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Report: Wal-Mart to expand Sunnyvale e-commerce operation

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Bruno, Calif. – Wal-Mart is reportedly planning to substantially expand its e-commerce operation based in Sunnyvale, California. According to the Oakland Tribune, Wal-Mart intends to add hundreds of staffers to its global e-commerce unit there, bringing the total number of e-commerce employees to about 1,000.

In addition, Wal-Mart will lease a 107,000-sq.-ft. space in Sunnyvale to help house its e-commerce operations. Currently, the retailer employs about 550 e-commerce employees in Sunnyvale at an existing facility it will maintain.

Wal-Mart’s global e-commerce unit is headquartered in San Bruno, California, bur executives were quoted as saying the greater Sunnyvale area has a large concentration of e-commerce talent and is an important part of its e-commerce strategy.

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Tiffany produces gleaming results in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Tiffany & Co. grew net earnings 50% in a successful first quarter of fiscal 2014. Net earnings increased 50% to $126 million, up from $84 million in the same period a year earlier, aided by the elimination of pre-tax charges relating to staff and occupancy reduction.

Worldwide net sales grew 13% to $1.01 billion, from $895.48 million. Worldwide same-store sales rose 11% due to growth in most regions.

“This is an excellent and encouraging start to the year,” said Michael J. Kowalsk, chairman and CEO. “We were pleased with the strong and broad-based sales growth across most regions and product categories and our ability to leverage those improved sales into very significant growth in operating and net earnings. Strength in fine and statement jewelry sales continued, while sales of our new or expanded jewelry collections accelerated, led by our Atlas collection.”

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Sears Canada net loss expands in difficult Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – Sears Canada more than doubled its net loss year-over-year to $75.2 million, from $31.2 million in a difficult first quarter of fiscal 2014. Expenses related to the closure of stores and severance of personnel played a major role in the growth of the retailer’s net loss.

In addition, revenues dropped 11% to $771.7 million from $867.1 million and same-store sales declined 7.6%. Sears cited poor weather as dampening sales performance, although it said it was able to clear fall and winter inventory as a result of unseasonably cold weather.

"The unseasonable weather had an adverse effect on our revenues," said Douglas C. Campbell, president and CEO, Sears Canada Inc. "Sales of spring merchandise were below last year, as winter-like weather was prevalent in most parts of the country well into the new season with cooler temperatures and significantly more snow in many areas. However, we took advantage of the extended winter and cleared a significant quantity of fall and winter carryover, virtually emptying our stockrooms and getting it in front of the customer.”

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