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Net loss grows on lower sales at The Pantry

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cary, N.C. – The Pantry, Inc. reported a net loss of $5.1 million in its first quarter of fiscal 2014, up from a net loss of $3.1 million the first quarter of the prior fiscal year. Revenues fell 5% to $1.8 billion from $1.9 billion, although same-store sales rose 3.5%.

"We gained further momentum in merchandise sales during the first quarter as same-store sales grew 3.5%, our strongest result since the third quarter of fiscal year 2012,” said Dennis G. Hatchell, president and CEO of The Pantry. “Our 4.1% increase in sales per customer drove this growth as inside customer traffic levels stabilized. These encouraging results were supported by continued progress upgrading our store base. During the first quarter we opened one new store, completed 28 remodels and added four new QSRs.”

In addition, the board of directors of The Pantry nominated a new independent director, Thomas W. “Tad” Dickson, former CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., for election to the board at the company’s 2014 Annual Meeting to be held in March 2014.

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Visa urges secure payments

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foster City, Calif. – Global credit and debit card issuer Visa Inc. has publicly called for adoption of secure payment technology in response to recent high-profile retailer data breaches. In a short statement contained within a financial release, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf said Visa wants to move U.S. retailers toward chip cards that use the Europass, Matercard, Visa (EMV) standard, and away from the more commonly used magnetic stripe cards.

"The recent series of data compromises are terribly unfortunate for everyone involved,” said Scharf. “However, the established and well understood rules that govern traditional networks coupled with the cooperation between merchants, financial institutions, and the networks have minimized the level of the monetary losses. But these incidents remind us of the need for all of us to continue to work together to secure payments from criminals. Visa is committed to ensuring our network operates at the highest level of security available and will continue to move the industry towards the adoption of new safeguards including EMV chip and tokenization. We also will work with all participants to look beyond these technologies.”

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Report: Jos. A. Bank investors support Men’s Wearhouse buyout talks

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – Five major investors in Jos. A. Bank — who combined own 17% of the menswear retailer — have told the company’s board they support dialogue with rival menswear retailer Men’s Wearhouse about its proposed $1.6 billion buyout offer, Bloomberg reports. Jos. A. Bank rejected the offer, which is good until March 28, on Jan. 15, and Men’s Wearhouse has publicly called for Jos. A. Bank to reconsider and said it may raise the offer.

The five investors are identified by Bloomberg as P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP, Beacon Light Capital LLC, Franklin Resources Inc., Pentwater Capital Management LP and Praesidium Investment Management Co.

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