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Belk Earnings Drop 47%

BY CSA STAFF

Charlotte, N.C. Belk Inc. reported a 47% drop in net income to $95.7 million for its fiscal year ended Feb. 2. In fiscal 2007, the company earned $181.8 million.

The retailer attributes the decline to a decrease in gross margin in the second half of the year, a result of markdowns taken in response to the weakened economic environment. Belk also had increased selling, general and administrative expenses.

Net sales grew 3.8% to $3.82 billion, while same-store sales for the year fell 1.1%.

Fiscal 2008 had 52 weeks, compared with 53 weeks in fiscal 2007.

Belk opened 11 stores last year. The company plans to open eight stores this year. It also expects to expand four stores and renovate two.

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Charming Shoppes: Directors should be re-elected

BY CSA STAFF

BENSALEM, Pa. Charming Shoppes announced that it has mailed proxy materials to its shareholders calling for the re-election of its chairman, president and ceo, Dorrit Bern, Alan Rosskamm and Jeannine Strandjord.

Charming Shoppes’ annual meeting of shareholders will take place on Thursday, May 8.

 

Charming Shoppes also urged shareholders to reject the three individuals nominated by a dissident shareholder group led by the Crescendo Partners and Myca Partners hedge funds in opposition to Charming Shoppes’ incumbent directors.

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Rite Aid March comps up 2.6%

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid reported that total drug store sales for the four weeks ended March 29 increased 50.7% to $2.04 billion as compared to $1.3 billion for the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.6% of drug store sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 96.2% of pharmacy sales.

Same-store sales for the month of March increased 2.6 % over the prior-year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 1%, which included an approximate 493 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales were up 5.7%. March same-store sales were positively affected by a shift to a March Easter this year from an April Easter last year, the company reported.

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