FINANCE

99 Cents Only goes from loss to gain in Q1 ‘14

BY Dan Berthiaume

City of Commerce, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores had a positive first quarter of fiscal 2014, swinging from a net loss to net income and also reporting gains in net and same-store sales. The retailer reported net income of $3.16 million, compared to a net loss of about $4.9 million a year earlier.

In addition, the company’s net sales increased $32.9 million, or 8.2%, to $433.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to $401 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Same-store sales increased 3.1%. As a result of a shift in the timing of Easter, 99 Cents Only estimates it lost about 1.8 percentage points of additional same-store sales gain

During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, the company opened six stores, three in California, one in Nevada and two in Texas. As of June 29, 2013, 99 Cents Only operated 322 stores, an increase of 7.3% in store count over last year. In fiscal 2014, 99 Cents Only expects to increase its store count by approximately 10%, exclusively in existing markets.

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OPERATIONS

Meijer plans 9K new hires

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Meijer is preparing to hire thousands of new team members for its stores in response to company growth and in preparation for the fall and holiday selling seasons. While staffing needs vary from store to store, all Meijer stores have positions available. Broken down by state, Meijer plans 4,400 new hires in Michigan, 1,800 in Indiana, 1,600 in Ohio, 900 in Illinois and 500 in Kentucky.

Most new Meijer stores require 200-250 team members. While traditional retail positions, such as stockers and cashiers are needed, there are also opportunities in more specialized roles such as meat cutters and cake decorators. The retailer has both part-time and full-time openings.

“Meijer has already opened five of the six new stores planned for this year, with another nine opening next year,” said Janet Emerson, VP of operations for Meijer. “Our continued growth, along with the upcoming holiday selling season, make it imperative that we increase our staffing properly to operate our stores and deliver on the Meijer promise of providing exceptional customer service.”

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News

Report: YouTube targets Vine, Instagram with new app

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Bruno, Calif. — YouTube is reportedly challenging the Vine video app from Twitter and Instagram video app from Facebook with its own new video app called MixBit. As reported by the New York Times, MixBit allows users to record up to 16 seconds of video (compared to 15 seconds for Instagram and six seconds for Vine) on their smartphones.

However, the difference comes in with the ability MixBit provides to mix and edit up to 256 individual video clips together into a video that can run up to one hour long and be shared via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or a new MixBit website YouTube is providing. Users can also edit publicly available video clips on the MixBit site.

The New York Times quotes YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley as saying the main point of the service is actually to encourage the remixing and resuse of existing YouTube content. MixBit videos must be released anonymously and do not allow viewers to post comments. Versions of the app for Apple and the web are reportedly available, with an Android version coming soon.

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