Mike and Tammy Pinto plan to open a restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs this month.
Bistro de Pinto, at 26 E. Kiowa, will be about 1,000 square feet, seat about 30 people and have about six employees.
Tammy Pinto said she and her husband chose downtown because they felt business owners would appreciate the gourmet food.
“My husband (the chef) is originally from Panama,” she said. “He has been in the Springs for 25 years and has good training.”
Mike Pinto has worked at The Broadmoor, the Garden of the Gods Club and Woodland Club.
“We are both big cookers at home,” Tammy Pinto said. “We love people and we love the restaurant industry.”
Postal Annex+, a postal, packaging and business communications franchise, has signed a five-year lease for a new location in Colorado Springs .
The 1,200-square-foot store at 6936 N. Academy Blvd. is scheduled to open in the spring. The franchise owners are Curt and Shari Kremer.
Postal Annex+, headquartered in San Diego, Calif., focuses on service and one-stop shopping convenience for small business owners. Services include private mailbox rentals, domestic and international shipping, postal services, high-speed digital color and black and white photocopying, laminating, faxing, notary and office supplies.
Consumers’ interests in spring apparel dwindled after cold weather last month.
“Overall, it is disappointing for February,” said Jharonne Martis, an analyst at Thomson Financial. “It’s not that consumers have stopped shopping; it is just that they’re slowing down.”
According to Thomson Financial, 59 percent of retailers missed expectations.
February is critical for setting the mood for spring selling. Stores use the month to get an early read on what’s selling.
“There’s definitely uncertainty and unease among consumers,” said Michelle Bogan, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon Associates, a global consulting firm. “And whenever that happens, the reaction is to be more conservative.”
Wal-Mart reported a 3.2 percent increase in same-store sales and Target had a 3.6 percent gain in same-store sales, both better than the analysts’ estimate.
Apparel retailers, including Gap and chains catering to teenagers, posted the worst results. Department stores had a 1.8 percent gain, the lowest increase since November.
U.S. chain store sales increased 3.2 percent in February compared to last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
This is the softest that sales have been since July, when chain stores reported a 3.6 percent increase.
“February sales were largely in line with our expectations but clearly depressed by adverse weather,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Results varied vastly but continued to spotlight how robust consumer spending is.”
Wholesale clubs led the way, with a gain of 6.2 percent for the month. Costco was the best performer, with sales up 8 percent. The wholesale warehouse is planning its entry into the Colorado Springs market, with a 150,000 square foot location near Nevada Avenue and Interstate 25.
Sam’s Club posted solid sales as well, up 4.6 percent. Drug chain stores also did well, posting an increase of 5.8 percent. CVS was the standout in this category, with a gain of 5.9 percent, followed by Walgreens, which rose 5.7 percent.
Niemira said he anticipates a same-store sales increase of 3 percent compared to last year for March.
The first PrintOne franchise has opened in Colorado Springs. The company offers remanufactured replacement cartridges for inkjet or laser printers.
PrintOne, which is based in Fort Collins, opened its first store in June.
“Every year, nearly 700 million plastic printer cartridges are dumped in American landfills,” said owner B.J. Netherton.
The Colorado Springs PrintOne is at 5740 N. Carefree Circle, at Powers Boulevard.
The Promenade Shops at Briargate will host the Bonfils Blood Center mobile blood drive bus from noon to 4 p.m. March 18.
The blood mobile will be parked just north of Sharper Image. All donors will be entered in a contest to receive a $25 gift card.
Bonfils Blood Center supplies blood to more than 115 health care facilities and needs to collect 4,350 blood donations weekly to meet the needs of the community and to be prepared for any unexpected events.
Joan Johnson covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.