MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

More Kmart Stores to Sell Appliances

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta Sears Holdings Corp. said on Wednesday it plans to sell appliances in more of its Kmart stores and would open more dealer stores this year.

The company also said in its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects capital spending this year to be flat with last year’s level.

Sears Holdings said earlier this year that it would reorganize into five types of business units: operating, support, online, real estate and brand. The company is also searching for a permanent chief executive.

In the filing, Sears Holdings said it “will continue to explore opportunities to profitably cross-merchandise products and services” between its Kmart and Sears stores.

That includes continuing to roll out home appliances, such as those in Sears’ proprietary Kenmore brand, to more Kmart stores, Appliances, a category in which Sears is the dominant U.S. retailer, accounted for about 15% of company revenues during fiscal 2007, the filing said.

As of Feb. 2, the end of fiscal 2007, about 280 Kmart stores were selling major home appliances, the filing said. At the end of fiscal 2005, about 100 Kmart stores were selling Sears-branded products such as tools and appliances.

The company said it opened 40 dealer stores during fiscal 2007, and would open more in rural and urban areas this year. Sears has 857 dealer stores, which sell appliances, electronics, lawn and garden equipment, hardware and car batteries.

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Pep Boys posts 4Q sales loss

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA The Pep Boys announced that sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2 were $517.6 million, as compared to the $578 million recorded for the fourth quarter ended February 3, 2007. Excluding the 14th week of fourth quarter 2006, comparable-merchandise sales decreased 4.4% and comparable-service revenue decreased 1%.

The company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $18.5 million, or 36 cents per share – basic and diluted, from net earning of $7.9 million, or 15 cents per share – basic and diluted, for the same period last year. According to Pep Boys, the net loss included $8.5 million of margin reductions related to the exiting of non-core merchandise, $6.2 million in store closure costs and $6 million in debt pre-payment costs.

Sales for the fiscal year ended Feb. 2 were $2.14 billion as compared to the $2.24 billion recorded last year. Excluding the 53rd week of 2006, comparable-merchandise sales decreased 4.2% and comparable-service revenue increased 1.8%.

Net loss increased from $7.07 million, or 13 cents per share – basic and diluted, to  $37.4 million, or 72 cents per share – basic and diluted. 

President and ceo Jeff Rachor commented, “While the difficult economic backdrop created sales challenges during the fourth quarter, we are pleased to confirm that our progress to date leaves us well positioned to complete this first important step in our strategic plan by the beginning of the second quarter of this year.

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ALDI launches ‘smart’ ad campaign

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK ALDI has launched a new television campaign in the United States.

The four commercials center on the themes of “musical,” “soccer mom,” “extended family” and “dinner party.” Each one presents a different scenario, i.e. shopping for a big family, or putting together the perfect dinner party, and ties into the ALDI motto of “shopping smart.”

The commercials can be viewed on ALDI’s Web site.

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