Wenzel’s spends £1m to revamp and grow outlets

first_imgLondon craft bakery chain Wenzel’s is defying the tough economic climate with a £1m revamp of its 20 stores and plans to boost the chain to 30 outlets in the next year.The Pinner-based company expects the new-look stores to boost takings by at least 10%, with the introduction of new signage and photography, highlighting the company’s craft bakery skills. Wenzel’s packaging and website have also been redesigned and new ’pick-up’ areas will encourage more impulse purchases.The refresh, which has been undertaken with the help of design company Ech, began last month and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2012.At the same time, the company is planning to open a further 10 outlets over the next 12 months, starting with a new store in Edgware this month. Wenzel’s also hopes to open more branches in tube stations, including Victoria and Marylebone, which will join existing sites at Bakerloo and Harrow on the Hill.Sarah Wenzel, owner, said: “Because of the economic climate there are good deals out there on units. We own a lot of our properties freehold, so we are quite a cash-rich business. The expansion will be self-funded.”Sales across the chain have been buoyant since August, she added, thanks to several new initiatives, such as more meal deals, customer feedback schemes and a Facebook campaign. “We’re also more focused on upselling and have invested significantly in staff training,” she said. “We have monthly managers’ meetings where we talk about the products that we need to focus on and have introduced a new bonus scheme.”last_img read more

Debt Settlement America to pay Vermont $120,000

first_imgDebt Settlement America, Inc., a debt settlement company based in Dallas, Texas, has entered into a settlement with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office that will result in refunds and payments to the State totaling over $120,000. The Attorney General claims that the company violated state law by engaging in the business of debt adjustment without a license, and by failing to comply with the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act. This is the ninth settlement between the Attorney General’s Office and a debt settlement firm in the past year.According to Attorney General William Sorrell, Debt Settlement America violated the Consumer Fraud Act by not following the State’s three-day right to cancel requirements and by failing to have prior proof to support online claims about the results it could achieve for consumers. Debt Settlement America’s website stated that the company could reduce consumers’ debts to “less than 50 cents on the dollar.”Debt Settlement America entered into contracts with 25 Vermont consumers and charged 10 to 15 percent of the dollar amount of the debt placed with the company. Those consumers paid the company a total of over $69,000 in fees.Under the settlement, Debt Settlement America must pay full refunds to all of its Vermont customers and $50,000 in civil penalties and costs to the State. In addition, the company will pay $2,000 to any Vermonter who was sued by a creditor after signing up with the firm, and will offer to complete, without charge, negotiations with the creditors of its Vermont customers. For more information on the settlement, consumers can call the Attorney General’s Office at (802) 828-5507.Source: Vermont Attorney General. 2.2.2010last_img read more