FINANCE

Coach profit rises 15% in Q2

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Coach Inc. reported Tuesday that net earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 15% to $347.5 million, compared with $303.4 million in the year-ago period.

Sales increased 15% to $1.45 billion, beating Wall Street’s expected $1.43 billion in revenue.

Same-store sales rose 8.8% in North America.

"We’ve experienced strong response to our new collections and our pricing and assortment strategy continue to resonate with consumers world-wide," Coach CEO Lew Frankfort said on a conference call.

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REAL ESTATE

U.K. chain Bonmarche to shutter 160 U.K. stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

London — A report released Tuesday by Bloomberg said that U.K. clothing chain Bonmarche will close as many as 160 out of 390 stores after its owner Peacock Group sold the chain to an affiliate of Sun European Partners.

KPMG administrated the transaction; the new buyer said that about 2,400 of 3,800 jobs will be retained.

The report said that KPMG had been seeking a buyer for Bonmarche since being appointed earlier this month as administrator to Peacock, which also owns Peacock’s Stores Ltd., a U.K. discount apparel chain.

Sun European VP Matthias Gundlach said in a statement that the company is “confident in putting a sustainable growth program in place and working with the management team to develop the business successfully.”

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STORE SPACES

Ikea completes solar installation at Cincinnati-area store

BY Katherine Boccaccio

West Chester, Ohio — Ikea said Tuesday that it has officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its Cincinnati-area store in West Chester, Ohio.

The 128,000-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 1,026-kW system, built with 4,186 panels. Ikea West Chester’s program will produce approximately 1,334,300 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,014 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 180 cars or powering 115 homes yearly.

Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement – and the West Chester installation represents the 14th completed solar energy project for Ikea in the United States, with 23 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 85% and a total generation of 30.8 MW.

For the development, design and installation of the West Chester store’s customized solar power system, Ikea contracted with REC Solar.

The 344,000-sq.-ft. West Chester Ikea store opened in March 2008.

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