OPERATIONS

Nordstrom Lays Off 30 Workers

BY CSA STAFF

Honolulu About 30 employees have been laid off from jobs at Honolulu’s new Nordstrom store, according to the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Nordstrom spokeswoman Brooke White said the move was due to softening sales.

“We had 600 and since opening we’ve lost about 100 and of that, 70 voluntarily left us or we let go due to poor performance,” White told the publication.

The company then laid off 30 people due to market conditions, she said.

Just last month the company announced a 3.8% sales decrease for the month.

Hawaii’s first full-service Nordstrom store took an additional punch from the bankruptcies of Aloha and ATA airlines, which ceased flight operations at the beginning of April, the report said.

The Honolulu store had “an unbelievable opening and an unbelievable March, but virtually right after the airlines went bankrupt, we saw a real softening in our business in Honolulu,” White said.

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Earnings to face extra scrutiny

BY CSA STAFF

Look for first-quarter financial results due out tomorrow from Target to be scrutinized even more closely than normal, as undecided investors in the company’s proxy contest get a new set of numbers on which to base their vote.

Swing voters may be disappointed, however, as the company already revealed it would beat analysts’ estimates of earnings per share of 52 cents that were in place at the time the company reported a slight uptick in April same-store sales. Analysts’ now project the company will earn 59 cents a share. The company’s top line challenges are well documented, as such discretionary categories as home and apparel remain under pressure, and monthly results for the quarter have already been reported. Improvements in profitability therefore will come largely as a result of expense control. That’s not as good as driving profits through sales, but it could be enough to persuade swing voters to side with the company’s existing slate of directors.

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Court approves sale of Sharper Image

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has approved the sale of Sharper Image. The court agreed to allow the company to sell all or part of its assets at an auction to be held on May 28.

In connection with those procedures, the court also authorized the companys entry into an asset purchase agreement and an agency agreement, each dated May 13, with a joint venture of Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, GB Brands, Hilco Merchant Resources, and Hilco Consumer Capital. Hilco/GB Joint Venture will serve as a stalking horse bidder for the purposes of the auction.

On April 24, Sharper Image reported that it has decided to pursue a sale of its business and assets pursuant to the provisions of the bankruptcy code and will solicit indications of interest from potential acquirers.

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