REAL ESTATE

Brown Shoe to test new store format

BY CSA STAFF

St. Louis — Brown Shoe Co. will test a new retail format, called Mind Body Sole by Famous Footwear, that offers a wide range of fitness footwear for active consumers. The shops, opening in five locations by yearend, will feature footwear for running, walking, hiking, toning and more from top brands including Nike, Reebok, ASICS, Skechers, New Balance, Avia, Saucony, Adidas and K-Swiss.

“The store experience is geared toward customers starting or expanding a fitness routine, who are shopping for advice and motivation along with footwear. Opening five stores is the right investment to enhance our understanding of how people shop for fitness footwear, creating key learnings that will be applicable across our healthy living platform company-wide," said Famous Footwear president Rick Ausick.

The new concept will debut on Nov. 18 in the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass.; Cherry Creek Shopping Center in Denver; and The Florida Mall in Orlando, Fla.; and Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, Oak. A fifth location will open on Dec. 6 in Mall at Wellington Center in Palm Beach, Fla.

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FINANCE

Chico’s profit up 27%

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Meyers, Fla. — Chico’s FAS said its third-quarter profit rose 27% to $28.8 million from $22.7 million a year ago, driven by higher sales. The results beat analysts projections.

Net sales rose 8.1% to $483 million, from $446.9 million a year ago. Same-store sales rose 3.1%.

Direct-to-consumer sales, which includes online sales and isn’t included in comparable-store sales, increased about 41% to $34.4 million in the quarter.

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FINANCE

BJ’s net income up, raises guidance

BY CSA STAFF

Natick, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club reported third-quarter earnings Wednesday that beat Wall Street expectations on improved revenue from gas and merchandise rose. The warehouse club operator raised its earnings guidance for the year.

BJ’s net income rose to $23 million for the three months ended Oct. 30, up from $17.4 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 5% to $2.63 billion from $2.51 billion last year, just shy of the $2.64 billion expected by analysts. Same-store sales rose 2.5%, or 1.5% excluding gas sales.

There has been speculation that BJ’s might put itself up for a potential auction or seek other business alternatives since Leonard Green & Partners bought a nearly 10% stake in the company in July and said it was going to look for ways to improve shareholder value. Rumors heated up last week after a report said BJ’s had hired Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser in a potential auction to sell itself off after receiving an offer from Leonard Green.

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