FINANCE

Express debuts on New York Stock Exchange

BY CSA STAFF

Columbus, Ohio Express said Friday it has completed its initial public offering of stock, raising $162.9 million.

The retailer began trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol EXPR. Its shares closed at $16.75, lower than the initial offering price of $17 a share. The company sold 10.5 million shares, netting $162.9 million after expenses and underwriting discounts. It said it will use the money, plus $15.3 million of cash on hand, primarily to pay off debt.

Private equity investor Golden Gate Capital, based in San Francisco, and other stockholders sold another 5.5 million shares but Express did not receive any of the estimated $87.4 million in proceeds.

The IPO represented an 18% stake in the company, which remains majority-owned by Golden Gate, which bought a 75% stake from former parent Limited Brands in 2007.

Express currently operates 573 stores.

 

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Sam’s Club named official supplier of the Kansas City Barbeque Society

BY CSA STAFF

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Sam’s Club has been named the official supplier of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the world’s largest barbeque organization, KCBS announced.

“We are very excited to be working with Sam’s Club and integrating them like never before into the world of competition barbeque,” said Carolyn Wells, executive director of KCBS. “Sam’s Club has long been a preferred choice of barbeque teams throughout our network, but this new relationship will bring additional benefits to the entire industry as we team up to promote ‘America’s Cuisine’ and help educate grillers nationwide on barbeque tips, techniques and food safety.”

 

As part of the agreement, Sam’s Club will become a presenting sponsor at half a dozen of the barbeque industry’s major events, including the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational BBQ in Lynchburg, Tenn. Additionally, Sam’s Club will provide prizes throughout the season and for the prestigious KCBS Team of the Year competition series in 2010.

 

“Teaming up with KCBS is the perfect complement to our industry-leading meat and fresh departments and will give us an opportunity to show our support while helping the competitors save on their competition needs,” said Robert Fields, senior director of meat and deli for Sam’s Club. “We are very excited about the season and to work with the teams, vendors and restaurant owners as well as budding enthusiasts and long-time fans.”

 

KCBS and Sam’s announced that they will soon launch a “Club Competition and Expo” that will be held in the parking lots of select Sam’s Club locations throughout its regional districts. The Expos will feature educational sessions and live-grilling demos to help Sam’s members learn more about the “low and slow” method of barbequing, as well as other tips and techniques from barbeque pros. Additionally, Sam’s Club members will have the opportunity to sample championship-style barbeque and get hands-on advice and experience from barbeque suppliers on the latest products in the BBQ industry.

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Ross Stores gives $100,000 to fashion scholarship fund

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Ross Stores is providing the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) with a multi-year endowment totaling $100,000, FSF reported.

In addition, FSF and Ross will award a $5,000 scholarship annually to each of four students who demonstrate excellence in retail leadership.  These award recipients will also be offered a summer internship with Ross. This year’s winners from the FSF Class of 2010 include: Alexandra Silvestri from Lehigh University, Chelsea Volpe from Iowa University, Marissa Zappia from Indiana University, and Marlena Filipowska from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Jennifer Vecchio, newly-appointed FSF board member and EVP merchandising for Ross said, “We believe this is an ideal opportunity to create a strategic relationship with an organization that is committed to developing and supporting the next generation of fashion industry leaders.  This partnership also benefits Ross by enabling us to identify and cultivate new talent to support our long-term growth.” 

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