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Saks, Dillard’s Post Third-Quarter Results

BY CSA STAFF

New York, Saks Inc., said Tuesday that its third-quarter profits rose more than threefold, helped by strong demand for its updated merchandise.

Net profit reached $21.6 million for the fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 3, compared with $6.2 million a year earlier. Sales also increased by 14% to $796.1 million.

Same-store sales increased by 11.4%, “exceeding the company’s expectations,” CEO Stephen Sadove said in a statement.

“A more challenging promotional and overall macro economic environment pressured merchandise margins was offset by the impact of unredeemed gift cards. This produced a flat gross margin rate,” Sadove said.

Saks forecasts high single-digit percentage growth in same-store sales for the quarter. The company still expects “outsized” same-store sales in November and “below-average” sales in December.

It also continues to expect to hit an operating margin of about 4% for the full year, and the company added that it could reach 8% over the next three years.

Another department store operator did not fare so well. Little Rock, Ark.-based Dillard’s Inc. reported a net loss of $11.3 million for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 3, compared to a profit off $13.6 million a year ago.

The company’s sales fell to $1.63 billion from $1.72 billion, and same-store sales declined 6%.

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Dillard’s debuts female activewear dept.

BY CSA STAFF

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Dillard’s announced today the launch of its new female-oriented activewear department.

Dillard’s new Tranquility department features yoga-inspired multipurpose activewear supporting the multi-faceted, busy lifestyle of the female Dillards customer, the company reported. 

According to the company, the Tranquility department is designed for the busy woman, who may not have the time to change clothes after going to exercise. The clothes are meant to be functional at the gym, but fashionable enough to be worn throughout the day, Dillard’s announced.

Dillards president Alex Dillard stated, The launch of Tranquility is a perfect example of how we are responding to the changing needs of our customer with fashions supportive of her active lifestyle and reflective of her contemporary attitude. 

Tranquility features six active apparel lines is currently found in 25 Dillards locations. Selections from Tranquility are also available online at www.dillards.com. The company expects to expand the department to 100 stores for the upcoming spring 2008 season and into additional locations for fall 2008.

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‘Heroes’ star to represent Dooney & Bourke

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK “Heroes” star Hayden Pannettiere will represent the Dooney & Bourke this December as the brand’s guest designer for the company’s national ad campaign, Dooney & Bourke announced last week. As part of the collaboration, Dooney & Bourke is introducing The Hayden Bag, which is targeted toward the young consumer.

Using Panettiere ideas, designer Peter Dooney created the limited edition Hayden Bag, which retails for $500, the company reported.

The collections featured in the Hayden advertising campaign are scheduled to hit Dooney & Bourke retail boutiques by the end of the year. They will also be available at department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, and Nordstrom and online at www.dooney.com.

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