FINANCE

Michael’s Stores net income soars in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Irving, Texas – Net income at Michael’s Stores Inc. soared 36% to $143 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 from $105 million in the same quarter the previous year. Net sales grew 2% to $1.55 billion from $1.52 billion and same-store sales rose 4.2%.

Michael’s credited a 53rd week in fiscal 2013, as well as increases in average ticket size and transactions, as driving its fourth quarter performance.

During the full fiscal year, net income increased 32% to $264 million from $200 million. Net sales improved 3.7% to $4.57 billion from $4.41 billion, and same-store sales increased 2.9%.

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OPERATIONS

Lowe’s brings Porch.com to all stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mooresville, N.C. – Lowe’s and Porch.com have expanded their strategic partnership to the more than 1,700 Lowe’s home improvement stores across the U.S. Every Lowe’s store in the country now features Porch as the in-store resource to help homeowners find home improvement professionals for nearly any project outside of Lowe’s current installation services.

In addition, home improvement service professionals can sign up for a free Porch profile. If a Lowe’s customer needs a professional for a service Lowe’s does not currently offer, such as handyman, painting or landscaping services, employees can access the Porch network of professionals on their mobile devices and in-store terminals to identify local providers. The service was first introduced at Lowe’s stores in the Carolinas and Seattle area in January 2014.

"While we have already been able to help our customers with projects like installing flooring or remodeling a kitchen, our partnership with Porch means we can now guide customers to find help for nearly any home improvement service, from routine maintenance to dream projects," said Jay Rebello, VP new business development and corporate innovation at Lowe’s. "Homeowners trust Lowe’s products and project expertise, and now that relationship can extend to the search for home improvement pros by providing a highly personal, localized experience through Porch."

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FINANCE

Study: Corporate data breaches damage sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Consumers avoid doing business with a breached organization at a high rate. According to a new study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research and commissioned by data management solution provider, Identity Finder, 33% of customers will shop elsewhere if their retailer of choice is breached.

However, the study shows only 30% of retailer offer breach victims protection. To protect and manage sensitive data from breaches and subsequent misuse, Javelin recommends ongoing risk assessments. For these assessments to be successful, businesses should proactively create an internal sensitive data management initiative tailored to each organization encompassing the five steps of sifting through irrelevant data and discover sensitive information, classifying information and assign accountability to clean and protect, securing and remediating unprotected files / removing at-risk data, centrally monitoring policies, actions, and good behavior going forward, and reporting compliance with policy and regulation

"A significant proportion of affected consumers discontinue or reduce their patronage post-breach," said Al Pascual, senior analyst of security, risk and fraud at Javelin Strategy & Research. "That’s real money lost in customer churn and reduced sales, and certainly demonstrates how the reputation of the organization hits the bottom line.”

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