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Best Buy 4Q Profit Up

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago, Best Buy Co. Inc. said its profit for the fourth quarter rose 22% to $572 million, or $1.69 a share, from $469 million, or $1.40 a share, a year earlier. Sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 26 rose 9% to $9.2 billion. Sales gains were driven by lower-margin products such as MP3 players, DVDs and laptops. Comp-store sales rose 2.8%. The results included charges of up to $33 million to reflect changes in lease accounting and an allowance to cover customer returns. The charges partially offset a $50 million tax benefit related to Best Buys’s former subsidiary, Musicland.

The retailer also said its share of the $100 billion electronics industry rose to about 17%. Best Buy, which has about 830 stores, plans to open or convert 150 to 200 of its locations to a new model, which includes costly makeovers to help compete with rivals Circuit City and Wal-Mart. Currently, 85 of Best Buy’s U.S. stores are operating under this model.

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Gap Administrative and Compliance Exec Resigns

BY CSA STAFF

San FranciscoSan Francisco, Gap Inc. says that Ann Gust will resign as the retailer’s executive VP, chief administrative officer and chief compliance officer effective May 13. She has been with the retailer for 14 years.

Gust’s compliance responsibilities will fall to Lauri Shanahan, who also will continue to serve as executive VP, general counsel and corporate secretary. Gust’s chief administrative responsibilities will be divided among several executives at Gap including executive VP and CFO Byron Pollitt.

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Deb Shops Boosts Income, Rex Stores Struggles

BY CSA STAFF

Philadelphia, Deb Shops Inc. reported preliminary fourth-quarter net income of $10.6 million, up 23.3% from the same quarter the year before. The improvement was supported by a 2.4% gain in sales to $82.6 million. For the year, Deb Shops posted a 39.8% gain in net income to $17.9 million and a 1.7% lift in net sales to $303.8 million.

In other earnings news, Dayton, Ohio-based consumer electronics retailer Rex Stores Corp. posted net income of $16.8 million in its recently completed fourth quarter, down 1.7% from the year before. Sales fell 4% to $125.4 million in the quarter, due in part to a 2% dip in same-store sales. For the year, the retailer’s income remained flat at $27.5 million. Sales declined 3.5% to $391.3 million on same-store sales shrinkage of 2%.

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