FINANCE

Guess profit falls 9.1% on charge

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Guess reported Wednesday that profit for the second quarter dipped 9.1% on a hefty settlement charge.

The retailer said that net income fell to $60.7 million from $66.8 million, as it was hit by a $19.5 million settlement charge.

Revenue for the quarter rose 17% to $677.2 million from $577.1 million, beating analysts’ estimates.

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FINANCE

Books-A-Million to buy leases of 14 Borders stores

BY Staff Writer

New York City — A Wednesday report by Bloomberg said that Borders and Books-A-Million reached an agreement for a lease sale involved 14 Borders superstores and specialty stores for $934,209.

Citing documents filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, the report said the store locations include Portland, Maine; Canton, Ohio; Concord, N.H.; and Mays Landing, N.J.

The agreement is conditional on approval by the bankruptcy court by Aug. 29. A deal for Books-A-Million to buy 30 Borders locations fell through in July.

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OPERATIONS

Collective Brands to close 475 underperforming stores as it considers selling itself

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Topeka, Kan. — Collective Brands, parent company of Payless and Stride Rite shoe chains, announced Wednesday that it would close 475 underperforming stores over the next three years and has hired a firm to help it explore its options.

The company hired Perella Weinberg Partners and Kurt Salmon as advisors to explore strategic alternatives.

Collective Brands reported a 2Q loss of $35 million on Wednesday, compared to a profit of $21.1 million a year earlier. The loss included a one-time charge of $83.6 million based mostly on the declining value of its stores and of Stride Rite’s trade name. The company currently operates 4,844 stores, of which 4,461 are Payless stores.

Of the 475 stores targeted for closure over the next three years, more than 300 will be shuttered by the end of the year, including about 275 Payless and 75 Stride Ride children’s stores. The strategy, said Collective, is to optimize the performance of its Payless and Stride Rite stores.

"While the second quarter was challenging for the company, we are taking aggressive actions to improve the business," said CEO Michael J. Massey.

The company’s board adopted a short-duration shareholder rights plan to fend off a potential hostile takeover. Its largest shareholder is PrimeCap Management Co., with just over 10% of outstanding shares.

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