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Lampert, the Eli Manning of retail?

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. The New York Giants triumph over the highly favored New England Patriots in the Super Bowl earlier this month, has become an example of coming from the bottom to win it all. Sears Holdings chairman Edward Lampert is one of the latest to use the Giants win, even going as far to compare himself, and the leaders of his company, to quarterback Eli Manning.

The Giants analogy, and Eli Manning comparison, is applied mainly to the company’s Kmart division. In a letter to investors, posted on the Sears Holdings investor relations Web site, Lampert said during Kmart’s bankruptcy in 2002, the unit was “like an undrafted free agent who nobody thought had a chance to play in the big leagues.” Lampert went on to say, “Like Eli Manning, we know what it’s like to be underestimated and questioned, but we intend to keep working on our game to achieve our full potential.”

Sears Holdings reported net income of $426 million, or $3.17 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, compared with net income of $811 million, or $5.27 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3, 2007. For the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, 2008, net income was $826 million, or $5.70 per diluted share compared with net income of $1.5 billion, or $9.58 per diluted share, for the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, 2007.

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Kohl’s sees 4Q net income fall

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s today reported that net income for the quarter ended Feb. 2 was $411.7 million, or $1.31 per diluted share, compared with $484.6 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales were $5.5 billion, an increase of 0.7% for the quarter. Comparable-store sales for the quarter decreased 4%.

The company reported that net income for the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, 2008, net income was $1.1 billion, or $3.39 per diluted share, compared with $1.1 billion or $3.31 per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales were $16.5 billion for the year, an increase of 5.6% over $15.6 billion a year ago. On a comparable 52-week basis, comparable-store sales decreased 0.8%.

Larry Montgomery, Kohls chairman and ceo, said, 2007 proved to be a difficult year for most retailers, and Kohls was no exception. Despite a challenging year which saw deep discounts across the industry, our gross margin increased over the prior year as a result of improved inventory management and increased penetration from our private and exclusive brands. Additionally, we achieved record sales for our sixteenth consecutive year as a public company and increased our diluted earnings per share over last year. 

Based on assumptions of a total sales increase of 5% to 8% and a comparable sales change of 0% to negative 3%, the company expects earnings per diluted share of $3.15 to $3.50 for the year. For the first fiscal quarter, the company expects earnings per diluted share of 50 cents to 54 cents.

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Spring to head Bloomingdale’s

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI Tony Spring has been named president of Macy’s Inc.’s Bloomingdale’s division, effective immediately. Since 2005, Spring has served as Bloomingdale’s senior evp and director of stores, with additional responsibility for Bloomingdale’s shopping services and creative services. In his new role, Spring will be responsible for the division’s stores, marketing, creative services, finance, operations and restaurants.

“As Bloomingdale’s grows its presence nationally, the addition of an operating principal will provide the division with additional management resources and support,” said Macy’s Inc. vice chair Susan Kronick, to whom Bloomingdale’s reports. “Tony Spring is an exceptional executive who has proven himself to be resourceful and creative in supporting growth of the Bloomingdale’s brand. He and Mike Gould will represent a powerful principal team as Bloomingdale’s continues to build its market presence serving the needs of fashion-forward, upscale customers coast to coast.”

Spring began his career at Bloomingdale’s as an executive trainee in the White Plains store and went on to hold various buying positions in the home furnishing area. In 1995, Spring was promoted to senior vp for home furnishings, and two years later was named senior vp for marketing. In 1998, he was promoted to evp for marketing and in 2003 added bloomingdales.com, Bloomingdale’s by Mail and restaurants to his responsibilities. In 2004, Spring was named senior evp responsible for marketing, Bloomingdale’s Direct and restaurants before becoming director of stores in 2005.

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