FINANCE

Gap founding family acquires stake in upscale riding-gear company

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Fisher family, the founders of Gap Inc. have acquired a stake in high-end riding-gear and apparel company Ariat International Inc.

The Fisher family, along with Ariat management, purchased the firm from LNK Partners and Brentwood Associates. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

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Loss narrows for regional discounter

BY CSA STAFF

Duckwall-ALCO Stores on Friday reported a 1.7% first quarter same-store sales increase that was regarded as an improvement for the company, but light relative to figures posted by retail leaders.

Net sales from continuing operations for the first quarter ended April 29 increased 3.6% to $117.2 million, and comps, excluding fuel sales, increased 1.7%. Despite the top line improvement, the regional operator of 216 discount stores in small markets, reported a $1.3 million net loss or 34 cents a share. That was actually an improvement from the first quarter the prior year when the company reported a loss of $1.5 million or 40 cents a share. When adjusted for store closing expenses, the loss from continuing operations was 30 cents a share compared to 40 cents the prior year.

“Initiatives to build top line sales and profitability continue to improve results,” said president and CEO Richard Wilson, who highlight the comp improvement.

He noted that the company is focused on four areas to drive further improvement during the remainder of the year including; executing regional pricing strategies, further rationalizing the store base, reducing debt by eliminating unproductive inventory.

“We are also excited about the initial success of our recently opened stores in Conifer, Colorado and Pinedale, Wyoming. In addition, our expanded ecommerce initiative will launch at the end of June and will include more than 13,000 new products,” Wilson said.

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Future of Macy’s Inc. in hands of thousands of students, graduates

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI — Macy’s Inc. has invested in the future of America, by hiring more than 1,000 college and university students for its Executive Development Program and for summer internships nationwide.

The hires include 730 new college graduates for full-time EDP positions, which is an entry-level step in building a career as an executive with the company. In addition, 326 college students — primarily those between their junior and senior years — have joined Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as interns in stores, merchandising, private brand development, dotcom, information technology, logistics, credit and corporate services functions.

The 2012 total of 1,056 hires is an increase of nearly 30% over 819 Macy’s Inc. college hires in 2011 (559 EDP and 260 interns). The 2012 class of college hires was recruited from more than 50 American college and university campuses after a rigorous selection process to identify the highest-potential talent.

"For decades, our company has been known as the training ground for the most impressive talent in the retailing industry. That legacy continues today, not only in recruiting outstanding college students with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, but in developing their talent and skills at every step along their career paths," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We pride ourselves on managing our business with passionate, well-rounded executives who are able to make decisions centered on customer needs and preferences. This approach to talent is vital as we continue to develop the culture of growth in our company and sharpen our strategies and execution as the omnichannel fashion retailer of choice."

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