FINANCE

Restructuring affects Sears Canada Q3 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto — Sears Canada posted a net loss of about $46.7 million USD in the third quarter of fiscal 2013, more than double the net loss of $21 million it posted in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year. One-time charges of $41 million related to restructuring and asset impairment helped widen the company’s net loss.

In addition, revenues of $940.7 million were down about 6% from $1 billion. In one bright spot, same-store sales climbed 1.2%. Sears Canada is in the middle of a three-year turnaround program launched in 2012.

"This is the first quarterly same store sales increase for the Company since 2008," said Doug Campbell, president and CEO, Sears Canada Inc. "October was our strongest month of the quarter, during which we adjusted our plans to market conditions and experienced double-digit same store sales increases in both our apparel & accessories and home & hardlines categories. Our direct business also grew substantially during the quarter. When we exclude the $42.8 million of non-recurring items taken in the quarter, we reduced expenses by 8.6% compared to last year. This demonstrates the progress we are making in executing on the value levers that most directly drive our business: merchandising value and efficiency value.”

Sears Canada also announced a special dividend of about $4.79 per share, or $488 million, payable to investors of record as of Dec. 2 on Dec. 6, as well as the appointment of H Ronald Weissman as a member of its board of directors and that E.J. Bird is stepping down as a director of the Sears Canada board and will focus on his current role as the company’s executive VP and CFO, a position he has held since March 2013.

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FINANCE

Dick’s net income inches down By Dan Berthiaume

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pittsburgh — Sales growth fueled in part by the opening of 25 new branded stores did not prevent Dick’s Sporting Goods from reporting a slight decline in net income during the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Net income totaled about $50 million, down incrementally from $50.1 million a year earlier.

Net sales totaled $1.4 billion, up 7% from $1.31 billion. Consolidated same-store sales rose 0.3%, beating company estimates of a 2-3% decline.

In addition to opening 25 new Dick’s stores during the quarter, the retailer also one opened new Golf Galaxy store and two new Field & Stream stores. Dick’s also relocated one Dick’s Sporting Goods store, repositioned one Golf Galaxy store and completed three full and 22 apparel remodels of Dick’s Sporting Goods stores. As of November 2, 2013, the Company operated 552 Dick’sSporting Goods stores in 45 states, with approximately 29.9 million square feet and 82 Golf Galaxy stores in 30 states, with approximately 1.4 million square feet.

"Despite the continued challenging consumer environment, we delivered better than expected results in the third quarter, exceeding both our sales and earnings expectations,” said Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO. “The marketing efforts, improved customer experience and selective pricing initiatives we began in the third quarter were successful in driving traffic and sales, but at slightly lower than anticipated margins. We remain excited about the long-term opportunities in our business that we presented at our analyst day in September, and we will continue to drive towards those goals."

Consolidated same-store sales are expected to grow 2-3% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and have flat to 1% growth for the full fiscal year.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Holiday mobile shopping on the rise

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles — Mobile shopping continues to rise, with almost one-quarter (23%) of consumers planing to shop using a mobile device this year, up 44% from 2012, according to PriceGrabber’s second Winter Holiday Survey. In addition, when respondents were asked to select all the ways they plan to shop for gifts, 88% said online from a desktop computer and 47% said they plan to visit brick and mortar stores, with 46% who plan to make fewer trips to retail stores this year.

Another 23% of shoppers said they would be comfortable purchasing all of their holiday gifts using their mobile device this year. Price point matters to 41% of mobile shoppers who said they are only comfortable purchasing items under $100; however, 33% indicated they would purchase both big and small ticket items.

When shoppers were asked what types of items they feel comfortable purchasing from their mobile device, books, CDs, DVDs, and video games topped the list at 71%. Clothing ranked a close second at 70%. Additionally, most people are comfortable purchasing shoes from their phone or tablet, ranking third at 59%. About half of shoppers are content buying consumer electronics, toys, and event tickets on-the-go, while fewer shoppers are comfortable purchasing appliances and jewelry and watches.

Mobile shopping apps have become an increasingly popular tool for consumers looking to save money, with 72% of smartphone owners saying they currently use one to four shopping-related apps. Mobile app downloads are expected to rise during the holidays with 23% who plan to download new apps to assist in shopping for gifts.

When asked what apps shoppers planned to download for holiday shopping this year, 61% said coupon apps; 55% said comparison shopping apps; 54% will download apps from their favorite retailers; 50% will download Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday apps to search for the best deals; and 44% will download apps with the ability to scan barcodes. According to the survey, 33% said they shop via their mobile web browser and only 7% said they usually shop via an app.

"In order to stay competitive with the online marketplace, retailers are adapting to the increase in showrooming, enticing consumers to complete their purchases in-stores this year," said Jeff Goldstein, President of PriceGrabber. "Mobile shoppers who research prices on their mobile devices will be able to take advantage of price-matching while in-store, scoring some of the best deals on holiday gifts this season."

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