Buy.com Launches IPO
Aliso Viejo, Calif., Internet retailer Buy.com is going public, with plans to sell 4.2 million shares for an expected $226.6 million, assuming a share price of $12 per share. Underwriters, led by Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, have the option to buy an additional 625,000 shares to cover over-allotments, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In the first nine months of 2005, the company lost $8.5 million on revenue of $234 million.
From Supercenter to ‘Express’ in Storm-Damaged Area
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores is opening a new “Wal-Mart Express” on the site of its hurricane-damaged Wal-Mart Supercenter in Waveland, Miss. This new store format will offer a merchandise mix focused on the needs of the community, which still is recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the company said. Operating more recently as a “tent store” to provide basic needs for residents, the new store will open its doors on Saturday.
The Wal-Mart Express is a new store concept that differs from the footprint of a typical Wal-Mart store. According to Pam Kohn, the division’s senior VP, “The new prototype store will allow us to respond to this community’s immediate needs.” Wal-Mart eventually plans to return the Waveland store to a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The new 57,000-sq.-ft. store can be entered through the original front entrance and is enclosed within the original 205,800-sq.-ft. building by dust-proof, insulated walls. The merchandise mix will differ from a typical Wal-Mart store, focusing on essential items, in the quantities and sizes needed for the community, as it continues to rebuild from the storm.
ShopKo Posts Q3 Loss
Green Bay, Wis., ShopKo Stores posted a quarterly loss, largely due to merger-related costs. The company posted a loss of $14.1 million in the third quarter ended Oct. 29, compared to a profit of $2 million in the same quarter last year. The merger cost $16.3 million—including a $13.5 million payout to Badger Retail Holding, which had agreed to buy Shopko before Sun Capital Partners stepped in with the winning bid.
Consolidated sales decreased 5.6% to $704.8 million in the third quarter of 2005 compared with $746.4 million for the comparable period last year. Consolidated comparable-store sales decreased 5.8%.