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Restoration Hardware Rejects Sears

BY CSA STAFF

Corte Madera, Calif. Restoration Hardware rejected a last-minute merger bid from Sears Holdings Corp., opting to stick with an offer made by a group led by private-equity firm Catterton Partners, according to the North Bay Business Journal.

The Catterton Group, which includes Restoration Hardware president and CEO Gary Friedman, has agreed to buy Restoration Hardware for $4.50 per share in a deal worth more than $177 million. The group also agreed to loan the retailer $25 million.

Sears made a competing offer of $4.55 per share yesterday, which was the last day of the go-shop period for the Catterton deal.

In a statement today, Restoration Hardware said it will stick with the Catterton agreement because an independent committee reviewing the offers decided that the new Sears offer “was not reasonably likely to result in a superior proposal.”

“With the expiration of the go-shop period, Restoration Hardware is continuing to work with Catterton Partners to complete the merger in a timely manner,” the statement said.

Restoration Hardware said previously that it hopes to close the deal with the Catterton group in the first quarter.

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Kohl’s sees 4Q net income fall

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s today reported that net income for the quarter ended Feb. 2 was $411.7 million, or $1.31 per diluted share, compared with $484.6 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales were $5.5 billion, an increase of 0.7% for the quarter. Comparable-store sales for the quarter decreased 4%.

The company reported that net income for the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, 2008, net income was $1.1 billion, or $3.39 per diluted share, compared with $1.1 billion or $3.31 per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales were $16.5 billion for the year, an increase of 5.6% over $15.6 billion a year ago. On a comparable 52-week basis, comparable-store sales decreased 0.8%.

Larry Montgomery, Kohls chairman and ceo, said, 2007 proved to be a difficult year for most retailers, and Kohls was no exception. Despite a challenging year which saw deep discounts across the industry, our gross margin increased over the prior year as a result of improved inventory management and increased penetration from our private and exclusive brands. Additionally, we achieved record sales for our sixteenth consecutive year as a public company and increased our diluted earnings per share over last year. 

Based on assumptions of a total sales increase of 5% to 8% and a comparable sales change of 0% to negative 3%, the company expects earnings per diluted share of $3.15 to $3.50 for the year. For the first fiscal quarter, the company expects earnings per diluted share of 50 cents to 54 cents.

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Spring to head Bloomingdale’s

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI Tony Spring has been named president of Macy’s Inc.’s Bloomingdale’s division, effective immediately. Since 2005, Spring has served as Bloomingdale’s senior evp and director of stores, with additional responsibility for Bloomingdale’s shopping services and creative services. In his new role, Spring will be responsible for the division’s stores, marketing, creative services, finance, operations and restaurants.

“As Bloomingdale’s grows its presence nationally, the addition of an operating principal will provide the division with additional management resources and support,” said Macy’s Inc. vice chair Susan Kronick, to whom Bloomingdale’s reports. “Tony Spring is an exceptional executive who has proven himself to be resourceful and creative in supporting growth of the Bloomingdale’s brand. He and Mike Gould will represent a powerful principal team as Bloomingdale’s continues to build its market presence serving the needs of fashion-forward, upscale customers coast to coast.”

Spring began his career at Bloomingdale’s as an executive trainee in the White Plains store and went on to hold various buying positions in the home furnishing area. In 1995, Spring was promoted to senior vp for home furnishings, and two years later was named senior vp for marketing. In 1998, he was promoted to evp for marketing and in 2003 added bloomingdales.com, Bloomingdale’s by Mail and restaurants to his responsibilities. In 2004, Spring was named senior evp responsible for marketing, Bloomingdale’s Direct and restaurants before becoming director of stores in 2005.

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