FINANCE

Consumer spending down in July, but confidence up in August

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — Household purchases unexpectedly fell 0.1% in July, after rising 0.4% the prior month, according to figures released by the Commerce Department. It was the first drop in six months. On a more positive note, confidence among households hit a seven-year high in August, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index.

The spending decline in July was broad-based, but was weighed down by a decline in automobile purchases and a weather-related drop in demand for utilities, prompted by cooler-than-normal weather in much of the country.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s index increased to 82.5 in August from 81.8 in July. It was the highest level since July 2007.

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FINANCE

PacSun swings to Q2 profit

BY Marianne Wilson

Anaheim, Calif. — Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $7.5 million, in line with Wall Street estimates, compared to net loss of $19.2 million in the year ago period, helped by improved sales in its men’s division. But the teen apparel retailer forecast a wider-than-expected loss for the current quarter.

The company posted revenue of $211.7 million in the period, better than expected, up from million from $210.1 million last year.

“As previously indicated, sales trends improved as the quarter progressed led by continued growth in our Men’s business resulting in non-GAAP EPS at the higher end of our guidance,” said Gary H. Schoenfeld, president and CEO. “For Q3, even in the face of a down-trending denim cycle we are encouraged by the positive response to the balance of our initial fall assortments. We continue to believe that our core strategies are attracting new customers and differentiating PacSun in this very competitive market.”

The company ended the second quarter with 618 stores, down from 637 stores a year ago.

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REAL ESTATE

Haberdash to launch new retail format

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Men’s lifestyle retailer Haberdash will unveil a new retail "Convergence" concept at its store at the Roosevelt Collection in Chicago’s South Loop.

The "Convergence" model integrates the company’s daily e-commerce operations into the store location; photo studio, pick, pack and ship and client services.

"Through the launch of the new model, our clients will now be able to fully interact in a new way and experience omnichannel retailing first hand," said Kimberly Stablein, brand marketing manager for Haberdash, adding that "the new experience will showcase a fully interactive photo studio that is visible to the public along with the pick, pack and ship operation to show the usually behind-the-scenes process."

Haberdash will provide ample information from styling tips, to product detail from their talented Client Service Advisors through in-store and online channels.

In addition, customers at the Haberdash South Loop Chicago store will be able to pick up a cappuccino, experience a premium shave or facial, or get a haircut.

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