News

Family Dollar Q3 profit up 12%; on track for 450-500 stores in 2012

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores Inc. reported Thursday that profit for the quarter ended May 26 rose 12.1% to $124.5 million, compared with $111.1 million in the year-ago period.

Sales increased 9.6% to $2.36 billion, just missing Wall Street’s forecasts of $2.37 billion in sales. Same-store sales climbed 5%.

During the first three quarters of fiscal 2012, the company said it opened 287 new stores, closed 43 stores and renovated, relocated, or expanded 583 stores. It confirmed that it is on track to open 450 to 500 new stores this fiscal year and to close 60-80 stores. Family Dollar is projecting capital expenditures of between $650 million and $675 million in fiscal 2012 to support new store openings, store renovations, purchases of stores, merchandising initiatives, and supply chain expansion.

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STORE SPACES

Ikea powers up solar panels at Orlando store

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Orlando, Fla. — Ikea said Wednesday that it has officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its store in Orlando, Fla.

The 120,900-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 967-kW system, built with 4,115 panels. The retailer said the program will produce approximately 1,421,500 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,080 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 192 cars or powering 122 homes yearly.

Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement – and this Orlando installation represents the 18th completed solar energy project for Ikea in the United States, with 21 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 MW.

For the development, design and installation of the Orlando store’s customized solar power system, Ikea contracted with REC Solar.

The 309,000-sq.-ft. Ikea Orlando store opened in November 2007.

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News

Retailers displeased with upheld healthcare mandate

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has given the government permission to tax people for not having health insurance, essentially approving the individual mandate in President Obama’s healthcare law.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” the court said in the ruling.

What this means is the constitutionality of the healthcare-reform package cannot be addressed until after that tax is assessed.

With the individual mandate staying in place, some 40 million Americans identified as uninsured will be required to purchase some level of insurance in 2014. That will drive a good number of patients to medical homes and, in theory, significantly increase the demand for maintenance prescriptions and other preventative or chronic healthcare services.

The ruling did not go over well with the retail industry.

In a just-released statement by the National Retail Federation, president and CEO Matthew Shay said that retailers are dismayed by the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act.

“The Court missed an opportunity to redress the many shortcomings of the law,” said Shay. “As it stands, the law wrongly focuses more on penalizing employers and the private sector than reducing health costs. This law will have a dramatic, negative impact on every employer and employee in the United States and further constrain job creation and economic growth.”

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