FINANCE

Private equity firms take 76% stake in AllSaints; U.S. expansion likely

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — All Saints, the U.K. fashion retailer known for its dark interiors and edgy threads, has been bought by British investment firm Lion Capital and U.S. private equity firm Goode Partners, Britain’s The Telegraph reported. The purchase is likely to speed the chain’s expansion in the United States.

Following the deal, Lion, which also owns the La Senza lingerie brand, will own 65% of All Saints and Goode Partners will own 11%. Company founder Kevin Stanford will own 15%; company management, headed by Stephen Craig, will own 9%.

Lyndon Lea, a partner at Lion Capital, said that expansion in the United States is the "holy grail" for AllSaints, according to the report. The retailer will also target such European capital cities as Paris and Rome, and Asia. Lea said that the chain could open 50 new stores in around two years "without breaking stride."

AllSaints was put on the block after majority shareholders Kaupthing and Glitnir, the Icelandic banks that collapsed during the financial crisis, decided to sell their holding. They inherited the stakes following the collapse of Icelandic investment company Baugur.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart exec to run fast-growing Save-A-Lot

BY CSA STAFF

Eden Prairie, Minn. — Supervalu has named Santiago Roces, a former Wal-Mart Stores executive, as the CEO and president of its discount Save-A-Lot division. Roces, who most recently served as senior VP and general manager of Wal-Mart’s small-format division, replaces Bill Shaner, who led Save-A-Lot since 2006 and worked for Supervalu for 27 years.

Supervalu it plans to double the number of Save-A-Lot stores, growing it to more than 2,400 locations by the end of 2015.

Roces is not the first Wal-Mart executive to join Supervalu. Company CEO Craig Herkert also worked at the giant discounter.

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FINANCE

ComScore: Q1 online sales up 12% to $38 billion

BY CSA STAFF

Reston, Va. — Online U.S. retail spending reached $38.0 billion for the first quarter, up 12% versus year ago, according to comScore. It marked the sixth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and second consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.

“Faced with rapidly rising gas prices and stubbornly high unemployment, consumers continued to take advantage of the Internet’s lower prices by shifting their spending from offline retail stores,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “In fact, in the first quarter, the growth in e-commerce spending was roughly double that observed at offline retail.”

The top-performing online product categories were: video games, consoles & accessories; books & magazines; computers/peripherals/PDAs; consumer electronics; and computer software (excluding PC games). Each of the categories grew at least 13% in first quarter 2011 over a year ago.

According to comScore, the Top 25 online retailers accounted for 67.7% of dollars spent online, the same percentage as last year.

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