The industry’s first dual-function label providing integrated EAS-EPC functionality is available from Checkpoint Systems, Thoro-fare, N.J. With the new technology, both electronic article surveillance (EAS), which deters theft, and electronic product code (EPC) functionality, which provides inventory visibility, are integrated in a single, small tag. The dual-function labels can be used with existing Checkpoint RFID systems and will also work with any certified Gen 2 reader and antenna hardware. “Gen 2” is the EPCglobal standard that defines the physical and logical requirements for a passive RFID system operating in the 860 MHz to 960 MHz frequency range. Information on RFID standards is available at www.epcglobalinc.org.
RFID-based asset management, specifically for use with electronic cargo seals (e-Seals), has gotten easier and more affordable thanks to Savi Technology, Mountain View, Calif. Last month, Savi announced a licensing program for its intellectual property (IP) incorporated into ISO 18185, the new standard for electronic cargo seals (e-Seals) that addresses technical and application standards for non-reusable freight container seals. The IP technology ensures that a wide range of e-Seals from multiple vendors can communicate with multiple information networks to monitor and manage the location, security status and condition of cargo containers transported throughout the global supply chain. The Savi e-Seal licensing program is available at a reduced licensing fee through June 30.
Sears comps hurt by energy costs
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings today reported net income of $216 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 5, compared with net income of $180 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended April 29, 2006.
“In part, our domestic operating results reflect the impact of some of the same challenges being faced by our customers, such as rising energy costs and a slower housing market,” said Aylwin Lewis, Sears Holdings’ ceo and president. “However, as an organization, we need to overcome these factors by better controlling costs and developing innovative solutions that better meet our customers’ needs and allow us to generate a more reasonable level of profitability even in the face of such challenges.”
Domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.9% during the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Sears domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.4% for the quarter, while Kmart comparable-store sales declined 4.4%. We believe these declines reflect both increased competition and the impact of external factors such as rising energy costs, a slower housing market and poor weather conditions during the latter part of the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Kmart experienced lower transaction volumes across most merchandise categories, most notably within home goods, health and beauty products, and food and consumables. Similarly, Sears domestic recorded comparable-store sales declines across most merchandise categories and formats, with a notable decline in home appliance sales, which we believe reflects both a slower U.S. housing market and the impact of increased competition.
Big Lots 1Q net sales up 3.4%
COLUMBUS, Ohio Big Lots today reported first quarter fiscal 2007 income from continuing operations of $29 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $14.5 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2006. Including the impact of discontinued operations, first quarter fiscal 2007 net income totaled $28.8 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, compared to $13.7 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, in the prior year.
Net sales for the first quarter ended May 5, increased 3.4% to $1.13 billion, compared to $1.1 billion for the same period in fiscal 2006. Comparable-store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 4.9% for the quarter.
For the second quarter 2007, the company expects income from continuing operations of 7 cents to 10 cents per share versus income from continuing operations of 4 cents per share last year. Comparable-store sales are expected to increase 2% to 4%, compared to a 5.2% comparable-store sales increase recorded last year.
For fiscal 2007, the company expects income from continuing operations of $1.25 to $1.30 per share versus income from continuing operations of $1.01 per share last year.