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Michael Kors Q1 sales, profit soar

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Michael Kors Holdings Ltd’s first-quarter net income surged 50% amid strong sales overseas. The luxury retailer earned a better-than-expected $187.7 million for the three months ended June 28, up from $125 million from a year ago.

Net sales jumped 44% to $887 million. Total revenue — which includes licensing revenue — climbed 43% to $919.2 million. Global same-store sales for the quarter rose 24.2%.
"In North America, revenue increased 30%, with comparable store sales growth of 18.7%,” said Michael Kors CEO John Idol.

“In addition, the 30% growth in our North American wholesale segment reflects ongoing momentum in our brand as well as the continued benefit from our shop-in-shop conversions. In Europe, we were extremely pleased with our revenue growth of 128%, which was driven by a comparable store sales increase of 54.2%, as well as strength in our wholesale business. Lastly, revenue in Japan increased 89%, driven by comparable store sales growth of 48.8%."

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Toys’R’Us rolls out #LetsPlay campaign

BY CSA STAFF

Toys"R"Us is unveiling a new hashtag — #LetsPlay — for its latest ad campaign, which features traditional television spots. The retailer will also be leveraging Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and The Toys"R"Us YouTube Channel to share ‘C’mon, Let’s Play’ content, including commercial clips, behind-the-scenes photos and video from the campaign shoot.

The strategy includes a cross-platform presence on desktop, mobile and tablet with premier placements on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

The company will also invite customers to join the conversation online and share how toys inspire them in their everyday lives using the hashtag, #LetsPlay, which can be seen in the TV ad and in many of the Toys"R"Us print and digital marketing vehicles.

The brand campaign was designed in partnership with advertising agency The Escape Pod and ‘Action Movie Kid’ YouTube channel creator Daniel Hashimoto.

Serving as inspiration for this new brand campaign was one of Hashimoto’s original ‘Action Movie Kid’ viral videos filmed at his local Toys"R"Us, which shows his three-year-old son James playing with a toy light saber he picked up off the shelf and magically unleashing its powers via special effects, as though he were a real-life Star Wars character.

Toys"R"Us partnered with Hashimoto, who is represented by United Talent Agency, to direct its latest TV ads, which include 15- and 30-second spots that will serve as the cornerstone of the company’s broader ‘C’mon, Let’s Play’ marketing plan. The broadcast advertisements, which introduce the #LetsPlay hashtag, also feature a new song written and performed by indie band Opus Orange, and produced by Emoto.

"Our mission at Toys"R"Us is to bring joy to the lives of our customers. We approach every aspect of our business thinking about how to make the shopping experience fun and engaging for kids and kids at heart," said Hank Mullany, president, Toys"R"Us, U.S. "We’ve designed our new brand campaign to showcase how we, as a specialty retailer, have the unique ability to help stimulate kids’ imaginations with the innovative playthings we carry. It also allows us to shine a light on our employees and their expertise in assisting parents to select the perfect toys to create magical, memorable moments."

The Toys"R"Us ‘C’mon, Let’s Play’ TV ads will air on all major cable networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Disney XD, E!, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, Telemundo, TLC, TBS, TNT, Univision, USA, The Hub and Oxygen. The company will also run its ads in cinemas across the country, including AMC theaters, during G and PG rated films, as well as the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

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Walgreens taps Kraft Foods veteran Timothy McLevish as EVP, CFO

BY CSA STAFF

Walgreens has appointed Timothy McLevish as Walgreens EVP and CFO. He will report to president and CEO Greg Wasson, and lead all of Walgreens’ finance functions as the company prepares to move forward with the proposed second step of its strategic partnership with Alliance Boots.

McLevish comes to Walgreens from Kraft Foods Group, one of North America’s largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, where he most recently served as EVP and CFO. Prior to Kraft, he served in CFO roles for Ingersoll-Rand, the diversified industrial company, and Mead Corp., a forestry products company. McLevish also served in a leadership role at Zellerbach Paper Company, where he was VP and general manager. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics, and also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.

“We are pleased to welcome Tim to lead our financial operations into the next chapter of Walgreens ongoing transformation as we continue to accelerate our strategic growth drivers, expand globally with Alliance Boots and prepare to embark on our journey to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise,” stated Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO. “With Tim on our senior management team, Walgreens and Alliance Boots will benefit not only from his deep and rich experience in the consumer products market, but also from his experience in bringing together companies to ensure efficient, effective and profitable growth and value creation.”

“It is a privilege to join such an admirable company, especially at this exciting and pivotal time as Walgreens expands to become a global enterprise,” McLevish said. “I look forward to helping Greg and the team achieve the company’s important mission and carry out their remarkable vision to expand health and wellbeing across America and around the world for the benefit of customers, patients, health care partners and shareholders.”

McLevish succeeds Wade Miquelon, EVP, CFO and president of international for Walgreens, who will continue as an advisor to assist the company with the transition as it considers the exercise of Step 2 of its strategic partnership with Alliance Boots. Miquelon also will move forward to pursue several new opportunities outside of the company.

“Wade’s remarkable leadership, strategic vision and expertise played a critical role in helping Walgreens transition and transform from a 20th century American drugstore chain into a 21st century global health and wellbeing enterprise, setting the stage for a new generation of growth and value creation for all,” Wasson said. “Wade has been a strong contributor as together we charted and pursued a bold new course for Walgreens globally. We know Wade can’t resist a new challenge, so we thank him and wish him the very best as he moves forward with the next chapter of his outstanding career.”

“It’s been one of the greatest privileges and pleasures of my career to help Greg and the team to bring this iconic American company to the brink of becoming a fully global health and wellbeing enterprise to serve the world,” Miquelon said. “This truly has been an incredible journey and chance to serve. Now that we are preparing to move forward with bringing together these two iconic brands, it’s the right time for me to transition to new challenges and new opportunities. I know Tim will bring tremendous experience and insight to this exceptional company and continue to grow and develop an outstanding finance and accounting organization.”

Miquelon joined Walgreens in June 2008 as SVP and CFO, and was promoted to EVP in 2009. In 2012, following his leadership in establishing Walgreens strategic partnership with Alliance Boots in June of that year, Miquelon assumed an expanded and global leadership role as EVP, CFO and president, international, and joined the board of Alliance Boots. As he continued to lead Walgreens finance functions as CFO, Miquelon also served as Wasson’s senior leader in collaborating with the Alliance Boots management team to execute the new global strategic partnership.

Among many other achievements at Walgreens, Miquelon played a central role in launching and advancing the Walgreens-Alliance Boots strategic partnership. In March 2013, Miquelon also led the establishment of the Walgreens-Alliance Boots strategic, long-term relationship with AmerisourceBergen of Valley Forge, Penn., to streamline the distribution of pharmaceuticals and leverage global supply chain efficiencies.

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