FINANCE

Health care, crime among subjects of retail lobbying efforts

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation spent $500,000 lobbying in the second quarter on a wide range of issues from healthcare reform to organized crime and labor issues, according to a recent disclosure report.

The group also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving tariffs, immigration, copyright infringement and food-safety issues in the April-June period, according to the form filed July 20 with the House clerk’s office.

One of the hottest issues for retailers is the Employees Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to unionize. The legislation is opposed by the retail industry, which claims that it would increase costs of doing business and lead to layoffs.

Another hot button is healthcare reform. NRF is against a federal mandate for employer-funded health insurance. In fact, the group sent a letter in July to 2,500 members to fight Wal-Mart Store’s recently announced stance that it was supporting the mandate.

In related news, Wal-Mart Stores spent nearly $2.6 million on its own second-quarter lobby efforts on similar issues: healthcare reform, organized crime and labor union issues.

Target spent $300,000 on lobbying efforts that focused on legislation involving organized crime, union matters and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report.

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TWE takes sales dive

BY CSA STAFF

ALBANY, N.Y. Trans World Entertainment announced total sales for the second quarter decreased 23% to $165.7 million, compared with $215.2 million in the second quarter of 2008. Comparable-store sales in the second quarter of 2009 decreased 15%.

For the second quarter of 2009, the company’s net loss was $17.8 million, or 57 cents per share compared to a net loss of $19.2 million, or 62  cents per share for the same period last year.

 

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Pacific Sunwear 2Q comps down 24%

BY CSA STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. Pacific Sunwear of California announced that net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 were $243 million versus net sales from continuing operations of $313 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Total company same-store sales decreased 24% during the period.

The company recorded a net loss of $14.2 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 compared to income from continuing operations of $3.7 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

“Clearly, we have a lot of work to do to stem our decline in sales and ultimately return to profitability,” stated Gary Schoenfeld, president and CEO. “I remain confident in our ability to take on this challenge. Our branded assortments differentiate us from our vertical competitors, and I believe that in time we will once again make PacSun the favorite place to shop for 15 to 20 year olds.”

Assuming a same-store sales percentage decline in the high-teens to low twenties, and assuming non-cash, pre-tax store asset impairment charges of approximately $10 million, the company would expect to report a loss of approximately 16 cents to 23 cents per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2009.

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