OPERATIONS

Cardtronics to acquire EDC ATM and Efmark Deployment

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Houston — ATM owner Cardtronics said Tuesday that its USA subsidiary will acquire EDC ATM Subsidiary, LLC and Efmark Deployment I, for approximately $145 million.

The transaction doubles Cardtronics ATM placements in multiple states, giving the company about 3,700 ATMs, as well as numerous ATM placement agreements with high-traffic U.S. retailers and ATM branding contracts with some of the country’s largest financial institutions.

“This acquisition would enhance Cardtronics’ reach in more geographic regions across the U.S. and would expand our relationships in the important convenience store market,” said Steve Rathgaber, CEO, Cardtronics.

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REAL ESTATE

Chico’s, Soma make outlet debuts in Kansas City area

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Kansas City, Kan. — Legends Outlets Kansas City said Wednesday that the region’s first Chico’s Outlet and Soma Intimates Outlet will open on June 24 at the Kansas City outlet shopping destination.

The Chico’s Outlet’s new store will be located between BCBG MaxAzria and Five Guys Burgers & Fries, and the Soma Intimates Outlet’s new store will be located between Gymboree and Claire’s.

The Chico’s store will be Chico FAS’s first Chico’s Outlet in both Kansas City and Kansas, and Soma’s first outlet in Kansas and Missouri.

The two new stores join other recent opening announcements at Legends, including J. Crew Factory, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and Under Armour Factory House, all slated to open during the summer.

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FINANCE

H&M profit drops 18% on high costs; plans 178 new stores in second half

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Stockholm, Sweden — Hennes & Mauritz AB reported Wednesday that net income for its second quarter dropped 18% to $673 million, from $817 million in the year-ago period.

The Swedish fashion retailer blamed higher procurement costs and promotional offers for the lagging performance.

Sales edged up to $5.1 billion from $4.96 billion in the prior year quarter, but gross margin shrank to 61.7% from a previous 65.9%.

Despite higher purchasing costs and a weak U.S. dollar, H&M said it remains focused on growth. CEO Karl-Johan Persson said his company sees "great potential for future growth in existing as well as in new markets."

Toward that end, H&M is planning 178 new stores in the second half of this year, with China, Britain and the United States set to be the main expansion locations. Nineteen shops will be closed in the same period.

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