REAL ESTATE

Report: Nordstrom eyeing Canada

BY CSA STAFF

New York — Nordstrom Inc. is scouting out sites to expand into Canada, Dow Jones reported.

"We already know we have a lot of Canadian customers," Nordstrom spokesman Colin Johnson said in the report. Also, Canadians make up the biggest share of Nordstrom’s international online customers.

Johnson did not give a timeframe when Nordstrom might make a formal announcement, but did say the company would start with its full-priced stores before opening any Nordstrom Rack outlets in the country, according to the report.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap expanding Athleta brand

BY CSA STAFF

New York — Gap Inc. plans to Athleta stores at the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles and at Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach, Calif., this fall, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gap bought Athleta, which sells sells women’s clothing for such sports as yoga, running and swimming, along with shoes and other fitness accessories, in 2008. At the time, Athleta just an online and catalog business. The brand opened its first two retail stores in the last year, both in Northern California.

Gap also will open two Athleta stores in New York this summer and plans to open 50 Athleta stores by 2013, according to the Times.

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FINANCE

Zale narrows loss on rising sales

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas — Zale Corp. said its net loss shrank in its most recent quarter and posted a double-digit revenue gain despite increasing costs for gold, silver and diamonds. The company posted a net loss for the three months that ended on April 30 of $9 million, compared to $12.1 million in its fiscal third quarter last year. Analysts had expected a far deeper loss.

Overall revenue rose 14.5% in the three months that ended on April 30 to $411.8 million, from $359.8 million last year. Analysts had expected $392 million. Same-store sales in the quarter were up 15.2%.

We continue to make progress in our multi-year initiatives to return the company to profitability," Zale CEO Theo Killion said.

The company was able to shrink its loss despite rising prices for the diamonds, gold and silver used in its jewelry, which weighed on gross margins. Zale started raising some prices last month and plans to increase prices across North America during the May-July quarter.

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