News

Back-to-School Survey: Dads Spend More Than Moms, On-Line Spending Increases

BY CSA STAFF

Dulles, Va., Asurvey conducted by inStore found that fathers plan to spend almost 25% more money than mothers on back-to-school items for their children. Dads will spend an average of $336 while moms will spend $270. The survey also found that fathers are more lenient with children, allowing them to have more influence on what is bought.

According to the survey, on-line shopping will be prevalent this year. Fathers plan to do 68% of their back-to-school shopping on line while mothers reported they will do 42% on line. Overall, parents said they will spend 47% of their back-to-school budget on line. When asked for their reason for doing on-line shopping, 53% said shopping on line is very or somewhat easier than shopping in stores.

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FINANCE

Wal-Mart Disappointed With 5.8% Growth

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. reported record second-quarter sales and earnings for the quarter ended July 31, 2005. Net sales were $76.8 billion, an increase of 10.2% over the second quarter of fiscal 2004. Net income for the quarter was $2.8 billion, an increase of 5.8% from $2.7 billion in the prior-year quarter.

Still, the quarter revealed the most modest growth in four years, disappointing company executives. Lee Scott, president and CEO, said, “Early in the quarter, our results were disappointing; however, July came in stronger than expected. Wal-Mart Stores did miss their plan as our customer continues to be impacted by higher gas prices and it is difficult to improve our expense leverage in the current environment.”

Total U.S. comparable sales for the quarter increased 3.5%, which is represented by a 3.6% comp increase for Wal-Mart Stores and a 2.9% comp increase for Sam’s Club. Total U.S. comparable sales for the six-month period were up 3.2%, which is comprised of a 3.2% comp increase for Wal-Mart Stores and a 3.2% comp increase for Sam’s Club.

Net sales for the six months ended July 31 were $147.7 billion, an increase of 9.8% over the first six months of fiscal 2005. Net income for the six months increased 9.3% to a record $5.3 billion, up from $4.8 billion in the same prior-year period. Net income for the six months was favorably impacted by two items totaling $145 million after tax or $0.03 per share: an increase due to favorable tax resolutions of $77 million and positive legal developments of $68 million after-tax.

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News

Tuesday Afternoon Earnings Roundup

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle, Nordstrom Inc. recorded net earnings of $148.9 million in the second quarter, up from $106.9 million a year ago. Total sales rose 7.8% to $2.1 billion on a comps increase of 6.2%.

• Staples Inc. recorded a 20% gain in second-quarter net income to $147 million. Revenues increased 12% to $3.47 billion for the quarter, supported by 3% comps growth.

• Abercrombie & Fitch posted a 34% increase in net income to $57.4 million in the second quarter. Company net sales rose 42% to $571.6 million on same-store sales growth of 30%.

• Borders Group Inc. reported consolidated net income of $1.3 million in the second quarter, down from $7.9 million in the year-ago period. The retailer attributed the shortfall to the cost of strategic investments. However, consolidated sales increased 5.3% in the quarter to $891.6 million on same-store sales growth of 1.8% and 1.9% at Borders superstores and the Waldenbooks division, respectively.

• Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. announced second-quarter net income of $22.1 million, up from $17.9 million in the year-ago period. Dick’s recent performance was impacted by after-tax merger integration and store closing costs of $3.2 million and an after-tax gain on sale of investment of $1.1 million. Sales increased 50% to $622 million. Same-store sales rose 0.5%.

• Wilsons The Leather Experts announced a net loss of $14 million in the second quarter, as compared to a net loss of $30.4 million in the same quarter of 2004. Net sales increased 5.6% to $58.4 million, supported by comps growth of 8.7%.

• Cato Corp. posted net income of $10.7 million in the second quarter vs. $8.1 million in the same quarter of 2004. Sales increased 6% to $208.3 million. Same-store sales remained flat.

• Books-A-Million Inc. posted second-quarter net income of $1.7 million, up from $989,000 year-over-year. Net sales rose 7.9% to $122.4 million on same-store sales growth of 4.4%.

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