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Pier 1 profit up 15% in Q2

BY Staff Writer

Fort Worth, Texas — Pier 1 Imports reported Thursday that second-quarter profit rose to $16.6 million, from $14.4 million a year earlier, matching Wall Street expectations.

Sales for the quarter increased 9.6% to $339.6 million, compared with $309.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Same-store sales increased 10.8%, boosted by higher traffic and average-ticket numbers.

“Our growth plan is firmly on track, and we have returned value to our shareholders through the completion of our $100 million share repurchase program,” said Alex W. Smith, president and CEO.

Smith confirmed that Pier 1 expects to have a solid fall and holiday selling season.

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Kmart launches Latina scholarship program

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart announced that it is launching the Latina Smart Fund in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Promoted through Kmart’s Latina Smart Facebook page, the Latina Smart Fund will award $25,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors and/or students currently enrolled in college, technical or trade schools.

"Kmart recognizes education is a passion point within the Latino culture," said Nydia Sahagun, multicultural marketing director, for Sears Holdings. "Through the Latina Smart Fund, we aim to further engage and empower the Hispanic community that represents some of Kmart’s most loyal customers."

Between Sept. 15 and Oct. 31, eligible candidates can apply for the Latina Smart Fund scholarship by either submitting a 750 to 1,000 word essay or uploading a two minute video of themselves answering a topical question to Kmart’s Latina Smart Facebook page. The top 50 contestants, or most "Liked" entries, will be rated by the Latina Smart Ambassadors (Blogueras) based on criteria such as originality, style, and enthusiasm. The top 20 selections will then advance to the final round where a panel of experts in the areas of business and education will choose one $10,000 scholarship recipient and three $5,000 runner-up awards. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/latinasmart.

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Survey: Halloween spending expected to be up

BY Staff Writer

Bellevue, NY — In a survey released Wednesday by thrift retailer Savers Inc., the average family is expected to spend $300 on Halloween costumes, décor and celebrations this year.

According to the Halloween Shopping Survey, 90% of adults are planning to create a brand new look this season rather than repurpose old costumes, and another 81% will purchase new decorations for their home.

However, more than half (54%) of people planning to dress up this year will either combine new and secondhand items or make their costume by hand in order to find value.

Among the Halloween trends revealed in the survey, which polled 1,000 adults, Savers found that, on average, people dressing up for Halloween spend 61 days planning and preparing their costumes. In fact, 13% will plan for Halloween a year or more ahead. Conversely, 20% wait until the very last minute to plan their costume.

Pet owners will spend $59 on average outfitting their pets this year. And parents on average will spend $32 on a child’s costume.

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