Aeropostale Q4 profit slips 13%, 50 new stores on tap in 2011
New York City — Aeropostale’s fourth-quarter profit slid 13% amid weaker gross margins and falling same-store sales. For the quarter ended Jan. 29, the chain posted a profit of $83.8 million, down from $96.6 million a year earlier.
Revenue increased 5% to $839.3 million, from $801.2 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales decreased 3%.
For the full year, net sales increased 8% to $2.4 billion, from $2.23 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales inched up 1%.
For fiscal 2011, Aeropostale said it plans to open about 30 namesake stores, 20 P.S. from Aeropostale kids stores, and remodel some 50 stores, in addition to certain information technology investments.
Walmart rolls out ‘Pick Up Today’ program nationally
Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores announced Thursday that it will launch a national rollout of its “Pick Up Today” program later in March, expanding its multichannel offerings to allow shoppers to purchase items online and receive free same-day pickup at a local Walmart store.
“Walmart is uniquely positioned to combine the power of e-commerce with our national retail footprint to offer a leading, multichannel experience that delivers the best savings and convenience to our customers,” said Steve Nave, senior VP and general manager of Walmart.com.
According to Walmart, the service is expected to be available in nearly 3,600 stores by June.
Wal-Mart plans to add hundreds of smaller stores in next three years
Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores, in a presentation at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference on Thursday, announced that it would open “hundreds” of smaller-format stores over the next three years.
According to Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S., the ramped-up development could be augmented by some acquisition activity, although he didn’t elaborate on specifics.
The retailer had said it planned to open 30 to 40 smaller units this year in rural and urban areas and that there were “thousands” of potential sites in the U.S. Earlier, Wal-Mart announced it would build its first three smaller-format Express stores, the first of which is slated to open on Chicago’s South Side this summer.
The new stores will include mid-sized Neighborhood Market locations of 30,000-60,000 sq. ft. and the rest will be smaller, Simon said at the investor conference. The Neighborhood Market concept will be renamed “Walmart Market.”
Simon said the retailer will introduce more stores on university campuses, and that there are “there are hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities in the U.S.” for the smaller-format stores.
Simon also announced at the conference that he saw business trends improving in the United States for the retailer, but that it was too early to revise its forecasts upward.