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Dollar General Q2 profit jumps 47%; raises fiscal year forecast

BY Marianne Wilson

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General Corp. on Wednesday said it had earned a better-than-expected $214.1 million in the second quarter, ended on Aug. 3, up from $146 million a year earlier. The discounter also raised its earnings forecast for the year.

Sales rose 10.4% to $3.95 billion. Same-store sales increased 5.1%. The company said that consumables sales continued to increase at a higher rate than non-consumables in the quarter, with the most significant growth related to changes in and further expansion of its candy, snacks and perishable foods.

Sales growth was also strong in the home and seasonal categories, as well as certain departments in apparel, including accessories, sleepwear and intimates.

“Dollar General had another strong quarter,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO. “Our same-store sales increase of 5.1% demonstrates the ongoing execution of the initiatives around our key operating priorities and is evidence of our continued importance to our customers.”

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Kohl’s electrifies green efforts with more charging stations

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s reaffirmed its green reputation with the announcement that it will expand its electric vehicle (EV) charging station initiative with 36 new stations across 18 additional Kohl’s locations by the end of fall 2012. The expansion spans three new states, including Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin and adds additional locations to the company’s Texas EV program. With the expansion, Kohl’s shoppers will be able to take advantage of a total of 101 charging stations at 52 Kohl’s locations across 14 states. Each of the participating Kohl’s locations will have two or three parking spaces reserved for EV drivers to charge at no cost while they shop.

“Since Kohl’s EV charging station initiative began in December 2011, it has received extremely positive feedback from our customers who are excited about the added convenience,” said John Worthington, Kohl’s chief administrative officer. “From our solar program to our green building efforts, Kohl’s has been pleased to be able to grow sustainability programs that make sense for our business, customers and communities – and our EV program is one more great example.”

To maximize the number of participating Kohl’s locations, the company partners with Duke Energy, ChargePoint and ECOtality Inc. on its EV charging station program.

Kohl’s, through a two-year partnership with Duke Energy, as a part of Indiana’s Project Plug-IN, installed six charging stations across three central Indiana Kohl’s stores in spring 2012. Additionally, Kohl’s has expanded its partnership with ECOtality, Inc. to install 30 EV charging stations at 15 Kohl’s locations across Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin. These charging stations will be available at select Kohl’s stores through Dec. 31, 2013, after which Kohl’s will assess opportunities to expand upon the effort.

Charging stations can be activated by EV drivers in various ways including radio frequency identification (RFID) cards available at Kohl’s customer service desk and via phone numbers provided on the charging stations.

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New CFO named at Pep Boys as company looks to boost performance

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA — Former A.C. Moore CFO, David Stern, will join Pep Boys as EVP, CFO, effective Sept. 10, where he will oversee the finance function, as well as technology and corporate development.

Stern most recently served as EVP, chief administrative officer and CFO for A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts. From 2007 until joining A.C. Moore in 2009, he held roles at Coldwater Creek, the multi-channel specialty retailer, including VP financial planning and analysis and corporate controller. From 2000 to 2007, Stern was the CFO of Petro Services, a convenience-store retailer. Stern began his career as an internal auditor and gained experience as a financial analyst, accounting manager and corporate controller at several other companies, including Delhaize America, before joining Petro Services.

Mike Odell, president and CEO, said, “I am excited to add David to the executive leadership team at Pep Boys. We were attracted to his hands-on and collaborative approach. David has broad experience supporting the operations of several successful retailers in the areas of financial planning and analysis, technology enhancement and corporate growth.”

The announcement of Stern as the new CFO follows Pep Boys reporting of a 0.6% increase in sales for its second quarter to 525.7 million from $522.6 million for the same period last year. Comparable sales were flat consisting of a 3.1% comparable service revenue increase and a 0.9% comparable merchandise sales decrease.

The company’s net earnings for the quarter increased to $33 million (61 cents per share) from $13.9 million (26 cents per share) recorded in the same period last year.

“We continue to be rewarded by our strategy to lead with our service business, which grew 3.8% on a comparable-store sales basis and experienced an impressive 7.8% customer count increase,” said Odell. “A strong July, particularly in our service business, allowed us to record flat comparable sales during the quarter. While industry fundamentals remain solid over the long term, with consistent demand for maintenance and repair services, short-term headwinds, including the recent spike in gas prices, continue to challenge consumer spending relative to discretionary and deferrable purchases. To combat these headwinds, we continue to make it easy for customers to choose us to do it for them and to expand our online efforts to make Pep Boys the most convenient place to shop for all of their automotive needs.”

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