FINANCE

Chico’s Pulls Back on Inventory

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Myers, Fla. Chico’s FAS Inc. on Wednesday said it expects a difficult retail environment to continue through 2008 and will pull back on inventory commitments.

The news came as the company said it swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss, hurt by weak sales amid a slumping retail sector.

Net loss for the quarter ended Feb. 2 totaled $20.5 million vs. profit of $18.2 million, or 10 cents per share in the prior-year quarter.

Sales fell 8% to $409.3 million from $444.6 million a year ago. As previously reported, same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least one year, fell 15.7%.

The company said same-store sales at its White House | Black Market brand are improving, while Chico’s is on a “slower path to recovery.”

“We are actively addressing issues in our accessories division and Travelers collection, and recently added a senior-level merchant to each of these areas,” said chief executive Scott A. Edmonds. “We would expect to see improvement in these categories later in the year.”

 

The company expects negative same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least one year, for the first half of 2008 and lower earnings than the first half of 2007.

Chico’s forecast positive same-store sales and better earnings growth in the second half of the year.

The chain now plans capital expenditures of $120 million to $125 million compared with $202 million in 2007.

“We have pulled back our real estate growth targets for 2008 and 2009, and we do not intend to increase the number of new stores beyond current commitments until we see improvements in the economy and our own performance,” Edmonds said.

For the full fiscal year, Chico’s profit fell 47% to $88.9 million from $166.6 million. Revenue rose nearly 5% to $1.71 billion from $1.64 billion last year.

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Verde joins TDIndustries board

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS TDIndustries, a specialty construction company, has announced the appointment of Dora Ann Verde to its board of directors. Verde, a CPA and partner in the public accounting firm of Garza/Gonzalez & Associates in San Antonio, will serve as chairperson for TDIndustries’ audit committee.

According to Jack Lowe, Jr., board chair of TDIndustries, “We are fortunate to name Dora Ann Verde to our board and are very impressed with her exceptional qualifications.”

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Brash Entertainment names legal affairs vp

BY CSA STAFF

Video game company, Brash Entertainment, announced that Melissa Miller has been appointed vp of legal affairs. Miller joined Brash from Fox Filmed Entertainment, where she handled legal affairs for domestic and global licensing and merchandising initiatives.

Prior to joining Fox, Miller practiced at Alschur Grossman Stein & Kahan, where she litigated on disputes involving partnership agreements, trade secrets and intellectual property.

“Melissa Miller has specialized in understanding complex partnerships and licensing agreements, making her an ideal fit for our business,” said Mitch Davis. “She navigates the Hollywood studio system with ease and is equally comfortable working closely with the game development community.”

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