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RadioShack changes fiscal calendar, board member retires

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas — At the conclusion of the current fiscal year on December 31, RadioShack will align its fiscal year-end to a traditional 52-week retail calendar with the fiscal year ending on the Saturday closest to January 31st. RadioShack says this is the format used by the majority of retailers today.

RadioShack cites benefits to changing the company’s yearend such as easier comparability between RadioShack and its peers, as well as more efficient tracking and measuring of the company’s performance during the year. As a result of this change, the company will have a stub period between January 1, 2014 and February 1, 2014 that will be identified as Fiscal Year 2014. Fiscal Year 2015 will run between February 2, 2014 and January 31, 2015.

In other RadioShack news, Thomas G. Plaskett has resigned from the company’s board of directors. Plaskett had served on the RadioShack Board since 1986, and was a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee as well as the Corporate Governance Committee. His retirement is effective immediately, and the company intends to begin a search for a new independent director to fill his board seat.

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Sprouts Farmers Market commences public offering

BY Dan Berthiaume

Phoenix — Sprouts Farmers Market has commenced an underwritten public offering of 22.5 million shares of its common stock by affiliates of Apollo Global Management and certain other stockholders of the company. The underwriters of the offering will have the option to purchase up to an additional 3.375 million shares of common stock from the selling stockholders.

Apollo is offering approximately 11.8 million of the total shares (13.6 million if the underwriters’ option is exercised in full). The selling stockholders will receive all of the proceeds from the offering.

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Survey: Holiday shoppers support decisions with smartphones

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago — Eighty-six percent of consumers plan to use their phones this holiday season, and it goes beyond looking up prices. Vibes, a mobile marketing technology vendor, revealed consumer research presenting the specific ways shoppers plan to use their mobile phones to check off their lists this holiday season.

Topping the list is looking up product information in order to trigger purchase decisions (53%) followed by finding specific store information such as location and hours (48%). Other key findings include:

  • For 53% of consumers, the No. 1 way they plan to use their phones this holiday season is to look up product information in order to help make the right purchase
  • For retailers to break through the noise this holiday season, consumers report the following resonate most to get them into a store:
  • 44% want to receive compelling offers and discounts
  • 17% are looking for the best selection of products
  • 14% will look for the most convenient location
  • 13% want personalized offers/discounts relevant to their behaviors (earlier research from Vibes found that 89% of consumers would sign up for mobile messages if they were personalized)
  • 34% will use their phones as a mobile wallet to organize coupons and loyalty cards (earlier research from Vibes found that 44% of non-mobile wallet users claim a non-payment mobile wallet tool would enhance their shopping experience)
  • When it comes to using their phones to shop, 32% of consumers plan to make purchases on mobile websites, demonstrating the importance for retailers to develop omnichannel strategies

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