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Report: N.Y. appeals court says Starbucks baristas must share tips

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York has reportedly ruled that Starbucks baristas must share their tips with supervisors. According to the Associated Press, the ruling supports a lower court finding that baristas at Starbucks must share tips with shift supervisors, since the supervisors do much of the same work as the baristas.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the ruling fair because shift supervisors spend more than 90% of their work time serving customers, while an attorney for the baristas said the decision lets Starbucks unfairly subsidize supervisor pay at the expense of lower-paid employees.

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Ann Inc. Q3 income and sales top projections

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Ann Inc. reported better-than-expected income and sales for the third quarter. The retailer Ann Inc. posted third-quarter earnings of $41.2 million, compared to $40.7 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Net sales grew 7% to $657.3 million from $612.5 million. Total same-store sales increased 3.7%. By brand, same-store sales inched up 0.6% at Ann Taylor and 5.6% at Loft. However, sales fell 6.9% in the Ann Taylor Factory channel.

"Ann Inc. delivered outstanding performance this quarter,” said Kay Krill, president and CEO. “Despite a challenging and highly promotional retail environment, we achieved a double-digit increase in earnings per share, excluding the effect of a one-time $0.08 benefit in the third quarter of last year. Our bottom-line growth reflected higher sales, including mid-single digit comparable sales growth, a solid gross margin rate, continued disciplined management of expenses, as well as the benefit of share repurchase activity.”

For the fiscal fourth quarter of 2013, Ann Inc. expects total net sales to be $640 million, reflecting a total company same-store sales increase in the mid-single digits. Ann Inc. expects fiscal 2013 total net sales to be $2.51 billion, reflecting a total company same-store sales increase in the low-to-mid-single digits.

The total store count at the end of the fiscal third quarter was 1,027, comprised of 276 Ann Taylor stores, 106 Ann Taylor Factory stores, 537 Loft stores, and 108 Loft Outlet stores.

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PetSmart benefits from continued growth in pet supply category

BY CSA STAFF

PetSmart’s third quarter results benefited from consumers who continue spending money on their pets despite a still-challenging consumer environment.

The company’s earnings per share jumped 17.3% to $0.88 from $0.75 in the third quarter of 2012. Net income totaled $92 million for the quarter, compared to $82 million in last year’s third quarter.

The company reported total sales for the third quarter of $1.7 billion, a 4% increase from the year-ago quarter. Comparable store sales grew 2.7%, including comparable transactions growth of 0.2%. Services sales, which are included in total sales, grew 5.2% to $184 million.

“Given the challenged consumer environment during the quarter, we are pleased with our results and level of execution,” said CEO David Lenhardt. “Our performance demonstrates the strength and stability of our business.”

For the fourth quarter, the company anticipates comparable-store sales growth of 3% to 3.5% and total sales growth of approximately 3%.

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