Costco Q4 profit jumps 27%
Issaquah, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Sept. 2 jumped 27% to $609 million, from $478 million in the year-ago period. The warehouse club operator credited strong sales and higher member fees for the improved profit performance.
Sales climbed 14% to $31.52 billion, and same-store sales rose 5%. Membership fee revenue rose 18% to $694 million. The company said it plans to open up to 14 new warehouses before the end of calendar year 2012.
Best Buy CFO steps down
Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. said Tuesday that CFO James Muehlbauer has resigned the company. He will continue in an advisory capacity until Feb. 3.
The retailer said it has launched a search for a permanent replacement.
Muehlbauer’s resignation is the latest in a string of executive departures for Best Buy, and comes as founder and former chairman Richard Schulze mulls an offer to buy the company.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Muehlbauer will receive a lump sum payment of $1.4 million as part of his separation benefits.
Four added to Wet Seal board
FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. — The Wet Seal has named four new members to its board of directors and Lynda Davey as chairman of the board.
The new members, who joined effective Oct. 4, include: Dorrit Bern, Lynda Davey, Mindy Meads and John Mills.
Davey has served as chairman and CEO of Avalon Group Ltd, a boutique investment bank, and Avalon Securities Ltd, one of the few woman-owned FINRA and SEC-registered broker-dealers, since she co-founded the companies in 1992. Prior to Avalon, she was president of Tribeca Corp., a merchant bank, and worked at Salomon Brothers Inc.
Davey commented, “On behalf of the all of the company’s new Directors, we are very pleased to be joining the board of directors of Wet Seal and look forward to working with the other members of the board to assist in developing a strategic plan that will rejuvenate sales and improve profitability. Wet Seal has a strong heritage in the junior and young contemporary retail spaces, with a significant opportunity to achieve strong sales and earnings growth over the long term with the right leadership in place. With the inclusion of new members, the board of directors possesses extensive backgrounds in the apparel retail industry, including in the areas of operations, finance and merchandising, as well as experience in turnaround situations. I strongly believe that, collectively, we have the qualifications necessary to put Wet Seal on the path to recovery.”
Bern, who will serve as chairman of the compensation committee, served as chairman of the board, CEO and president of Charming Shoppes Inc. from 1995 to 2008. During her tenure Bern grew the corporation from a $1 billion single-channel, bricks-and-mortar retailer, to a $3 billion multi-channel corporation. Prior to that time, Bern was group VP women’s apparel and home fashions for Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Meads, who will serve as chairman of the nominating and governance committee, held the position of president and co-CEO of Aeropostale Inc. from 2007 to 2010, where she reinvigorated the merchandise assortment, strengthened the fashion value equation and led the development and successful launch of "P.S.," Aeropostale’s Kids Division. Prior to this, she served as CEO of Lands’ End, the apparel retailer that is now a division of Sears Holding Corporation. Prior to that time, she held a variety of executive merchandising and operating positions at Lands’ End, Sears, Gymboree, The Limited and R.H. Macy’s.
Mills has served as president of SDE, a consulting firm that specializes in the retail sector, store operations and growth strategies, since 2006. From 2004 to 2006, he served as chairman of the Board of G and G Stores Inc., a specialty retailer focused on teenage women. Prior to this, he served as the president and COO of Aeropostale Inc. From 1994 to 1998, he held several executive positions in operations for Federated Specialty Stores. Mr. Mills has served as a private advisor to Cerberus Capital and Rosewood Capital and currently serves on the boards of directors of Marc Ecko Enterprises, and VILLA Inc., an apparel and footwear retailer.