4Q Same-Store Sales Idle Forward at AutoZone
Memphis, Tenn. For its fourth quarter that ended Aug. 30, AutoZone reported that same-store sales showed a modest 0.6% increase over the previous year. Net sales for the quarter were $2.2 billion, up 10.4% over fourth quarter 2007.
However, 17 weeks were included in the final quarter of 2008 vs. only 16 weeks the previous year. Excluding sales from the additional week, AutoZone showed a 4.1% net year-to-year increase.
Total sales for the fiscal year were $6.5 billion, up 5.7% from 2007, and same-store sales were up 0.4% overall. Net income increased 7.7% to $642 million in fiscal 2008.
In the company’s prepared statement, AutoZone chairman, president and chief executive Bill Rhodes, noted that this was the company’s eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings per share growth.
Additionally, AutoZone opened 60 new stores in the United States, replaced another six stores in the United States, and opened 18 stores in Mexico. The portfolio at the end of its fiscal year included 4,092 stores in 48 states and 148 stores in Mexico.
Now playing in Aisle 3: ‘Register to Vote’
BENTONVILLE, ARK. —As Wal-Mart prepares to rollout an aggressive advertiser-driven in-store media network, it is using its current in-store TV system to promote what is arguably a more noble cause than product promotion—namely, a get-out-the-vote campaign.
As part of the retailer’s efforts to engage both customers and associates, Wal-Mart will begin a non-partisan voter registration campaign next week with public service announcements on its in-store television network. The program is designed to encourage 136 million weekly customers, as well as 1.4 million U.S. associates, to register and vote in the November elections. The campaign will include two, 15-second PSAs, which will run through Election Day.
In the same vein, the company has begun hosting a voter registration portal on its corporate Web site, www.WalmartStores.com/Vote , and will put up posters with voter registration information at nearly 600 of its domestic Sam’s Club locations.
“Pollsters have found that our core shoppers—Walmart women—are an influential demographic in the upcoming presidential election,” said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s evp of corporate affairs and government relations. “Our voter registration campaign is designed to encourage millions of customers and associates to register and cast their votes.”
Trend Tracker: Framing the environment
Burnes is launching a line of photo frames made from sustainable materials. A percentage of sales from the line will be donated to Save the Earth.
The line’s reclaimed, “idle wood” frames—material recovered from old bridges, warehouses, factories and shipping pallets—include marks of wear to provide an authentically distressed look. They come in natural and walnut finishes and two crackled styles, chocolate/cream and grass green (pictured). The line’s plastic frames, which come in gold and bronze metallic finishes, are made from recycled materials that would have otherwise gone to landfills, Burnes stated.
Frames range in size from 4-inch by 6-inch to 8-inch by 10-inch and in MSRP from $8 to $25.