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Claire’s Q4 comps up 3.2%

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago — Teen retailer Claire’s Stores provided some hope that discretionary spending is improving by reporting net sales of $421.9 million for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, an increase of $11.2 million, or 2.7% compared with the fiscal 2009 fourth quarter. Consolidated same-store sales increased 3.2% in the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter consisting of a 4.7% increase in North America and a 0.6% increase in Europe.

CEO Gene Kahn commented, "We are coming off a very strong global performance in 2010 having posted a positive 6.5% same-store sales increase for the year with a positive 7.8% increase in North America and a 4.3% increase in Europe. We are encouraged by the fact that we have had five straight quarters of same-store sales growth. While we benefited to some degree by the stabilization of the broader economy, we were still well positioned at the forefront of our peer group of specialty retailers."

Kahn continued, "In 2011, we will continue to drive organic growth through our merchandise, stores and customer offense. In addition, we intend to increase our global reach through further new store expansion, on both an owned and franchised basis, and new distribution channels. We are particularly excited about our upcoming launch of e-commerce in the U.S. this summer and the associated brand enhancement that it will provide."

Net sales in fiscal 2010 were $1,426.4 million, an increase of $84.0 million, or 6.3%, compared with 2009. Consolidated same-store sales increased 6.5% in fiscal 2010. In North America, same-store sales increased 7.8% in fiscal 2010 while Europe same-store sales increased 4.3%.

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Claire’s comps continue to improve

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO — Teen retailer Claire’s Stores provided some hope that discretionary spending is improving by reporting net salesof $421.9 million for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, an increase of $11.2 million, or 2.7% compared with the fiscal 2009 fourth quarter. The company’s fourth-quarter comps were particularly strong in its North American market, where they were up 4.7% compared with 1.2% for the same period last year. In the company’s European markets, comps were up 0.6% compared with 3.7% in 2009. Consolidated same-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 were up 3.2% compared with 2.1% last year.

Net sales in fiscal 2010 were $1.42 billion, an increase of $84.0 million, or 6.3%, compared with 2009. Consolidated same-store sales increased 6.5% in fiscal 2010. In North America, same-store sales increased 7.8% in fiscal 2010 while Europe same-store sales increased 4.3%.

Chief Executive Officer Gene Kahn commented, "We are coming off a very strong global performance in 2010 having posted a positive 6.5% same-store sales increase for the year with a positive 7.8% increase in North America and a 4.3% increase in Europe. We are encouraged by the fact that we have had five straight quarters of same-store sales growth. While we benefited to some degree by the stabilization of the broader economy, we were still well positioned at the forefront of our peer group of specialty retailers."

Kahn continued, "In 2011, we will continue to drive organic growth through our merchandise, stores and customer offense. In addition, we intend to increase our global reach through further new store expansion, on both an owned and franchised basis, and new distribution channels. We are particularly excited about our upcoming launch of e-commerce in the U.S. this summer and the associated brand enhancement that it will provide."

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Whole Foods launches eco rating system for household cleaners

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market announced that it has introduced the Eco-Scale Rating System to help customers make smarter, greener choices for their homes and the planet.

Under the new evaluation system, products will be rated—red, orange, yellow or green—based on the specific set of environmental and sourcing standards each product meets, Whole Foods reported. Each product will be required to meet – at the very minimum – the new baseline orange standard by Earth Day, 2012. Red-rated products do not meet the Eco-Scale standards and will be reformulated or phased out of Whole Foods Market.

Under the Eco-Scale Rating System, Whole Foods Market’s household cleaning vendors will be required to list every single ingredient on product packaging. To ensure compliance of the company’s strict standards, all products will be audited through an independent third-party for verification before they are color-rated and labeled on shelves, according to Whole Foods.

"Shoppers have a right to know what’s actually in the products they use to clean their homes," said Jim Speirs, global vice president of procurement for Whole Foods Market. "We’ve always carefully monitored ingredients. Now, with Eco-Scale, we’re able to help shoppers buy eco-friendly products with confidence and provide safer alternatives for their households and for the planet as a whole."

Whole Foods said that several national cleaning products have already been rated – from liquid laundry detergent and fabric softener to all purpose, glass and toilet bowl cleaners. The lineup includes 14 of Whole Foods Market’s store brand cleaning products, as well as a total of 34 products from natural cleaning brands Better for Life, Ecover, Greenshield and Method.

Shoppers will ultimately, be able to easily identify products’ environmental impact and safety based on the red-orange-yellow-green color scale. The orange rating represents the baseline of acceptable standards that the yellow and green standards build on, with green labeled products topping the tier.

For more information on Whole Foods Market’s Eco-Scale including prohibited ingredients foreach tier, visit: wholefoodsmarket.com/eco-scale.

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