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Foot Locker raises net income, sales in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Foot Locker Inc. increased net income 16% to $121 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 from the same period the prior year. Net sales grew 5% to $1.79 billion, from $1.71 billion.

Same-store sales for the quarter grew 5.3%. Looking ahead, the retailer expects to improve same-store sales in the mid-single digits and improve earnings per share by a double-digit percentage in fiscal 2014. Fourth quarter sales and earnings results both beat Wall Street estimates.

"The driver in achieving our best-ever financial results was the excellent execution by our team of the many initiatives we have underway," said Ken C. Hicks, chairman of the board and CEO of Foot Locker Inc. "I am very proud of the progress that the entire team at Foot Locker is making toward reaching our long term goals and objectives. While we accomplished a great deal in 2013, we have many more opportunities to improve the business further.”

During the full fiscal year 2013, Foot Locker grew net income 8% to $429 million from $397 million and net sales 5% to $6.5 billion from $6.18 billion. Same-store sales rose 4.2%. The company opened 84 new stores, remodeled or relocated 320 stores, and closed 140 stores during fiscal 2013.

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Report: 60% of Millennials will share personal info with brands

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – Sixty percent of Millennials would be willing to provide details about their personal preferences and habits to marketers, whereas Baby Boomers are much more protective of their personal information. According to a new study from Mintel, even for the most private of information, at least 30% of Millennials who claimed they would not provide it said they would do so after receiving an incentive offer (i.e., a $10-off coupon toward their next purchase), whereas for Baby Boomers only 13% could be swayed by these same type of incentives.

Delving deeper into this generation gap, Mintel finds that for more tech-skewing information such as cell numbers and social media profiles, Millennials are much more likely to share this with companies than Baby Boomers (30% compared to 14% and 27% compared to 10%, respectively). Yet for something a little more old-fashioned, like a mailing address, the trend is reversed, with 40% of Boomers offering up this info compared to 38% of Millennials. Credit scores are the most private information across the board, with only 17% of Millennials and 8% of Baby Boomers willing to provide that information.

"What this shows is that the younger generation, who grew up in the Information Age, is clearly more comfortable with sharing those types of personal information and are far less skeptical than their parents," said Fiona O’Donnell, category manager, retail, multicultural, lifestyles and leisure. "Millennials are predisposed to share their personal habits and contact information with marketers, but they do so only when the perceived benefits outweigh the risks. Given that their generation accounts for nearly a quarter of the population, the implications for businesses are tremendous, because as Millennials go, so goes the U.S. economy."

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Family Dollar partners with EPA Energy Star

BY Dan Berthiaume

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores Inc. has joined EPA’s Energy Star program as an Energy Star partner. Through its voluntary partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program, Family Dollar will work to improve energy efficiency and sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a strategic, corporate energy management program that will help preserve the environment for future generations.

Family Dollar uses Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager to benchmark the energy use intensity of its stores, distribution centers, and store support center. To date, more than 5,500 of its sites have been benchmarked in Portfolio Manager with more than 7,700 sites registered, making Family Dollar one of the largest user of the tool.

In partnership with Energy Star, Family Dollar is:

• Measuring and tracking the energy performance of the organization’s facilities (where possible) by using tools offered through Energy Star;

• Developing and implementing a plan consistent with the Energy Star Energy Management Guidelines to achieve energy savings;

• Highlighting its achievements with recognition offered through Energy Star.

"Family Dollar is pleased to become an Energy Star partner,” said Colin McGinnis, senior VP, store operations support, store development and procurement. "Through this partnership, we will demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship and lower our energy costs by improving the energy efficiency of the buildings we operate.”

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