Bluefly appoints new CFO
NEW YORK — James Gallagher was named CFO at Bluefly, an online retailer of designer brands founded in 1998 in the heart of New York’s fashion district.
Gallagher comes to Bluefly with more than 33 years of financial, strategic and operations experience with growth oriented international, entrepreneurial and corporate entities across a broad range of industries, including Internet-focused marketing, e-commerce, entertainment and technology companies.
"James has a proven financial and operations track record, and a wealth of highly relevant experience in growth-oriented businesses,” said Bluefly CEO Joseph C. Park. “We believe that adding James to our executive team will enable us to better capitalize on strategic and growth opportunities at this exciting time in our Company’s evolution.”
Gallagher was previously CFO at Vertro, a publicly traded Internet search engine, marketing and technology company that manages a network of websites and builds and markets browser based consumer applications. Prior to his experience at Vertro, Gallagher owned and operated Gallagher Enterprises, a strategic financial and management consulting firm he founded in 2001, which provided strategic consultancy on financial and operational issues as well as structuring and funding resources to startups and high-growth companies with revenues up to $150 million.
Prior to Gallagher Enterprises, Gallagher held senior financial and operations positions at a number of growth oriented entrepreneurial entities, including VP, CFO and secretary at technology company, VRex, Inc., and CFO at publicly traded international software technology company, Viz-rt, Inc. Gallagher has also held senior-level financial positions at companies, including Infocus Employee Services, a XEROX spin-off; Medsite; Sony Music Entertainment and Reiss Media Enterprises. In addition, Gallagher also spent 10 years as a senior audit manager at the international accounting and consulting firm of Arthur Andersen LLP.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to join a Company that has embarked upon a new, focused strategy that is emphasizing lowering its customer acquisition costs, increasing lifetime value of its customers, and increasing its return on invested capital," added Gallagher. "I believe my extensive and highly relevant experience will enable me to quickly contribute to and further enhance the Company’s financial, operational and business strategy, and I greatly look forward to the opportunity and challenge of helping Bluefly achieve continued and sustainable growth and profitability."
Comp momentum intact at Kroger
Kroger extended its same store sales winning streak to 36 consecutive quarters and reported better than expected profits Thursday.
The grocer reported a third quarter adjusted profit of 46 cents a share that exceeded analysts’ consensus estimate by three cents and said its identical store sales grew by 3.2%. Total sales, including fuel, increased 5.9% to $21.8 billion
"The economy is slowly improving, but value customers are still struggling," David Dillon, Kroger chairman and CEO said during a conference call. "Overall consumer confidence is up, but it remains fragile," he said, pointing to the increased attention the media has currently placed around the "fiscal cliff."
Looking out over the coming holiday and into 2013, unfolding development surrounding the fiscal cliff are seen as a potential negative to sales, according to executives, but generally the economy has been slowly improving among upper-income customers, as evidenced by the "slow, gradual improvement" in identical-store sales.
Credit Suisse analyst Ed Kelly predicted that Kroger would be able to maintain identical store sales increases of 3.5% through 2013 in a research note published Wednesday. "Improved volume growth should offset less inflation and the generic wave," he suggested. "Management’s comments on (fourth quarter) trends will also be important, although (identical store sales) seem poised to reaccelerate in 2013, given the return of inflation and diminishing generic impact."
The company also noted an increase in the number of items purchased per trip by its sizable base of loyalty card holders. During the third quarter, Kroger repurchased 14.5 million shares for a total investment of $333 million and reminded investors that during the past four quarter is has invested $1.7 billion in stock repurchases and dividends.
NCR enhances retail offering with Retalix deal
NCR agreed to pay $30 a share to acquire retail software and service provider Retalix in a deal valued at $650 million.
NCR said the acquisition Ratalix would strengthen its global leadership position in the retail industry and build upon the integration of Radiant Systems into the NCR portfolio of solutions. In addition, NCR said the deal demonstrates its commitment to a strategy and continued transformation to a hardware-enabled, software-driven business model that delivers solutions to materially improve business processes while enabling seamless consumer experiences across touch points, locations, and channels.
"Retalix is a strong, strategic fit for NCR and the combination of our two companies will drive significant value for both our shareholders and customers," said NCR chairman and CEO Bill Nuti. "Retalix’s market-leading software and services capabilities will enhance NCR’s retail solutions, creating a world-class portfolio of offerings. That innovation plus the addition of exceptional talent to our team positions NCR as the global leader in retail innovation."
According to the companies, Retalix’s software and services are deployed in over 70,000 retail locations with more than 400,000 customer touch points in over 50 countries that transact billions of dollars in annual sales across its platform. Retalix’s strength with blue-chip retailers will be highly complementary to NCR and will enable additional sales opportunities across the combined installed base, according to NCR.
Retalix CEO Shuky Sheffer said the combination of the companies would create a talent pool and solutions portfolio unlike anything in the market to deliver a superior omni-channel shopping experience.
NCR said it plans to use Retalix’s software to accelerate the development of NCR’s enterprise software platform, creating new software modules that can be used across the retail industry and leveraged across NCR’s financial, travel and hospitality industries on a global scale.