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Rue21 Q4 income up, will open 110 stores in 2011

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh — Teen retailer rue21 said that its fourth quarter net income increased 41% to $10.9 million from $7.7 million in the year-ago period. Net sales for the quarter increased 22.3% to $190.1 million, from $155.4 million. Same-store sales rose 1.5%.

“We opened 105 stores in 2010 which performed above our expectations,” said Bob Fisch, rue21’s President and CEO. “The company had strong growth across all categories, with our etc! accessories merchandise leading the way as we converted 31 stores during the year to our larger etc! format. We are planning for 110 new stores and approximately 35 conversions in 2011.”

For the full year, net income increased 37.4% to $30.2 million, and net sales increased 20.8% to $634.7 million. Same-store sales rose 2.1%.

The company opened 105 stores, closed two locations, and converted 31 stores to its rue21 etc! format. It ended the year with 638 stores in 44 states.

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Extra packaging a waste for grocery manufacturers

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — Consumers can expect to find less packaging with their food and beverages in the coming years as manufacturers look to eliminate waste. The Grocery Manufacturers Association found that by 2020 2.5 billion pounds of waste is expected to be avoided by 2020. This is on top of the 1.5 billion pounds of packaging avoided since 2005.

"Across the board, the food, beverage and consumer products industry has been vigilant in its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint," said Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of GMA. "When it comes to eliminating packaging from the supply chain, we have already made significant progress, but we know we can do more. We look forward meeting this goal to eliminate four billion pounds of packaging by 2020."

The 1.5 billion pounds of packaging avoided since 2005 includes more than 800 million pounds of plastic and more than 500 million pounds of paper. Packaging improvements have spanned most product categories, with no single category dominating. Companies reported that they achieved the 2005 to 2010 reductions through the success of more than 180 distinct improvement initiatives that included package redesigns and increased use of recyclable inputs.

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Chico’s taps PTC for enterprise product lifecycle management

BY CSA STAFF

Needham, Mass. — PTC announced that Chico’s FAS has selected PTC Windchill FlexPLM product lifecycle management software to harmonize operations across category, brand, and departments.

By choosing Windchill FlexPLM across all of its brands, including Chico’s, White House|Black Market and Soma Intimates, the company is demonstrating a commitment to increase operational and inventory efficiency and reduce development time and production cost.

“When evaluating PLM vendors, we wanted software that was not only going to help us drive productivity and reduce costs, but we wanted a solution that was going to be easy to use,” said Krissy Blakeway, senior VP of Chico’s design and product development. “As the technology leader, PTC was the unanimous choice of our user community. We believe that as we move forward and standardize on Windchill FlexPLM, our ability to be first to market with the latest fashion will be enhanced.”

By implementing Windchill FlexPLM, Chico’s expects to realize reductions in materials costs, cycle times and product development costs.

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