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Finish Line Q4 profit down

BY Marianne Wilson

Indianapolis — The Finish Line said its fourth-quarter profit dropped 18% as gross margins fell and overall sales declined more than analysts expected. The chain’s adjusted earnings and same-store sales growth, however, were in-line with its expectations.

For the fourth quarter ended March 2, Finish Line reported net income of $34.3 million, down from $41.9 million a year earlier.

Consolidated net sales were down 3% to $442.7 million. Same-store sales increased 0.7%. Digital sales, which are included in the comparable store sales results, were up 21.0%.

"While our fourth quarter performance was in-line with expectations, it was a challenging second half of the year for us," commented Glenn Lyon, chairman and CEO. "We experienced weakness in our running business at Finish Line and adjusted our operating platform and expenses to meet those market dynamics. Moving forward, we remain committed to our growth strategies and the investments required for our Finish Line, Macy’s and The Running Company businesses to drive long-term shareholder value.”

Next month, Finish Line will begin to open in-store shops at Macy’s, for a total of 450 Macy’s stores during the next two years.

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L.Jandayan says:
Mar-28-2013 11:41 pm

It is not all the time that businesses are going up. There will come a time that the profit will go down based on how the management handle issues. - J. Kale Flagg

L.Jandayan says:
Mar-28-2013 11:41 pm

It is not all the time that businesses are going up. There will come a time that the profit will go down based on how the management handle issues. - J. Kale Flagg

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Fred’s Q4 profits down; to accelerate pharmacy expansion

BY Staff Writer

Memphis — Fred’s Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income decreased 33% amid higher operating costs and restrained consumer spending. The discounter’s forecast for this year also fell below analyst expectations.

Net income for the three months ended Feb. 2 fell to $6.6 million, compared to $9.8 million the year before.

Revenue increased 7%, to $533.4 million, also below analysts’ expectations. Same-store sales were up 4.8%.

For the year, profit was down 11% to $29.6 million. Revenue increased 4% to $1.96 billion.

On a conference call with analysts, CEO said Bruce A. Efird said Fred’s plans to aggressively accelerate its pharmacy presence. The chain plans to remodel between 15 and 20 stores each year, adding a pharmacy operation. All new store openings — between 25 and 30 each year — will include a pharmacy operation.

Currently, Fred’s operates 712 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred’s stores. Within those stores are 346 pharmacies. Fred’s may open as many as 30 new pharmacies through fiscal 2013.

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S.Gacho says:
Mar-30-2013 01:22 am

When we study that our profits from our business is getting low it needs a lot of things to analyzed. Think of what is the branch that needs help. - Rich Von

S.Gacho says:
Mar-30-2013 01:22 am

When we study that our profits from our business is getting low it needs a lot of things to analyzed. Think of what is the branch that needs help. - Rich Von

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Reinventing Retail: Hointer, Seattle

BY CSA STAFF

Imagine a store with a back staff of robots, where items appear, almost magically, in the fitting room. A store where customers can pay for merchandise without interacting with a single salesperson. You can stop imagining …check out Hointer, an apparel (mostly men’s jeans) shop in Seattle. A second location is set to open by the end of April, at Stanford Mall, in Palo Alto, Calif.

Founded and headed up by Nadia Shouraboura, the former head of supply chain and fulfillment technologies for Amazon.com, Hointer is one of the most buzzed-about retail start-ups in some time. Located near Seattle’s University District, the store combines the best features of online and brick-and-mortar to reinvent the shopping experience. Shouraboura describes her concept simply as “the micro-warehouse with mobile control.”

Here’s how Hointer works: Before shopping, customers download the Hointer app. As they walk around the store, they scan the QR codes on the merchandise tags with their smartphones. As customers select an item and the proper size and color, the product is dropped into a virtual shopping cart. (All of the clothing on display is hung from the ceiling, making the item easy to scan and to examine.)

(See photos here.)

Once the customer is finished selecting merchandise, he clicks the “try on” feature on the app and is sent to a designated fitting room. The app sends a message to the stockroom, where a robotic system (from Germany) finds the requested items and “delivers” the goods to the appropriate fitting room.The company isn’t revealing any of the details of how this process works. But it is designed to take 30 seconds or less.

Using the app, the customer can request a new size or style directly from the fitting room, with the requested merchandise delivered promptly. Passed-over merchandise is discarded into a designated bin, and it is automatically removed from the virtual shopping cart. (There are two chutes, one for items in and one for items out.)

The app allows Hointer to track everything in real-time and also lets customers rate clothing. Brands can then access that data via Hointer’s portal to find out such information as what items customers are trying on but not buying.

Shouraboura earned a PhD in mathematics from Princeton University and worked for several startups before joining Amazon, where she spent eight years. She has big plans for Hointer, which features a variety of brands, from Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman to 7 for All Mankind and True Religion. Although the selection is weighed heavily to men’s denim, the mix has been expanded to include some accessories and a smattering of women’s items, with more on the way.

Two more Hointer pilot stores are slated to open by summer, in downtown Seattle and Las Vegas. Shouraboura is looking to share some parts of the company’s back-end system with others. In an open letter to retailers on the company’s website, she writes:

“We can now report that in the pilot store we have reduced our footprint, eliminated piles, and avoided shrinkage, but the best part is that most customers told us that they loved the experience and had fun shopping. We started to work with several exceptional retailers, using our technology to re-invent their stores."

At a time when retailers are debating on how to reinvent the in-store shopping experience, Shouraboura offers a way forward. As she writes on the company’s site: “Our retail road is also crystal clear:

1) We need a power tool in our customer’s hands to rival the convenience of the online shopping cart;

2) We need an in-store backend system to take control and reduce inventory across all stores; eliminate the darn shrinkage and easily do other fun things (like same-day shipping);

3) We need to free up our sales associates to let them spend more time advising customers and arm them with even more information than one can get online; and

4) We need to get rid of piles and clutter to allow customers to fully discover products, making online browsing hollow and pathetic in comparison.”


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buangsila001 says:
Mar-29-2013 03:57 am

Since there as so many competitors, one has to reinvent not just its product but there marketing positioning as well.

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