FINANCE

Prada to use IPO proceeds to expand, renovate stores

BY CSA STAFF

Hong Kong — Italian fashion house Prada, which is preparing for an initial public offering of about $2 billion in Hong Kong, said it plans to use most of the proceeds on expansion and renovation of its stores over the next 18 months.

The Milan-based company said it plans to add a net total of about 80 directly operated stores by the end of January 2012, most of them in the Asia Pacific region, where it sees "substantial potential for growth," Prada said in the a regulatory filing.

The fashion house has about a third of its 326 directly operated stores in Asia-Pacific, its fastest-growing market.

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FINANCE

Sport Chalet swings to profit in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles — Sporting goods chain Sport Chalet reported Thursday that it swung to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter of $0.3 million, from a net loss of $0.3 million in the year-ago period.

Sales increased 8.8% to $98.2 million. Same-store sales edged up 1.3%.

The fourth quarter profit was the chain’s first in 13 quarters.
ff and service, and store facility.

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OPERATIONS

Ace Hardware ranks highest in customer satisfaction in J.D. Power survey

BY CSA STAFF

Oak Brook, Ill. — The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Store Satisfaction Study again ranked Ace Hardware “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores.” Ace has held this position since the organization began researching the home improvement category five years ago.

“Ace is a go-to resource in communities large and small throughout America, and our retailer-owned stores know how to deliver on the brand’s helpfulness promise,” said Ray Griffith, president and CEO of Ace Hardware. “We strive to make a positive impact on our customers and be the ‘helpful place’ they know and trust.”

The J.D. Power and Associates study is based on responses from more than 6,900 consumers who purchased home improvement products or services in the previous 12 months. Ace Hardware ranked highest among major retailers with an overall satisfaction index score of 786 on a 1,000-point scale. According to consumers, Ace performs particularly well in the staff and service and store facility categories.

The score is based on performance in five areas: merchandise, price, sales and promotions, staff and service, and store facility.

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