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Build-A-Bear swings to profit in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop said Thursday that it recorded net income of $8.3 million in the fiscal fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $0.9 million in the year-ago period.

Total sales for the period rose 2.2% to $125.8 million, from $123.1 million a year earlier. Same-store sales companywide dipped 3.7%.

For the full year, total revenues rose 1.4% to $401.5 million.

“While our fourth quarter 3.7% decline in comparable store sales was disappointing, for the year, we stabilized our sales trends, increased our average transaction and improved our margins and we believe that our strategies remain on track to move us forward," said Maxine Clark, chairman and chief executive bear.

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A small format move in Chicago by Walmart rival

BY CSA STAFF

Okay, stop snickering. Target this week revealed that the name of its new small format stores would be CityTarget. The company offered that nugget in connection with news that it would open a small-format store in downtown Chicago at the Sullivan Center development located in the heart of downtown at South State Street and Madison.

Target has a head start on Walmart in Chicago where Walmart only recently secured approval to open a meaningful number of new units over the next five years. Target already operates 10 stores in the city, including a unit less than a mile away from the new location announced this week. Like Walmart though, Target offers few details on its overall urban strategy.

“CityTarget will offer guests the convenience of one-stop shopping with affordable fresh food, apartment essentials, on-trend fashions and exclusive designer collections,” according to the company. No word on size or whether the store would be a multi-level unit. The location is in the former Carson Pirie Scott building described by Mayor Richard Daley as one of Chicago’s most architecturally significant structures. Daley, who supported Walmart’s effort to expand in Chicago, also spoke highly of Target.

“I applaud Target for bringing this urban store concept to Chicago, as well as the new jobs and economic opportunity this store will create,” Daley said.

Target EVP property development, John Griffith, said the company looks forward to preserving a Chicago treasure and blending in with the building’s aesthetic.

“A hallmark of Target is our flexibility in store design, which allows us to bring high-quality products at great values to our urban guests,” Griffith said.

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Luxottica to acquire pair of Mexican sunglass retailers for $23 million

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Italian eyewear maker and retailer Luxottica Group SpA said Thursday it will acquire two specialty sunglass retailers in a deal worth about $23 million in a move to gain entry to the Mexican market.

Luxottica’s deal to buy Stanza and High Tech includes more than 70 stores that will eventually be rebranded as Sunglass Hut locations.

"Growth in emerging countries and, more generally speaking, in the so-called sun belt, is one of the key pillars for Sunglass Hut’s development," Fabio d’Angelantonio, Luxottica’s executive VP sun and luxury retail, said in a statement.

Stanza has sunglass shops in about 40 select department stores and airports in most key Mexican cities, including Mexico City and Playa del Carmen. High Tech runs approximately 30 sunglass shops in certain department stores in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Merida under the High Tech, Euro Vision and Top Vision brands.

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