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Gymboree swings to profit in Q1; plans 105 new stores in 2012

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — Gymboree Corp. reported Thursday net income of $4.2 million for the quarter ended April 28, compared with a loss of $10.4 million in the same period last year.

Sales rose 10.2% to $297.8 million, and same-store sales edged up 1%.

The retailer said it is on track to open 105 stores in fiscal 2012, which include 80 Crazy 8 locations. Crazy 8 is Gymboree’s discount concept.

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Workforce reduction confirmed at Albertsons

BY CSA STAFF

FULLERTON, Calif. — A store-level workforce reduction is planned for Albertsons’ Southern California division.

The Supervalu subsidiary said 2,200 to 2,500 positions would be eliminated across all Albertsons stores in California and Nevada and is expected to directly impact a small number of positions at any specific store location. The company said the workforce reduction aims to "[simplify] its organization and reducing expenses to help reinvest in more customer facing initiatives" and added that "Albertsons has not kept pace with the changing needs of its customers for a number of reasons."

"A decision of this nature is never easy, but it is the necessary step for us to take to help improve our business and accelerate our turnaround," Albertsons’ Southern California division president Dan Sanders said. "Our goal is to more effectively serve the marketplace by scheduling associates more appropriately to serve customers at the times they shop. I am confident our team will embrace these changes and help us to compete more effectively in a rapidly changing marketplace."

The workforce reduction will go into effect the week of June 17 and should be completed near July 1, the company said.

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Best Buy chairman resigns to explore options for ownership stake

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has decided to step down as chairman of the board in order to pursue other options for his ownership stake.

Schulze served as Best Buy’s CEO, chairman and a director until 2002. He retained is chairman and director role since 2002 and controls about 20.1% of the company. He had previously planned to step down as chairman after the 2012 annual meeting on June 21, 2012 and to remain as a director through the 2013 annual meeting.

“I continue to believe in Best Buy and its future — and care deeply about its customers, employees and shareholders. There is an urgent need for Best Buy to reinvigorate growth by reconnecting with today’s customers and building pathways to the next generation of consumers. Accordingly, I have shared my views with the board and today informed them of my decision to resign as chairman and a director, effective immediately, in order to explore all available options for my ownership stake,” said Schulze.

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