FINANCE

comScore: Cyber Monday retail spending hits record $1.46 billion

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — Spending on Cyber Monday reached $1.46 billion, up 17% versus a year ago, making it the heaviest online spending day in history, according to comScore.

Retail e-commerce spending for the first 26 days of the November-December 2012 holiday season rose to $16.4 billion, up 16% versus the corresponding days last year.

Nearly half of dollars spent online at U.S. websites originated from work computers (47.1%), down slightly from last year. Buying from home comprised the majority of the remaining share (47.2%) while buying at U.S. websites from international locations accounted for 5.7% of sales.

“Despite some news reports suggesting that Cyber Monday might be declining in importance, the day has once again set an online spending record at nearly $1.5 billion,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “However, it is also clear that the holiday promotional period has begun even earlier this year, with strong online sales occurring on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Now, we shall see the extent to which continuing and attractive retailer promotions are able to boost sales for the remainder of the week.”

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American Eagle raises view after strong third quarter

BY Marianne Wilson

Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters Inc. on Wednesday reported a higher-than-expected third-quarter profit, helped by strong same-store sales. The chain also raised its full-year earnings prompting it to raise its full-year forecast for the second time this year.

Net income for the quarter ended Oct. 27 rose to $78.6 million, from $52.4 million a year ago.

Sales rose 11% to $910 million. Same-store sales jumped 10%.

“Our third quarter reflected on-going business momentum, profitable sales growth, and a leading brand and product driven customer experience. We’re also pleased to see business strength carry into the fourth quarter and record results over Thanksgiving weekend,” said Robert Hanson, CEO.

In the third quarter, online sales increased 27%, compared with a 21% increase last year. Total merchandise inventories at the end of the third quarter were $481 million compared to $555 million last year.

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Ann Inc. Q3 same-store sales up 5.5%; raises full-year outlook

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Ann Inc. on Wednesday reported net income was $40.7 million in the third quarter of 2012, versus $32.3 million in third quarter 2011. The company also increased its outlook for the full year of fiscal 2012.

Total net sales for quarter were $612.5 million, compared $564.0 million in the year-ago period. By brand, net sales across all channels of the Ann Taylor brand totaled $244.6 million compared with net sales of $229.7 last year At the Loft brand, net sales across all channels were $368.0 million, compared with $334.3 million last year.

Total same-store sales for the quarter increased 5.5%.

“Among the highlights, in September we successfully launched the first phase of our multichannel initiative, which is off to a strong start and will provide meaningful opportunities to better leverage our inventory investment and maximize sales and gross margin,” said Kay Krill, president and CEO. “During the quarter, we also made our entry into Canada, opening our first store in Toronto in September, followed by two additional stores in November. The response has been outstanding, and we are very excited about the opportunities in this market. Overall, it was an excellent quarter for Ann Inc., and we have entered the fourth quarter in a strong position.”

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