Report: Aeropostale working with Barclays
New York – Aeropostale Inc. is reportedly working with investment bank Barclays plc to investigate options including selling the company to a private equity firm or a regular equity sale. According to Bloomberg, Aeropostale CEO Tom Johnson is already trying to reverse four consecutive quarters of losses through new products and the closure of up to 40 stores.
In November 2013, major investor Crescendo Partners sent Aeropostale a letter demanding the company sell itself. Aeropostale and Barclays did not comment in the article.
Report: Mobile subscriber context data could generate $44 billion a year
Tampa, Fla. — The global market for advanced services based on mobile context insights could be worth as much as $44 billion annually. A research report for Syniverse from economists at the Surrey Energy Economics Center (SEEC) values the market for operators providing services to brands based on end-user context data and proposes a sustainable long-term market structure with balanced, mutual benefit between operators, brands and consumers.
Mobile context is the insight into subscriber information, behavior and location that is available to operators and that can be offered to brands for the purpose of improving customer engagement and experience, resulting in increased brand loyalty and revenue. The economists at SEEC worked with Syniverse to model and value the mobile context opportunity and identified two distinct markets: context by geo-segment and context by individual.
• Context by geo-segment: Operators provide information about anonymous subscribers in specific locations to brands targeting precise geo-markets. The value of this model is calculated to be as much as $44 billion to mobile operators annually.
• Context by individual: Operators offer highly specific individual subscriber data to a single brand partner to provide tailored offers or information. The varying characteristics of particular vertical markets complicate the valuation of this market overall, but the opportunity may be worth even more than the context-by-geo-segment market. Calculations around just one use case, “Location-Based Fraud Services,” suggest a global opportunity for operators of $3 billion annually.
The optimum business model for the exchange of mobile context identified by SEEC is a “platform” market where insight from multiple operators is aggregated onto a single, neutral, trusted platform serving as a market maker. In the context-by-geo-segment market, brands could bid in an auction for segments of time for the exclusive right to deliver information to groups of subscribers in an audience. In the context-by-individual market, brands could target specific subscribers based on usage, demographics, location profile and more for specific uses.
In the future, the report predicts that evolved and highly personalized mobile context insights may be worth much more, depending on consumers’ willingness to opt in and engage.
“Mobile context is the key to unlocking the full potential of mobile for consumers, the companies they trust and the operators that serve them,” said Jeff Gordon, president and CEO, Syniverse. “But while the revenue potential is phenomenal, success is dependent on delivering mutual benefits to all three parties. Operators can access new markets and deliver enhanced subscriber experiences, expanding their position in the mobile value chain. Brands can embrace new engagement capabilities, enhancing customer relationships with unrivaled targeting. And consumers can gain new mobile experiences tailored to them as individuals, with stringent controls over their privacy and preferences.”
Lowe’s delivers in Q4 despite severe winter weather
Severe winter weather was no match for Lowe’s in the fourth quarter. The company reported sales of $11.7 billion, up 5.6% from the same quarter last year, as comps increased 3.9%.
The company also posted fourth-quarter net earnings of $306 million, up 6.3%.
"During the quarter, we delivered solid performance in core home improvement categories, balancing softer sales of seasonal gifts and holiday decorations,” said CEO Robert Niblock. “When extreme winter weather arrived late in the quarter, our distribution network responded quickly and efficiently to move product where it was most needed.”
For the full year, sales reached $53.4 billion, a 5.7% increase over 2012 sales. Comps for the year finished at 4.8%, as net income surged16.7% to $2.3 billion.
Looking ahead, Lowe’s expects total sales for fiscal 2014 to increase about 5%, and comparable store sales to increase about 4%. The company expects to open about 15 home improvement stores and five Orchard Supply hardware stores.
Niblock added that he was pleased with the progress Lowe’s made during 2013 and that the retailer continues to “transform.”
As of Jan. 31, Lowe’s operated 1,832 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.