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Costco financial incentives approved by New Orleans City Council

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New Orleans — New Orleans has rolled out the red carpet in order to assure the first Costco location in the state.

The city council on Thursday unanimously approved nearly $6 million in financial incentives for a planned Costco in the New Orleans suburb of Carrollton.

The $45 million, 148,000-sq.-ft. Costco marks the warehouse club operator’s state debut, to reportedly be followed by a second in the capital city of Baton Rouge.

The New Orleans store is slated to open late summer 2013.

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Tractor Supply plows ahead

BY CSA STAFF

Despite a stagnant economy and drought conditions across large parts of the country, Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. reported sales and earnings growth.

The company posted second-quarter sales of $1.29 billion, up 9.6% from $1.18 billion in the same quarter last year.

The nation’s largest chain of farm and ranch specialty stores posted earnings of $106.6 million, up 8.3% from $91.2 million in the year-ago period.

"We are pleased with our ability to generate double-digit EPS growth during the second quarter, while operating in a stagnant economy and navigating weather shifts and unfavorable drought conditions,” said Jim Wright, chairman and CEO.

The company opened 18 new stores compared to 16 new store openings in the prior year’s second quarter. The company operates 1,135 stores in 45 states.

Same-store sales increased 3.2%, even as the early spring weather pulled sales out of the second quarter and into the first quarter, according to the company.

The impact of the drought across much of the middle of the country appears to have affected farmers much more than it has affected the farm and ranch retailer.

"Our team is actively managing the product assortment to meet customer needs in the affected markets as the drought continues to spread and intensify," said Wright.

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P&G exec joins Signet Jewelers

BY CSA STAFF

HAMILTON, BERMUDA — Specialty retail jeweler, Signet Jewelers, has named a Procter & Gamble executive to its board of directors.

Virginia Drosos, group president global beauty, skin, cosmetics and personal care for Procter & Gamble, who will retire from this position effective Sept. 1, joined the Signet board on July 25.

Drosos joined Procter & Gamble in 1987, and has held positions of increasing responsibility since then. Drosos became group president global female beauty, beauty and grooming in 2010 before assuming her current position in August 2011. As a global business unit group president, Drosos has responsibility for Procter & Gamble’s global beauty care business unit operations, strategy and long term business development.

Todd Stitzer, chairman, commented: "We welcome Gina as a director of Signet and are confident that her experience will enable her to make a significant contribution to the company."

Signet operated 1,851 specialty retail jewelry stores at April 28, 2012, these included 1,320 stores in the United States, where its store concepts include "Kay Jewelers", "Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry" and a number of regional names.

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