FINANCE

Nordstrom Q3 profit up 15%; to open six pop-up shops

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Nordstrom reported third-quarter net earnings of $146 million, up 15% from $127 million for the same quarter last year. Its results were slightly below analysts’ expectations.

The company said that its third quarter same-store sales, which reflected a timing shift that moved a week of the company’s important Anniversary Sale event into August this year, increased 10.7%. Top-performing merchandise categories included men’s shoes, men’s apparel and kids’ apparel.

Combined second and third quarter same-store sales, which removes the impact of the Anniversary Sale shift, increased 7.3% compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. Net sales in the third quarter were $2.71 billion, an increase of 13.8%, compared with net sales of $2.38 billion during the same period in fiscal 2011.

The retailer said that Nordstrom Rack, which opened thirteen stores during the first nine months of the year, continued to demonstrate strong sales growth in the third quarter with increases in net sales of 16.3% and same-store sales of 8.1%.

In other news, Nordstrom will open six pop-up shops in February featuring merchandise from up-and-coming designers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The temporary shops will feature 10 designers who are finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which awards $300,000 every year to the winner and is intended to nurture young design talent, the report said.

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News

On solid 3Q, Kraft promises more innovation for key brands

BY CSA STAFF

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods Group reported that new product sales, increased advertising investment and improved productivity have contributed to profit gains for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

During the company’s third-quarter investors call, Kraft CEO Tony Vernon emphasized strong performances from Kraft’s cheese business, with nine consecutive quarters of growth; its cold cut business; and brands that have benefited from innovation and stepped-up marketing, like Lunchables, Velveeta and Kool-Aid. Several other brands — including Maxwell House, Planters and Jell-O — aren’t performing so well, and are about to undergo significant overhauls, the company announced.

"Jell-O must be revitalized, and we must do it in the face of yogurt’s explosive growth. And Planters needs significantly more work to re-establish category leadership and profitable growth," Vernon said.

Much of Kraft’s future success will depend on the company’s ability to re-energize antiquated brand names like Stove Top, Cool Whip and Shake ‘N Bake — or sell them off.

Sales for the quarter were up 3% to $4.6 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations of $4.55 billion. This is the company’s first quarter reporting earnings as a standalone company; Kraft Foods Group is now the fourth-largest food and beverage company in North America, behind PepsiCo, Nestle and Coca-Cola.

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OPERATIONS

CVS/pharmacy expands role of two field executives

BY Michael Johnsen

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy on Thursday expanded the role of two retail field executives as senior VP operations Dennis Palmer, a 37-year retail veteran, announced his retirement.

Effective Nov. 5, Hanley Wheeler, SVP operations has assumed responsibility of CVS/pharmacy’s Western and Southwestern markets while continuing to have responsibility for the company’s retail operations in its Midwest and Southeast markets.

Assuming responsibility for CVS/pharmacy’s retail operations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic is Kevin Hourican, SVP operations, who joined the CVS/pharmacy in June 2012 from Macy’s.

A pharmacist by training, Wheeler began his career at CVS/pharmacy in 1994 as an area VP. During his tenure at CVS and among his many accomplishments, Wheeler played a key role in the successful conversion of the acquired Osco and Sav-on stores, and led CVS/pharmacy’s organic growth into Chicago, Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix, as well as its entry into Puerto Rico, the company’s first market outside of the 50 U.S. states.

Prior to joining CVS/pharmacy, Hourican served as Macy’s SVP and Mid-Atlantic regional director of stores. He also served as Macy’s SVP direct-to-consumer logistics and worked for Sears from 1999 through 2006 in a series of increasingly responsible operational roles.

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