FINANCE

Kroger Q3 profit falls but in line with Street; revenue up 3.2%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – Kroger Co. reported a lower third-quarter profit that matched Wall Street’s view. Net income fell to $299 million from $317 million a year earlier, partly on the costs from the pending acquisition of Harris Teeter.

Revenue grew 3.2% to $22.5 billion from $21.8 billion.

Without fuel, same-store sales grew 3.5%. With fuel they grew 2.5%.

"Our quarterly results show once again that Kroger is uniquely positioned to grow and win in the U.S. food retail industry," said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. "Our Customer 1st Strategy resulted in strong sales and earnings growth, lowered costs and helped improve Kroger’s connection with our customers in the third quarter. Every one of our more than 343,000 associates deserves recognition for their individual work to achieve an unprecedented 40 consecutive quarters of positive identical supermarket sales. I know our entire team is hard at work to achieve the 41st."

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Kellwood Company appoints new CEO

BY CSA STAFF

Kellwood Company, a leading apparel manufacturer and marketer owned by affiliates of Sun Capital Partners, has elevated Lynn Shanahan to the position of CEO of Kellwood Company, following the initial public offering of Vince, completed Nov. 27.

Shanahan’s appointment marks start of new Kellwood structure and acceleration of strategy to grow Kellwood and its brands. Previously the CEO of Kellwood Brands, Shanahan will now assume all corporate responsibilities of Kellwood Company including finance, human resources, it , e-commerce and legal in addition to her existing role running the branded, junior and private label businesses including Rebecca Taylor, David Meister, Sam Edelman and XOXO. She will report to the board of Kellwood Company.

“Lynn brings 30 years of expertise in brand building, unrivaled industry knowledge and a charismatic leadership style to a pivotal moment of our growth,” said Christopher Metz, managing partner of Kellwood Company. “We couldn’t ask for more.”

Vince, formerly a subsidiary of Kellwood Company, was successfully separated from the company in an IPO which raised $200 million. Further, Vince raised an additional $175 million in new term loans. Proceeds from the transactions were used to pay down Kellwood debt which was due in 2014 and 2017. Simultaneous with this transaction, Kellwood Company entered into a new five-year $120 million revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., to provide for its working capital needs under the new Kellwood Corporate structure.

The company is looking to Shanahan to substantially increase the business through the accelerated growth of indigenous brands, the creation of further strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

“We have outstanding brands, fast-turnaround design and production capabilities, relationships with retailers across the spectrum and a best-in-class e-commerce division. It is a thrill and an honor to be able to lead Kellwood on a vigorous path to growth with this unbeatable mix of assets,” Shanahan said.

To drive the growth strategy of Kellwood, Shanahan has added three senior executive hires to the leadership team. Joe Lombardi, appointed CFO of Kellwood Brands, is a 10-year veteran of Barnes & Noble, having held the CFO spot there. Jim Scarfone has been named as SVP, human resources, and has held executive positions at Ulta Beauty, Duane Reade and Toys “R” Us. Finally, Leslie Singer, previously EVP of sales and merchandising for NYDJ, will join the Kellwood team as president of Sam Edelman Apparel.

“Nobody is more qualified than Lynn Shanahan to take the helm of Kellwood,” said Jill Granoff, Kellwood Company’s previous CEO and current CEO of Vince. “Lynn is a proven leader with a demonstrated track record of success in building global brands."

Prior to joining Kellwood, Shanahan spent 15 years at Tommy Hilfiger where she held various senior leadership positions. Ultimately responsible for all U.S. wholesale operations, she is credited with establishing its first e-commerce capability and helped build the company’s $1 billion licensing program. She subsequently founded C2 Group and brought Finnish clothing and textile brand Marimekko back to the United States. After being named president of Marimekko’s North American division, she opened flagship stores on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, in Boston and in Beverly Hills.

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Saks Off 5th launches e-commerce site on Demandware platform

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th has launched its first e-commerce site, saksoff5th.com, on the Demandware platform. The new site is a significant milestone in the company’s omni-channel strategy, which will also include mobile and tablet commerce and digital integration with stores.

The new site features a sleek design and online shoppers have access to Saks Off 5th loyalty programs, email promotions and in store and online events, as well as a customer care team 24 hours a day. Consumers are able to connect to the retailer through social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

“The off-price business is an important part of our overall strategy. With Demandware, we quickly opened up Saks OffF 5th online, providing customers with new ways to engage and shop with us,” said Michael Burgess, president of Saks Direct. “Now, consumers have the same sophisticated shopping experience online that they are used to in-store. We plan to continually enhance the experience with new features, such as buy online and pick up in store, look online and find in-store, as well as the option to shop through mobile and tablet devices.”

Saks Off 5th worked with Demandware Link solution partner, SapientNitro, a division of Sapient, for site implementation and services.

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