Gap’s Q3 profit rises 9.4%; OKs $1 billion share repurchase authorization
San Francisco — Gap Inc. reported a 9.4% increase in third-quarter profit as the retailer’s turnaround continues. The company also reaffirmed its full-year profit guidance and said it is increasing its stock buyback authorization by $1 billion.
The chain posted net income of $337 million in the three-month period ended Nov. 2, compared with $308 million last year.
Revenue rose 2.8% to $3.98 billion. Same-store sales increased 1%. By division, Gap’s results were up 1%, while Banana Republic’s metric was down 1%. Old Navy was flat from a year ago.
This quarter marks our seventh consecutive quarter of positive comp sales growth,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap. “We are pleased to maintain our momentum of growing sales and earnings per share this quarter.”
Walgreens names e-commerce head as president of digital, chief marketing officer
Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday announced the appointment of Sona Chawla, president of e-commerce, as president of digital and chief marketing officer. In this new role, Chawla will lead a newly created digital and marketing division, establishing a unified and integrated digital, enterprise-wide marketing, and customer loyalty and insights group to advance Walgreens “Well Experience” strategy and vision to be the first choice in health and daily living in America and beyond, Walgreens stated.
“Digital technology continues to drive major change in retail and health care, and Walgreens is moving full speed ahead to harness and combine digital, marketing innovations and customer loyalty and insights to give customers what they want, where and when they want it,” Greg Wasson, president and CEO said. “With Sona’s success in establishing Walgreens as a retail digital pioneer, her leadership of our combined digital and marketing efforts will continue to accelerate our Well Experience strategy to step out of the traditional drugstore format and create a truly differentiated experience for customers and patients.”
Walgreens also announced that Graham Atkinson, senior VP and chief marketing and customer experience officer, is retiring at the end of January 2014. Atkinson has been responsible for developing and leading Walgreens enterprise marketing and loyalty strategies, with a specific emphasis on customer experience. He led the successful and record-setting launch of Walgreens Balance Rewards customer loyalty program in 2012, now with more than 85 million members.
Report: Most tech-savvy shoppers will choose stores based on online services
San Jose, Calif. — Tech-savvy shoppers overwhelmingly look for ways to use smartphones and the Internet to save time and money while shopping in stores, according to new research from Cisco.
According to a Zogby Analytics poll commissioned by Cisco, tech-savvy shoppers – which represent nearly half of all Americans – find it valuable when stores offer free Wi-Fi, apps for smartphones, the ability to order out-of-stock items while in a store, and digital couponing. Most important, these shoppers are planning to make purchasing decisions based on the advanced online services offered by retailers.
More than 60% of tech-savvy shoppers said that they would be more likely to visit or shop at a store that offers smartphone apps and other in-store online services. And these shoppers have the money to spend. Nearly 30% of tech-savvy shoppers live in households that earned more than $100,000 per year — more than double the rate of all other shoppers.
"Consumers want the best of both worlds this holiday season — they want the social aspects of in-store shopping coupled with the benefits enabled by the Internet of Everything," said Blair Christie, Cisco senior VP and CMO. "This study shows that retailers who make investments in advanced technologies will be rewarded by tech-savvy shoppers with a larger discretionary income as well as build increased brand loyalty with young shoppers."
According to the study, the most tech-savvy of all in-store shoppers are the first generation of smartphone natives: 18-to-24-year-olds. The Zogby poll found that more than 80% of 18-to-24-year-olds own a smartphone, yet more than 75% plan on doing the majority of their holiday shopping at retail stores.
These consumers in particular want to combine the power of their smartphones with their desire to shop in stores. More than 95% found it valuable to receive holiday discounts/coupons via text or smartphone apps, and to use their smartphones to quickly check prices and order out-of-stock items with free delivery when shopping in a physical store.
However, retailers are currently missing out on an important way to connect with this demographic, as only 29% of young consumers have used a retailer’s app on their smartphone.