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Guess posts lower profit, lowers outlook

BY Marianne Wilson

Los Angeles — Guess Inc. on Wednesday reported that its second-quarter profit fell to $42.9 million, from $60.7 million a year ago. The company also lowered its full-year earnings outlook.

Total net revenue for the quarter ended July 28 fell 6.2% to $635.4 million, from $677.2 million.

The company’s retail stores in North America generated revenue of $253.0 million in the second quarter, down 3.1% from $261.1 million in the same period a year ago. Same-store sales fell 8.5%.

Net revenue from the company’s Europe segment decreased 14.5% to $246.9 million in the second quarter. Net revenue from the company’s Asia segment increased 20.9% to $66.8 million.

Guess CEO Paul Marciano noted that while store traffic remained down in North America, the company’s strategy to elevate its women’s business appears to be working.

“We are now focused on driving improvements in accessories, which has become increasingly competitive, and are also developing plans to refine our North American strategy where necessary to remain competitive,” he stated. “Our European business remained stable, as we grew in newer markets in the north and east, while economic conditions continued to affect consumers, particularly in the south. We also posted solid double digit growth in Asia and China has continued to exceed our expectations."

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Report: Rona dealers critical of Lowe’s offer

BY Staff Writer

New York — A group of Rona Inc.’s dealers on Wednesday released an open letter on Wednesday that criticized the proposed takeover of the Canadian home-improvement retailer and distributor by Lowe’s Cos., Reuters reported.

The letter, which was addressed to Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock, was signed by merchants that operate 164 affiliate or franchise Rona stores.

"We want to reinforce your view that it may not be a good idea for you to buy Rona, after you appeared to state your doubts about the deal on Monday, while you were announcing your financial results," the letter stated.

On Monday, the Lowe’s chief executive said a deal was "not imminent."

The take-over proposal has developed into an election issue in Quebec, the home province of Rona, with both the governing Liberal party and challenger Parti Quebecois criticizing the offer and promising new rules to crack down on foreign takeovers, Reuters reported.

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Long-time fashion retail exec named EVP of Aeropostale

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Aeropostale, a mall-based specialty retailer of casual and active apparel for young women and men, announced that Emilia Fabricant will be joining the company as EVP of the Aeropostale brand. Fabricant will be responsible for all aspects of design, merchandising and production for the brand, and will report to Thomas Johnson, CEO.

Johnson commented, "We are thrilled to have someone of Emilia’s caliber and talent join the Aeropostale team. Emilia has a proven track record of creating and executing the type of merchandise and operating strategies that will enable us to continue to evolve our brand. Emilia will be an incredible asset to our organization, and we look forward to her many contributions to our business."

Fabricant most recently served as president of Bebe Stores Inc. Prior to then, she served as president and chief merchandising officer of Charlotte Russe Inc. Earlier in her career, Fabricant founded Cadeau Maternity, also serving as its president and chief merchandising officer after the company was acquired by eStyle Inc. She began her merchandising career with Barneys New York Co Op, where she held a number of executive management positions of increasing responsibility, culminating with SVP, divisional merchandise manager and outlet division.

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