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Jones Apparel 1Q Profit Falls 59%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Jones Apparel Group Inc. on Wednesday said its first-quarter profit declined 59%, as sales fell as the company exited some moderate sportswear lines.

Quarterly profit fell to $19.5 million from $47.8 million in the same period last year.

Revenue fell 10% to $975.4 million from $1.08 billion, but beat analyst expectations for revenue of $936.9 billion. Revenue was hurt by a restructuring, which had the company exit moderate sportswear lines, Jones Apparel said. Same-store sales fell 8.7%.

Jones Apparel, whose brands include Nine West and Anne Klein, said it tightened inventory control during the quarter but said markdowns at retailers was higher than the first quarter of 2007.

Jones Apparel also lowered the top end of its 2008 guidance “to match our retail customers’ conservative plans for the back half of the year,” said John T. McClain, company CFO, in a statement.

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Bridgelux names new executives

BY CSA STAFF

SUNNYVALE, Calif. Bridgelux has announced the appointments of Keith Scott as vp of business development, and David Barnby as vp of sales and general manager for EMEA.

Scott joins Bridgelux from Philips Lumileds where he grew a multi-million-dollar, solid-state lighting business while serving in various marketing and product development roles during his six-year tenure.

Barnby was the EMEA vice president of sales and marketing for Pinnacle Systems (the consumer division of Avid Technology) where he was responsible for managing the consumer IT retail and distribution channels across Europe, Central/Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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Wal-Mart to cash stimulus checks for free

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. With Wal-Mart’s motto of ‘Save Money. Live Better,” it’s no surprise that the retailer has announced new incentives to get shoppers to spend their stimulus checks at its stores. The company announced that it will cash the rebates for free – with no purchase required – and will offer shoppers new rollbacks on items such as shampoo, breakfast juice and cereal.

As an added incentive to get shoppers to spend their checks at Wal-Mart stores, the company said it will refund the purchase fee on its Wal-Mart MoneyCard when any portion of the economic stimulus check is loaded onto the card.

Additionally, Sam’s Club will cash checks for free for its members. It will also offer its own economic stimulus bonus in the form of a $40 gift of membership on select product purchases May 11 through May 31 so new members will save all year long.

“We’re looking at this through the eyes of our customers, who need low prices all the time,” said John Fleming, evp and chief merchandising officer of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S. “And that’s what we’ve always done best,” he added.

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