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Michaels Stores net income skyrockets

BY Dan Berthiaume

Irving, Texas – Michael’s Stores reported an impressive 66% jump in net income during the third quarter of fiscal 2013, rising to $58 million from $35 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Net sales grew about 10%, to $1.1 billion from $1.01 billion.

In addition, same-store sales increased 7.9%, driven by a 3.9% increase in transactions and a 3.8% increase in the company’s average ticket in addition to a 20 basis point positive impact from deferred custom framing revenue. Higher gross profit, partially driven by improved merchandise margin, helped increase net income.

During the third quarter of fiscal 2013, the company opened 19 Michaels stores, relocated six and closed one store.

The company operated 33 net new Michaels stores and Aaron Brothers at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2013 as compared to the same period in fiscal 2012. Michaels opened 40, relocated 14 and closed two Michaels stores year to date.

Additionally, the company relocated two and closed four Aaron Brothers stores year to date. The company now operates 1,259 stores including 1,137 Michaels stores and 122 Aaron Brothers stores.

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Jared launches social media sweepstakes

BY Dan Berthiaume

Akron, Ohio – Jared, The Galleria Of Jewelry is launching its "12 Days of Giveaways" sweepstakes for Facebook fans and Twitter followers now through Dec. 13. The campaign, introduced last year, gives customers the chance to enter to win daily prizes featuring brands available at Jared.

Playing off the holiday tune, "The 12 Days of Christmas," Jared counts down through the December holidays by selecting a descending number of winners on Facebook each day (12 will be selected on day one, 11 on day two and so on) for a total of 78 Facebook winners by the promotion’s end. Separately, one prize will be awarded daily to contestants who have entered on Twitter for a total of 12 Twitter® prizes overall.

Visitors can enter the sweepstakes on Facebook by "liking" Jared and filling out the required entry page. For more chances to win, fans can guess each day’s prize based on the daily teaser posted on the Jared timeline. Fans can also invite their friends to enter and earn additional daily entries (up to 25 total) once a friend enters through their link.

To enter on Twitter, followers can tweet a message to @ThatsJared using the hashtag, #Jared12Days to earn one entry for the corresponding daily drawing.

"Our fans have shown us that they love to engage with our brand through fun, interactive promotions, and few have been as popular as our original Jared ’12 Days of Giveaways’ Sweepstakes," said George Murray, senior VP marketing, Sterling Jewelers Inc. "We are very excited to once again offer the sweepstakes and can’t wait for our fans to experience this year’s great prizes."

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SAP releases InfiniteInsight predictive analytics solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walldorf, Germany – SAP is releasing the new InfiniteInsight solution. Based on patented automation technology from KXEN, an SAP company, the solution is designed to provide businesses the ability to deploy predictive analytics across the enterprise.

Capabilities of SAP InfiniteInsight include analytical data sets for predictive modeling, automated modeling, optimized scoring equations, and factory capability for model refreshes as needed.

"We are excited that our leading predictive analytics solutions are now available to SAP customers bundled with predictive and visualization capabilities," said John Ball, CEO, KXEN. "We feel that we are in a unique market position to offer unmatched analytics breadth and depth in the marketplace and leveraging the real-time Big Data capabilities of SAP HANA can deliver predictive solutions easily consumed by the business and which provide tremendous value."

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