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Ralph Lauren Q1 income up 5%; raises caution on Q2 sales

BY Staff Writer

New York — Ralph Lauren Corp. said that its net income rose 5% in its first quarter, but the company forecast a revenue decline in the current quarter and sounded a note of caution about the weak global economy hurting consumer spending.

"The outlook for consumer spending and global economic growth remains challenging and we are planning our business accordingly," said CEO Roger Farah.

Net income from April through June was $193.4 million, up from $184.1 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 4% to $1.59 billion, from $1.53 billion. Revenue in Ralph Lauren stores rose 5% to $857 million as the company opened new stores and grew online operations. Same-store sales were up 1%.

Revenue from sales to other stores rose 3% to $694 million, helped by strong demand in North America.

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Macy’s posts 16% increase in Q2 income; raises annual guidance

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — Macy’s reported a nearly 16% increase in net income for its second quarter as the chain benefited from cost controls and its ongoing strategy of tailoring its fashions to local markets. The company said it was raising its full-year profit forecast.

Macy’s net income rose to $279 million for the three-month period ended July 28, up from $241 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 3% to $6.12 billion, from $5.94 billion a year ago. Same-store sales also increased 3%. Online sales (Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com combined) were up 36.1% in the second quarter. (Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy’s.)

"We were pleased with our spring season results, and they came on top of exceptionally strong spring season performances in each of the past two years," said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman, president and CEO in a statement. "This indicates that our business continues to have forward momentum, even with challenges that include a soft economy, lower spending by international tourists and temporary disruptions" related to its major renovation of its flagship store in Manhattan.

The chief executive said the company would take a break in the remodeling of its flagship Herald Square store during the holiday season so as not to impede shopping.

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Starbucks teams with Square to accept mobile payments; invests $25 million in company

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Mobile payments took another step forward with the announcement that Starbucks Coffee Co. has entered into a partnership with Square, a mobile-payment start-up. Starbucks will invest $25 million in Square — part of the latest round of financing — and Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz will join Square’s board of directors. Square was founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter.

Starbucks Corp. will be the first national retailer to let customers pay with Square’s mobile payment application, whose users, to date, have been mostly small businesses.

The retailer said that beginning this fall, in addition to its existing mobile payment application it has rolled out, customers will be able to use Square’s Pay with Square to pay for their purchases. To use either of the programs, customers download the apps, then link a credit or debit card to the account. To pay at the register, they open the app and wave their phone in front of the scanner.

The Starbucks app can only be used at the company’s cafes and customers earn rewards when using it. But the Square app can be used wherever it is accepted. It shows users nearby businesses that accept Square payments.

“As the largest retail mobile payment platform in the U.S., we’re excited and proud to accept payments with Square,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO. “The evolving social and digital media platforms and highly innovative and relevant payment capabilities are causing seismic changes in consumer behavior and creating equally disruptive opportunities for business.”

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