News

Chinese e-commerce retailers share platforms

BY Dan Berthiaume

Beijing – E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc., a business-to-consumer e-commerce company in China, has entered into a strategic partnership with Yhd.com, whereby each company launches a flagship channel on the other’s platform. Yhd.com is a business- to-consumer e-commerce platform for food, beverages and imported food products in China and is majority owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Pursuant to the partnership, Dangdang opens a bookstore on Yhd.com, making its books and media merchandise available to Yhd.com’s customers, while Yhd.com opens a supermarket on the Dangdang marketplace. Both of these new stores offer the same products, pricing, logistics and customer service available on each company’s own official website.

"By partnering with Yhd.com, our customers now have access to a broader selection of grocery and food items from one of China’s leading online grocery stores,” said Peggy Yu Yu, executive chairwoman of Dangdang. “At the same time, Yhd.com can now provide its customers an extensive selection of books and media products from Dangdang, a name they know and trust. Utilizing strong category advantage is a meaningful way for both companies to enrich selection to their respective customers.”

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FINANCE

PetSmart has better fiscal year than Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Phoenix – PetSmart Inc. had a better fiscal year than fourth quarter 2013, with net income and sales rising during the year but falling during the quarter, compared to the same periods a year earlier. During the fiscal year, net income rose 8% to $419.5 million from $389.5 million, while net sales grew 3% to $6.91 billion from $6.71 billion and same-store sales increased 2.7%.

However, during the fourth quarter net income decreased 2% to $131.5 million from $134 million, and net sales dropped 4% to $1.8 billion from $1.88 billion, although same-store sales grew 1.2%.

Looking ahead, for the fiscal year 2014 PetSmart forecasts same-store sales growth of 2% to 4% and net sales growth of 4% to 6%. During the first quarter of fiscal 2014, PetSmart expects same-store sales growth in the low single digits.

“We are pleased to report our results for fiscal year 2013, marking the fourth consecutive year of double-digit earnings per share growth,” said David Lenhardt, CEO of PetSmart. “I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and caring for our customers and communities.”

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FINANCE

Sales declines impact Weis Markets

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sunbury, Pa. – Declining sales across a variety of categories negatively affected year-over-year fiscal performance of Weis Markets Inc. during the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013. Net income declined 29% to $15.7 million from $22.1 million during the quarter, and dropped 13% to $71.7 million from $82.5 million during the year.

In addition, net sales declined 1% to $686.4 million from $694.3 million for the quarter, and decreased slightly to $2.69 billion from $2.7 billion for the year. Same-store sales dropped 3.5% for the quarter and shrank 2.6% for the year.

Weis Markets attributed its disappointing performance to stagnant sales performance in key center store categories, lower same-store gas sales due to significant fuel price deflation, a shortened holiday selling season and a decline in food stamp/SNAP sales. In addition, the company said net income in the quarter was affected by the recognition of a $680,000 future liability associated with the lease commitment of a closed store property, and net income in the year was impacted by was impacted by a $6.1 million charge for the separation agreement of its former CEO, a $2.1 million impairment loss for four properties.

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