REAL ESTATE

Report: Sam’s Club looking to expand partnership with Apple

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Apple Inc. and Sam’s Club are in early discussions to expand their partnership, possibly by adding in-store Apple shops in select Sam’s locations, according to a report on 9to5Mac, a website for Apple enthusiasts. Sam’s Club stores already sell iPhone, iPad, and iPod products.

The report, which cited unnamed sources, said that a range of plans are being discussed, including having Sam’s simply sell a broader range of Apple products without in-store features.

Target recently announced plans to test mini-Apple stores in 25 locations.

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Walmart among best companies for women execs

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Walmart was among the only three retailers listed among The National Association for Female Executives list of the "Top 50 Companies for Executive Women." Office Depot and Macy’s were the other two retailers.

"The NAFE Top 50 Companies are major employers that are committed to hiring, retaining and promoting executive women," stated Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media and CEO of NAFE. "They represent a cross-section of companies that go way beyond lip service in helping succeed. Almost 7-out-of-10 companies require their managers to receive training on how to hire, advance or manage women. Manager accountability is the main ingredient for success."

According to NAFE, women represent 53% of the employees at these companies, on average. Women make up 23% of the board of directors at the NAFE Top 50, versus 16% across the boards of companies in the the Fortune 500. In addition, women make up 22% of the executive level at companies in the NAFE Top 50, versus 14% across Fortune 500 companies.

For an executive summary of the survey, click here.

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Urban Outfitters comps growth not in stores

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA — Urban Outfitters’ performance in the fourth quarter indicate that while consumers may still enjoy its trendy products, they aren’t going to its stores to get them.

The company reported that comparable-store net sales decreased 1% for the quarter. However, direct-to-consumer comparable-net sales increased 14%. Combined combarable-retail-segment net sales increased 2% for the quarter. Total sales for the quarter rose 9% to$731 million.

For the year ended Jan. 31, total net sales increased to $2.5 billion.

“While each brand reported record sales for the fourth quarter, we are most pleased with the progress the teams made on reducing overall inventory levels. Promotional activity was significantly higher than planned but ending inventories were clean, and on a comparable store basis, lower than the prior year," said Richard Hayne, CEO. "The direct-to-consumer channel remains a highlight with each brand experiencing strong growth during the quarter. We remain especially excited about the opportunities surrounding this channel."

During the year, the company opened 57 new stores, including 21 Urban Outfitters, 15 Anthropologie stores, 20 Free People stores and 1 BHLDN store.

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