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Buffalo Americas releases video surveillance solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Buffalo Americas, a provider of external storage, network attached storage and networking solutions, is releasing the TeraStation 5200 Network Video Recorder (NVR) series with embedded support for Axis Camera Companion. The TeraStation 5200 NVR provides a complete turnkey video surveillance network attached storage (NAS) solution, offering redundant managed storage and recording for use in conjunction with Axis Communications network cameras and the complimentary Axis Camera Companion software.

Buffalo’s new NVR offering features Axis One-Click Camera Connection setup and can record and archive video footage from up to 16 Axis network cameras. Buffalo and Axis partnered to provide businesses and resellers with versatile, high-performance IP surveillance networks that can be set up and maintained during long periods of time, as well as deliver benefits of IP video such as HDTV-quality recording.

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OPERATIONS

L.L.Bean names Express CEO, Hannaford vet to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Freeport, Maine – L.L.Bean Inc. has appointed two new independent directors to its corporate board. The new board members are Matthew Moellering, executive VP and CEO of Express Inc., and Hugh Farrington, former president and CEO of Hannaford Brothers Company.

"I am very pleased with the selection of these new board members,” said Shawn Gorman, chairman of the board of directors. “They bring a wealth of retail and business experience. As the board continues to focus on the overall governance and strategic direction of the organization, the addition of these new members will provide valuable outside perspective as well as additional business expertise."

In May 2013, shareholders approved a board that includes six L.L.Bean family owners, L.L.Bean CEO Chris McCormick and three independent directors. A search for the third independent director will commence this year.

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Winter unkind to Bebe in third quarter

BY CSA STAFF

Bebe stores cited various factors, among them severe weather conditions that caused 136 store closures, the shuttering of 19 unproductive stores and the timing of Easter in late April, as contributing to its 17.2% net sales decrease in the third quarter from the prior-year quarter.

Net sales dropped to $93.5 million from $112.9 million for the third quarter a year ago. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 5.7%. The sales decrease, according to the company, was also fueled by one fewer retail week in January in the current fiscal year.

Gross margin decreased to 27.1% compared to 29.7% in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. The decrease in gross margin was primarily due to deleveraging of sales. While Bebe has experienced an increased level of promotions in response to the challenging retail environment, merchandising margin was 50 basis points higher than the third fiscal quarter of the prior year.

“As previously disclosed in our preannouncement, our third quarter performance did not meet our expectations largely due to winter storms and a challenging overall retail environment. That said, we were highly encouraged with the improved sales and margin performance in both our e-commerce and catalog businesses,” said CEO Steve Birkhold. “Overall, the favorable response to our spring merchandise offering and marketing programs gives us confidence that we are winning over and retaining our bebe girl. While we expect the overall retail environment to remain challenging in the near term, we believe that we are taking the right steps to position our company for long-term sustainable growth.”

Looking ahead, the company anticipates comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter to be flat. Gross margin is expected to exhibit sequential improvement.

For the remainder of the year, the company plans to open up one Bebe outlet store, and close one 2b Bebe store, which will result in approximately 8% decrease in the total store sq. footage from the end of fiscal year 2013.

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