FINANCE

Collective Brands Q4 loss widens on higher costs, but sales up

BY Staff Writer

Topeka, Kan. — Footwear seller Collective Brands Inc. said that its fourth-quarter loss widened dramatically from the year before as higher costs cut into profit margins. But the loss was far narrower than Wall Street expected, while revenue was much higher.

The company, which operates the Payless ShoeSource chain, said its net loss during the quarter ended Jan. 28 was $41.6 million, up from a loss of $10.1 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $815.9 million from $773.8 million. Same-store sales increased 1.7%, also better than expected.

Collective Brands said it is on track with its plan to close about 475 underperforming and low-volume stores by the end of 2013. About 400 of those stores are Payless stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. At the end of the quarter, the company operated nearly 4,500 stores worldwide.

For the full year of 2011, the company reported a net loss $164.5 million, compared with net income of $112.8 million the year before. Revenue for the year was $3.46 billion, up from $3.38 billion in 2010.

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OPERATIONS

Home Depot extends deal with Martha Stewart, will expand product line

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — The Home Depot and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have extended their agreement to offer Martha Stewart Living-branded products at Home Depot stores through 2016. The line launched in 2010.

The chain currently offers paint, outdoor furniture, kitchen and bath cabinetry and carpeting under the Martha Stewart brand currently. It plans to expand its product lineup with a new craft furniture line and more holiday merchandise.

"Martha Stewart Living has been a great partner and a natural fit, and the line has tremendous appeal, particularly for women who represent half of our customers," said Gordon Erickson, senior VP of decor for The Home Depot.

J.C. Penney has announced plans to develop in-store Martha Stewart shops, a development that is being contested in court by Macy’s Inc., which also carries Martha Stewart products.

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News

Supervalu launches mobile apps

BY Staff Writer

Eden Prairie, Minn. — Supervalu announced the launch of a custom-built mobile application designed to give customers the tools they need to be efficient while shopping our stores.

The company tested the mobile app at its Cub Food stores this past November 2011, and formally launched the app to the rest of the company’s traditional banners during the month of February 2012. One of the unique features to the app is its synchronization with the banner websites. The shopping list is synchronized with the website in real time so a member of the family can update the list from home while another is shopping.

As our customers continue to be crunched for time, this new app and its capabilities allow for a more hassle-free shopping experience,” said Kat Kozitza, Supervalu’s director of digital and social media. “Customers of our 1,100 retail locations can now find a store close to them, view the current weekly ad and manage a shopping list all from their mobile device.”

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