FINANCE

Francesca’s prices IPO

BY Staff Writer

New York — Francesca’s Holdings Corp. will price its initial public offering of 10 million shares between $14 and $16 a share, the Houston Business Journal reported.

The women’s specialty apparel retailer will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol FRAN, the report said.

In March 2011, private equity firm CCMP Capital acquired a controlling interest in Francesca’s, which operates 160 stores.

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FINANCE

NRF: June sales mark 12 consecutive months of growth

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report released Thursday by the National Retail Federation, which expanded on earlier news by the U.S. Commerce Department, showed that warm weather, reduced gas prices and strong Father’s Day promotions helped power retail sales for the 12th consecutive month and past Wall Street expectations.

According to the NRF, retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) in June increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted from May and 5.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

“A solid year of growth in sales provides further evidence that retailers continue to lead the charge in the economic recovery,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While spending continues to surpass expectations, sustained growth in the retail sector depends on a strong labor market.”

Commerce Department data showed that total retail sales in June (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 8.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

Specific sales results, said NRF, include: Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 0.7% seasonally adjusted over May and a solid 7.6% unadjusted year-over-year. Sales at building material and garden equipment stores increased 1.3% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 8.5% unadjusted over last year.

Sales at electronic and appliance stores decreased 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 2.3% unadjusted from last year. Home furnishings stores sales decreased 0.8% seasonally adjusted over May and increased 0.2% unadjusted year-over-year.

Health and personal care stores sales decreased 0.2% seasonally adjusted over May but increased 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

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FINANCE

Build-A-Bear president resigns

BY Katherine Boccaccio

St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. president John Haugh said Thursday that he will resign as the company’s president, as reported by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Haugh’s resignation is effective July 22, according to an SEC filing. His successor hasn’t been named, but current duties will be filled in the interim by Chief Financial and Operations Officer Tina Klocke, Chief Entertainment Officer Teresa Kroll and Chief Executive Maxine Clark.

Haugh has been at the helm since 2009.

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