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Dollar General, Ross Stores and Dick’s bullish on expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Dollar General, Ross Stores and Dick’s Sporting Goods are bullish on expansion. For 2014, Dollar General has budgeted $450 million to $500 million for capital expenditures, and plans to open 700 new locations. This follows a record year of square footage expansion during which the extreme-value discounter opened 650 stores.

Ross Stores also continues to expand in 2014. The off-price apparel and home fashions retailer is on track to open about 95 new locations in 2014, comprised of about 75 Ross Dress for Less and 20 dd’s Discounts.

Dick’s Sporting Goods expects to open approximately 50 namesake stores and relocate or remodel another 11 others in 2014. The company also expects to open approximately eight Field & Stream stores, relocate two Golf Galaxy stores and open one Golf Galaxy store.

In other store expansion news, Uniqlo will enter Pennsylvania in May, opening at King of Prussia Mall, in King of Prussia. In the fall, the Japanese apparel retailer will open a flagship in downtown Philadelphia. The openings are part of the brand’s 2014 U.S. expansion efforts, which include openings in new cities and the surrounding regions of Philadelphia, Boston and Los Angeles, and more store openings in Northern California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

Express intends to start opening outlet stores beginning in May 2014. The apparel retailer is developing an outlet strategy, with stores that would have their own dedicated product.

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Hibbett Sports bounces back in February

BY CSA STAFF

Hibbett Sports experienced a significant slowdown in January due to significant weather-related store closures and a less favorable sales impact this year from the college football championship game. However, sales trends improved in February as weather patterns normalized and the retailer rolled out its spring assortment. Net sales for the 13-week period ended Feb. 1 increased 0.2% to $217.8 million compared with $217.4 million for the 14-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013. Comparable store sales increased 1.7% on a comparable 13-week period. Gross profit was 35.8% of net sales for the quarter, compared with 36.1% for the prior-year quarter. Net income for the quarter was $16.9 million compared with $19.4 million for the prior-year quarter. Earnings per diluted share were $0.64 for the quarter, compared with $0.73 for the last year’s period. Net sales for the 52-week period ended Feb. 1 increased 4.1% to $852 million compared with $818.7 million for the 53-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013. Comparable store sales increased 1.8% on a comparable 52-week to 52-week period. Gross profit was 36.3% of net sales for the full year, compared with 36.5% for the 53-week period last year. Net income for the full year was $70.9 million compared with $72.6 million for the 53-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013. Earnings per diluted share were $2.70 for the full year, compared with $2.72 for last year. “Looking ahead, we feel confident in our product offering, inventory levels and execution as we progress through this important season,” said president and CEO Jeff Rosenthal. “We also continue to be encouraged by new store unit growth and sales, and look forward to delivering value on our key initiatives in fiscal 2015." For the year, Hibbett opened 72 new stores, expanded 14 high performing stores and closed 18 underperforming stores, bringing the store base to 927 in 31 states as of Feb. 1. Looking ahead, the company expects earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.78 to $2.98 and an increase in comparable store sales in the low-to-mid single digit range. It also anticipates opening 75 to 80 new stores, expanding 10 to 15 stores and closing 15 to 20 underperforming locations.

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Steve Madden reunites with R&B’s Keyshia Cole

BY CSA STAFF

Multi-platinum R&B recording artist Keyshia Cole and leading footwear designer and marketer Steve Madden are at it again.

Cole and Madden announced their second partnership with products to be released this month including a variety of heeled and platform styles, ranging from pumps to gladiators to ankle booties. The shoes will feature new prints and colors, along with the platform and cut-out details that are said to showcase the fusion of Steve Madden’s and Keyshia Cole’s style.

Next month to kick off the launch, Cole and Madden will make a series of personal appearances beginning with the Dillard’s at the Galleria in Houston, Texas, on April 5.

“Keyshia is great to work with. She brings fresh ideas to the table, and knows what girls want. It was a pleasure to work with her again,” said Steve Madden.

“As my second line with Steve Madden gets released, I want young women to feel they are the latest trend setters, feeling sexy and being comfortable at the same time,” said Cole.

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