MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Harley-Davidson debuts holiday pinboard

BY Dan Berthiaume

Milwaukee – Harley-Davidson is debuting a new Pinterest pinboard at Pinterest.com/harleydavidson. The pinboard features holiday gifts as well as 2014 bikes, custom items, and parts and accessories.

Starting Nov. 26 and running through Dec. 24, people can create their own pinboard with Harley-Davidson items. Harley-Davidson will pick nine weekly winners at the $25-$200 level and one $10,000 grand prize winner with no purchase necessary.

"Gift giving should fuel your holiday spirit, not drain it, so we want to help shoppers break out of their gift ruts and find something cool and unique for everyone on their list," said Karen Davidson, creative director, general merchandise, Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

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FINANCE

Report: N.Y. appeals court says Starbucks baristas must share tips

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York has reportedly ruled that Starbucks baristas must share their tips with supervisors. According to the Associated Press, the ruling supports a lower court finding that baristas at Starbucks must share tips with shift supervisors, since the supervisors do much of the same work as the baristas.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the ruling fair because shift supervisors spend more than 90% of their work time serving customers, while an attorney for the baristas said the decision lets Starbucks unfairly subsidize supervisor pay at the expense of lower-paid employees.

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Ann Inc. Q3 income and sales top projections

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Ann Inc. reported better-than-expected income and sales for the third quarter. The retailer Ann Inc. posted third-quarter earnings of $41.2 million, compared to $40.7 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Net sales grew 7% to $657.3 million from $612.5 million. Total same-store sales increased 3.7%. By brand, same-store sales inched up 0.6% at Ann Taylor and 5.6% at Loft. However, sales fell 6.9% in the Ann Taylor Factory channel.

"Ann Inc. delivered outstanding performance this quarter,” said Kay Krill, president and CEO. “Despite a challenging and highly promotional retail environment, we achieved a double-digit increase in earnings per share, excluding the effect of a one-time $0.08 benefit in the third quarter of last year. Our bottom-line growth reflected higher sales, including mid-single digit comparable sales growth, a solid gross margin rate, continued disciplined management of expenses, as well as the benefit of share repurchase activity.”

For the fiscal fourth quarter of 2013, Ann Inc. expects total net sales to be $640 million, reflecting a total company same-store sales increase in the mid-single digits. Ann Inc. expects fiscal 2013 total net sales to be $2.51 billion, reflecting a total company same-store sales increase in the low-to-mid-single digits.

The total store count at the end of the fiscal third quarter was 1,027, comprised of 276 Ann Taylor stores, 106 Ann Taylor Factory stores, 537 Loft stores, and 108 Loft Outlet stores.

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