Aeropostale posts Q4 loss; will open 60 kids stores in 2013
New York — Aeropostale Inc. reported an unexpected loss for its fourth quarter, hurt by declining same-store sales and store asset impairment charges. The teen apparel chain also forecast a loss for the current quarter, citing markdowns and a weak economy.
"We anticipate a challenging first quarter as a result of expected margin pressures from holiday carryover inventory, and the impact of a weak macroeconomic environment,” said Aeropostale CEO Thomas Johnson.
For the 14 weeks ended Feb. 2, Aeropostale reported a net loss of $671,000, compared with a profit of $26.1 million for the year-earlier period, which included one less week.
Revenue dropped 1% to $797.7 million. Same-store sales, including e-commerce revenue, fell 8%.
Looking ahead, in fiscal 2013, the retailer plans to open approximately 14 Aeropostale stores, approximately 60 P.S. from Aeropostale stores, remodel approximately 30 stores, and close approximately 15 to 20 Aeropostale stores. The company expects to invest approximately $89.0 million in its store growth and certain information technology, compared to approximately $72.3 million in fiscal 2012.
Net sales for fiscal 2012 increased 2% to $2.386 billion, from $2.342 billion in the year ago period. Fiscal 2012 comparable sales, including the e-commerce channel, decreased 2% compared to an 8% decrease for the comparable 53-week period of the prior year. Fiscal 2012 comparable store sales, excluding the e-commerce channel, decreased 4%, compared to a decrease of 9% for the comparable 53-week period of the prior year.
Safeway moves head merchant into ops role
Safeway president of merchandising, Kelly Griffith, was named to a new operational position, filling a void created by the retirement of EVP of retail operations Bruce Everette.
Everette spent 44 years with Safeway and began his career with the company in 1968 as a clerk at a store in Virginia. In choosing Griffith as his successor, Safeway opted for another seasoned executive. Griffith brings 33 years of experience to the operations role and after working through a working his way through a range of retail store management assignments he was assigned to corporate retail operations in 1999. He was named vp of operations for the Seattle region the following year. He later returned to the corporate office as SVP of produce and floral and was named president of Safeway’s Portland division in 2005. He became president of perishables in 2008 and was named president of merchandising in 2010.
"Over the years Kelly has assumed increasing responsibility at both division and corporate levels," said Safeway president Robert Edwards. "He is a well-rounded executive with a deep background in marketing and retail, and he is ready to lead our retail operations to further success. I am extremely pleased to have an executive with Kelly’s experience ready to step up to fill this important role."
Commenting on Everette’s retirement, Safeway chairman and CEO Steve Burd said, "we are deeply grateful to Bruce for his significant and lasting contribution to our company’s success. He is the consummate operating executive whose results and people-oriented approach to the business leave an unmistakable imprint on who we are as a company."
Safeway ended 2012 with 1,641 stores in the United States and western Canada and annual sales of $44.2 billion.
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Kid Brands names new CEO
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Kid Brands, a manufacturer of juvenile and infant products has announced the appointment of Raphael Benaroya as president and CEO, effective immediately. The company intends to appoint a non-executive chairman of the board, although Benaroya will continue to serve as chairman until his successor is appointed, and is expected to continue to serve as a board member thereafter.
Benaroya has served as executive chairman of the board since Sept. 12, 2011, during which time he has held all responsibilities of the CEO. He has served as Kid Brands’ chairman of the board since Jan. 31, 2008 and has been a member of the board since 1993.
Benaroya commented, "At the time I transitioned into the role of executive chairman, becoming actively involved in the business, Kids Brands was challenged by operational and financial issues, as well as shifting market dynamics. Our team has engaged diligently to enhance the Company’s financial disciplines, trim expenses, and improve working capital management by reducing the quantity and improving the quality of inventory. Further, we recently completed a refinancing intended to strengthen the Company’s financial position. We have rationalized our collection of brands and product lines, shifting our focus toward our own and meaningful licensed brands, and eliminated non-core, unprofitable product lines. At the same time, we have bolstered our management team — appointing a Chief Operating Officer, who has already made strong contributions to further build our operational and executional capabilities, and adding to our business unit leadership in the areas of merchandising, finance and operations. Benefits of the corrective actions we have been taking are starting to take hold, and we believe will become even more apparent in the coming year."
Benaroya continued, "We are now focused even more intently on product development and strengthening our sales organization. We have begun developing innovative new products and are working to increase our penetration across distribution channels that we believe present the greatest opportunity, spanning web, mass merchants and specialty. We will also continue to examine and improve our global sourcing, with several initiatives underway in the area of logistics. Overall, our team remains confident in the long-term prospects for Kid Brands, despite challenges in the marketplace. I am looking forward to meeting the challenge of leading our efforts in a more permanent role, as the company continues to build a solid platform for future growth."
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