FINANCE

Goody’s Family Clothing Shares Drop

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, In response to a company warning that first-quarter earnings would be much lower than last year’s results, shares of Goody’s Family Clothing tumbled today.

Shares of the Knoxville, Tenn.-based retailer of moderately priced family clothing gave up 17.7%, or $1.94, to $9 in early morning trading on the Nasdaq, where it was the biggest percentage loser. Trading volume was more than six times its average volume over the previous three months. The company operates 358 stores mostly in the South and Midwest.

Private investment bank Avondale Partners said today it cut its rating on Goody’s to “Market Perform” from “Market Outperform” and lowered its stock price target from $13 to $11, saying, “We believe in this early part of the year it is prudent to wait for evidence of firming sales.”

Goody’s blamed bad weather, an early Easter and a tight economy for its lowered first-quarter earnings.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Digital Signage Entertains at Hollister Co

BY CSA STAFF

Las Vegas, At GlobalShop 2005, PlayNetwork Inc. announced the release of a case study detailing retailer Hollister’s use of digital signage for in-store entertainment. Live video footage from Huntingdon Beach, Calif., is distributed via closed-circuit network and broadcasted on large “Video Windows” in Hollister stores nationwide. The 5-ft. by 5-ft. liquid-crystal screens are displayed in 3-by-3 configurations.

“This is the first retail digital-signage and entertainment system of its kind featuring 24/7 real-time video for a specific in-store experience,” said Darrell Champagne, PlayNetwork’s VP systems engineering. The technology is just one example of how retailers are using digital signage for in-store branding and to enhance the shopping experience.

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FINANCE

Barnes & Noble 4Q Profits Down

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Barnes & Noble, Inc. reported earnings of $115.6 million, or $1.56 per share, for the three months ended Jan. 29, compared with $130.2 million, or $1.65 per share, in the year-ago period. The 11% decline in fourth-quarter profits was influenced by the spin-off of its GameStop division. Sales for the fourth-quarter were $1.67 billion, compared with $1.59 billion in the same period a year ago. Store sales increased 5% to $1.4 billion for the quarter, while comp-store sales rose 1.7%. The bookseller opened 32 new stores and closed 13 branches during the year, ending with 666 stores.

Sales for the B. Dalton division, which comprise about 4% of total bookstore sales, were $60.9 million for the quarter, which is a 24% decrease over the year-ago period. B. Dalton comp-store sales declined 3.2% for the fourth quarter.

For the fiscal year, earnings were $143 million, or $1.93 per share, vs. $151.8 million, or $2.07 per share, a year ago. Total sales for the year were $4.78 billion, up from $4.37 billion a year ago.

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