Polo’s Q4 profit plummets 57%
New York City Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. said late Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit fell 57%, hurt by job cuts and other restructuring costs as well as by increased discounts.
Retail sales fell 8% to $366 million as same-store sales dropped 16%, reflecting declines at Ralph Lauren, factory outlets and Club Monaco stores.
The company said it plans to accelerate investment in Southeast Asia, including assuming direct control of its wholesale and retail distribution there. The region, which spans from China and Hong Kong to Taiwan and Singapore, is becoming a larger part of the company’s sales mix.
The company added that it will intensify new-product development while remaining focused on identifying other cost opportunities, as it anticipated the economic uncertainty to continue throughout the year.
To tap growth in Europe, Polo said it plans to open some high-profile flagship shops in France and update its brand presentations in leading department stores. It recently introduced its Lauren line in some European locations. Sales in Europe have grown more than fivefold in the past seven years, and constant-currency sales in the recent quarter jumped at least 10%.
Rite Aid, The Skin Cancer Foundation educate consumers on proper skin care
CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid is partnering with The Skin Cancer Foundation to help educate consumers on the importance of smart skin care practices. Visitors to nearly 4,900 Rite Aid stores nationwide and online at www.riteaid.com can pick up a free 12-page guide with information from The Skin Cancer Foundation on how to prevent skin cancer by offering tips on wearing sunscreen and proper sunglasses.
Online at www.riteaid.com/health/skin/ visitors will find an interactive body map to track skin changes on a regular basis, a section about the differences between harmless spots and unusual growths that need immediate medical attention, and the facts about UVA/UVB protection.
Rite Aid also is participating for the second year in the The Skin Cancer Foundation’s “Road to Healthy Skin Tour” presented by Aveeno and Rite Aid, making 80 stops across the country — many of them local Rite Aid stores — to provide early detection services to thousands of people. At each stop, local board-certified dermatologists will conduct free full-body skin cancer screenings on a 38-ft. customized RV in one of two private rooms. Educational materials that explain how to perform monthly skin checks at home and the proper ways to protect the skin from the sun on a daily basis also are provided, along with sunscreen samples, coupons and other useful information.
Barnes & Noble launches blog to help parents encourage reading
NEW YORK Barnes & Noble announced the debut of the Letter Blocks blog on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com). Letter Blocks (www.bn.com/letterblocks) offers advice and family-friendly recommendations, enlightening and heart-warming stories about young readers and insights from some of today’s top writers.
Through August, Letter Blocks will focus on summer reading for kids, with guest blogs from authors and reading-minded celebrities. The Letter Blocks summer reading series is an extension of Barnes & Noble’s 2009 Summer Reading Program, which promotes reading outside the classroom and rewards children for reading during the summer months. Celebrity guest bloggers will contribute narratives covering a wide range of topics, including memories about the first books they read, important reading milestones, their favorite children’s books and how they influenced them and how they get their own children to read.