REAL ESTATE

Gymboree opens first outlet store in Northwest Fla.

BY CSA STAFF

Destin, Fla. Gymboree opened its first outlet store in Northwest Florida at Silver Sands Factory Stores on May 20.

The 2,100-sq.-ft. store features clothing and accessories from newborn to age 12 for girls and from newborn to age 10 for boys at discounted prices.

Silver Sands Factory Stores, a Howard Group development, is the nation’s largest designer outlet center located in Destin, Fla. The center currently features more than 100 designer factory stores with 465,200 sq. ft. of retail space and ultimately 700,000 sq. ft. planned.

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Barnes & Noble 1Q better than expected

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble reported that total sales for the first quarter were $1.1 billion, a 4% decrease compared to the prior year. Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 3.5% to $989 million, with comparable-store sales decreasing 5.7% for the quarter, slightly better than guidance for a decrease of 6% to 9%. Barnes & Noble.com sales were $93 million for the quarter, a 7% decrease compared to the prior year.

The first quarter net loss from continuing operations was $2.1 million or 4 cents per share, compared to guidance of a loss per share of 10 cents to 20 cents.

For the second quarter, the company expects comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 5% to 7%. Second quarter earnings per share is expected to be in a range of 5 cents to 15 cents, compared to 18 cents from continuing operations a year ago (excluding a physical inventory benefit).

Based on the company’s better than expected performance during the first quarter, the company is raising its full-year earnings per share guidance range to $1.10 to $1.40, from $0.95 to $1.25. For the full year, the company now expects comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline 3% to 5%, better than previous guidance for a comparable store sales decline of 4% to 6%.

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Sears Holdings returns to profit

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings reported net income for the quarter of $26 million (21 cents per diluted share) as compared to a net loss of $56 million (43 cents loss per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2008.

For the quarter, total revenues decreased $1 billion to $10.1 billion for the 13 weeks ended May 2, as compared to total revenues of $11.1 billion for the 13 weeks ended May 3, 2008. The decrease includes a $208 million decline due to unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates and was primarily due to lower comparable-store sales.

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