J. Crew profits fall 42% on costs, but sales up
New York — J. Crew Group Inc. Monday afternoon reported a 42% decrease in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit amid higher costs. Net income fell to $5.92 million in the quarter, which ended Feb. 1., down from $10.2 million in the year-ago period.
Revenue increased 6.7% to $686.2 million. Retail store sales rose 5% to $438.6 million and direct sales jumped 10% to $238.1 million
Same-store sales, which includes direct sales, rose 3%. Excluding a calendar shift, comparable-store sales increased 4%.
Gross margin fell to 36.8% from 38.4%. Overhead costs rose 4.5%.
According to various reports, J. Crew is considering an initial public offering later this year. The retailer was acquired by TPG and Leonard Green and taken private in 2011.
Loblaw-Shoppers Drug Mart deal approved; Loblaw to close 18 stores
New York — Loblaw Cos. Ltd.’s acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. has been approved by Canada’s Competition Bureau. The $12.4 billion (US$11 billion) deal is expected to close on March 28.
To win approval from the Competition Bureau, Loblaw agreed to sell 18 stores and nine in-store pharmacies.
"We are pleased the Competition Bureau has concluded its review of this transaction, and to have its consent to bring these two great Canadian companies together," stated Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw. "This merger uniquely positions Loblaw to meet the most important consumer trends in the country, including urbanization and health and wellness. In doing so, we will continue to deliver more choice, more value, and more convenience to Canadians."
A consent agreement from Canada’s Competition Bureau also includes restrictions on certain Loblaw programs and agreements on the supply of products for retail sale lasting as long as five years from the date of closing the proposed transaction.
"This agreement addresses the most significant negative competitive effects of the merger by ensuring that consumers continue to benefit from competitive prices in the retail sale of drugstore and pharmacy products in Canada,” John Pecman, commissioner of competition, said in a statement. “The Bureau will continue to investigate Loblaw’s programs related to its relationship with suppliers to ensure that Canadian consumers benefit from vigorous competition."
Kantar Media reports double digit increases across retailer coupons in 2013
Minneapolis — The distribution of digital coupons on retailers’ websites exploded in 2013, increasing 39.5% over the previous year, according to data released by Marx, a Kantar Media company. The growth of digital coupons was followed by a 25.6% increase in retailer participation in freestanding insert (FSI) coupon promotion pages, and a 12.6% increase in total retailer feature ad pages distributed.
Although total retailer advertising remained flat in 2013 versus 2012, several leading retailers had significant increases in their advertising expenditures including Walmart, Kroger, and Target, according to Marx.
Significant shifts in advertising and promotion activity were observed among leading retailers across the mass, food, drug, and other retail sales channels. For example, Walmart had the greatest levels of actual advertising expenditures and the highest level of participation in retailer FSI promotion pages in 2013, increasing their activity in these areas 32.9% and 30.8% respectively.
Walmart also benefited from a 25.2% increase in digital coupon activity on Walmart.com and a 43.7% increase in retail feature ad pages distributed in 2013. However, Target kept pace with Walmart by also driving double digit increases across all four of these tactics in 2013.
The three leading retailers in the drug sector all decreased their advertising activity in 2013. CVS had the greatest decrease in retailer advertising among the three leading Drug retailers with a 32.2% decrease.
CVS also decreased retailer FSI coupon participation by 37.3% and retail feature ad activity by 9.3%, with digital coupon support on CVS.com receiving the only increase among these tactics, up 10.2%in 2013.