FINANCE

Acquisition costs hit Vitamin Shoppe profit; 60 new stores planned

BY Dan Berthiaume

North Bergen, N.J. – Vitamin Shoppe Inc. reported net income of $16.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, down 8% from $18.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Expenses related to Vitamin Shoppe’s March 2013 purchase of Super Supplements chain helped reduce the retailer’s net income.

Vitamin Shoppe plans to open approximately 60 new stores in 2014. Total net sales in the second quarter increased 10% to $306.2 million, compared to $279.5 million in the same period of the prior year. The retailer attributed its improved net sales to same-store sales growth of 4%, as well as growth in non-same-store sales, e-commerce sales and manufacturing revenue.

Vitamin Shoppe’s board has approved a share repurchase program that enables the company to purchase up to $100 million of its shares of common stock in the next three years. Shares will be repurchased from time-to-time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. Looking ahead, Vitamin Shoppe expects higher same-store and e-commerce sales growth in 2014.

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FINANCE

Euclid: July store traffic down, duration up

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Shopper traffic declined 6% in July 2014 compared to the same month in 2013, due to real wage pressure, favorable summer weather, and a shift towards big-ticket item purchases, according to monthly benchmarks from in-store analytics provider Euclid.

Euclid analysis of tens of millions of U.S. shopper visits indicates a higher percentage of consumers made back-to-school purchases than the prior year and were very intent to buy, leading to the longest average duration seen in the last two years. Average duration increased 18% from last year. A higher percentage of shoppers made back-to-school purchases than the prior year and were very intent to buy, leading to the longest average duration seen in the last two years.

The best shopping day of July was Sunday the 27th. Outperformance was experienced across all metrics on the 27th, with especially favorable numbers for duration, engagement, and bounce rate. On the other hand, Friday the 11th was the worst shopping day of the month. Low traffic coupled with poor engagement marked this day and likely led to sales underperformance.

Looking ahead, Euclid predicts that the second half of 2014 looks promising for retail, estimating sales growth in the following retail verticals of:

  • Two percent growth year-over-year in general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other (GAFO) retail sales.
  • One percent growth year-over-year in clothing and apparel sales.
  • One percent decline year-over-year in general merchandise sales.
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Survey: Smartphone-generated revenue up 97.6% in July

BY Marianne Wilson

Pittsburgh — Smartphone-generated revenue by consumers to retailer smartphone-optimized websites was up 97.6%, from July 2014 versus July 2013, according to Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform.

The firm’s Mobile Commerce Index for July 2014 shows that smartphones generated 34.9% of total online visits (61.8% iOS, 37.4% Android) up 19.9% from July 2013. Meanwhile, the market share of non-mobile (desktop) visits decreased 13.7%, from July 2013 to July 2014.

"Our real time data shows decisively that smartphone activity in retail is surging, with the highest percentage of growth consistently in revenue," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. "We expect to see the maximum impact of this record-breaking, year-over-year trend hit during the 2014 holiday season as consumers flock to fully-optimized mobile websites offering exclusive seasonal sales, customized vibrant imagery, and a no-stress shopping experience."

Issued monthly, the Mobile Commerce Index report identifies customer mobile commerce use and trends worldwide across a consistent sample of 26 major clients in various industries, including apparel, health and beauty, and home goods.

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