FINANCE

Sears Holdings exploring sale of stake in Sears Canada

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Holdings Corp. on Wednesday confirmed it is exploring strategic options for its 51% interest in Sears Canada Inc., including a sale. To assist in its efforts, the retailer said it will hire to an investment banking firm.

Sears Canada’s board of directors and management intend to cooperate fully with Sears Holdings in this process. Net loss attributable to Sears Holdings’ shareholders was $358 million and $1.4 billion, respectively, for the fourth quarter and full year of 2013.

Sears Canada is a separate publicly held company that operates 176 Sears stores, 233 hometown deal stores, seven Sears home services showrooms and approximately 1,400 catalog and online merchandise pick-up locations in Canada.

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FINANCE

Macy’s beats Q1 profit expectations; bad weather chills sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Macy’s Inc. beat Wall Street expectations with profits of $224 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up 3.2% from $217 million in the same quarter the prior year.

Earnings rose even as sales fell 1.7% to $6.38 billion, from $6.39 billion. Same-store sales declined 0.8%. Increased operating income and decreased cost of sales helped boost net income, while severe winter weather took a toll on sales.

“Overall, business trends were soft in January through March, with the exception of the Valentine’s Day shopping period,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s. “The trend improved in April when the weather began to turn in northern climate zones. We see this as a good sign moving forward into the second quarter.”

In addition to weather, first quarter comparisons were negatively impacted by a calendar shift for the company’s popular Friends & Family event.

Looking ahead, Macy’s continues to expect comparable sales growth in fiscal 2014 in the range of 2.5% to 3%. The company also reiterated its guidance for earnings per diluted share in fiscal 2014 of $4.40 to $4.50.

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News

Crocs names Rees president

BY CSA STAFF

The CEO search continues at Crocs, but the casual footwear maker does have a new president.

Crocs named Andrew Rees president of the Crocs brand effective in early June and said he would also serve as “principal executive officer,” until a CEO search is concluded. Rees joins Crocs from LEK Consulting, a global management consulting firm with offices across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. He founded and led LEK’s retail and consumer products practice for 14 years, building the practice into one of LEK’s major consulting areas. He also previously held senior leadership roles at Reebok, including the positions of vp of strategic planning and vp of retail operations.

"Andrew has led the LEK team that has been working closely with us to help develop our strategic plan and we feel that he is best positioned to lead the Crocs’ management team in executing that plan,” said Crocs chairman and interim CEO Thomas Smach.

Smach plans to step down from the interim CEO role when Rees joins the company on June 9 as president while the CEO search continues.

"We will not compromise our requirements on recruiting the right CEO, which we believe is one of the most important and impactful things our board can do for its employees and shareholders. We are committed to finding a CEO who has the deep industry, product and operational experience needed to take Crocs to the next level,” Smach said.

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