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Earnings slip at Staples in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples reported that total company sales for the fourth quarter were $6.6 billion, an increase of 3% over the same period last year.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported fourth quarter 2012 net income of $90 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with net income of $284 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, achieved in the fourth quarter of 2011.

“During the fourth quarter we did a great job managing expenses in a challenging sales environment,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re making progress toward our new vision: Every product your business needs to succeed.”

For the full year 2012, total company sales decreased 1% to $24.4 billion compared with full year 2011. Excluding the favorable impact of the extra week in 2012, total company sales decreased 3% to $23.9 billion versus the prior year.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported a net loss of $161 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with net income of $988 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, achieved in 2011.

North American retail and online sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $3.3 billion, an increase of three percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. This primarily reflects $221 million of sales during the extra week in 2012. Growth in tablets, e-readers, facilities and breakroom supplies, and copy and print services was partially offset by lower sales of computers, digital cameras, and software. Excluding the extra week of sales in 2012, fourth quarter sales decreased 4% versus the prior year. Comparable-store sales, which exclude sales in Staples.com, decreased 5%, reflecting a five% decline in traffic, and flat average order size versus the prior year. Staples.com sales grew 7% during the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding the extra week in 2012, Staples.com sales declined one percent during the fourth quarter of 2012.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, the company closed 32 stores and opened one store in the U.S. and closed one store and opened one store in Canada.

For the full year 2012, North American Stores and Online achieved sales of $11.8 billion, an increase of 1% compared with 2011. Excluding the extra week of sales in 2012, full year 2012 sales decreased 1%compared to 2011. Comparable-store sales decreased 2% versus the prior year. Staples.com sales grew 5% versus the prior year, and increased 3% excluding the extra week in 2012.

In 2012, the company closed 45 stores and opened nine stores in the United States., and opened eight stores and closed three stores in Canada ending the year with 1,886 stores in North America.

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PetSmart fetches for omnichannel growth with GSI

BY CSA STAFF

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — GSI Commerce, an eBay Inc. company, said it has extended its contract with PetSmart to support the retailer’s omnichannel strategy with webstore, fulfillment and customer service solutions. GSI has worked with PetSmart since 2007, and this contract will extend the relationship for three years.

“Technology is rapidly changing the way the consumer researches and shops, especially when it comes to caring for their pets,” said David Lenhardt, president and COO, PetSmart. “Through our strategic partnership with GSI Commerce, we are building the capabilities to allow our customers to shop anywhere, any way and any time they choose.”

GSI Commerce also supports PetSmart’s online fulfillment through its distribution center in Kentucky and customer service by U.S.-based call centers. GSI customer service representatives dedicated to the account are trained by PetSmart and work closely with PetSmart’s Phoenix-based customer care team.

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Licensing association adds new member to Hall of Fame

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — The board of directors of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) has selected Bernard Leifer, president and CEO of The SG Companies, for induction into the LIMA Licensing Industry Hall of Fame.

The induction will take place at the annual LIMA Awards Ceremony on June 18, 2013 during the industry’s main event, Licensing Expo 2013, in Las Vegas.

“The Licensing Industry Hall of Fame is comprised of the most highly-respected and accomplished professionals in the business – and Bernie Leifer exemplifies the character and dedication necessary to be placed among them,” said LIMA president Charles Riotto. “For more than 20 years, Bernie has left an indelible mark both on our organization and the industry as a whole, and we are delighted to honor him with this well-deserved recognition.”

In 1953, The SG Companies (formerly S. Goldberg) was the first to acquire a license in the footwear category and, under Leifer’s stewardship, continues to be an industry leader in the application of licensed brands, with more than 50 in the company’s current portfolio. In 2006, he added apparel through the formation of the SGI Apparel Group, once again recognizing that licensing would play a critical role in the success of the division. The division has charted tremendous growth in the past six years and holds licenses for numerous premiere properties. In addition, Leifer was a visionary in recognizing the impact licensing could have when rooted in cause-related programs. In 2008, The SG Companies teamed up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and, to date, has contributed in excess of $100,000 which was attained from a 10% royalty paid on every pair of shoes sold.

Leifer was a dedicated member of the LIMA board of directors for two terms, as well as serving on the executive committee and as LIMA chairman from 2008 to 2010. In addition, Leifer serves as chairman of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, working with policymakers in Washington, D.C. in all matters of international trade.

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