Jobless claims hit three-month low
Washington, D.C. — A report released Thursday by the Labor Department said that jobless claims for last week dropped by 24,000 to 398,000, the fewest since April.
Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 422,000 from an original reading of 418,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new requests for jobless benefits to fall to 413,000 in the latest week.
The average of new claims over the past four weeks declined by 8,500 to 413,750, also the lowest level since April. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it irons out volatility in the week-to-week data.
Payless ShoeSource opens 100th franchise store
Topeka, Kan. — Collective Brands, parent to Payless ShoeSource, announced Thursday the opening of its 100th franchise store, which is located in Cirebon, Indonesia.
The store represents the seventh store in Indonesia to date and the overall rapid international expansion of the Payless store chain over the past two years through its franchise strategy.
"The franchise model has proven to be an effective way to quickly reach more international markets with the Payless brand,” said LuAnn Via, CEO and president of Payless ShoeSource.
Payless launched its franchise operation in 2009 with a Kuwait store. By the end of 2009, eight stores were operating in three countries in the Middle East — in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Payless said it anticipates the continued rapid expansion of its franchise store program, which represents an opportunity for approximately 700 stores in existing and new countries by 2014.
Cabela’s reports rise in sales and profits for Q2, to ramp up store openings
Sidney, Neb. — Cabela’s reported Thursday that net income for second quarter rose to $22.3 million, from $19.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
Total revenue increased 7.7% to $562.1 million, and same-store sales increased 4.4%.
"We are very pleased with the improvements in virtually all elements of our areas of strategic focus," said Tommy Millner, CEO. "We expect to realize further increases in return on capital as we continue to increase profitability and tightly manage our balance sheet for the rest of the year and beyond."
Millner said the performance, particularly from the recently opened next generation stores, will allow the outdoor retailer to accelerate new store openings, and said the chain expects to open five new stores in 2012 — four in the United States and one in Canada, the largest number of store openings in four years for the retailer.