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Dillard’s net income drops in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Little Rock, Ark. – Dillard’s Inc. reported net income of $34.5 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2014, down 5% from $36.5 million the same period the prior year. Increased markdowns and the loss of after-tax credits and gains drove the decline in net income.

Net sales slightly fell to $1.47 billion from $1.48 billion, although same-store sales rose 1%. Sales trends were strongest in juniors’ and children’s apparel followed by men’s apparel and accessories. Sales were weakest in the home and furniture category. Sales trends were strongest in the Central region, followed by the Eastern and Western regions, respectively.

"Although our 1% same-store sales increase led to a profitable quarter, we are somewhat disappointed in the bottom line performance,” said William T. Dillard II, CEO. “We are pleased with our inventory management during the quarter and with our ending inventory position."

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Newell Rubbermaid seeks new financial chief

BY CSA STAFF

Newell Rubbermaid’s EVP and CFO Doug Martin has resigned from the company effective August 31, to be EVP and CFO at Spectrum Brands, effective September 1.

Newell Rubbermaid has retained Spencer Stuart to help the company search for a new CFO. While that search is underway, John Stipancich, the company’s EVP, general counsel, corporate secretary and EMEA leader, has been tapped as interim financial chief.

"On behalf of the board of directors and the entire company, I want to thank Doug for his invaluable contributions and leadership over twenty-seven years of service with Newell Rubbermaid,” Michael Polk, president and CEO, said. “During the last two years as CFO, Doug has been instrumental in driving the Growth Game Plan into action. I know Doug and his family are excited by returning home to their extended family in the Midwest and I wish him continued success in his future endeavors. Doug leaves us with an experienced financial team that will ensure a seamless transition while we search for a successor. John Stipancich has agreed to broaden his role and serve as interim CFO during the leadership transition period."

Stipancich, a 10-year veteran of Newell Rubbermaid, is a member of the company’s executive leadership team. He currently has operating responsibility for the company’s business operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the company’s global legal functions. Prior to joining Newell Rubbermaid, he held executive positions with Evenflo Co and Borden, both former Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. portfolio companies. He started his legal career as an associate with the international law firm of Squire Patton Boggs.

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Survey: Wireless product demo boosts satisfaction

BY Dan Berthiaume

Westlake Village, Calif. – When retail sales representatives demonstrate cell phone or tablet service and features to wireless customers prior to purchase, satisfaction improves considerably and the propensity to visit the same retailer again double. According to the J.D. Power 2014 Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Study — Volume 2 and the J.D. Power 2014 Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Study — Volume 2, overall satisfaction is significantly higher among customers whose sales representative offers a device demonstration (832 on a 1,000-point scale) than among those who are not offered a demonstration during a store visit (711).

Other findings include:

• More than half (55%) of wireless customers indicate that they made a purchase from their carrier during the past six months. Of those making a purchase, 66% make their purchase in a store, while 24% purchase online and 10% call their carrier.

• Among customers who make their purchase in a store, 61% indicate that their sales representative demonstrated or explained the features on the devices they considered.

• Nearly one-half (46%) of customers who receive a device demonstration during their in-store sales visit say they "definitely will" shop at the same retailer again, compared with just 23% of those who do not receive a demonstration.

• Providing a demonstration is an opportunity for carriers to build loyalty among customers, as 37% of customers who receive a demonstration say they "definitely will not" switch their carrier, compared with 26% of those who do not receive a demonstration.

• Satisfaction with sales representatives who explain or demonstrate a device’s operation during the point of sale is 843, compared with just 693 when representatives fail to offer a demonstration.

• On average, sales representatives spend approximately eight minutes demonstrating how to operate a new device. Total in-store transaction time among customers who receive a demonstration from their sales representative is less than among those who are not given a demonstration (54.6 minutes vs. 56.1 minutes, respectively).

Overall satisfaction among wireless full-service customers who made a recent sales transaction is 792 (on a 1,000-point scale) and is 783 among non-contract wireless customers. AT&T ranks highest among full-service carriers, with an overall score of 801, followed closely by T-Mobile with a score of 796. Boost Mobile (800) ranks highest among non-contract carriers, followed by MetroPCS (793) and Virgin Mobile (791).

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