REAL ESTATE

Sears Canada to close three stores in major cities

BY Marianne Wilson

Toronto — Sears Canada Inc. said on Friday it is shutting down three downtown stores in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. The move follows an announcement last month by Sears Holdings, the majority owner of Sears Canada, that it will raise about $770 million by spinning off parts of its business and selling prime real estate.

“While we had no plans to close stores, the transaction for these three specific locations provides an attractive financial benefit for the company which strategically allows us to drive growth in areas which can be most beneficial,” said Calvin McDonald, president and CEO, Sears Canada Inc. We are investing in a refresh of our stores and piloting new formats which will provide Canadians exciting ways to access Sears products and services.”

Sears Canada plans to close locations at the Vancouver Pacific Centre, the Calgary Chinook Centre and the Ottawa Rideau Centre by Oct. 31, 2012. It will return the locations to developer Cadillac Fairview Corp Ltd for C$170 million. The transaction is expected to close on or around April 20.

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FINANCE

Big Lot Q4 profit rises; opening 90 stores in 2012

BY Marianne Wilson

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots’ fourth-quarter net income rose 4% to $114.7 million for the period ended Jan. 28, up from $110.1 million a year earlier. The chain also said it anticipates 90 new store openings in the United States in 2012.

Big Lots’ revenue in the quarter rose 10% to $1.67 billion, from $1.52 billion.

Sales for U.S. operations increased 7.5% to $1.63 billion. In Canada, which includes results from Liquidation World that was acquired in July, sales were $36.6 million. Same-store sales in the United States were up 3.4%.

For the year, Big Lots earned $207.1 million, compared with $222.5 million in the previous year.

Annual revenue rose 5% to $5.2 billion, from $4.95 billion.

Big Lots operated 1,451 stores in 48 states and 82 Liquidation World and LW stores in Canada as of Jan. 28.

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FINANCE

Genesco Q4 income beats expectations

BY Staff Writer

Nashville, Tenn. — Footwear retailer Genesco Inc. said its fourth-quarter net income from continuing operations rose to $41.5 million from $31.4 million a year ago. Its results easily topped Wall Street expectations.

Revenue in the quarter rose 29% to $723 million. Same-store sales increased 12%. By brand, same-store sales were up 13% at Lids Sports Group and 14% at the Journeys Group. Johnston & Murphy Retail’s sales increased by 8%, and Underground Station decreased by 4%.

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