FINANCE

Retailers report tepid same-store sales for September

BY Staff Writer

New York — Retailers reported somewhat disappointing same-store sales for September. While only a handful of chains still report their monthly revenues, the tepid results of those that do raised concerns about the upcoming holiday season.

Gap Inc. reported that its same-store sales in September 2013 net sales were down 3% versus a 6% increase for September 2012. Net sales were flat compared with last year, totaling $1.46 billion compared with net sales of $1.45 billion for the year-ago period.

"While September proved to be somewhat challenging, we remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver on our full-year goals," said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap Inc.

In other September same-store sales results:

  • L Brands Inc. (formerly Limited Brands) said sales rose 1%, short of Wall Street’s view. It also said it plans to sell $500 million in new debt.
  • The Buckle reported a 4.5% drop, below market expectations for a 1.2% increase, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Cato Corp. reported a 3% drop.
  • Stein Mart’s sales increased 5%, driven by strength in linens, women’s clothing and gifts.
  • At Zumiez, sales fell 0.6%, in line with what analysts were expecting.
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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Social media for brand conversations on the rise

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — Americans are increasing their use of social media for discussions about favorite brands, while slowing down on face-to-face and phone conversations about product likes and dislikes, according to a report by Colloquy, the research arm of LoyaltyOne, a global provider of loyalty and marketing programs.

Social media brand recommendations have grown 4% since Colloquy conducted survey research in 2011 on the word-of-mouth habits of U.S. consumers, while face-to-face recommendations have declined 4% in that time period.

In another key finding from Colloquy’s Hashtags, Tweets and Likes, nearly half of the general population believes social networks are an inappropriate way for brands to interact with customers. But that sentiment isn’t shared across the board. The research shows that 73% of the youth segment said it is appropriate.

Colloquy’s 2013 WOM study is based on a June 2013 survey conducted among a representative general population group and five other segments. The segments are affluent consumers, young adults, seniors, core women and Hispanics. Results are based on responses from 2980 U.S. survey participants.

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REAL ESTATE

Family Dollar opens 8,000th store

BY Staff Writer

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar hit a major milestone in its history on Thursday as the company opened its 8,000th store, in Lancaster, S.C.

“I’m thrilled to open our 8,000th store,” said Howard Levine, Family Dollar’s chairman and CEO. “We have over 200 stores in South Carolina, so it certainly is a great fit for us to open this landmark store in the state. We’ve provided our customers with value and convenience over the last fifty-three years in each of our stores across the country, and we look forward to bringing the same service and quality merchandise to this new store in Lancaster.”

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