OPERATIONS

Denny’s licenses APT test-and-learn management system

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — Applied Predictive Technologies said Tuesday that family restaurant chain Denny’s Corp. has licensed APT’s Test & Learn Management System.

Denny’s will use APT’s solution to test strategic and tactical initiatives across its 1,670 restaurants.

“APT’s solution enables us to rapidly innovate by more accurately predicting the impact of new ideas,” said Frances Allen, CMO, Denny’s. “This solution better equips us to bring winning ideas to our franchisees and successfully maximize visits, profits and guest satisfaction.”

Test & Learn is a fact-based solution designed to choose, target and tailor strategic and tactical actions for maximum impact and profitability.

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FINANCE

Neiman Marcus Q4 loss widens on debt-related expense as sales rise 11%

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dallas — Neiman Marcus Group reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss on debt-related expense and slightly lower margins, even as its revenue rose 11%.

For the quarter ended July 30, Neiman Marcus lost $61.4 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $32.8 million. Excluding a $42.7 million after-tax loss on debt extinguishment, the adjusted loss was $18.7 million. Gross margin narrowed to 30.5% from 30.9%.

Sales rose 11% to $919.7 million. Same-store sales rose 11%. Similar to other upscale marketers, Neiman Marcus has seen its sales rise the past year as post-recession wealthy shoppers resumed their spending. But industry experts warn that ongoing economic uncertainty and stock market volatility could begin to eat into sales going forward.

For the year, Neiman Marcus earned $31.6 million, compared with a loss of $1.8 million in the previous year.

Annual revenue increased 8% to $4 billion, and same-store sales rose 8.1%.

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FINANCE

Best Buy Q2 profit drops 30%, misses Street

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. reported Tuesday that net income for the quarter ended Aug. 27 plummeted 30% to $177 million from $254 million a year earlier, missing Wall Street expectations.

Sliding same-store sales have undercut the electronic retailer’s performance as a still-soft economy continues to take a toll on electronics purchases. Revenue for the quarter edged up 0.01% to $11.35 billion, missing Wall Street’s estimate of $11.47 billion, and same-store sales declined 2.8%. The same-store dip marked the fifth consecutive quarter of same-store sales declines.

Best Buy has been proactive about cutting costs, previously announcing an innovative plan to scale back its big-box retail space by subletting square footage to other retail concepts. It also is working to grow its online and mobile businesses.

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