FINANCE

Michaels alerts customers to potential debit- and credit-card fraud

BY CSA STAFF

Irving, Texas — Michaels Stores has learned that PIN pad tampering may have occurred in its Chicago-area stores and that customer credit- and debit-card information may have been compromised.

The company was contacted this week by banking and law enforcement authorities after some fraudulent debit-card transactions were reported over the weekend. Authorities believe the fraudulent transactions may be linked to legitimate transactions in Chicago-area Michaels stores.

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REAL ESTATE

Rue21 opens 500th store

BY CSA STAFF

Warrendale, Pa. — Apparel retailer Rue21 announced the opening of its 500th etc! store, in Franklin Mills, Pa. The etc! format was introduced five years ago to highlight the company’s expanded accessories category, and has since been incorporated into all new Rue21 stores and remodels.

The five categories of etc! — footwear, fragrance/beauty, accessories, jewelry, and the area brand of intimate apparel and sleepwear — are merchandised together in approximately 1,000 sq. ft. within Rue21 stores and have been important in driving incremental sales.

Bob Fisch, president and CEO, stated: "The etc! business continues to be an important part of our overall strategy as we push to increase our market share. As we open and convert stores to this format, we drive square footage and high-margin incremental sales, and also make our stores even more of a destination for our target demographic.”

The company is on target to open 110 new stores and convert approximately 35 existing stores to the etc! format in 2011.

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News

Dept. stores report April sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Consumers took advantage of Easter promotions and helped drive up sales at leading U.S. department stores.

Macy’s Inc. reported total sales of $1.924 billion forthe four weeks ended April 30, an increase of 10.9%compared with total sales of $1.735 billion in the four weeks ended May1. The company’s same-store sales were up 10.8%, beating Macy’s guidance for comps to be up between 8% and 9%.

"April was another strong month for our company. Macy’s andBloomingdale’s both performed well in stores and online. As a result, wealso exceeded our own aggressive expectations for the combinedMarch-April period and for the first quarter," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s Inc.

Kohl’s reported that its sales for the month of April were up 12.1% to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion last year. The company’s same-store sales increased 10.2%.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO, commented, “From a line of business perspective, accessories, home and children’s outperformed the company average for the month. The Southeast and West regions reported the strongest comparable sales for the month.”

Kohl’s said it expects its first quarter earnings to be toward the high end of its previous guidance of 68 cents to 73 cents per diluted share.

JCPenney said its net sales were up 3.4% to $1.3 billion for the month of April from $1.2 billion last year. The company’s same-store sales were up 6.4%.

According to the company, JCPenney’s strongest sales were in women’s and children’s apparel, and the Southeast was the top performing region.

Geographically, the southeast was the top performing region of the country. Throughout the month, sales and traffic in several regions were impacted by unseasonable and adverse weather trends.

JCPenney said it now expects first-quarter earnings to be approximately 24 cents per share. The company had previously expected earnings to be in the range of 18 cents to 23 cents per share.

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