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Chico’s Q4 up 26%; to open Boston Proper stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Fort Meyers, Fla. — Chico’s FAS’ fiscal fourth quarter net income rose 26%, helped by new store openings and the same of more items at full price. The quarter also had an extra week of sales.

Chico’s earned $31.5 million for the 14 weeks ended Feb. 2, compared with $25.1 million in the 13-week period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 15% to $651.9 million, from $569.2 million. Wall Street analysts had expected higher revenue of $666.1 million.

Same-store sales rose 3.7%.

For all of 2012, net income increased 28% to $180.2 million. Revenue rose 17% to $2.58 billion.

The company said its long-term goals are to increase revenue by a low double-digit percentage and boost earnings per share by a mid-teen percentage. It announced today several strategic investments in 2013 to fuel future growth, including omni-channel capabilities, expansion into Canada, and opening its first Boston Proper stores.

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Limited Brands Q4 income up 14%; outlook weak

BY Marianne Wilson

Columbus, Ohio — Limited Brands Inc. said that its fourth quarter net income in the 14-week period through Feb. 2, 2013, rose a better-than expected 14% to $411.4 million. That compares to a 13-week period that ended on Jan. 28, 2012, in which net income came to $359.4 million. The chain also forecast profit for the current quarter and fiscal year below analysts’ expectations.

Revenue rose 10% in the quarter to $3.86 billion from $3.52 billion. When compared to a similar 14-week period a year ago, revenue grew 5%. Analysts were looking for revenue of $3.85 billion.

For the first quarter, Limited Brands said it expects earnings of 40 cents to 45 cents per share, below the 51 cents expected by analysts. It also said it expects full-year earnings of $2.92 to $3.12 per share, also below the $3.25 that analysts were forecasting.

The company reported a comparable stores sales increase of 6% for the 53-week year ended Feb. 2, 2013, compared to the 53 weeks ended Feb. 4, 2012. Net sales were $10.459 billion for the 53-week year ended Feb. 2, 2013, compared to $10.364 billion for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 28, 2012.

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Valpak shows some love with Facebook

BY CSA STAFF

LARGO, Fla. — Coupon distributor Valpak took to Facebook last month to ask consumers to show what they love for the chance to win cash in the first ever Facebook promotion featured on the front of the Valpak envelope.

Since the "Show Us What You Love" Sweepstakes started last month, Valpak has had an overwhelming response. Photographs of adorable babies, furry puppies and sunny beaches filled with families – have been sent in through the Valpak Facebook contest.

The promotion continues through March 8 and will award two grand prize winners $1,000 each to spend on what they love. In addition, 50 entrants will instantly win $50 during the sweepstakes period.

This is Valpak’s first ever envelope promotion that drives consumers to Facebook to enter to win. Fans submit photos as part of their entry and they could be featured on the Valpak Facebook page and on Valpak.com as the fan photo of the week.

Winners of Valpak’s "Show Us What You Love" say:

"Thank you so much Valpak for my instant win. I’m so excited and happy. I have been saving $ to take my little girl to Disney this summer and this will help. Thanks again to all your staff. – Michelle B.

THANK YOU- THANK YOU and THANK YOU for my $50 instant win!! What a great way to start a Monday morning!!! – Lori R.

Yeah for ME!!! I WON $50.00 at the instant game!!! Thanks sooooo much Valpak!!!!!!!!!! – Kathy H.

I just won $50 in for entering the Show Us What You Love! Can you believe it? – Robert H.

"At Valpak, we really do love to save consumers money — it’s all that we think about," said Lisa Sullivan, vice president of marketing at Valpak. "Through our Facebook platform, we really get to know our audience as we get to have conversations with them every day."

"We want to deliver values and talk to more consumers on wherever they are including Facebook, and learn about the things that they love so that we can better serve them," said Sullivan.

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