Saks profit climbs in Q1, revenues miss
New York — Saks Inc. reported Tuesday that net income for the quarter ended April 28 rose 13.2% to $32.1 million, from $28.4 million last year.
Revenue for the period climbed 3.8% to $753.6 million, missing Wall Street’s expected $762.6 million. Same-store sales rose 4.8%.
“Year-over-year first quarter sales growth was solid but not as robust as in prior quarters,” said Stephen Sadove, CEO. “While we continue to see overall growth in the business, certain areas experienced a deceleration in sales. Women’s designer apparel was one category that didn’t meet company expectations.”
He told investors that the department store retailer will continue to aggressively invest in its Project Evolution initiative, which calls for enhancements in technology and other systems.
Walmart throws weight into home improvement with digital campaign
New York — The world’s largest retailer is taking steps to display its home-improvement prowess through a digital marketing campaign centered on a “Projects Made Simple” area at Walmart.com.
The area is organized by home improvement project. For instance: how to stain a deck, install a water filter system, caulk a window or install a towel bar. In the deck video, an unidentified handy man narrator explains, “All the tools are available at Walmart to get you going.”
The website also lets users download a project sheet with tips and instructions.
Walmart has long dealt in home improvement products, but the latest effort e-blasted to customers with the invitation to “Explore Walmart’s complete solution to make home do-it-yourself projects simple” marks an aggressive change for DIY. The e-blast listed the three key features of the online tool: checklists, instructions and how-to videos.
Home-improvement specialists of all sizes have long felt insulated from competition from the mass retail channel due to specialized training and product knowledge of employees on the sales floor — sophistication that they feel stores such as Walmart cannot match. But even if a more focused campaign from Walmart moves the perception needle even slightly, the results could be dramatic given Walmart’s sheer size.
Walmart cuts outdoor water use with WeatherTrak irrigation controller
Petaluma, Calif. — Walmart stores equipped with smart irrigation controllers from HydroPoint Data Systems have reduced outdoor irrigation water use an average of 39% per location since the systems were deployed in 2008, the companies announced.
HydroPoint supplied 631 of its WeatherTrak controllers to select Walmart stores. The systems, which are designed to eliminate landscape water waste, harmful run-off and costly hardscape damage, were added during new store construction and as retrofit projects.
The controllers use an online tool that gives Walmart remote access to the system, and provides water-use data for property managers, landscape contractors and company executives.