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Restructuring Costs Hurt AnnTaylor 4Q

BY CSA STAFF

New York City AnnTaylor Stores Corp. said Friday it swung to a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by costs related to a restructuring program and falling traffic at its namesake stores

Losses for the quarter ended Feb. 2 totaled $6.7 million vs. a profit of $21.5 million last year. Revenue fell nearly 2% to $600.8 million from $610.5 million in the year-ago quarter, which contained an extra week.

Ann Taylor revenue fell 12% to $214 million, while Loft sales rose 3% to $284.8 million.

Meanwhile, same-store sales fell 3.2%, including a 78% decline at AnnTaylor amid falling traffic, and an 0.5% decline at Loft.

The company said Ann Taylor clothing assortments lacked the “newness” customers wanted. The women’s apparel sector has been particularly hard hit as consumers cut back on discretionary spending as they face high food and gas prices and weak credit and housing markets.

In January, the company began a restructuring program to cut $50 million in costs annually by closing stores, cutting jobs and streamlining operations.

For the fiscal year, net income fell 32% to $97.2 million from $143 million last year. Revenue rose 2% to $2.4 billion from $2.34 billion a year ago.

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Amazon engages in social networking

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE Amazon.com today launched two applications on the social networking site Facebook that allows users to see what their friends would like to get from Amazon, as well as their activity on Amazon.com. Amazon Giver allows users to see what their friends on Facebook have on their Amazon Wish Lists. Users can choose to purchase a gift for them from Amazon.com via the application, or view suggested items based on interests they have listed on their Facebook profile. Amazon Grapevine allows users to see friends’ activity on Amazon.com, such as when they update their Wish List, write a review or tag a product, via News Feed updates.

Amazon said that both features share only the information with Facebook users friends that each user has affirmatively chosen to share via an opt-in mechanism.

“Amazon.com is pleased to bring the convenience of shopping on Amazon to our customers, many of whom are also Facebook users, with the Amazon Giver and Amazon Grapevine applications on Facebook Platform, said Eva Manolis, vp of Amazon.com. By combining Amazons vast selection of products with Facebooks millions of users, we are able to make activities like gift-giving more efficient and rewarding for Facebook users.”

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Office Depot expands printing services

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot has added large format printing capabilities to its stores through the Office Depot Design, Print & Ship Depot. According to the company, customers can now print signs, posters and banners; visual aids; photo enlargements; store signage; engineering print services such as blueprints, schematics, drawings, and maps – all up to 60 inches wide.

Customers will also have access toXerox Certified print specialists who will help them with their projects.

Large format prints are available on a variety of media types including: matte presentation paper, glossy photo paper, artist canvass and indoor/outdoor vinyl materials.

Todays small business customer is looking for more than just a place to make photocopies they are looking for a true partner that will help them take care of their business, said Randy Pianin, senior vp of the Office Depot Design, Print & Ship Depot. Whether you are an architect in need of a last-minute blueprint, or have a store that needs a sign or banner, Office Depot has the solution. 

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