Business Notes: IPIC Theaters lays off up to 100 employees in North Bethesda

Business Notes: IPIC Theaters lays off up to 100 employees in North Bethesda

Plus: Potomac entrepreneur starts sellers-only real estate firm; Macy’s in Wheaton adds special retail section

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IPIC Theaters in North Bethesda is laying off up to 100 employees

Logo from IPIC Twitter page

IPIC Theaters lays off up to 100 employees in North Bethesda

IPIC Theaters in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development is laying off up to 100 employees, according to a worker dislocation notice filed on Friday with the Maryland Department of Labor.

IPIC filed a notice on Thursday under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires some employers to give advance notice of business closures and mass layoffs.

According to a copy of the dislocation notice, the layoffs were due to the COVID-19 health crisis and took effect on Friday.

Gov. Larry Hogan ordered that movie theaters close in mid-March at the beginning of the health crisis. Although some businesses have been allowed to reopen since then, theaters are not among them.

Meaghan Troast, an IPIC spokeswoman, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat on Monday that the company has had to “make the very difficult decision to issue separations and extend furloughs with team members.”

“It is our hope, once permitted to do so, to return many of our team members to work and operate at full capacity in the future,” she wrote.

Potomac entrepreneur starts real estate firm for sellers only

Benson Fischer, an entrepreneur from Potomac, has started Love Real Estate & Auction Company, which only represents sellers in real estate transactions.

Love offers three types of sales platforms for its clients — a traditional sales method, auctions and a “hybrid” model that combines the two, according to a press release.

The company says the aim of each sales platform is to maximize the sales price and the proceeds a seller will receive at closing. The goal of the sales platforms is to sell a property in about 30 days, the press release says.

Love specializes in non-distressed auctions for medium-priced, luxury and super luxury properties in the greater Washington area, the press release states.

Love also has a concierge program that offers property improvement to maximize the sales price.

Fischer, a licensed broker and auctioneer in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., wrote in the press release that he started Love because of difficulties he had in selling his Potomac home.

“I looked around and dug deep into the real estate auction business for non-distressed properties throughout the country and other parts of the world and realized that in most cases, selling real estate by auction was simply a better, faster and less costly way to go for the seller and the buyer,” Fischer said.

Fischer added that the auction process gives the seller control over the sales price, terms of the deal, competitive bidding and other aspects of the process.

Fischer said in an interview Monday that his firm started a couple months ago. He said he thinks the auction process is much more efficient for sellers.

“As a seller, you’re really waiting for the buyer to make a move so you can react to it. You put your house on the market and basically you’re going fishing. You’re waiting and waiting and waiting. You get a nibble, you have to react,” he said.

“An auction is like throwing a net out and bringing in 100 fish at one time. The process is really a much better way to sell.”

Macy’s in Westfield Wheaton among stores with special retail section on first floor

Macy’s in Westfield Wheaton mall is opening a special retail section on its first floor, called Macy’s Backstage, starting this weekend.

The Wheaton store will feature 12,100 square feet of space that will include a rotating assortment of “on-trend merchandise” such as clothing, toys, houseware, office supplies, décor, cosmetics, kid’s shoes and personal protective equipment.

A press release states the Macy’s in Gaithersburg’s Lakeforest Mall already has a Macy’s Backstage.

Macy’s announced earlier this year that it was closing 125 stores, but did not specify all of the locations.

Amazon 4-star opens in Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery mall

Amazon 4-star opened last week in Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery mall. The store features items that the company has rated four stars or more.

Merchandise includes electronics, kitchen supplies, toys, books and games, according to a post on the mall’s Instagram page.

Montgomery Community Media reported on the store’s opening Aug. 6.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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