FINANCE

RILA praises Quinn for signing e-Fairness Legislation

BY CSA STAFF

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association on Thursday praised Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signing the e-Fairness legislation, which addresses the long-standing inequity in the retail sales industry between brick-and-mortar retailers and their online-only counterparts.

“Governor Quinn has taken a bold step today to help level the playing field for retailers in Illinois,” said RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “Whether a sale happens in a store or online, the sales tax collected should be the same. It’s time to end the special treatment given to online-only retailers.”

Kennedy pointed out that retailers compete on price 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “That competition needs to be on an even playing field,” Kennedy said. “Today, online-only retailers selling into Illinois are not required to collect the sales tax, a decades-old loophole that pre-dates the Internet itself and gives them an arbitrary advantage over stores that operate in our communities.”

With regard to whether or not Amazon and other online-only retailers will fire their affiliates in Illinois to avoid collecting sales tax, Kennedy said that if Amazon “chooses to terminate its relationships with Illinois businesses in order to continue dodging sales tax laws, that’s a short-sighted decision, but it’s Amazon’s to make.”

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FINANCE

Zumiez Q4 profit nearly doubles, to open 44 stores

BY CSA STAFF

Everett, Wash. — Zumiez reported Thursday that net income for the quarter ended Jan. 29 almost doubled to $15 million, compared with net income of $8.8 million in the year-ago period.

Sales increased 17.9% to $156.2 million, from $132.4 million. Same-store sales increased 13 %.

For the full year, sales rose 17.5% to $478.8 million, from $407.6 million. Profit rose to $24.2 million, from $9.1 million in fiscal 2009.

Same-store sales increased 11.9% in fiscal 2010.

Zumiez said it plans to open approximately 44 new stores in fiscal 2011, including its first stores in Canada.

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Aeropostale Q4 profit slips 13%, 50 new stores on tap in 2011

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Aeropostale’s fourth-quarter profit slid 13% amid weaker gross margins and falling same-store sales. For the quarter ended Jan. 29, the chain posted a profit of $83.8 million, down from $96.6 million a year earlier.

Revenue increased 5% to $839.3 million, from $801.2 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales decreased 3%.

For the full year, net sales increased 8% to $2.4 billion, from $2.23 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales inched up 1%.

For fiscal 2011, Aeropostale said it plans to open about 30 namesake stores, 20 P.S. from Aeropostale kids stores, and remodel some 50 stores, in addition to certain information technology investments.

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