Regional roundup: Hy-Vee, Extreme Sandbox, Regis, Warren Buffett

From staff reports

Hy-Vee to go Fast & Fresh

Hy-Vee is planning to debut its Fast & Fresh concept in Iowa.

Planning is underway for the stores in Davenport, Altoona and Des Moines. The 10,000-square-foot stores will feature some groceries but will focus on fresh “take-and-bake” foods and include a Starbucks and Market Grill Express. They’ll also sell gasoline.

The new stores will be developed across Hy-Vee’s eight-state region, said spokeswoman Tina Potthoff.

Read more in the Business Record.

More mall entertainment

Here’s another sign that shopping malls increasingly are embracing entertainment concepts to fill their vacancies.

Extreme Sandbox is opening in the Rosedale Center in the St. Paul suburb of Roseville.

The Minnesota-based company featured on “Shark Tank” lets customers drive bulldozers and other heavy equipment at its outdoor sites in Hastings and north of Dallas.

Extreme Sandbox Mini, which will open next month, will feature two electric mini-excavators that will move rubberized playground mulch. In addition, there will be five full-motion, surround-screen simulators of heavy equipment.

“The brick-and-mortar retail marketplace has to adapt,” said Randy Stenger, CEO and founder of Extreme Sandbox. “There’s huge potential to bring entertainment options — something you can’t find anywhere else — to the local mall. You can buy a pair of pants online but you can’t buy an experience.”

Read more about Extreme Sandbox Mini from the company.

Regis sells mall stores to private equity group

Minnesota-based Regis Corp. has sold its 858 mall-based Regis Salons and MasterCuts locations to a private equity group. Both of those brands operate in The Empire Mall.

The deal makes Los Angeles-based Regent the largest franchisee of Regis. Regent’s affiliate, the Beautiful Group, aims to develop the salons into a luxury brand by improving customer experience, said Hugh Sawyer, CEO of Regis.

“This transaction further clarifies our strategy by focusing our company-owned salon portfolio in North America on the value segment. At the same time, this outcome is consistent with our strategic imperative to accelerate the growth of our franchise portfolio,” Sawyer said.

Regent also is working on a deal to buy Regis’ 250 U.K. stores.

After the agreements are complete, Regis will own 5,100 salons and franchise 3,700.

Read more about the deal in the Star Tribune.

Warren Buffett likes truck stops

Berkshire Hathaway is acquiring a major stake in Pilot Travel Centers and will become a majority owner by 2023.

There are 750 Pilot Flying J truck stops in 44 states and Canada, including one in northwest Sioux Falls.

Pilot Flying J, which is privately owned and operated by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, has been under scrutiny in recent years because of a diesel fuel rebate scam that led to criminal charges against several executives.

When the U.S. economy expands, Pilot Flying J will provide Berkshire Hathaway with an additional revenue stream, CEO Warren Buffett said in an Associated Press report.

“It fuels America when you get right down to it. You can look at these highways as the arteries of prosperity in the United States.”

Read more about the deal in the Omaha World-Herald.

Regional roundup: Hy-Vee, Extreme Sandbox, Regis, Warren Buffett

Here’s a roundup of recent regional news of interest to the Sioux Falls business community.

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