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Genesco earnings, sales drop

BY Dan Berthiaume

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Genesco, a specialty footwear and apparel retailer operating numerous brick-and-mortar and online retail brands including Journeys and Lids.com, reported declines in earnings and net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

The company’s earnings declined 11% to $18.5 million from $20.8.

Net sales decreased 1.5% to $591 million from $600 million. Same-store sales fell 4%. Earnings remained slightly ahead of the company’s expectations.

Geneseco chairman, president and CEO Robert J. Dennis said sales in the quarter picked up in March and April after delayed processing of income tax returns and poor weather negatively impacted them in February.

“The improved sales trends we experienced during the March-April period have accelerated during the second quarter so far with May comparable sales up 1% through May 25,” said Dennis.” We are encouraged by the recent momentum and optimistic about our prospects for the upcoming back to school season.”

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Safeway names Libenson CIO

BY Dan Berthiaume

PLEASANTON, Calif.— Safeway has appointed Barry Libenson as senior VP and CIO, effective July 1, 2013. Libenson replaces former Safeway CIO David Ching, who retired earlier this year. He will oversee IT business functions and report to executive VP Larree Renda.

Libenson previously served as senior VP and CIO at Land O’Lakes Inc. since 2010. Other positions he has held include VP of business at Ingersoll-Rand and executive VP at Surety.com.

"We are pleased to have someone with Barry’s credentials join our executive team as we look to further ensure our IT organization is aligned with our key business strategies," said Renda. "His track record managing a complex set of technology functions across a diverse group of companies will be of significant value to the organization."

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Consumer spending drops in April

BY Dan Berthiaume

WASHINGTON—U.S. consumer spending dropped 0.2% in April 2013, according to the Commerce Department.

It was the first monthly decline since May of last year and follows increases of 0.1% in March and 0.8% in February. Falling gas prices in April were part of the reason for the drop in spending, with purchases of gas, electricity and other energy goods and services down 4.4%.

In addition, increased Social Security deductions in consumer paychecks may have also contributed to the decline in spending.

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