FINANCE

J. Crew swings to loss in Q1

BY Staff Writer

New York City — J. Crew Group reported Thursday that it lost $29.9 million in the fiscal third quarter, compared to a profit of $44.7 million in the year-ago period.

The apparel retailer said the loss was due to markdowns to clear out excess inventory and charges related to being acquired.

J. Crew went private in March in a $3 billion deal with two private-equity firms.

Revenue dropped 3% to $281.2 million. Same-store sales fell 3%.

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FINANCE

First Data Report: Spending growth slowed in May

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — A report released Thursday by First Data Corp. said that consumer spending growth slowed in May as concerns about the economy mounted.

According to the First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of May 2011, which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, year-over-year dollar volume growth slowed to 6.6%, the lowest monthly growth rate in 2011.

Year-over year transaction growth of 5.1% represented the slowest growth over the past 12 months.

Average ticket values increased 1.4% year-over-year in May, a slight uptick from April and the largest increase in over a year. Excluding gasoline stations, average tickets increased 0.5%. Most industries except food/beverage stores and food services/drinking places saw increased average tickets.

“Card spending growth slowed in May,” said Silvio Tavares, senior VP and division manager of First Data Information and Analytics Solutions. “High gas prices and stubbornly high unemployment constrained growth in most merchant categories.”

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OPERATIONS

NCR adds Blockbuster kiosks to Food Lion stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — NCR is adding 800 Blockbuster Express kiosks to Food Lion grocery stores despite litigation over the Blockbuster Express trademark with Blockbuster and Dish Network Corp., which bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy in late April.

The kiosks will be added to Food Lions across the mid-Atlantic and southeastern U.S. regions.

The legal dispute surrounds Dish’s attempts to strip NCR of the right to use the name. In late May, NCR sued Blockbuster, saying the March 2009 licensing agreement, which gave it permission to use the trademark until 2016, was entered between NCR and a Blockbuster-controlled trust, a Delaware entity that isn’t in bankruptcy. The agreement, NCR said, isn’t with Blockbuster itself or its new owners.

In addition to Food Lion, the kiosks will be placed in other Delhaize Group’s Delhaize America supermarkets, including Bottom Dollar Food and Harveys.

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