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Report: Office Max Founder to Open Health & Wellness Retail Concept

BY CSA STAFF

New York City OfficeMax Inc. founder Michael Feuer plans to launch a new retail venture, called Max-Wellness, according to cleveland.com.

He and his business partner, Jared Florian, plan to create a chain of health and wellness stores, the report said.

Florian is the founder and owner of Universal Screen Arts Inc., an umbrella firm for six mail-order catalog and Internet companies.

The two partners, who are financing the venture on their own, expect to open the first four concept stores in the first half of next year, and to develop a national chain by 2012, according to the report.

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Jo-Ann Stores reports 3Q sales increase, raises outlook

BY CSA STAFF

HUDSON, Ohio Jo-Ann Stores reported that net sales for the third quarter ended Nov. 1, were $480.1 million compared to $480.2 million in the prior year. Same-store sales decreased 1.5% versus a same-store sales increase of 2.4% last year.

The company said it expects to report slightly improved third quarter earnings compared to last years third quarter earnings of 32 cents per diluted share.

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Gap Inc. October comps down 16%

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO Gap Inc. reported net sales of $1.08 billion for the four-week period ended Nov. 1, a decrease of 12% as compared with net sales of $1.23 billion for the same period in 2007. Comparable-store sales decreased 16%, compared to an 8% decrease for October 2007.

Comps for Gap decreased 14%, Banana Republic saw a 17% comps drop, Old Navy posted comps of negative 20% and International comps came in at a 5% decrease.

“In October, we continued to deliver merchandise margins significantly above last year despite the tough market conditions,” said cfo Sabrina Simmons. “We are reaffirming our full-year earnings guidance and will continue to use inventory and cost management to offset what we anticipate will be a challenging holiday season.”

For the 13-week third quarter, total company net sales were $3.56 billion, a decrease of 8% from $3.85 billion in 2007. Comparable-store sales decreased 12%, compared with a decrease of 5% in the third quarter of the prior year.

Third-quarter comps fell 7% at Gap, 11% at Banana Republic, 18% at Old Navy and 1% internationally.

Gap Inc. expects diluted EPS on a GAAP basis for the third quarter to be 33 cents to 35 cents, compared with diluted EPS of 30 cents last year. The company reaffirmed that it expects full-year diluted EPS of $1.30 to $1.35 on a GAAP basis, compared with fiscal year 2007 diluted earnings per share of $1.05.

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