OPERATIONS

Brookstone names executive chairman

BY Staff Writer

Merrimack, N.H. — Brookstone announced the appointment of William E. Watts as the company’s new executive chairman of the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Watts has been a partner of J.W. Childs Associates since June 2001. Previously, he was president and CEO of GNC from 1991 until 2001.

Brookstone also announced the appointment of James M. Speltz , GNC’s president and CEO, as a director of the company, and the resignation of Jackson Tai as the non-executive chairman of the company. He will remain a member of the company’s board of directors.

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FINANCE

Hibbett Sports net income dips

BY Staff Writer

Birmingham, Ala. – Hibbett sports reported a slight dip in net income during first quarter fiscal 2013, although same-store sales and net sales showed some improvement. Net income for the quarter totaled $26.2 million, down slightly from $26.4 million a year earlier. Same-store sales slightly rose 0.8%, while net sales increased 3% from $232.9 million to $240 million. Net income fell short of Wall Street estimates.

During the quarter, Hibbett opened nine new stores, expanded five high-performing stores and closed three underperforming stores, bringing the store base to 879 in 29 states as of May 4, 2013. President and CEO Jeff Rosenthal said colder weather negatively impacted sales of spring assortments compared to first quarter 2012.

“Looking forward, we are well positioned for the summer and back-to-school sales periods given our improved aged inventory position, product assortments and excellent customer service,” Rosenthal said. “This, coupled with accelerated store growth, gives us confidence in maintaining our full-year guidance as well as increasing our new store opening goal.”

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart set to hire vets

BY Staff Writer

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart has launched an initiative to hire any honorably discharged US military veteran within the first 12 months after they have been on active duty. Through a program dubbed Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, Wal-Mart anticipates hiring more than 100,000 veterans by 2018.

"Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make," said Bill Simon, Wal-Mart U.S. president and CEO (and veteran of the U.S. navy). "We believe Wal-Mart is already the largest private employer of veterans in the country, and we want to hire more."

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