site order taking. Now other McDonald’s franchises are beginning to latch on to the call center idea.
Retailers are losing their traditional television audiences to cable, their radio listeners to satellite services and newspaper readers to the Internet. So Vestcom, a company that makes price labels that adorn shelves nationwide is developing a different way to reach shoppers: video monitors attached to store shelves.
The nation’s biggest retailer announced its urban renewal plan this week: Wal-Mart plans to build stores in distressed metropolitan areas. Lee Scott, the company’s CEO, said that during the next two years Wal-Mart will open 50 stores that will create between 15,000 and 25,000 new jobs.
Federal law enforcement authorities estimate that theft rings steal as much as $30 billion in merchandise from retail stores every year. Organized retail theft is much different than shoplifting. ORT usually involves multiple people who steal goods, not for their own personal use, but to sell through fencing operations, flea markets and swap meets.
After an upturn in February, consumer confidence dropped in March, reflecting the uncertainty American consumers have about future economic conditions, according to results of the RBC Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household Index. The index for March stands at 86.2, a considerable decrease from 96.1 in February.
The International Franchise Association has announced plans for “MinorityFran,” an initiative to help member companies recruit additional minority franchisees into their systems. MinorityFran will build on relationships through the IFA’s Diversity Institute with organizations such as the National Urban League, the Association of Small Business Development Centers, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
A Colorado Springs running store has been named a top choice in four readers’ polls by Runners World magazine. Colorado Running Co., 833 N. Tejon St., won for the mountain region in the categories of general excellence, best customer service, best community outreach and best product selection.
One of Colorado Springs’ upscale shoe stores now carries more styles and selections. “We took an area that used to be dressing rooms – we were using it for storage,” said Saboz owner Linda Bridger. “We remodeled and more than doubled our shoe display area.”
Workers and residents in downtown and south Colorado Springs now have another option for dry cleaning their clothes – Pressed4Time, a franchise owned and operated by former Sky Sox pitcher Scott Randall. Randall bought the franchise in October, and said business has been successful, but there is room for growth. “I have plenty of routes still available,” he said. “I hope to really grow the business. Everyone who uses it loves it – it really saves time.”
A family friendly fitness chain with locations across the country is set to open its second location in Colorado Springs this summer. Fitness 19 is building a 7,200-square-foot gym at Union Town Center. The other Fitness 19 location is on Stetson Hills Boulevard.
Maggie Mae’s restaurant, a mainstay of Colorado Springs, has a new owner – but the same management team. Chuck Graybill, who has managed the diner for nine years, bought the building that houses the restaurant. “Our lease was up,” he said. “We were going to buy another property, but had some trouble. So, for a lot of reasons, we just made an offer on this building.”