Lampert’s ESL to assume Sears vendor payment obligations
Hoffman Estates, Ill. — In a move to ensure that vendors continue to supply Sears its goods, Sears Holdings Corp.’s top shareholder ESL Investments, a hedge fund owned by Edward Lampert, has agreed to assume some payment obligations.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday and reported by Reuters, Sears said ESL made a deal on Jan. 26 with a financial institution to acquire 80% interest in an agreement designed to ensure payment to vendors in the event of a bankruptcy filing by a company.
In January, Reuters reported that business lender CIT Group would again stop providing loans to suppliers of Sears over concerns about the retailer’s financial well-being.
As of Jan. 28, ESL held a participation interest of $93.3 million in the financial institution’s agreements relating to the company. Sears is neither a party nor will become a party to any of these agreements, according to the filing.
Ross reports 19% rise in Q4 profit after strong holiday selling season
Pleasanton, Calif. — Ross Stores Inc. reported Thursday that profit for the quarter ended Jan. 28 rose 19% to $192 million, from $161.8 million last year. A profitable holiday season helped boost the discounter’s results, which met Wall Street expectations.
Sales surged almost 12% to $2.4 billion, and same-store sales increased 7%.
For the full year, Ross reported a net income rise of 18% to $657.2 million. Sales increased 9% to $8.6 billion, with same-store sales up 5%.
“Our healthy revenue growth continues to be driven mainly by our ability to deliver compelling bargains,” said Michael Balmuth, CEO. For 2012, Balmuth said, "We believe our ability to offer customers terrific name brand bargains, while running our business with much lower store inventories, remains a key driver of sales growth and operating profitability.”
Former Safeway exec to head store ops at Dollar General
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — A former Safeway executive has joined Dollar General as its EVP store operations.
Effective March 19, Greg Sparks will assume all responsibilities for the operations of more than 9,900 retail stores in 38 states and serve on Dollar General’s real estate and store development committee, the company said. Sparks will report to chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling.
Sparks most recently served as president of Safeway’s Seattle division. His departure from the supermarket retailer was announced earlier this week.
“Greg is a proven leader with a breadth of retail experience across both operations and merchandising. Given that I have known Greg for 20 years and have had the opportunity to follow his career during this time, I believe Greg will be a great addition to Dollar General and help take our business to new levels of success,” Dreiling said.