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Hhgregg profit, sales rise in Q2, on track to open 35 stores in fiscal year

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Indianapolis — Electronics and appliance retailer Hhgregg reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to $6 million from $3.9 million in the year-ago period.

Sales for the period rose 29% to $618.6 million. Same-store sales rose 1.5%, returning to positive growth after a 5% decline last quarter.

The company said it expects to open between 20-25 new stores in fiscal year 2013. Projected new markets are St. Louis, Milwaukee, and various locations in Illinois. For the remainder of the current fiscal year, it said it is on track to open 35 new stores, from a previous range of 35 to 40 new stores.

“We remain committed to growing our store base over the longer-term,” said Dennis May, president and CEO. “Over the past three years, we have been able to take advantage of the soft real estate market in areas such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, and Washington, D.C.”

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Sally Beauty expands international footprint with acquisition

BY Staff Writer

Denton, Texas — Sally Beauty Holdings said Wednesday it has acquired Netherlands-based Kappersservice Floral and two related companies, Hair Zone and Exphair as part of the company’s international growth strategy.

“The acquisition of Floral Group is another important step in expanding our international footprint,” said Gary Winterhalter, CEO of Sally Beauty Holdings. “It is the largest professional beauty supply group in the Netherlands and brings us an outstanding format to broaden our reach in serving both the professional and retail customers in Europe.”

The acquisition complements Sally’s existing Belgium-based Pro Duo business.

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Syms, Filene’s Basement file for bankruptcy, plan to liquidate

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Secaucus, N.J. — Syms Corp. and its Filene’s Basement subsidiary said Wednesday that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will liquidate all stores and assets over the coming several months. Syms acquired the century-old Filene’s out of bankruptcy in 2009 for $63 million.

“This has been a challenging time for Syms and Filene’s Basement,” said Marcy Syms, CEO. “We have been faced with increased competition from large department stores that now offer the same brands as our stores at similar discounts; a proliferation of private label discount chains; a decline in buying opportunities as brand name labels have reduced overruns by improving their supply chain management – all combined with the worst economic downturn in our lifetimes.”

According to Syms, Tuesday’s filing comes after several months of examining strategic alternatives. The company said it received no “viable bids” from anyone willing to operate the business.

“A bankruptcy filing and liquidation is the best way of maximizing value for all stakeholders,” said Syms.

The liquidation of Syms and Filene’s stores is expected to run through approximately January 2012. Syms and Filene’s Basement are seeking court approval to retain an agent to handle the liquidation of merchandise and for authorization to conduct going out of business sales.

The company listed assets of $236 million, including $97.7 million in real estate inventories, and liabilities of $94 million, according to a statement filed with the Chapter 11 petition on Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

Syms operates 25 namesake stores and 21 Filene’s Basement locations.

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