FINANCE

Conn’s Q2 net income skyrockets; plans 10-12 new stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

The Woodlands, Texas – Conn’s, Inc. reported net income of $19.2 million, up $7.6 million, or 65.1%, from the prior-year period during the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

Consolidated revenues totaled $270.7 million, an increase of 30.5% from last year.

Same-store sales grew 18.4%. Sales increased significantly in product categories including home appliance, laundry, refrigeration, cooking, furniture, mattresses, TVs, tablets and computers.

“August net sales increased 51% over the prior-year period,” said Theodore M. Wright, chairman and CEO of Conn’s. “Same store sales in August rose 31%. Phoenix market store openings have been successful with three stores now open. We plan to open four more Phoenix area locations over the next several quarters.”

Looking ahead, Conn’s expects to open 10-12 new stores for the full fiscal year and to increase same-store sales by 15%-20%.

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FINANCE

Safeway reaches $600K settlement with EPA

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. — Safeway, Inc. has reached a $600,000 settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) in regard to violations of the Clean Air Act. The government alleges that Safeway neglected to repair leaks of heat-trapping gas HCFC-22 from its refrigerators in a timely manner or keep proper records of refrigerator maintenance.

Under terms of the settlement, Safeway does not have to admit any liability. However, in addition to the fine, the retailer will spend an estimated $4.1 million to upgrade equipment in order to reduce its average refrigeration leak rate from 25% to 18% or less by 2015.

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REAL ESTATE

Robert Graham to make Manhattan debut

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Fashion designer Robert Graham will open his first New York City branded retail store at 380 Bleecker Street in SoHo, joining high-end neighbors such as Burberry, Brunello Cucinelli, Marc Jacobs, rag & bone, and Ralph Lauren. The Robert Graham store is slated to open this fall.

“Robert Graham was looking to be in the West Village and saw 380 Bleecker Street as an ideal location,” said Michael Buckley, CEO, Robert Graham. “This is one of the liveliest sections of Manhattan and we could not be happier to offer the full experience of Robert Graham to the local and tourist populations who crave the color and artwork that match the vibe of NYC.”

The company operates six freestanding stores in Los Angeles, Houston, Las Vegas, Boca Raton, Long Island, N.Y., and Short Hills, N.J. The label also sells at luxury department stores and boutiques.

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