FINANCE

Kohl’s profit up 6%; raises full-year outlook

BY CSA STAFF

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Corp. said Thursday its first-quarter earnings rose 6%, helped by online sales and Easter demand in the Southeast.

Net income rose to $211 million from $199 million in the year-ago period. Sales in the quarter ended April 30 rose 3.1% to $4.16 billion. Same-store sales were up 1.3%.

“We have strengthened our marketing for the second quarter and believe that we will see pent-up demand for seasonal businesses, which would allow us to achieve a better [same-store sales result] and even stronger financial results in the second quarter,” said CEO Kevin Mansell.

He added that the company’s online sales are on track to reach $1 billion this year and it is opening a third fulfillment center to help support the holiday 2011 peak season. The center, in Edgewood, Md., should open in July,

During the quarter, Kohl’s opened nine stores, giving it a total of 1,097 stores in 49 states. The retailer expects to open an additional 31 stores and remodel an additional 70 stores later this year.

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REAL ESTATE

Food Lion opens third LEED-certified store

BY CSA STAFF

Salisbury, N.C. — Food Lion has opened its third LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified store, in Hope Mills, N.C.

“By building our third LEED grocery store, we will reduce energy costs by more than 20% compared to a typical supermarket, as well as conserve 40% more water than other Food Lion stores,” said Kyle Mitchell, VP of store development for Delhaize America South. “Food Lion has one of the most advanced retail energy conservation programs in the country.”

Kyle noted that, for the past 10 years, Food Lion has been dedicated to sustainability initiatives for the past 10 years, such as energy conservation and reducing carbon dioxide emissions throughout its 11-state footprint, reducing its energy consumption by more than 27% since 2000 or 2.5 trillion BTUs.

The new Hope Mills store features a number of eco-friendly features including LED lighting in the frozen food cases, low-flow and sensor-activated water fixtures in restrooms and native plant species that eliminate irrigation requirements.

Other green features include:

  • Enhanced air quality for associates and customers by using low-toxicity materials and implementing proactive management plans throughout construction to ensure optimal indoor air quality.
  • Environmental education via a kiosk in the store.
  • Construction waste diverted from landfills through recycling.
  • Customer and associate recycling programs at the store feature environmentally friendly construction and energy-efficient services, including an on-site recycling center, an educational kiosk and preferred parking for carpool vehicles.
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FINANCE

Retail sales rise for 10th straight month in April

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — Retail sales rose 0.5% in April after a 0.9% increase in March, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It was the tenth straight increase and came as consumers spent more on gasoline, clothing and autos in April.

Much of the gain in April, however, came from a surge in gasoline and food prices. Excluding a 2.7% jump in gasoline sales, the increase was a much smaller 0.2%.

Grocery stores sales jumped 1.5% — triple the March increase. That partly reflected higher food prices.

The overall gain in sales in April was the smallest increase since July. However, the government did revise up the March increase from a previous estimate of 0.4% to a much stronger 0.9% gain. February sales were also revised up to show a stronger 1.3% increase rather than the previous 1.1% increase.

The Commerce Department report was at odds with reports from 28 of the nation’s biggest retail chains, the Associated Press said. According to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers, these retailers enjoyed strong sales last month and over the past two months saw sales rise 5.25%, compared with the same period a year ago.

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