Dillard’s Q4 profit up; same-store sales up for 10th straight quarter
Little Rock, Ark. — Dillard’s Inc. posted fourth-quarter net income of $161.4 million, up 14% over the year-ago period. It also reported its 10th consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth.
The department store company posted quarterly net sales of $2.106 billion, up 7% from $1.970 billion during the same quarter last year. (Net sales include the operations of the company’s construction business, CDI Contractors LLC of Little Rock. Excluding CDI, total merchandise sales were $2.087 billion, up 7% from $1.946 billion during the same quarter last year.)
Same-store sales were up 3%.
"We are pleased to report a strong finish to a very successful year at Dillard’s," said Dillard’s CEO William T. Dillard II. "Our positive sales performance and gross margin expansion combined with expense control drove strong cash flow throughout the year. As a result, we were pleased to return cash to shareholders in the form of a $5 special dividend during the fourth quarter. Additionally, we purchased $185.5 million of Class A common stock during the year. As we mark our 75th year at Dillard’s this month, we are proud of our progress and excited about the future."
As of Feb. 2, Dillard’s operated 284 stores and 18 clearance centers in 29 states.
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Report: Consumers still frugal; shopping less channels
Chicago — Shoppers will reduce the number of channels they visit and remain intensely focused on value in 2013, according to the latest research from SymphonyIRI Group.
According to Symphony’s “2012 CPG Year in Review: Finding the New Normal,” consumers are still attempting to ease budgetary strains and are embracing a wide variety of money-saving strategies.
“For 2012, we forecasted that shoppers would continue to define value largely based on price, manufacturers and retailers would pass ongoing commodity price increases on to the shopper, and private label sales would continue in their current ranges,” said Piyush Chaudhari, president of the Americas, SymphonyIRI. “These predictions largely came to pass, and we expect 2013 to resemble these same trends in many ways.”
SymphonyIRI predicts shoppers will remain frugal in 2013, even though there will be continuing signs of economic recovery and strengthening. In addition, the following trends identified in 2012 will continue in 2013:
- Shoppers will reduce the number of channels they visit. Share of consumers shopping at fewer than five channels grew three percentage points between first quarter and fourth quarter 2012, and SymphonyIRI believes this will continue as shoppers limit spending to channels that are perceived as offering the best value.
- While an increasing number of positive economic signs are emerging, count on shoppers to remain intensely focused on value. Millennials are becoming the new baby boomers. They are a 50-million-strong-shopping group now forming habits and loyalties. Tailoring offerings to this group and providing outstanding service will pay dividends for decades to come, both literally and figuratively.
- “New” media is rapidly becoming traditional media. The trend of shoppers leveraging the Internet for information and deals is growing and will continue to gain momentum, as millennials age and a new generation that is even more tech savvy than the millennial generation enters the market.
To effectively compete in 2013, CPG manufacturers and retailers should consider the following action items:
- Identify opportunities and risks: Retailers should use value-oriented pricing and promotion programs to protect and grow share, particularly across categories that are most closely aligned with the needs and wants of key shoppers. Manufacturers should closely track the evolving competitive set at the channel and retail level, including traditional brick-and-mortar as well as the online arena, to ensure appropriate alignment of distribution strategies.
- Evaluate pricing and promotional strategies: Retailers should adopt everyday pricing strategies that underscore their value proposition and rely on promotional pricing to address short-term tactical opportunities. Manufacturers should continually re-assess and adjust pricing to maintain optimal price gap between private label and name brand offerings.
- Enhance new product development initiatives: Retailers should explore opportunities to partner with manufacturers to develop complementary national and private label assortments across categories. Manufacturers should constantly evaluate product development opportunities at the value and premium ends of the spectrum, including those that address key consumer trends.
Visa in deal with ROAM to increase retailers’ acceptance of mobile payments
New York — Visa Inc. has entered into an agreement with mobile commerce provider ROAM, an Ingenico company, to enable merchants of all sizes to accept electronic payments using mobile technology. The companies aim to displace cash payments by expanding the reach of electronic payments to new merchant categories, and by making it easier for merchants and acquirers to take advantage of secure mobile acceptance solutions.
ROAM is a provider of mobile acceptance technology, delivering hardware peripherals, applications, and services that enable merchants to realize the benefits of electronic commerce. As part of the agreement with Visa, ROAM will participate in the Visa Ready Partner Program and has agreed to bundle its mobile point-of-sale hardware peripherals with Visa’s acceptance solutions to offer merchants globally a cost-efficient and secure way to accept card payments.
“Displacing cash payments with the security and efficiency of electronic payments continues to be a primary driver of growth for the global payments industry,” said Jim McCarthy, global head of product Visa Inc. “Visa, through its mPOS partner program, is committed to accelerating the use of mobile technology to enable merchants worldwide to accept Visa payments. Our agreement with ROAM will help us reach that goal globally.”