FINANCE

Children’s Place Rises on Buyout Hopes

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc.’s shares rose Friday after a Web site reported the company plans to put itself up for sale, according to the Associated Press.

Fortune.com said the retailer hired investment bank Peter J. Solomon and is circulating financial information to possible buyers, including private equity and apparel firms, citing “two people familiar with the company’s plans.”

The report is the latest in a string of volatile news for the retailer, beginning in late September when CEO Ezra Dabah resigned after a company probe found he had violated internal policies for securities trades.

The company also said it is the subject of a class-action lawsuit alleging the apparel company misled shareholders.

On Tuesday, the retailer lowered its outlook for the rest of the year, citing a 3% drop in September sales at stores open at least a year as well as merchandise margins pressured by high inventory levels.

And on Thursday, the company said Deloitte & Touche would step down as its auditor after completing the company’s delayed annual report for fiscal 2006. The company delayed filing due to the leadership change.

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Sept. sales up 9.7% for Wal-Mart, raises outlook

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores today reported net sales of $34.4 billion for September period ended Oct. 5, an increase of 9.7% over sales of $31.4 for the same period last year.

The company reported that comparable-store sales for September increased 1.4%, excluding fuel.

The company it expects the comparable-store sales of its U.S. operations for the October four-week reporting period to be between flat and 2 %, said Tom Schoewe, evp and cfo.

 

“We estimate that earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal year 2008 will change from within our previously stated guidance of 62 cents to 65 cents to a range of 66 cents to 69 cents,” Schoewe said. “For the first two months of the quarter, we have seen improvement in initial margin and expense leverage at the Wal-Mart Stores division, which is driving this change.”

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Banana Republic exec to head Kate Spade

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Liz Claiborne today announced that Deborah Lloyd, former evp of design and product development for Banana Republic, will join the company as co-president and creative director of Kate Spade, effective Nov. 1.

Lloyd will oversee all creative aspects of the Kate Spade and Jack Spade Brands, including, product design, merchandising, creative services and public relations. She will report directly to William McComb, ceo of Liz Claiborne.

Lloyd joins Kate Spade after a six year tenure at Banana Republic where she had responsibility for driving design for all products, for both the women’s and men’s businesses, including accessories and fragrance. Prior to Banana Republic, she spent five years at Burberry, where she was instrumental in re-launching Burberry’s Women’s London Collection, while working closely with Rose Marie Bravo in reinvigorating that business.

Lloyd said: “This opportunity came at a time when only something as creative and entrepreneurial as this could have pulled me away from my present role. What was so compelling was the instant connection that I had to the brand, and I love what it stands for. I really believe Kate Spade is a jewel, and I am very excited to further develop it as a lifestyle brand.”

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