FINANCE

Restructuring charges dampen Ann Inc. earnings

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – A pre-tax restructuring charge of $17.3 million during first quarter 2014 in connection with its previously announced strategic realignment was a major factor in a year-over-year net income decline at Ann Inc. Net income for the quarter totaled $5.2 million, down 66% from $15.4 million in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Total net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were $590.6 million, up 3% increase from sales of $574.5 million in the year-ago period. Total same-store sales dropped 1.8%.

"Despite the headwinds of severe winter weather, soft traffic across the industry and the resulting higher than anticipated promotional environment, we delivered first quarter results that met our bottom-line expectations,” said Kay Krill, president and CEO, Ann Inc. “Importantly, traffic and sales accelerated with the return of more seasonable weather, driving positive comparable sales for April and into May.”

For the fiscal second quarter of 2014, the company expects total net sales to be $670 million, reflecting a total same-store sales increase in the low-single digits. For the fiscal year, total net sales are expected to be $2.61 billion, reflecting a total same-store sales increase in the low-single digits.

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REAL ESTATE

Express to enter South Africa

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – A subsidiary of Express Inc. has entered into a franchise agreement with Edcon Group, a retail franchise operator in South Africa, to bring the Express brand to South Africa. The Express brand is expected to launch as a store-in-store concept at select Edgars department stores by the end of 2014 with standalone Express store locations to open in 2015.

Express has identified international expansion as one of the company’s four pillars of growth and a significant long-term revenue opportunity for the company.

"We are thrilled that the Express brand is going to be in South Africa, representing an exciting next step in our international expansion strategy,” said Michael Weiss, chairman and CEO of Express. “It’s a terrific market in terms of having a customer base our brand should resonate with. We are grateful to be working with Edcon to make it happen."

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FINANCE

Fairway launches same-day delivery with Google Express; reports loss

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Fairway Market has begun working with Google Express to launch an online shopping platform with same-day delivery throughout Manhattan. The shopping interface allows consumers to shop approximately 12,000 Fairway SKUs seamlessly across multiple devices.

The integration of Google Express allows Fairway to leverage Google’s technology and distribution network to increase delivery capacity and expand the Fairway footprint.

“We are excited to begin working with Google to provide Fairway with omnichannel capabilities through the Google Express shopping service with same-day delivery service throughout Manhattan," said William Sanford, interim CEO of Fairway Market parent company Fairway Holdings Group.

Fairway Holdings Group is launching the new delivery service on the heels of a net loss of $8.8 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, up from $6.7 million in the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose 12% to $200.3 million, from $178.7 million and same-store sales increased 1.9%.

For the full fiscal year, net loss grew to $80.28 million from $62.69 million.

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