FINANCE

Bebe posts Q4 loss

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brisbane, Calif. – Bebe Stores Inc. had a difficult second quarter of fiscal 2014, reporting a net loss of $5.5 million. Net sales declined 4.1% to $130 million, from $135.5 million reported for the second quarter a year ago. Same-store sales decreased 1.9%.

CEO Steve Birkhold acknowledged challenges, but cited sequential improvement in same-store sales and holiday sales, as well.

“We are encouraged by the sequential improvement we experienced in the second quarter, especially during Black Friday weekend and the month of December,” said Birkhold. “December continued the sequential improvement with positive comparable store sales, as we saw a favorable response to the new merchandise and an increase in traffic, despite declining mall traffic and an aggressive promotional environment across the industry.”

Bebe expects flat same-store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014. For the remainder of fiscal year 2014, the company plans to close up to six Bebe stores and one 2b Bebe store, which will result in approximately an 8% decrease in total store square footage from the end of fiscal year 2013.

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FINANCE

Kirkland’s sales rise in 2013

BY Dan Berthiaume

Nashville, Tenn. – Kirkland’s Inc. reported improved year-over-year net sales for the full fiscal year 2014 but a decrease in the fourth quarter. Net sales increased 2.7% to $460.6 million during fiscal 2014, compared with $448.4 million the prior fiscal year, while same-store sales rose 0.5%.

During the fourth quarter, net sales decreased 4.2% to $156.1 million, compared with $162.9 million in the previous fourth quarter. Same-store sales were flat.

“Not surprisingly, we have not been immune to the challenging weather and compressed holiday season that other retailers have noted to date in the quarter,” said Robert Alderson, president and CEO of Kirkland’s. “Although we began with a strong November and a record Black Friday weekend, we experienced frequent and severe weather-related declines in traffic throughout December affecting important weekend sales days that could not be recovered. Sales trends improved during January, but were again negatively impacted by the latest group of storms affecting the South and Southeast. Winter will not last forever and as we enter fiscal 2014, we remain confident about our sales, multichannel, branding and store growth plans.”

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FINANCE

PriceSmart sales rise in January

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Diego – For the month of January 2014, net sales at PriceSmart increased 11.5% to $193.5 million from $173.5 million in January a year earlier. For the four weeks ended Jan. 26, 2014, same-store sales for the 30 warehouse clubs open at least 13 1/2 full months increased 8.4%, compared to the same four-week period last year.

There were 32 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of January 2014, compared to 30 warehouse clubs in operation in January 2013.

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