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Lululemon 1Q profit rises 40%, outlook disappoints

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Vancouver, BC, Canada — Lululemon Athletic Inc. reported Thursday that profit for the fiscal first quarter surged 40% to $46.4 million, compared with $33.4 million last year, but lowered second quarter and full-year forecasts have alarmed investors.

Revenue for the quarter surged 53% to $285.7 million, beating Wall Street’s expected $274 million, and same-store sales rose 25%. Online sales nearly tripled in the quarter.

However, Lululemon now forecasts revenue of $273 million-$278 million in the second quarter, which would substantially miss analysts’ predicted $289.2 million in revenue. The forecast for the full year also fell short of estimates.

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Gymboree swings to profit in Q1; plans 105 new stores in 2012

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — Gymboree Corp. reported Thursday net income of $4.2 million for the quarter ended April 28, compared with a loss of $10.4 million in the same period last year.

Sales rose 10.2% to $297.8 million, and same-store sales edged up 1%.

The retailer said it is on track to open 105 stores in fiscal 2012, which include 80 Crazy 8 locations. Crazy 8 is Gymboree’s discount concept.

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Workforce reduction confirmed at Albertsons

BY CSA STAFF

FULLERTON, Calif. — A store-level workforce reduction is planned for Albertsons’ Southern California division.

The Supervalu subsidiary said 2,200 to 2,500 positions would be eliminated across all Albertsons stores in California and Nevada and is expected to directly impact a small number of positions at any specific store location. The company said the workforce reduction aims to "[simplify] its organization and reducing expenses to help reinvest in more customer facing initiatives" and added that "Albertsons has not kept pace with the changing needs of its customers for a number of reasons."

"A decision of this nature is never easy, but it is the necessary step for us to take to help improve our business and accelerate our turnaround," Albertsons’ Southern California division president Dan Sanders said. "Our goal is to more effectively serve the marketplace by scheduling associates more appropriately to serve customers at the times they shop. I am confident our team will embrace these changes and help us to compete more effectively in a rapidly changing marketplace."

The workforce reduction will go into effect the week of June 17 and should be completed near July 1, the company said.

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