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PBTeen launches design blog

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – PBTeen, a Williams-Sonoma banner aimed at young consumers, has launched a design blog aimed specifically at teens. The vision of the blog, known as The Stylehouse, is to give tweens and teens a place to find design inspiration and fuel their budding imaginations for home décor.

Content will be created by PBteen editors, brand ambassadors and curated blogger partnerships. The blog will focus on four primary channels of decorating, celebrating, dorm, and behind the scenes.

“The Stylehouse is a natural extension of the PBteen brand that allows us to connect with our teen customers in a thoughtful relevant way,” said Sandra Stangl, president of Pottery Barn Brands. “We hope The Stylehouse will provide an engaging experience for tweens and teens where they will be encouraged to explore their creativity and unique personal style.”

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Domino’s extends advertising partnership with CP&B

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Domino’s Pizza has finalized a renewal agreement with its national agency of record, CP+B, through 2016. The partnership began in 2008 and included Domino’s “Pizza Turnaround” in 2010, when the chain changed its core pizza recipe.

"Both Domino’s and CP+B take a great deal of pride in being a part of one of the more memorable turnarounds in the history of quick service restaurants," said Russell Weiner, Domino’s Pizza chief marketing officer. "But beyond just the turnaround itself, the thing that has impressed us the most about working with CP+B is the way we have found ways to sustain both our strong results and consistent messages in the four years since."

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Sears narrows Q4 loss as it cuts costs and inventory; sales drop 14%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Holdings Corp. narrowed its loss for the fourth quarter as it lowered expenses and reduced inventory.

Sears said Thursday that it lost $358 million for the period ended Feb. 1, compared with a loss of $489 million a year ago.

Sales plunged 14% to $10.6 billion, from $12.3 billion. Sears’ revenue performance was hurt partly by having one less week in the latest quarter and having fewer Sears and Kmart stores, the company said.

Same-store sales fell 6.4%. At Sears stores, the metric was down 7.8%. It fell 5.1% at Kmart.

For the fiscal year, Sears reported a net loss of $1.4 billion, compared to a $930 million net loss in the previous fiscal year.

Revenues also declined during the fourth quarter and fiscal year. Quarterly revenues dropped 14% to $10.6 billion from $12.3 billion, and annual revenues declined 9% to $36.2 billion from $39.9 billion. Same-store store sales declined 3.8%, with decreases of 3.6% at Kmart and 4.1% at Sears Domestic.

Sears cited costs of transforming into a “member-centric” retailer using an integrated online platform and the omni-channel Shop Your Way membership program, as contributing to its net losses. Declining revenues were attributed to lower same-store sales and having fewer stores in operation.

“During 2013, we made progress in our continuing transformation into a member-centric retailer leveraging Shop Your Way and integrated retail, which we believe will position us for enhanced growth and profitability to create long-term shareholder value,” said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings’ chairman and CEO. “Our full year results are impacted during this transformation as we continue supporting traditional promotional programs and marketing expenditures while we invest in our Shop Your Way program and integrated retail strategy. We have been investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in our transformation and will continue to invest in the future of the company.”

The company said it continues to explore “strategic alternatives” for its auto centers and Lands’ End business.

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