FINANCE

Bon-Ton Stores Posts Lower Profit

BY CSA STAFF

York, Pa. Apparel and home-furnishings retailer Bon-Ton Stores reported a lower quarterly profit on Tuesday, as softer sales led to higher markdowns.

Fourth-quarter earnings totaled $75.2 million, down 15% from $88.4 million a year earlier. (The year-earlier quarter had an extra week.)

Total revenue fell approximately 9% to $1.17 billion, and comparable-store sales fell 3.6% at Bon-Ton and Carson’s banners.

Fiscal 2007 same-store sales decreased 6.5%, and total sales for the 52-week period for fiscal 2007 increased 0.1% to $3.365 million compared to $3.362 million for the prior year, which consisted of 53 weeks.

Last year, Bon-Ton doubled its size as it worked to integrate the Carson’s store group and some Parisian outlets purchased in 2006. However, the company reports that capital spending in 2008 would be less than 2007.

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Sharper Image offers gift card redemption

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO Sharper Image said that it will providing all gift card, reward card, gift certificate and merchandise certificate holders with full refunds as follows after Bankruptcy Court approval. In order to redeem the card value, however, the customers must redeem it in full in one transaction and purchase an item that costs double the value of the gift certificate or merchandise certificate.

Sharper Image added that customers do not have to redeem their cards at this time, and said it is working hard to be able to honor the cards without condition in the future.

This updated policy will apply to all gift cards, reward cards, gift certificates and merchandise certificates issued prior to the company’s petition for protection under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code (Feb. 19).

“We have worked very hard to address the concerns of our customers, and to dispel rumors in the media that Sharper Image’s gift cards are worthless. That is simply not true,” said Robert Conway, ceo of The Sharper Image.

In related news, PurePro, an air purification company said it will honor Sharper Image gift cards by offering $50.00 towards the purchase of the PurePro Professional air purifier for each Sharper Image gift card of any denomination. Only one gift card will be honored per order.

The offer is valid only for online purchases at www.ThePurePro.com made between March 5 and March 31 and is only available for orders shipped within the United States, the company reported.

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A&P, C&S form distribution agreement

BY CSA STAFF

MONTVALE, N.J. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and C&S Wholesale Grocers have signed a new ten-year agreement to combine their separate A&P and Pathmark supply agreements into one partnership. Under this new partnership, the two companies will combine their supply and distribution services into one network.

The two companies said they expect this new alliance to lead to one of the lowest cost distribution systems in the Northeast grocery industry. The added that the agreement will enable both A&P and C&S to implement warehouse efficiency controls to reduce costs and improve store service.

Eric Claus, President & CEO, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., stated, We are extremely pleased to arrive at this ground-breaking agreement. Our partnering with C&S and its high tech infrastructure combined with our new agreement creates the value that is only derived from a big business model. This leading-edge agreement will provide cost savings and efficiencies in warehousing while benefiting all parties including, most importantly, our customers. 

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