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Ross Stores profit jumps 23%; outlines succession plan

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pleasanton, Calif. — Ross Stores Inc. reported Thursday that net income for the quarter ended July 28 jumped 23% to $182 million, from $148.3 million in the year-ago period. Results met Wall Street expectations, but the company issued profit predictions for the current quarter and full year that were below average forecasts. Same-store sales rose 7% in the quarter.

Late Wednesday, Ross announced its succession plan that calls for current vice chairman and CEO Michael Balmuth to remain in place through June 1, 2014, when he will move to the job of executive chairman.

Norman Ferber, the current chairman, will become chairman emeritus June 2014 and his current consulting responsibilities will remain unchanged, the company said.

Ross said that it plans to elect its new CEO from its current lineup of senior executives.

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Neiman Marcus prepares to go public

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — A Thursday report by the Wall Street Journal said that Warburg Pincus and TPG, the private-equity owners of Neiman Marcus Group Inc., are looking for an exit.

The firms paid $5.1 billion for Neiman Marcus seven years ago; the company is currently valued, according to analysts, at about $4 billion.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, WSJ said that the department store chain and its investors are conferring about laying the foundation for an eventual public offering, although the event is said not to be imminent.

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NRF Survey: Plenty of BTS shopping to do

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — According to the National Retail Federation and BIGinsight’s 2012 Back-to-School survey, families with school and college-aged students as of Aug. 7 say they have more than half of their shopping lists to complete.

The average person with children in grades K-12 has completed 40.1% of their shopping, while college shoppers and their families have completed slightly more at 45.3%.

Overall, school and college shoppers this year are expected to spend a total of $83.8 billion.

“It’s evident that there are plenty ‘last minute shoppers’ this year and for retailers these next two weeks are of utmost importance when it comes to attracting families who still have apparel, electronics and school supplies to stock up on,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Given how much of an impact the economy is having on consumers’ buying decisions, retailers will remain competitive up through the final sale after Labor Day, rolling out web, in-store and even mobile promotions to entice children and their parents.”

The survey found that more college students and their families have already finished their shopping (16.4%), than school shoppers (7.8%). Additionally, there are fewer school and college shoppers who say they have not started their shopping yet (28.5% versus 31.1% of college shoppers last year, and 26.9% versus 28.3% of K-12 shoppers last year.)

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