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Abercrombie & Fitch swings to profit, to close 60 stores

BY CSA STAFF

New Albany, Ohio Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported Tuesday that it swung to a profit in the second quarter as lowered prices bolstered sales. The teen retailer recorded net income of $19.5 million, compared with a loss of $26.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Abercrombie also said Tuesday it will close 60 stores in the United States in 2010 as it expands internationally.

Revenue rose 17% to $745.8 million, surpassing Wall Street expectations of $727.7 million.

Same-store sales rose 5%.

In the United States, the retailer said it plans to open three Abercrombie & Fitch stores; three Abercrombie Kids stores; three Hollister stores; two Gilly Hicks stores; and five outlet stores. The 60 closures will occur mainly through lease expirations, the company said.

Internationally, Abercrombie said it plans to open namesake stores in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Fukuoka, Japan, and will open 20 international mall-based Hollister stores, down from prior guidance of 25 stores.

In the fourth quarter, it will open a new namesake store in Canada and its first international Gilly Hicks store in the United Kingdom.

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Polo Ralph Lauren to sponsor interactive clinic with Venus Williams

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Polo Ralph Lauren announced that it is presenting the Legends Clinic with Venus Williams as part of its sponsorship of the U.S. Open.

On Aug. 26, in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, Polo Ralph Lauren will offer an interactive tennis clinic with Williams on Randall’s Island in New York. Williams will answer questions, demonstrate technique and offer hints and tips on how to improve your game during this live one-hour interactive clinic, the company reported. The clinic will reach a global audience as it will be streamed live online exclusively at RalphLauren.com and accessible on mobile devices at m.ralphlauren.com/USOpen.

“It is truly exciting to partner with Polo Ralph Lauren in this unique endeavor and to bring my professional expertise and personal experiences to tennis fans around the world,” said Williams.

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Best Buy launches mobile rewards app

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy has announced it plans to bring a location-based retail experiment, using the “shopkick” mobile application rewards system, to 257 U.S. stores by Oct. 1.

Beginning Aug. 17, shoppers can download the free shopkick application to their smart phone. Customers who have the app open when they enter a participating Best Buy store with shopkick signal technology installed will receive instant rewards, or “kickbucks,” that can be redeemed in the store or converted into Best Buy certificates through a user’s shopkick account.

 

Additionally, Best Buy said it has integrated shopkick directly into its point of sale system to streamline the redemption of special in-store offers and/or added bonuses for scanning barcodes of specific products, all of which will be sent to the user’s phone. Customers may walk up to the cashier, provide the mobile phone number connected to their shopkick account, and any applicable personalized discounts immediately appear on their receipt.

“We think consumers have more opportunities than ever to bridge their digital and physical shopping experiences, particularly through smart phones and mobile technology,” said Matthew Smith, VP marketing services, Best Buy. “We intend to explore ways we can use the power of location-based technology to personalize a Best Buy shopping experience, from check-in to check-out, with rewards and offers delivered right on a customer’s smart phone.”

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