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Report: Cost Plus Experiences Security Breach

BY CSA STAFF

San Diego Cost Plus World Market has identified 11 stores where hackers appear to have gained access to customer financial records, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The report said the company believes that this is an isolated incident involving a very small number of stores over a specific period of time.

The news comes after an investigation stemming from a mid-June report that two employees found unauthorized transactions on their debit-card accounts. By early July, bankcard companies and other financial institutions were reporting a wave of fraudulent debit-card transactions linked to several of the company’s Southern California stores.

Cost Plus started to inform customers later that month that the debit-card PIN pads at select stores had been tampered with between February and April. As a result, an unknown number of account numbers and PINs were hijacked, the report said.

The report said that Cost Plus has changed its point-of-sale procedures and has started to replace its PIN-pad devices throughout all of its 300 stores nationwide. That process will be completed by the end of this month.

In other news, Cost Plus said Thursday it was reducing the number of stores it plans to open in fiscal 2008 from 17 to 15. Separately, the chain said its second-quarter loss widened as weak dollar, higher energy costs cut into profits.

The company said its second-quarter results were weighed down by a $2.8 million expense incurred by the unsolicited buyout offer from Pier 1 Imports Inc. and increased energy costs, higher health-benefit expenses and the weak dollar.

Excluding the impact of those expenses, the company said its operating loss was $25.2 million. Revenue rose 5.6%, as sales climbed to $221 million, up from $209.3 million during the same period last year.

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Barnes & Noble 2Q sales down 1.6%

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble reported that sales for the second quarter decreased 1.6% to $1.2 billion. Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 1.6% to $1.1 billion, with comparable-store sales decreasing 4.7% for the quarter. Barnes & Noble.com sales were $99.8 million for the quarter, a 3.6% comparable sales increase.

Second quarter net earnings were $15.4 million or 27 cents per share.

 

For the third quarter, the company expects comparable-store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline in the low single digits. Barnes & Noble Inc.s third quarter loss per share is expected to be in a range of 10 cents to 15 cents.

Based on first-half 2008 sales performance and current trends, the company is reducing its full-year comparable store sales guidance from slightly negative to a decrease in the low single digits. Although the company is reducing full-year sales guidance, the company is reiterating full-year earnings per share guidance to be in a range of $1.70 to $1.90.

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Wyatt named president of Old Navy

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO Gap Inc. announced that Tom Wyatt has been named president of its Old Navy division, effective immediately. Wyatt, a 30-year retail veteran, has been serving as interim president of the retailer since February.

In his first actions as brand president, Wyatt made several changes to his senior management team, effective immediately, including announcing the departure of merchandising evp Sheryl Clark.

Wyatt joined Gap Inc. in early 2006, and previously served as president of the company’s Outlet division until he joined Old Navy this year. His 30 years of retail experience include: serving as president and ceo of a mid-size athletic apparel company; president of Warnaco Intimate Apparel; and a senior executive within the Saks family of companies.

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