REAL ESTATE

Hibbett Sports to open 75-80 stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Birmingham, Ala. – Hibbett Sports Inc. plans to open 75-80 new stores, expand 10-15 stores and close 10-15 stores during fiscal 2015 (which coincides with calendar 2014). These aggressive growth plans comes as Hibbett reports increases in net income and sales during the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Net income rose 8% to $28.4 million, from $26.2 million and net sales increased 9% to $261.9 million, from $240 million. Same-store sales grew 4.1%. For the fiscal year, Hibbett expects same-store sales to increase in the low-to-mid-single-digit range.

“We were pleased with sales during the first quarter, which were driven by strong demand in our core footwear and brand focused apparel businesses,” said Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO. “In addition, we opened a record number of new stores and fully converted operations to our new wholesale and logistics facility. Looking forward, the continued success of new stores and the efficiencies of our new wholesale and logistics facility will be a catalyst for sustained, profitable growth for the company.”

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FINANCE

Aeropostale Q1 loss widens; same-store sales fall 13%

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Aeropostale Inc. reported a net loss of $76.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up from the $12.2 million net loss it reported a year earlier. It also projected a second-quarter loss forecast bigger than analysts expected.

The struggling retailer, which has reported a loss for six consecutive quarters, had a generally difficult quarter overall, as net sales fell 12% to $395.9 million from $452.3 million and same-store sales decreased 13%. Aeropostale has reported declining comparable sales for seven straight quarters.

Aeropostale cited restructuring charges as contributing to its growing net loss, and also attributed some of its poor performance to the impact of weather and promotions.

In April, Aeropostale said it will close 125 mall-based P.S. from Aeropostale kids stores by the end of the fiscal year so it can focus on online sales, outlet stores, and licensing. It is also cutting some corporate jobs.

"As other retailers experienced, the macroeconomic environment was challenging during the first quarter with aggressive promotions, lower mall traffic, and unseasonable weather,” said Thomas P. Johnson, CEO of Aeropostale. “While our overall results were disappointing, we were able to exceed guidance and end the quarter with inventories well-controlled.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Google and Costco tops in compensation and benefits

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Google and Costco Wholesale Corp. came out on top in a survey of large companies with the best compensation and benefits for workers by jobs site Glassdoor. Rounding out the top five were Facebook, Adobe and Epic.

The ranking was based on an online anonymous survey that asked employees to rate how satisfied they were with their pay and benefits on a scale of 1 to 5. Costco and Google both received a score of 4.4 out of 5. Google ranked higher than Costco only by fractions of a point.

In general, tech companies made a strong showing in the top 25 survey. Intuit came in at No. 6; Salesforce at No. 9; Microsoft at No.18; and eBay at No. 25.

Click here for more survey results.

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