Subway's $5 footlong could bankrupt franchises, some owners warn

Published: Sunday, December 31, 2018 @ 3:47 AM

Subway – By the Numbers

While the $5 footlong from Subway is one of the best bites for your buck in the fast food industry, business owners aren’t always fond of the deal. Some of them say it could even threaten their business.

Keith Miller, who owns three Subways in North Carolina, told The Washington Post that the ingredients in the sandwich cost him about $2, but after paying his employees and adding up all the overhead — electric, gas, rent and supplies — his store brings in a measly profit on the hoagies. When the company decided to drop the prices of its famous subs to $4.99, Miller and a number of other franchise owners sent a letter telling the higher-ups that such a move would have them staring down bankruptcy.

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Subway isn’t the only company to keep prices low with the hopes of enticing hungry customers; Taco Bell, Wendy’s and McDonald’s both boast dollar menus. You’d probably have a tough time finding a franchise owner happy with the low-priced items, but Subway owners have been the most vocal about their complaints. They recently wrote a petition to the big wigs at the company, asking them to reconsider. Owners admitted that the cheap options bring in more customers but that even the increase in traffic “insufficient to make up for the lost margins.” The petition was signed by almost 900 people in 39 states.

Subway says the promotions are optional and that the majority of franchise owners don’t share Miller’s views. In a statement given to the Post, Subway claimed “we are in constant communication with our Franchisees and Development Agents … they are actively involved in many aspects of our decision-making process, and we welcome and encourage their feedback.”

As the minimum wage continues to rise, the prices of some products (like Subway’s sandwiches) haven’t risen to the level necessary for owners to make a profit. Miller says that when he bought his first franchise, he was bringing in profit margins as high as 18 percent. But that number has drastically dropped in recent years.

There are also a number of other problems facing franchise owners. The fast food restaurant industry has become more crowded and, on top of that, people are shopping less and less at fast food stops. And for most owners, the problems show no sign of letting up.

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New spam impacts some Gmail accounts

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

A new form of spam is causing some computer experts to scratch their heads.  

Messages you didn’t send but appear to come from your Gmail account may wind up in your sent messages folder.

The trick lets the spammers bypass Gmail’s spam filters, according to Gizmodo.com.

This doesn’t mean your account has been compromised, in fact, the problem continues for some users who have changed their password, or use two-factor authentication, according to Cnet.com.  

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will be talking to a local tech expert to find out more about how this is happening and what you can do to protect your Gmail account.  

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Kohl’s to partner with ALDI grocery stores

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2018 @ 3:37 PM

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Kohl’s will partner with discount grocer ALDI, company officials told analysts in March.

Kohl’s will cut five to 10 stores in half and put ALDI in the other half of the stores, Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell told securities analysts last month after the company reported positive fourth-quarter financial results.

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ALDI will be separate from the Kohl’s entrance, and customers would have to go outside to get from one store to another. The locations of these stores have not been disclosed yet.

The move comes after the retailer announced last September that it would partner with Amazon to offer free  returns for Amazon customers in stores. The retail store announced that 82 stores across Los Angeles and Chicago will offer free returns for Amazon customers starting in October. Kohl’s will “pack and ship eligible Amazon return items for free, providing an additional service and convenience to Amazon customers within select Kohl’s stores,” the company announced.

Kohl’s ended the fiscal year with 1,158 Kohl’s stores in 49 states. During 2017, the company opened four Kohl’s stores and relocated one Kohl’s store.

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3 big changes happening at Mall at Fairfield Commons

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 12:58 PM
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2018 @ 3:38 PM

Mall at Fairfield Commons anchors retail in Beavercreek

Several changes are coming to the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

The mall, featuring more than 135 stores like Elder-BeermanJCPenneyMacy’sSearsAbercrombie & Fitch, is going through several changes this spring. Some stores have closed recently, including Osterman Jewelers. That store was located next to Nirvana and across from H&M.

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Victoria's Secret is expanding at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. “Right now, they’re still located next to Macy’s but be on the lookout later this year as they’ll be bigger and better than ever!” the mall posted on social media.(Kara Driscoll)

Victoria’s Secret will move locations and expand their footprint at the mall. Currently, the store is still located next to Macy’s. Victoria’s Secret sells lingerie, beauty products, fragrances, cosmetics and women’s apparel.

“Right now, they’re still located next to Macy’s but be on the lookout later this year as they’ll be bigger and better than ever!” the mall posted on social media.

FILE(Staff Writer)

Factory One, a women’s clothing store, opened near Sears. The store offers women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and other items at affordable prices. A store associate told this news organization that the store celebrated its grand opening earlier this week.

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Dayton Soin Award winner has innovation in its sights

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 2:43 PM

Nicholas Ripplinger, Battle Sight Technologies co-founder, leads a company that has created a technology that creates writing visible exclusively to military, law enforcement and emergency management agencies using night vision.
Nicholas Ripplinger, Battle Sight Technologies co-founder, leads a company that has created a technology that creates writing visible exclusively to military, law enforcement and emergency management agencies using night vision.

Battle Sight Technologies — a Dayton startup that has developed a chemiluminescent writing device — is the 2018 Soin Award for Innovation winner, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and Soin LLC said Tuesday.

Battle Sight Technologies produces the “MARC IR,” which allows its user to write with a reusable luminescent material, the chamber and Soin said in a joint announcement.

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“It’s a glow stick that you can write with and is reusable,” Nicholas Ripplinger, company co-founder, said in the statement “When you write with the MARC IR, you’re leaving a very thin layer of wax that’s not visible. There’s a series of microcapsules that break when you write with them. The chemicals inside react with the chemicals in the wax, and that’s what causes the glowing reaction.”

Using a chemical that emits infrared, the idea is to create writing visible exclusively to military, law enforcement and emergency management agencies using night vision.

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“It’s invisible to the enemy who’s walking around, but when you have your night vision goggles on, it glows. So what really benefits the soldiers is they can now write words or symbols, so visually, everybody now knows what’s going on in that environment,” Ripplinger said.

The technology came to him through the Technology Acceleration Project, which is the Entrepreneur Center’s push to transfer technology from research to market. The program connects technological advances discovered by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) with for-profit teams equipped to commercialize the ideas.

Ripplinger is a former U.S. Army soldier and non-commissioned officer with command experience. He holds a B.S. in technical management as well as an M.B.A.

Battle Sight’s connection with AFRL and other business supporters in the Dayton region has been beneficial to getting the business off the ground, said Ripplinger.

“Dayton has been a huge part of our success,” he said. “We wanted to rally the community behind us. We’re involved with several non-profits including the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Entrepreneurs Center. We’re trying to be the best community stewards that we can be. In return, we gained a lot of support for what we were doing.”

The Soin Award for Innovation panel of judges, made up of area business leaders and representatives from small business supporters, were impressed with the many applications for Battle Sight’s technology and the company’s strategy for bringing it to the market, focusing first on the defense applications, the chamber said.

Battle Sight Technologies’ win earns a $25,000 prize and various marketing opportunities thanks to support from Soin LLC, Cox Digital Marketing and CareWorks.

The Soin Award for Innovation began on the chamber’s 100th anniversary as a way to honor innovative area businesses. The Raj Soin family has been the benefactor of the award since its inception.

Learn more about Battle Sight Technologies and the MARC IR at www.battlesighttech.com.

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