OPERATIONS

Apple, Costco and Container Store top ‘100 Best Retailers to Work For’ list

BY Marianne Wilson

Raleigh, N.C. — Apple, Costco and The Container Store top the “2012 100 Best Retailers To Work For” list compiled by The Retail Life online retail community, which was developed by Headway Workforce Solutions. DSW and American Eagle outfitters round out the top five.

The list, derived from The Retail Life members, was based on a variety of criteria, such as: competitive salaries, employee reviews, company pride, organizational values and culture, socialization opportunities, and career advancement opportunities.

The 2012 100 Best Retailers To Work For include the following top 10 retailers:

  1. Apple
  2. Costco
  3. The Container Store

  4. DSW
  5. American Eagle Outfitters
  6. Coach

  7. REI

  8. Nordstrom

  9. Starbucks

  10. Ann Taylor/Loft

The Retail Life, a member-based, community, serves retail workers and job seekers. For a complete list of its 2012 100 Best Retailers To Work For, visit Theretaillife.com/page/best-100-retailers.

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REAL ESTATE

Gander Mountain opens firearms superstore in Ohio

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Gander Mountain is giving more space to guns and related accessories at store at its store in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The outdoors retailer has renovated the location into the Gander Mtn. Firearms Super Center.

The redesigned Reynoldsburg store offers thousands of new and used firearms, along with broad selection of firearms accessories, specialty apparel and ammunition. It has firearms specialists on duty to give shoppers personalized service.

“Gander Mountain is already recognized as the firearms experts, but with our latest Gander Mtn. Firearms Super Center we are taking the experience of shopping for firearms and accessories to an entirely new level of selection and service,” said David Pratt, CEO of Gander Mountain, “We are excited to bring this new retail experience and opportunity to the people of Ohio and we’re confident that our unmatched selection and the expertise of our specialists will make this a premiere destination for those with an interest in firearms.”

According to reports, the retailer plans more of the firearms supercenter locations and is also testing stores that include shooting ranges and classes, called Gander Mtn. Academy.

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FINANCE

Jones Group Q4 loss widens, but revenue beats Street

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Jones Group Inc. reported a loss of $80.3 million for the three months through Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $21.1 million a year earlier. The company said that marking down the value of some assets widened its loss.

Revenue for the fourth quarter rose 8.8% to $971.9 million, better than the $955.3 million Wall Street was expecting.

For the year, Jones Group lost $56.1 million, versus a profit of $50.7 million in 2011. Annual revenue rose to $3.8 billion from $3.79 billion.

"Our financial position remains strong, said John T. McClain, CFO, Jones Group. “We ended the year with $150 million in cash and our revolver undrawn. We are approaching our 2013 inventory commitments with conservatism, consistent with 2012. With a continued focus on inventory management, expense control, and operational efficiencies, we believe we will continue to improve margins and maintain a strong balance sheet."

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