FINANCE

RadioShack’s Q1 loss widens; updating image and stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack Corp. on Tuesday reported a bigger-than-expected first quarter loss on weak sales of wireless phone contracts. The company also reported that it is updating its brand and will begin remodeling select locations with a new look and feel over the next few weeks.

Joseph C. Magnacca, a former Walgreens executive who became CEO of RadioShack in February, remarked on the initial priorities and initiatives underway. Last week, he named a new chief marketing officer and a new SVP store concepts.

"We are rolling out a new brand image, and you will start seeing changes in our branding and advertising soon,” he said. “For our physical stores, work is underway and will begin with remodeling strategic New York City locations with a new look and feel over the next few weeks. This work will also touch our online and mobile channels over time so our customers receive a compelling, continuous and seamless experience however and whenever they shop with us.”

RadioShack’s loss in the quarter ended March 31, widened to $43.3 million from $8 million a year earlier. Sales fell 7% to $849 million, also missing analysts’ estimates.

The new CEO sounded an upbeat note.

“RadioShack has a uniquely strong franchise,” Magnacca said. “We have a powerful brand that has stood the test of time over nine decades and has a large, loyal customer following. We have strong relationships with leading vendors and a portfolio of trusted private brands that offer highly innovative technology products. We have a vast network of more than 4,300 company-operated stores and approximately 1,000 dealer outlets across the U.S. We have an established international presence in more than 25 countries, including 270 company-operated stores in Mexico. Most importantly, we have approximately 30,000 employees who are genuinely focused on delivering solutions for our customers."

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FINANCE

Report: Wal-Mart CEO compensation rose 14% to $20.7 million in 2012

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Wal-Mart Stores CEO Mike Duke received pay package in 2012 worth $20.7 million, up 14% from the previous year, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing Monday. Duke’s performance-based cash bonus jumped more than 50%.

In the regulatory filing, Wal-Mart said that starting this year, it will tie some of Duke’s compensation, along with that of other top executives, to the company’s success in strengthening its compliance controls. Traditionally, compensation has been based on financial measures.

Duke received a base salary of $1.3 million, up 4% from the year-ago period, along with stock awards of $13.6 million, also up 4%. His performance-based cash bonus increased to $4.4 million from $2.9 million, according to the report.

Duke’s other compensation amounted to $644,450, up from $377,258 in the previous year. The perks included $101,947 for the use of the company aircraft. He also received $644,450 in above market interest credited on deferred compensation.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive’s total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest that the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. It does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits.

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Lineup for Next Great Consumer Brands Conference announced

BY CSA STAFF

BOSTON, Mass. — Consensus and the world’s largest exchange company, NASDAQ OMX Group, have announced keynote speakers, presenters and special presentations for the third annual Next Great Consumer Brands Conference to be held May 1 at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, N.Y.

Together with NASDAQ, Consensus, a boutique investment bank focused on the retail and consumer products industries, has organized the daylong event. They’ve invited companies to describe their businesses and present their products to an audience of private equity investors, venture capital firms, angel investors and commercial lenders who invest in, lend to or otherwise finance companies in the consumer product space. Those attending the conference will also be able to sample products from several up-and-coming specialty food and beverage brands.

The program will also include two keynote addresses, two special presentations, a luncheon and a networking cocktail session. Keynote addresses will be delivered by Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of UnderArmour, and entrepreneur and fashion and fitness icon, Kathy Ireland.

Among the Next Great Consumer Brands presenting on May 1 will be EvoShield Mission AthleteCare Thymes, HEX, Nectar Mobile, Power/Lilliputian Systems, Troy Lee Designs, Karmaloop Orbotix Vietri, J. Hilburn Snow Joe Xcel Brands/Isaac Mizrahi and Kitson Spartan Race.

In addition to the presenting companies and the keynote addresses, there will be special presentations from the new NASDAQ Private Market, which will provide improved access to liquidity for early investors, founders and employees while enabling the efficient buying and selling of private company shares, and Circle Up, a crowdfunding platform where accredited investors can make equity investments in up-and-coming consumer products businesses.

Food and beverage brands participating at the conference include Allagash Brewing Company, Hammer + Sickle Vodka, UNREAL Candy, Maia Yogurt, Pirate’s Booty, KIND Bars, HINT Water and AWAKE! Chocolate. The Next Great Consumer Brands event is open to members of the private equity, venture capital, angel investor, commercial lending and commercial finance community.

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