fb-pixelDozens of TGI Friday’s to close permanently, CEO says - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Dozens of TGI Friday’s to close permanently, CEO says

Associated Press


Dozens of TGI Friday’s to close permanently, CEO says

Dozens of TGI Friday’s restaurants won’t reopen as the chain struggles to recover from a drastic sales decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 20 percent of the company’s 386 US locations will likely have to close permanently, chief executive Ray Blanchette said in an interview. The American sit-down dining chain known for burgers, ribs, and shareable appetizers like chicken wings is one of many in the ndustry struggling to bring in customers who are largely still sheltering at home. The hardship reflects the challenges across the restaurant industry, as companies close stores and try to adapt by shifting to drive-through, pickup, and delivery. Reservation service OpenTable recently projected that a quarter of US restaurants won’t survive the pandemic. When the crisis first hit, sales at TGI Friday’s Inc. dropped by about 80 percent almost immediately, Blanchette said. With the shift to pickup and delivery, revenue has recovered modestly, but is still down about 50 percent, he said. The company has a mix of franchised and corporate-owned locations. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Apple to reopen 100 more stores this week, most with curbside pick-up only

Apple Inc. said it will reopen about 100 more retail stores in the United States this week, with more than half offering curbside pick-up service only. The move adds to about 30 US store reopenings from earlier this month. The company has about 270 retail locations in the United States. The company said the new openings will happen across Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, Missouri, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Utah. Stores that let customers inside require temperature checks, social distancing, and masks, Apple has said.



Latam latest Latin American carrier to file for bankruptcy

Latam Airlines, Latin America’s largest air carrier, sought bankruptcy court protection in New York after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights across the region. The Chapter 11 petition allows Latam to keep operating while the Chilean carrier works out a plan to pay creditors and turn around the business. Airlines the world over — and those in Latin America in particular — have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, which triggered travel bans and made people reluctant to fly. Avianca, the largest air carrier in Colombia, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier in May, burdened by the sharp drop in fliers and its own onerous debt load. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Warner Music to go ahead with IPO as streaming booms during pandemic

Warner Music Group reignited its plans for an initial public offering, becoming the latest music company to cash in on a streaming boom that’s only accelerated in the coronavirus era. Backed by billionaire Len Blavatnik, shareholders of the New York-based record group behind artists such as Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars plan to sell 70 million shares of its Class A common stock priced between $23 and $26 a share — raising as much as $1.8 billion — according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday. Music sales have surged in recent years thanks to the growth of paid streaming services from Spotify and Apple. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Exports of Swiss timepieces plunged 81 percent in April

Swiss watch exports plunged the most in at least two decades as the coronavirus pandemic led to factory closures, shuttered shops, and travel bans. Shipments plunged 81 percent to 328.8 million francs ($310 million) in April, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. That’s the biggest drop in at least two decades. Swiss watchmakers are already bracing for the worst year in the modern history of watchmaking as the coronavirus outbreak led to a virtual standstill of production and shuttered stores. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Government bailout of Lufthansa comes with no green strings attached

Germany’s multi-billion euro bailout of Lufthansa may cost the airline some precious airport slots, but one thing it won’t have to do is meet any new environmental rules. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Monday offered Lufthansa a 9 billion-euro ($9.9 billion) package to help the carrier survive the coronavirus pandemic. There was no mention of new measures to safeguard the climate, leaving the airline to stick to its strategy of replacing old jets with more fuel-efficient models and using less-polluting alternative fuels where possible. It’s a sharp contrast to demands attached to bailout packages from other European Union countries, which are seeking fresh measures to curb airlines’ carbon footprints. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


France offers $8.8 billion boost to auto industry

President Emmanuel Macron of France unveiled Tuesday an 8 billion-euro ($8.8 billion) plan to save the country’s car industry from huge losses wrought by virus lockdowns, including a big boost for electric vehicles. The plan includes government subsidies for car buyers and longer-term investment in innovative technology, especially in battery-powered cars. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Texas prosecutor who investigated Walmart resigns after probe blocked by Justice Department

A US attorney in Texas who was appointed by President Trump announced his resignation Tuesday, providing no explanation for his unusually abrupt departure. Joseph Brown, who has served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas since 2018, will leave office on May 31, according to a statement. Brown’s resignation comes two months after ProPublica reported that his office spent years pursuing a criminal case against Walmart for its opioid prescription practices, only to have it stymied after the retail giant’s lawyers appealed to senior officials in the Justice Department. The report describes an internal struggle over the potential prosecution that ended with high-ranking DOJ officials ordering Brown to stand down. Walmart has denied any of its employees committed crimes. A Department of Justice spokesperson declined to comment. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Home prices rose in March as pandemic kept supply low

US home prices accelerated in March even though sales plummeted, as those Americans still buying bid for a sharply diminished supply of homes. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 3.9 percent in March, the largest gain in more than a year, up from 3.5 percent in February. Home sales fell 8.5 percent in March before plummeting 17.8 percent in April, according to the National Association of Realtors, as the viral outbreak and business shutdowns caused a flood of layoffs and restricted economic activity. But the number of homes for sale also plunged in March, falling more than 10 percent pushing up prices. Phoenix, Seattle, and Charlotte posted the largest yearly gains among the 19 cities that reported data. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Six Flags to reopen park in Oklahoma

Six Flags will reopen its theme park in Oklahoma City on June 5, setting an array of safety protocols for one of the first such debuts in the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Frontier City park will reopen with limited capacity and will feature thermal-imaging temperature checks, mandatory face masks, and pervasive physical-distancing markers, the Grand Prairie, Texas-based company said in a statement Tuesday. The first three days will be restricted to Six Flags members and season-pass holders, with visitor counts later gradually increasing through the month of June. Disney recently reopened a shopping area at one of its Orlando, Fla., attractions, and Universal presented Florida with a reopening plan last week.