FINANCE

Brown Shoe Q1 profit falls on higher costs

BY CSA STAFF

St. Louis — Brown Shoe Company Inc., which operates Famous Footwear stores, said Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings tumbled, despite rising revenue caused by higher costs.

The company earned $3.7 million, compared with year-ago earnings of $10 million. Excluding special charges for restructuring and other items, the company earned $7 million.

Revenue rose to $624.6 million from $597.7 million a year earlier. Revenue declined at the company’s Famous Footwear and specialty retail operations, but wholesale revenue jumped 27%.

The cost of goods sold rose 7%. Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 5%.

Brown Shoe attributed its higher revenue mostly to the acquisition of American Sporting Goods in February.

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FINANCE

Books-A-Million swings to Q1 loss on declining sales

BY CSA STAFF

Birmingham, Ala. — Books-A-Million Inc. on Tuesday reported a first-quarter loss as revenue fell 11.1% in the face of growing competition from digital books. The chain posted a first-quarter loss of $3.5 million, compared with net income of $2 million.

Quarterly revenue dropped to $104 million from $117 million, a year earlier. Same-store sales fell 13.2%.

The company said it was hurt by competition from e-books and by the effect of tornadoes that cut across its home territory in the South near the end of the quarter. It said bargain books, electronics and other categories grew, and it would expand offerings in those areas.

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STORE SPACES

Ikea to install solar panels on six additional locations

BY CSA STAFF

Conshohocken, Pa. — Ikea plans to install solar photovoltaic systems on six more of its locations in the Eastern United States. Pending governmental permits, installation will begin in late spring, with completion expected this fall.

The chain will install panels at its stores in Baltimore and College Park, Md., as well as atop the Cincinnati-area store in West Chester, Ohio. Similarly, two Philadelphia-area Ikea stores — in Conshohocken and Philadelphia — also will be receiving solar panels, as will be the company’s North America Service Office in Conshohocken.

Collectively, the six buildings will total 5.076 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity, more than 22,000 panels, and an annual output of 6.39 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually — the equivalent to reducing 4,860 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) — equal to the emissions of 867 cars or providing electricity for 534 homes yearly. This initiative by Ikea will contribute to the local utilities’ renewable portfolio goals and will lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid. For the Maryland and Ohio stores, Ikea contracted with REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric providers. For the three Philadelphia-area locations, Ikea selected Gloria Solar — the U.S. systems integrator of the E-Ton Solar Group. Both firms already have implemented, and are implementing, other solar PV programs for Ikea.

“We are excited to continue investing in renewable energy projects, reducing our carbon footprint, and improving the lives of the many people,” said Mike Ward, president of Ikea U.S. “Adding solar energy to more U.S. locations is consistent with our commitment to sustainable building practices, so we are thrilled our evaluation determined these projects to be feasible for Ikea. We are open to considering other opportunities and technologies too.”

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