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American Eagle Outfitters raises full-year outlook

BY Marianne Wilson

Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters Inc. said that its net income fell 4% in the second quarter as the retailer dealt with charges related to the closing of its children’s division, 77kids, which included 22 stores and the online business. But its adjusted results met analysts’ estimates, and the company raised its full-year outlook.

For the second quarter that ended July 28, American Eagle earned $19.03 million, compared with $19.7 million last year.

Sales rose 11% to $739.7 million. Same-store sales, including AE Direct, increased 9%. Online sales for AEO Direct, which includes ae.com and aerie.com, rose 28%.

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Express Q2 income up 25%; to open flagships in Times Square and San Francisco

BY Marianne Wilson

Columbus, Ohio — Express Inc. reported a 25% increase in net income for the second quarter. But the retailer slashed its profit outlook for the year and said that same-store sales barely rose last quarter and that it expects about the same for the rest of the year.

Express earned $15.8 million for the quarter ended July 28, better than analysts expected, compared with $12.6 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue increased 2% to $454.9 million, short of the $467 million analysts had expected. Same-store sales inched up 1%.

Express, which expects to end 2012 with 625 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, said it will open flagship stores in Times Square in New York and Union Square in San Francisco. The company also said it has signed its third international franchise agreement, this one in Mexico.

“We expect these flagship locations, scheduled to open by the fall of 2013, to serve as international gateways for our brand,” stated Michael Weiss, chairman, president, and CEO, Express.

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RILA announces opposition to ‘flawed’ proposed swipe fee settlement

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association criticized the proposed swipe fee settlement and urged class plaintiffs to reject the proposal. Announced in July, the proposed settlement stems from lawsuits challenging the anticompetitive swipe fee practices of Visa and MasterCard.

“While Visa and MasterCard’s decision to pursue a settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers’ claims, the flawed proposal upholds the networks’ anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “We urge class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic payments market is unacceptable.”

If the proposed settlement is ultimately approved, all retailers will be bound by its terms, RILA said. Among the many proposed terms that concern retailers is the release of Visa and MasterCard from any future legal claims related to their interchange practices and terms that could stifle emerging innovations, such as mobile payments.

“Retailers are concerned that in addition to limiting their future legal options, the proposed settlement preserves the Visa/MasterCard duopoly and constrains emerging innovations that could bring meaningful competition to the marketplace,” added Kennedy.

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