FINANCE

Safeway swings to profit in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif. — Safeway reported Thursday net income of $229.6 million for the quarter ended Jan. 1, compared with a loss of $1.61 billion in the year-ago period, based on a hefty charge for the reduced value of its assets.

The grocery chain said revenue inched up 1% to $12.8 billion from $12.69 billion, topping Wall Street estimates of $12.45 billion.

Safeway said its quarterly revenue was helped by better fuel sales and an increase in the Canadian exchange rate, but that those factors were offset by lower sales due to store closings and a 0.8% drop in same-store sales, excluding fuel.

For the full year, Safeway reported net income of $589.8 million, compared with a loss of $1.1 billion in the previous year. Annual revenue edged up 1% to $41.05 billion from $40.85 billion.

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STORE SPACES

Talbots unveils new store design

BY CSA STAFF

Hingham, Mass. — The Talbots unveiled its new store design at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J.

The 5,500-sq.-ft. store has an upscale, residential feel, with a layout of five individual rooms for different merchandise stories.

Talbots chief creative officer Michael Smaldone collaborated with Robin Kramer of Kramer Design Group on the space.

According to Talbots, extensive customer research and feedback drove many of the important features of the store’s design and merchandise presentation, which include a new color palette, a more luxurious fitting room environment, area rugs, marble nesters, ceramic tiles, étagères, brass-rimmed windows and a brass door.

Key elements of the new design concept are being evaluated for potential rollout to existing stores in support of the company’s overall store reimage program.

“We are thrilled to bring our customers an innovative and truly inviting shopping environment at our new design concept store in Westfield Garden State Plaza,” said Trudy F. Sullivan, Talbots president and CEO.

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REAL ESTATE

New Era opens flagship in Japan

BY CSA STAFF

Buffalo, N.Y. — Headwear and apparel retailer New Era said Thursday it will expand its international presence with the opening of New Era Tokyo on Feb. 26.

The 1,100-sq.-ft. store, the retailer’s eighth global store, is located in Harajuku.

"We’re focused on growing our retail presence internationally so having a flagship store in Japan’s main city is really exciting," said Matthew Reeves, New Era Japan’s managing director.

Located in Tokyo’s key youth fashion district, New Era Tokyo will collaborate with Japanese artists and brands, offering flagship-exclusive products to those who visit the store.

The space was designed by teams in Japan and the United States. It is the first of several New Era stores scheduled to open in 2011, including Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Chicago.

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