FINANCE

McDonald’s reports small Q2 gains

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. — McDonald’s Corporation reported modest global gains in net income, revenues and same-store sales during the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Both its profit and revenue trailed analysts’ estimates.

The fast-food giant earned a consolidated net income of almost $1.4 billion during the quarter, a 5% increase from about $1.35 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Those earnings came from consolidated revenues of $7.08 billion, which were up 2% from about $6.91 billion a year earlier. Consolidated same-store sales rose 2%.

In the U.S., same-store sales rose 1%, with new product introductions across the four key growth categories of chicken, beef, breakfast and beverages, ongoing support for the Dollar Menu and greater accessibility to McDonald’s classic core favorites supporting the segment’s sales performance, partially offset by comparison to promotional activity in the previous year.

In Europe, same-store sales were down 0.1% as negative results in Germany and France were nearly offset by solid performance in the U.K. and Russia. In Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA), second quarter comparable sales declined 0.3% primarily due to negative results in China, Australia and Japan nearly offset by positive performance in many other markets.

"McDonald’s results for the quarter reflect our efforts to strengthen our business momentum for the long-term," said McDonald’s president and CEO Don Thompson. "We remain strategically focused on the global growth priorities that help us better serve our customers. While the informal eating out market remains challenging and economic uncertainty is pressuring consumer spending, we’re continuing to differentiate the McDonald’s experience by uniting consumer insights, innovation and execution."

However, Thompson cautioned that global same-store sales for this month are expected to be relatively flat and may be challenged for the rest of the year, although he is confident long-term profitability is not threatened.

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OPERATIONS

Sears offers personalized omni-channel coupons

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears is offering personalized digital coupons to members of its Shop Your Way loyalty program that are redeemable in-store, online and from a mobile device. Members can download the virtual coupons, tailored to their interests, style preferences and shopping habits, from the Internet or the Sears mobile app.

The digital coupons are part of a number of special omni-channel offerings Sears provides, which include same-day, free in-store pickup of online purchases, mobile checkout, “endless aisles” online-only product assortment and free home delivery of out-of-stock items.

"No matter how or where our Shop Your Way members choose to shop with us during back-to-school season Sears has a way to do so conveniently, save time and money, and earn rewards," said Ron Boire, executive VP, chief merchandising officer and president, Sears and Kmart Formats. "We are creating experiences that make our Shop Your Way members come back for more – that’s why we expanded our apparel brands and in-store technology to appeal to the individual fashion and shopping styles of our members and customers."

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Office Depot offers online back-to-college help

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot is offering college students a variety of online back-to-school shopping services through a dedicated page on its e-commerce site. Features include an online catalog geared toward college students and an online college checklist, as well as a partnership with connected learning platform Chegg.

Through the Chegg partnership, Office Depot will run a contest called the “Countdown to College Giveaway” with prizes including technology devices and school supplies, and co-authored online tips and articles.

“As with all levels of education, college students need to be equipped with the right tools to succeed,” said Bob Moore, executive VP and chief marketing and merchandising officer for Office Depot. “At Office Depot, we will not only help them find the latest in technology, services and supplies, but also provide educational guidance in order to make each year fulfilling as possible.”

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