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McDonald’s net income dips in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. – McDonald’s Corp. reported net income of $1.2 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, a 5.5% decline from $1.27 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Total revenues grew 1% to $6.7 billion, from $6.2 billion.

Global same-store sales grew 0.5%, including a 1.7% decline in the U.S. and 1.4% increase in Europe. McDonald’s attributed negative same-store sales in the U.S. to challenging industry dynamics and severe winter weather. Looking ahead, the retailer said the U.S. remains focused on improving the restaurant experience through a continued commitment to operations and service excellence, customer engagement and menu choice to drive sales and profitability.

The retailer expects moderate global same-store sales growth for April 2014. Looking forward, McDonald’s is focused on stabilizing key priority markets including the U.S., Germany, Australia, and Japan.

"At McDonald’s, we aspire to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink, and our actions are grounded in creating the best overall experience for our customers," said McDonald’s president and CEO Don Thompson. "In the near term, we are prioritizing our efforts around those elements of the restaurant experience that are most impactful, offering the best food and beverage options and delivering outstanding service. For the long term, we are focused on more effectively leveraging consumer insights to guide our global growth priorities of optimizing our menu, modernizing the customer experience and broadening accessibility to brand McDonald’s. We are intent on pursuing initiatives that will strengthen our relationship with our customers to reignite our business momentum."

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Rent-A-Center will consolidate 150 stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas – Rent-A-Center Inc. reported declining net earnings for first quarter 2014, even as revenues slightly grew. The company said it plans to optimize its U.S. store footprint by consolidating about 150 stores into existing stores by the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2014.

Net earnings fell 37% to $28.9 million from $46.1 million, while total revenues increased 1.8% to $833.7 million from $819.3 million. Same-store sales dropped 0.8%.

Rent-A-Center attributed its declining net earnings performance to a pre-tax charge and a write-off of unamortized financing costs from a previous credit agreement.

"We are generally pleased with our results in the quarter as we reported total revenues of $834 million, an increase of $15 million year-over-year, and our adjusted net earnings per diluted share of $0.57 exceeded expectations," said Robert D. Davis, CEO of Rent-A-Center Inc. "We remain aware of continued challenges in the macro-economic environment but our focus remains on the execution of the strategy communicated in our February investor day to build shareholder value.”

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Barney’s launches iPad app

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Barney’s New York has released its iPad app. Created in partnership with mobile development and design firm Fueled, the app will allow users to experience the shopping functionality found on Barneys.com seamlessly integrated with relevant and exclusive content, providing background and insight into purchases.

New functions on the app include a personal shopping scheduling tool and shoppable content from Barney’s luxury editorial site “The Window.” It will also feature exclusive content and products from Barney’s “Exclusively Ours” collection.

Other significant functionality additions include a mobile scheduler, allowing users to directly schedule a consultation with a personal shopper and the ability to work in advance on preferences and shopping needs. This feature will launch in the Madison Avenue flagship store and roll out over the next year to the other stores and areas of business.

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