FINANCE

Hibbett Sports profit leaps 34% in Q2, cuts view

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Hibbett Sports reported that profit surged 34% to $10.5 million in the second quarter, compared with $7.9 million last year and just edging Wall Street expectations.

Sales matched forecasts with a 13% rise to $186.2 million. Same-store sales edged up 0.3%.

But the sporting goods retailer lowered its full-year outlook, citing concern over consumer spending.

“We delivered a solid increase in earnings for the second quarter. Comparable store sales were softer than planned due to a challenging economic environment,” said Jeff Rosenthal, CEO. “However, we are encouraged by a strong start to the third quarter.”

For fiscal 2014, the company plans to open between 70 and 75 stores, expand 18 and close 15 to 20.

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REAL ESTATE

Publix announces North Carolina store openings as it scouts for more locations

BY Michael Johnsen

Lakeland, Fla. — Publix Super Markets on Friday announced it will enter the Winston-Salem market and add a third location in Mecklenburg.

The Winston-Salem store will measure 49,000 sq. ft. and is slated to open in 2015. The Cornelius store, located in Mecklenburg County, will also encompass 49,000 sq. ft. and will feature a drive-thru pharmacy. Opening is planned for late 2014.

Publix continues to aggressively look for additional locations throughout the state of North Carolina, the grocer said.

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REAL ESTATE

Walmart Canada opens first of nine Maritime supercenters

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Saint John, New Brunswick — Walmart Canada grand-opened a 129,000-sq.-ft. superstore in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Friday, the first of nine “Maritime Supercenters” planned for the country by Jan. 31, 2014, said the retailer.

The newly redeveloped store, which signals the launch of Walmart Canada’s Maritime sourcing program for produce, features a fresh grocery section that will serve as a prototype for all Maritime supercenters.

"We are extremely proud to begin offering a full assortment of fresh groceries to our customers in New Brunswick," said John Brea, VP, Walmart Atlantic Canada. The retailer has listed 24 new grocery suppliers located in the Maritimes for items from dry grocery to fruit and vegetables to meat and seafood, and will continue meeting with potential new suppliers as it expands its grocery offering.

The store represents the first of nine Maritime supercenters, but also one of 37 supercenter projects planned across Canada for the company’s current fiscal year. The 37 projects include building new stores and expanding, remodeling or relocating existing stores and represent an investment of more than $450 million in the Canadian economy.

The Saint John East Walmart originally opened as a Walmart discount store in 2001. An updated design features easy-to-navigate aisles with directional signage and a bright interior color palette defining the store’s merchandise areas. The store features LED exterior signage, waste diversion streams including paper and plastic, and sells environmentally-preferable products.

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