FINANCE

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index flat in July

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index remained flat in July as improvements in real housing prices and labor markets offset weakness in other areas. The Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, remained at 4.4 this month.

“Our recent back-to-school shopping survey showed that consumers are more positive about the U.S. economy than in past years,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail & distribution sector leader. “However, nearly 60% of shoppers said they would buy only what the family needs. About one-third said they would spend more, but mainly due to the perception of higher prices and children needing more expensive items for school.”

Despite their improved optimism, consumers may be holding out for more proof that economic stability is lasting before any splurging, Paul added, meaning retailers have to make their merchandise and offers extremely attractive to finish the back-to-school shopping season strong.

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Elizabeth Arden CFO goes from beauty products to natural foods

BY CSA STAFF

The Hain Celestial Group, a leading organic and natural products company, has appointed Stephen J. Smith as EVP and CFO, effective September 3. He replaces Ira J. Lamel, who announced his retirement as the company’s CFO Sept. 5, 2012 and which becomes effective at the end of the month.

Smith has more than 30 years of financial experience, having most recently served as EVP and CFO of Elizabeth Arden since 2001. Prior to joining Elizabeth Arden, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and its predecessor, Coopers & Lybrand LLP, where his clients included a number of consumer products companies.

"After an extensive global search, I am pleased to welcome Stephen Smith as our new CFO and a key member of our leadership team," said Irwin D. Simon, founder, president and CEO of Hain Celestial. "Steve has an extensive background in working with consumer products companies on a global basis and brings a demonstrated ability to implement business analytics for high-performance strategic growth. Steve is the right person to work with our management team in achieving our next level of growth."

"Lastly, all of us at Hain Celestial thank Ira Lamel for his contributions throughout the past 12 years including his financial acumen, sound judgment and broad understanding of our business," added Simon.

Lamel will continue working with the company as special adviser to the CEO on various business development opportunities.

Elizabeth Arden has begun to search for a new CFO.

“Steve has been a valuable member of our management team since he joined us in 2001, shortly after the Elizabeth Arden acquisition,” said E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and CEO of Elizabeth Arden. “Along with the strong finance and accounting team that Steve has built, he has been instrumental in managing the financial governance of our company to very high standards. Steve has been a trusted colleague, and on behalf of the company, I’d like to thank Steve for his dedication, leadership and contributions and wish him the best in his new position.”

“The past 12 years have been extremely rewarding, and it has been an honor to participate in the company’s significant growth over that time,” said Smith. “While I will miss my colleagues, I look forward to new challenges in another consumer products industry as I pursue this unexpected opportunity. Elizabeth Arden has a strong and highly talented finance organization, and I am confident that Elizabeth Arden will continue to enjoy much future success.”

Hain Celestial participates in many natural categories with brands that include Celestial Seasonings, Earth’s Best, Ella’s Kitchen, Terra, Garden of Eatin’, Sensible Portions, Health Valley, Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, SunSpire, DeBoles, Gluten Free Cafe, Hain Pure Foods, Hollywood, Spectrum Naturals, Spectrum Essentials, Walnut Acres Organic, Imagine, Almond Dream, Rice Dream, Soy Dream, WestSoy, The Greek Gods, BluePrint, Ethnic Gourmet, Yves Veggie Cuisine, Europe’s Best, Cully & Sully, New Covent Garden Soup Co., Johnson’s Juice Co., Farmhouse Fare, Hartley’s, Sun-Pat, Gale’s, Robertson’s, Frank Cooper’s, Linda McCartney, Lima, Danival, GG UniqueFiber, Natumi, Jason, Zia Natural Skincare, Avalon Organics, Alba Botanica, Queen Helene and Earth’s Best TenderCare.

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FINANCE

PetSmart Q2 income tops estimates; raises full-year outlook

BY Marianne Wilson

Phoenix — PetSmart said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income rose 19% on improved sales. The retailer also boosted its full-year earnings forecast.

PetSmart Inc. earned $93.4 million for the period ended Aug. 4, compared to $78.5 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 5.3% to $1.71 billion from $1.62 billion. Services sales, which are included in total sales, grew 7.3% to $205 million.

Same-store sales increased 3.4%.

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