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Abercrombie continues to cut prices

BY CSA STAFF

New Albany, Ohio Abercrombie & Co. plans to continue its uncharacteristically high levels of discounting through the spring in order to boost store sales, according to the Wall Street Journal.

CFO Jonathan Ramsden said it is willing to sacrifice margins if necessary to improve sales, according to the report. Average unit prices, which were down 14% in February on higher discounting, will continue to be “down quite significantly” for the first half of the year.

The company is also in the process of examining its real estate portfolio and has identified more than 200 underperforming stores. About half of those are locations with leases that come due in the next three years, the report said, at which point the company will vacate the space.

The bulk of the store closures will be in its namesake brand.

“The solution is to reduce the footprint, refocus more and reposition upwards,” Ramsden said.

The company doesn’t expect a dramatic reduction in square footage for its lower-priced Hollister brand, but it will continue its promotions to bring down average prices at Hollister, the report said. It is also in the process of sourcing goods at lower costs.

Abercrombie’s biggest opportunities for growth come from its international business, the report said. It plans to open Abercrombie & Fitch megastores in Copenhagen and Japan later this year, with another in Paris for spring 2011.

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Sam’s Club honors outstanding Hispanic business owners

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Sam’s Club has announced the winners of the “Como Si: Doing Business Today for Tomorrow!” contest.

The winners of the nationwide contest, presented by Sam’s Club and The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, were selected from contestants who submitted short videos promoting their small business, detailing what has brought their enterprise through today’s tough economic environment and what their plan is to “keep up and keep going.” The winners were chosen for originality, creativity, relevance and clarity of their videos.

 

The winners are:

 

Delmy Franco, My Tidy Files – North Hollywood, Ca. Alba Gonzalez-Nylander, Alba Video Production – Franklin, Tenn. Michelle Manon, Tamahli – San Antonio, Texas Jesus Ojeda, Ojeda’s, Inc – Des Moines, Iowa Molly Dalton Robbins, Palomita and Chucho Clothing – San Rafael, Ca. Maria de Lourdes Sobrino, Lulu’s – Anaheim, Ca. Nelson Soler, Multicultural Entrepreneurial Institute, Inc – Milwaukee, Wisc. Roger Villeda, Villeda Marketing International – Denver, Colo. Lilian Jimenez, Jimenez Communications – Fontana, Ca. Jennifer Fuentes, Independent Beauty Consultant – San Antonio, Texas

 

The winners receive a trip to the home office of Sam’s Club in Bentonville, Ark. to learn about incorporating the latest technology into their businesses while creating a better bottom line.

“Small business owners are pressed to find more effective and affordable ways to promote their business and compete in a tough economic environment. They must do so while learning new skills, such as managing cash flow, logistics and human resources. We are pleased to be part of an initiative that can help deliver valuable information to those who are eager to learn and apply it,” said Carlos Doubleday, Sam’s Club VP.

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Collective Brands reports 4Q, FY results

BY CSA STAFF

TOPEKA, Kan. Collective Brands reported that its fourth-quarter net loss was $10.9 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $144 million, or $2.28 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Full-year 2009 net earnings increased to $82.7 million, or $1.28 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $68.7 million, or $1.09 per diluted share in 2008.

 

Collective Brands’ fourth quarter 2009 net sales were $741.7 million up 0.9%. The company’s fourth quarter 2009 comparable-store sales increased 0.7%.

Collective Brands’ 2009 net sales were $3.31 billion, down 3.9%. The company’s 2009 comparable-store sales decreased 2.3%.  related to litigation, asset impairments, severance, cancellation of performance share units, and the expiration of the Tommy Hilfiger adult footwear license.

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