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Mothers Work Reports 1Q Earnings Increase

BY CSA STAFF

Philadelphia, Mothers Work, Inc. announced its net income for the first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006 was $1.4 million, up from $0.4 million from the same period the year before. Net sales for the quarter decreased 1.9% to $148.5 million from $151.4 million in the same quarter of the preceding year. The decrease in net sales for the quarter was primarily driven by a decrease in comp-store sales.

Comp-store sales decreased 2.1% during the first quarter of fiscal 2007 compared to an increase of 3.1% during the first quarter of the previous year.

During the quarter, the company opened three stores and closed six stores, with one of the store closings related to a prior period multi-brand store opening. As of the end of December 2006, the company operated 807 stores, 787 leased department locations and 1,594 total retail locations.

The company also announced it is currently exploring ways to refinance the remaining $90 million of its 11-1/4% Senior Notes with lower cost debt.

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Survey: Wealthy Rank Harry Winston as Top Jewelry Brand

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Ultra-wealthy consumers rate Harry Winston the leading brand of luxury jewelry by a wide margin, with Buccellati coming in second, slightly above third-place Cartier, according to the Luxury Institute’s 2007 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey of Luxury Jewelry.

The 20 luxury jewelry brands surveyed in alphabetical order include: Asprey, Blue Nile, Boucheron, Buccellati, Bulgari, Carrera y Carrera, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, David Yurman, DeBeers, Dior, FRED, Graff, Gucci, Harry Winston, Mikimoto, Piaget, Tiffany, and Van Cleef and Arpels.

A nationally representative sample of ultra-wealthy American consumers, with a minimum household income of $200,000 and a minimum household net worth of $5 million, was surveyed online.

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Merchant Risk Council to Hold Conference

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle, The Merchant Risk Council (MRC), an association for preventing online fraud and promoting secure e-commerce, will hold its 5th annual conference March 12-15, 2007, at the Wynn Las Vegas.

The conference attracts CFOs and risk-management professionals from the retail industry, e-commerce payment and risk-management vendors, credit-card and alternative-payment company representatives, as well as law-enforcement professionals.

Information about the conference can be found on www.merchantriskcouncil.org/conference.

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