News Briefs


Chipotle exec joins C-suite at McDonald’s USA

Tabassum Zalotrawala

McDonald’s has added a new executive to its U.S. senior leadership team.

Tabassum Zalotrawala has been appointed senior VP and U.S. chief development officer, effective Monday, April 24.  She will report directly to Joe Erlinger, president, McDonald’s USA.

“This role has been purposefully elevated to the U.S. SLT as we prioritize development as part of our Accelerating the Arches strategy,” said Erlinger. “Having spent the past five years investing our capital and energy in modernizing our business, we've earned the right to build new restaurants and set aggressive goals, and Tabassum is the right leader to advance our ambitions. “

Most recently, Zalotrawala served as chief development officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill where she led global execution of real estate, with one of her projects named one of 'The Most Innovative Projects of 2020' by Fast Company. While at Chipotle, Zalotrawala led the chain’s new restaurant growth of 750 units since 2019.

Prior to joining Chipotle in 2018, she held several leadership positions focused on real estate, design, and construction at Panda Restaurant Group and Arby's Restaurant Group. 

Earlier this year, McDonald’s said it is planning to open 1,900 new locations in 2023, including 400 new units in the United States.

“Tabassum is a values-based leader and is committed to growing the business while providing opportunities for the betterment of people, customers, and communities,” said Erlinger. “On behalf of the entire U.S. Senior Leadership Team, I am confident that Tabassum's leadership will elevate our position as a leading brand and enable McDonald's to serve more customers than ever before. With our sustained success over the past several years, there is still much work to be done. Now is the time to take this important next step.”

McDonald's operates approximately 13,500 U.S. restaurants.


Tuesday Morning in new DIP financing


Tuesday Morning Corp. has secured additional financing to help it continue to operate through the bankruptcy process.

The struggling off-price home goods retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 in February, has received $12.5 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from 1903 Partners together with its affiliates, Gordon Brothers. The new financing from Gordon Brothers brings Tuesday Morning’s total DIP commitments to $27 million.

“After careful deliberation, we have determined that partnering with Gordon Brothers offers Tuesday Morning the best opportunity to save jobs, serve customers and maximize value for the estate,” said Andrew Berger, CEO and director. “Notably, this DIP clears the path for the company to continue transforming our operations through the bankruptcy process. In addition to providing liquidity, partnering with Gordon Brothers will allow us to leverage the team’s deep knowledge and experience in the retail sector.”

Tuesday Morning, which has 487 stores in 40 states, has said it plans to close locations in low-traffic regions while allocating the proper resources to remaining stores in high-traffic region during the restructuring process.

“We are proud to partner with Tuesday Morning through these Chapter 11 proceedings and are confident in Andrew and the leadership team’s ability to minimize disruptions to operations as they work to emerge from bankruptcy as a viable business,” said Kyle Shonak, transaction team and head of North America lending at Gordon Brothers. “The entire Tuesday Morning team has our financial and operational support.”

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. is serving as the company’s legal advisor. Piper Sandler is serving as the retailer’s investment banker.


Johnson Fitness & Wellness opening 17 stores in Texas

Johnson Fitness & Wellness

The specialty fitness retailer is opening 17 retail stores, as well as a commercial sales and service division, throughout major metro markets in Texas. (Johnson Fitness & Wellness is the retail division of Johnson Health Tech.)

The 17 new stores will occupy former retail locations in the communities of Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Friendswood, Frisco, Houston, Lewisville, Plano, San Antonio, Southlake and Spring, Texas.

The new Texas sites increase the number of Johnson Fitness & Wellness stores to 114 in the United States, and another 364 stores globally. Each store offers a deep assortment of premium fitness and wellness equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, home gyms, and accessories, from brands such as Matrix Fitness, Vision Fitness and Horizon Fitness.

"We are thrilled to enter one of the largest home and commercial fitness markets in the U.S. to expand our premium offerings to new customers," said Bob Zande, president of Johnson Health Tech Retail. “The experienced team we have assembled share the same passion as Johnson Fitness & Wellness for providing a customized shopping experience, along with a high level of service and support, to our customers."

Three JFW distribution centers in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio will support operations, logistics, and customer support for the new markets.

Commercial Fitness provides fitness solutions across hospitality, corporate, medical, multi-housing, gym and fitness centers, and education markets nationwide.

Taiwan-based Johnson Health Tech, is among the world's largest and fastest-growing fitness equipment manufacturers, with brands that include Matrix Fitness, Vision Fitness, and Horizon Fitness. The company manufactures a wide assortment of fitness equipment for both commercial and residential use.


Forrester: U.S. consumers spent an extra $1 trillion in 2022 due to inflation


Higher prices took a big toll on U.S. consumers last year.

Consumers in the United States spent an extra $1 trillion on goods and services due to increased prices in 2022, according to an analysis by Forrester.

Inflation impacted serval personal consumption expenditures (PCE) categories, the firm noted, including. Of the $1.1 trillion attributed to increased prices in 2022, consumers paid $468 billion extra due to increased prices of goods and $636 billion extra due to increased prices of services.

Here’s the impact of inflation across other PCE categories:

  • Nondurable Goods: The impact of inflation was very evident in the categories of gasoline, food, and beverages. Consumers paid $121 billion more due to increased prices of gasoline and other energy goods in 2022.
  • Durable Goods: Motor vehicles and parts, furnishings and durable household equipment saw the largest increase in prices, with consumers paying $72 billion and $46 billion extra, respectively for these two categories alone. 

Recreational goods and vehicles saw deflation. The prices of televisions, other video equipment and information processing equipment declined instead of increasing.

“Spending growth in these categories was volume-driven, not inflation-driven,” stated Jitender Miglani, senior forecast analyst, Forrester.


Mastercard SpendingPulse: Retail sales up 6.9% year-over-year in February

woman with shopping bag

Restaurants benefitted from increased spending in February as consumers focused on experiences.

U.S. retail sales (excluding automotive) were up 6.9% year-over-year in February, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. (Mastercard SpendingPulse reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation.)

Experiences were a top priority in February. Spending on restaurants increased 14.2% year-over-year, while airline spending was up 14.2% and lodging spending jumped 42.7%.

“This reflects suppressed growth in 2022, as well as continued demand for travel and experiences ahead of the popular spring break season,” noted Mastercard SpendingPulse.

E-commerce sales increased 13.2% year-over-year as winter weather activity in many parts of the country kept consumers inside. In-store sales were up 5.5%. By comparison, in-store sales increased 8.9% in January.

The apparel and department store sectors showed moderate growth during the month. Year-over-year department store sales were up 5.6%; sales at apparel stores rose 3.9%.

"Retail spending continued to grow at a steady rate compared to 2022,” said Michelle Meyer, North America chief economist, Mastercard Economics Institute. “The consumer remains supported by robust labor market conditions with some added cushion from savings.”


Twitter VP heads to Nike c-suite

James Loduca

A former Twitter executive will head up diversity efforts at Nike.

James Loduca is joining the athletic apparel and footwear giant as chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer. Most recently, from November 2021 to January 2023, he served as VP, inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility at Twitter.

Loduca announced the appointment on his LinkedIn page.

In an increasingly polarized time, sport is one of the few things that still brings us together,” he wrote in the post.

Prior to joining Twitter in 2017, Loduca was chair, San Francisco Human Rights Commission, which played a lead role in navigating the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Before that, he was director, equality at Salesforce.

Loduca is the fourth person to fill the chief diversity role at Nike since 2020. He replaces Jarvis Sam, who left in February after six months in the position to head up his own multi-services DEI firm, The Rainbow Disruption.