FINANCE

Family Dollar Q3 profit falls 33%

BY Marianne Wilson

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores’ third quarter income plunged 33% amid higher costs and increased competition. Same-store sales fell 1.8%, which marked the third straight quarterly decline.

Family Dollar is under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn to put itself up for sale. The company has adopted a shareholder rights plan, or "poison pill."

“Our results continue to reflect the economic challenges facing our core customer and an intense competitive environment,” said chairman and CEO Howard Levine. “Although our sales results remain below our expectations, we are encouraged by the improving trends.”

Net income in the quarter ended May 31 fell to $81.1 million, from $120.9 million a year earlier. Net sales rose 3.3% to $2.66 billion, from $2.57 billion a year earlier.

In response to slumping sales, Family Dollar has reduced prices on almost 1,000 basic items. It also is closing underperforming stores.

“We are executing our previously announced restructuring initiatives to improve our performance,” said Levine. “Our recent investment to permanently lower prices is resonating with customers; we are seeing savings from our workforce optimization efforts; and we are on track to close approximately 370 underperforming stores by the end of the fiscal year. We remain confident that these steps will position the company to improve our financial performance and deliver higher long-term shareholder returns.”

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The Container Store rolls out POP! loyalty program nationwide

BY CSA STAFF

Just a day after reporting first-quarter results, the Container Store has launched POP! — its customer engagement program of Perfectly Organized Perks — in its 66 existing stores and on its website.

“We asked our customers what they wanted from us in a loyalty program and they told us they want more communication, more connection — more ‘hugs,’” said president and COO Melissa Reiff. “Our aim is to make POP! a simple, relevant and engaging program for our customers to help us deepen their relationship with our brand and reward them for their devotion to the Container Store.”

Members will be able to earn $15 POP! Perks throughout the year and will be rewarded with surprises including special offers, exclusive event invitations and product previews. The company added that its loyalty program is unlike traditional loyalty programs, because its POP! program will provide members with custom organizing tips based on their expressed interests and past purchases to help them get started on their next organizational project.

Becoming a member of the Container Store’s POP! program is free and customers can now enroll in any of the retailer’s 66 store locations or online at www.containerstore.com/pop.

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Insights

Glimcher names VP of development

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio —Glimcher Realty Trust has appointed Kenneth Marshall to the role of VP, Development. In this position, Marshall will support the company’s development strategy, contributing to the leadership and implementation of redevelopment projects throughout the portfolio.

Prior to joining Glimcher, Marshall served as executive VP of the Commercial Division of Colonial Properties Trust (now MAA). In addition, he has served as VP and Regional Development Director for The Westfield Corp.

“We view redevelopment and reinvestment in our core properties as key to our three-tiered approach to enhancing the quality of our portfolio,” said Marshall A. Loeb, president and COO. “With Ken’s 25 years of experience in asset management and retail real estate development, he is well-equipped to help us deliver on our strategy of continuing to offer the best tenant mix to deliver high-quality retail experiences for our shoppers.”

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