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Pep Boys flat in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Philadelphia — The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack reported net earnings of $5.4 million for the second quarter, down from $33 million in the year-ago quarter.

Sales for the quarter increased 0.4% to $527.6 million, from $525.7 million for the prior-year quarter. Same-store sales dipped 1.3%.

The company is looking for heavier consumer demand for tires to help turn around disappointing net earnings and same-store sales trends during the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

“Our strategically important maintenance and repair services remain steady and grew in customer count, sales and margin rate,” said president and CEO Mike Odell. “Tire sales were down in dollars and units, but grew in gross margin dollars. While not yet realized, we continue to be cautiously optimistic that we will see improving demand for tires this year.”

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Casey’s Q2 income up 43%; bullish on store expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ankeny, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores, Inc. reported impressive performance for its fiscal first quarter, with net income up 43% to $55.7 million, from $39 million.

Net revenue increased 10.5% to $2.1 billion, from $1.9 billion. The company credited strong sales in all categories, especially gasoline, with driving its performance.

Casey’s said that its annual goal is to build or acquire 70 to 105 stores and replace 20 existing locations. As of the end of the quarter, the company opened four new stores, acquired three stores, and completed five replacement stores. It has 31 new stores and 18 replacement stores under construction, as well as 19 stores under written agreement to acquire.

“Our pipeline of new store constructions and potential acquisitions is as full as it has been in recent history,” said Robert J. Myers, president and CEO of Casey’s. “Our balance sheet remains very strong and we are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities.”

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Belk’s multichannel campaign draws 220,000 registrants

BY CSA STAFF

Southern retailer Belk drew in nearly 220,000 registrants through daily prizes and giveaways in its “Belk’s 125 Days of Prizes” campaign.

Belk partnered with mobile, social and digital engagement provider ePrize to power the sweepstakes across a microsite, Facebook and mobile channels. The multichannel campaign, which aimed to promote Belk’s 125th anniversary and to increase consumer engagement with the brand, exceeded Belk’s expectations for engagement across digital channels.

Almost 220,000 consumers registered for the promotion, of whom 79.6% chose to receive updates on future promotions, offers and other news from Belk, a rate that exceeded ePrize benchmarks. In addition, 13.1% of registrants chose to receive text messages sharing exclusive offers from Belk. The rate also exceeded ePrize’s benchmarks for mobile opt-ins. Belk also accrued more followers than expected across social media platforms, more than doubling their Pinterest followers from 7,247 to 15,275. Meanwhile Facebook registrations reached 37,775, with 12,075 of registrants referring friends. And a total of 61,695 Facebook posts on the campaign. In all, more than 2 million sweepstakes entries with an average of 9.6 entries per registrant were received, and consumers uploaded more than 24,000 photos sharing their favorite Belk memories.

“Reaching our 125th year anniversary was a huge milestone for Belk, which is why we worked with ePrize to launch this unique campaign to thank our valued customers with a bevy of prizes,” explains Jon Pollack of Belk, EVP of sales promotion, marketing and e-commerce. “We were blown away with the strong engagement driven throughout the entire campaign, especially the mobile and social success. This success will only help us moving forward, as a way to further integrate multichannel engagement in our marketing efforts.”

“Retailers today understand the significant impact successful mobile and social campaigns can have on the bottom line,” explains Sara Kowal, VP of innovation at ePrize. “Although it was no surprise that Belk saw increased levels of registrations and interaction throughout the 125 Days of Prizes sweepstakes, we were impressed with the drastic shift in mobile and social engagement. We look forward to working with Belk to further establish them as mobile and social pioneers in the retail space.”

ePrize’s clients include Coca-Cola, Microsoft, The Gap, Lenovo, NHL, Yahoo!, P&G and AT&T.

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