FINANCE

Mall traffic impacts Wet Seal forecast

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foothill Ranch, Calif. – The Wet Seal Inc. revising its financial guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 ending November 2, 2013. The company now expects to report a same-store sales increase in the low-single digits, compared to previously forecast mid-single digits, as well as a larger net loss than previously estimated.

“Following our strong start to the quarter, mall traffic softened considerably during September and has continued into October, resulting in an increasingly promotional competitive environment in recent weeks,” said John D. Goodman, CEO of Wet Seal. “We expect to deliver improvement in most key financial metrics versus the year ago period, but the need to implement more extensive promotions than planned has caused us to lower our margin and earnings expectations for the quarter.”

The company will report third quarter fiscal 2013 sales on Nov. 7, 2013, and expects to report full financial results and hold its quarterly earnings conference call on Nov. 25, 2013.

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FINANCE

Report: Kenyan retailer decides against Wal-Mart sale

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Kenyan retailer Naivas reportedly will not sell a controlling interest in the company to Wal-Mart’s South African subsidiary Massmart. According to Reuters, a Naivas executive said the retailer no longer plans to sell 50% plus one share of its stock to Massmart.

Reports in August 2013 indicated Naivas was preparing to sell a controlling stake to Massmart. Massmart executives have publicly stated the retailer, which currently operates 29 stores in 11 African countries outside South Africa, still intends to expand into Kenya.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Vitamin Shoppe opens distribution center in Virginia

BY Dan Berthiaume

North Bergen, N.J. – Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. has opened a new 311,740-sq.-ft. distribution center in Ashland, Va. The center began receiving inbound inventory in June 2013 and outbound shipments to stores began in September 2013.

As of October 15, 2013, the center was shipping inventory to 56 Vitamin Shoppe stores located in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana. The center, which was built to the Vitamin Shoppe’s specifications, features state-of-the art conveyor and picking and packing systems to move goods and orders throughout the facility.

"The opening of this distribution center was a large undertaking for the team as we positioned the company for future growth,” said Tony Truesdale, CEO of Vitamin Shoppe. “I am very pleased with our supply chain team and their ability to successfully execute against this significant project. The facility opened on time and on budget. We began with shipments to 14 stores and have added delivery to more stores every week. Given the success that we have experienced with the service levels, we expect the Ashland DC to be servicing 120 stores by year-end."

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