FINANCE

Macy’s to Shutter 11 Stores

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati Macy’s Inc. said Thursday it will close 11 underperforming stores in nine states — affecting 960 employees — and lowered its forecast for the fourth quarter after one of the weakest holiday seasons in years.

Stores slated to close include locations in Los Angeles; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and St. Louis, among others. Macy’s Inc. says the closures will cost about $65 million, most of which will be booked in the 2008 fourth quarter.

“These closings are part of our normal-course process to prune underperforming locations each year in order to maintain a healthy portfolio of stores,” said Macy’s chief executive Terry J. Lundgren in a statement.

Macy’s reported Thursday that its December same-store sales, fell 4%, which was not as bad as the 5.3% drop analysts expected.

Total sales for the five-week period ended Jan. 3 fell 5% to $4.4 billion from $4.61 billion last year.

Same-store sales fell 7.5% during the combined November and December holiday period. Macy’s said the holiday season ended with improved sales in the fourth and fifth weeks of December but sales were sluggish before that.

The company said it marked items down sharply in the fourth quarter to gain sales and reduce its inventories, but that hurt its margins and led it to lower its profit forecast for the fourth quarter and full year.

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Wal-Mart, Netflix accused of monopoly building

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores and Netflix have been accused of trying to build a monopoly for online DVD rentals in a consumer lawsuit filed Jan. 2 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, according to reports.

The plaintiffs claim that in 2005, Wal-Mart agreed to end its online rental business and refer customersto Netflix, which in turn agreed to promote Wal-Mart’s DVD movie sales.

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Family Dollar posts 1Q earnings growth

BY CSA STAFF

MATTHEWS, N.C. Family Dollar Stores reported that net income per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 13.5% to 42 cents compared with 37 cents for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the quarter increased 14.1% to $59.3 million compared with net income of $51.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

As previously reported, sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 were approximately $1.754 billion, or 4.2% above sales of approximately $1.683 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Comparable-store sales increased 2.1%.

For the fiscal year ending August 29, 2009, the company expects net sales will increase 4% to 6% and expects comparable-store sales will increase 2% to 4%. Anticipating continued strong sales of consumable merchandise, the company expects earnings per share will be between $1.63 and $1.81 in fiscal 2009.

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