FINANCE

Chico’s Q2 profit disappoints amid price cuts

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Myers, Fla. – Chico’s FAS Inc. reported net income of $30.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, down 31% from $43.6 million in the year-ago period. Price cuts needed to clear seasonal merchandise were a primary driver of Chico’s lower net income. Its results missed Wall Street expectations.

Net sales for the quarter ended August 2, 2014, were $671.1 million, up 3.3% from $649.5 million in the previous year, primarily reflecting the addition of 98 net new stores.

Total same-store sales rose 0.3%.

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FINANCE

Survey: Consumers prefer cash for small purchases

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Approximately two in three credit cardholders typically use cash for purchases of less than five dollars. According to a new CreditCards.com report, a clear generational divide in the way Americans pay for small purchases means that might not be the case for much longer.

The tendency to use cash increases sharply with age. Almost eight-in-10 credit cardholders age 50 and older prefer to use cash for small transactions. For cardholders between ages 18 and 49, it’s virtually a dead heat between cash (52%) and credit/debit cards (46%).

The youngest cardholders (18-29 year-olds) are the only age group to prefer plastic. Digging a little deeper, Millennials with credit cards prefer debit over credit by a ratio of nearly three-to-one. Among all cardholders, debit outpaces credit by a two-to-one margin.

Other key findings:

• Cash is the preferred payment method for almost eight-in-10 rural cardholders versus just 62% of city dwellers and suburbanites.

• Cardholders without children under 18 are 10 percentage points more likely to use cash than those with young children.

"The question is whether Millennials will eventually embrace credit as they age and their financial situations change," said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst, CreditCards.com. "I believe they will, due in large part to credit’s more lucrative rewards programs and better consumer protections."

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News

ABG launches new Juicy Couture platform

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – Authentic Brands Group LLC (ABG), owner of the Juicy Couture brand, is launching a new multiyear partnership to expand the scope of e-commerce services for Juicy Couture, with Onestop Internet, a full-spectrum e-commerce solution provider.

Onestop Internet will customize an outsourced digital commerce channel providing a range of all-encompassing solutions including: full-scale warehousing and distribution, best-in-class customer service, end-to-end product imaging and cross-channel performance marketing services, to streamline operations across Juicy Couture’s online, mobile and brick and mortar businesses.

By refreshing the platform’s merchandising environment and creating an upgraded, ROI-focused user experience, Onestop will maximize consumer engagement and ultimately drive and increase product sales worldwide. Additionally, Onestop will leverage data generated from its proprietary enterprise to consolidate Juicy Couture’s supply chain management process and increasing operational efficiency.

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