No matter how much the retail landscape changed over the years, there was always one thing you could count on: the mother-daughter team at Merle Norman in the Mall of Acadiana. "We're like a dinosaur," says Jan Frost Williams, who along with her mother, Gloria, has been a fixture at the mall for the past three decades -- since before construction on the mall was even complete. But that's about to change, as Gloria Frost this week sold her successful Merle Norman store to Robert and Sylvia Perez.
The Frosts actually sold the Merle Norman location in the mid-1980s and ran a Benetton store in the mall. They bought it back several years later and along with Chick-fil-A are the mall's most tenured tenants. The Mall of Acadiana Merle Norman store has been one of highest producing in the chain, which has about 2,000 independently owned and operated stores in the United States and Canada.The Frosts' store was No. 1 in sales in 2001 and No. 2 in 2000. It continues to rank in the top 10.
Merle Norman is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif.
Reached this morning, Gloria was busy finalizing inventory on the store and did not have time to comment about the sale. She did say this marks her retirement.
"I'm not really sure," Jan says about her future. "I'm going to take a week off, [and then] I'm available if anybody wants me."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.