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Holiday Cheer for Aeropostale and The Buckle

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Aeropostale and The Buckle were among the handful of apparel retailers who defined the holiday gloom in December with increases in same-store sales.

Aeropostale Inc. said Thursday its same-store sales jumped 12% in December, surprising analysts who expected a decline. The teen retailer raised its fourth-quarter-profit forecast based on the results.

Aeropostale Inc. said Thursday its same-store sales jumped 12% in December, surprising analysts who expected a decline. The teen retailer raised its fourth-quarter-profit forecast based on the results.

The company said same-store sales have grown 8% in the first 11 months of its fiscal year, and total sales rose 19% to $1.79 billion from $1.51 billion. Analysts expect $1.82 billion in revenue for the full year. Aeropostale said sales of both men’s and women’s clothing were strong and its promotional plans were successful. Total sales grew 25% to $392.7 million from $313.5 million in the five-week period that ended Tuesday.

The Buckle announced Thursday that December same-store sales increased 13.5%. Net sales for the five-week fiscal month ended Jan. 3 increased 20.8% to $131.2 million from net sales of $108.5 million for the prior year five-week fiscal month ended Jan. 5, 2008.

Same-store sales year-to-date for the 48-week period ended Jan. 3 increased 21.0% compared to the year-ago period.

Urban Outfitters Inc. said Thursday that same-store sales dipped 1% for the holiday season, hurt by bigger discounts and softness in its Anthropologie and Free People brands.

For the two-month period ended Dec. 31, the specialty apparel retailer reported same-store sales fell 6% at Anthropologie and 13% at Free People from a year earlier. But same-store sales for its namesake brand were up 3%. Also, when factoring in a 25% increase in direct-to-consumer sales, same-store sales for the company’s retail segment rose 3%.

“The highly promotional selling environment forced us to take higher markdowns vs. the comparable period last year, but we finished the holiday season with clean and lean inventories which are well-positioned for the spring selling season,” chief executive Glen T. Senk said in a statement.

Year-to-date same-store sales at Urban Outfitters increased 8%, while total sales surged 23% to $1.3 billion. Direct-to-consumer sales soared 35% during the 11-month period.

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Wal-Mart, Netflix accused of monopoly building

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores and Netflix have been accused of trying to build a monopoly for online DVD rentals in a consumer lawsuit filed Jan. 2 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, according to reports.

The plaintiffs claim that in 2005, Wal-Mart agreed to end its online rental business and refer customersto Netflix, which in turn agreed to promote Wal-Mart’s DVD movie sales.

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Family Dollar posts 1Q earnings growth

BY CSA STAFF

MATTHEWS, N.C. Family Dollar Stores reported that net income per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 13.5% to 42 cents compared with 37 cents for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the quarter increased 14.1% to $59.3 million compared with net income of $51.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

As previously reported, sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 were approximately $1.754 billion, or 4.2% above sales of approximately $1.683 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Comparable-store sales increased 2.1%.

For the fiscal year ending August 29, 2009, the company expects net sales will increase 4% to 6% and expects comparable-store sales will increase 2% to 4%. Anticipating continued strong sales of consumable merchandise, the company expects earnings per share will be between $1.63 and $1.81 in fiscal 2009.

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