FINANCE

Best Buy CEO outlines plan to reverse decline

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — In his Tuesday address to investors and stockholders in New York City, newly minted Best Buy Co. CEO Hubert Joly acknowledged that sales and profits are on a decline, and presented a plan to shore up finances and operations by cutting expenses, rethinking footprints and improving both offline and online customer satisfaction.

Part of the plan involved tapping former Williams-Sonoma exec Sharon McCollam as its new CFO.

Best Buy is targeting an operating margin of 5% to 6% over time, as well as a return on invested capital of 13% to 15%, Joly said. He told investors Tuesday that the retailer wants to rationalize its footprint but cannot boost operating income just by closing stores.

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A&G Realty to manage resolution of 258 Fashion Bug leases

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Melville, N.Y. — A&G Realty Partners said Tuesday it has been retained by Charming Shoppes to exclusively manage the resolution of all remaining Fashion Bug real estate leases in the United States.

On June 14, Ascena Retail Group acquired Charming Shoppes and announced plans to cease operating and close down the Fashion Bug arm by early 2013.

"We’re pleased to be working with A&G Realty Partners to wind down our remaining Fashion Bug store leases,” said Jonathon Graub, executive VP real estate, Charming Shoppes.

"We expect this group of Fashion Bug locations to generate very strong interest from a variety of retailers,” added A&G co-president Emilio Amendola. “We’re faced with a lack of new real estate development and that, combined with favorable lease terms in strong markets, creates a unique opportunity for merchants looking to open in these geographies."

The 258 leases that are available for assignment or sublease range from 5,000 to 12,000 sq. ft., and are available in the following locations: Arizona (4), California (12), Colorado (1), Connecticut (6), Delaware (2), Florida (3), Iowa (2), Illinois (12), Indiana (12), Kentucky (9), Massachusetts (12), Maryland (6), Maine (3), Michigan (14), Minnesota (3), Montana (11), Nebraska (2), New Hampshire (3), New Jersey (12), New Mexico (2), Nevada (1), New York (22), Ohio (19), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (38), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (7), Virginia (7), Washington (9), Wisconsin (10), West Virginia (5) and Wyoming (1).

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FINANCE

Sears Canada narrows loss in Q3

BY Staff Writer

Toronto — Sears Canada Inc. reported Tuesday a loss of $21.85 million, compared with a loss of $44 million in the same period last year.

Revenue dropped 6.8% to $1.04 billion, and same-store sales slid 5.7%.

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