FINANCE

Securities fraud lawsuit against Best Buy dismissed

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. said Wednesday that the U.S. District Court has dismissed putative securities fraud class actions against the retailer and three of its officers.

With regard to the class action lawsuit filed last year, the court on Tuesday dismissed all counts for lack of substantiation.

"We have maintained since the beginning of this case that the allegations are wholly without merit. We are pleased that the court’s decision has vindicated Best Buy and its officers of the unfounded accusations in the plaintiffs` complaint," said Keith Nelsen, executive VP and general counsel for Best Buy.

A San Diego law firm filed the suit in March 2011, claiming that Best Buy made false and misleading statements about its financial position, causing investors to lose money when the company’s stock plummeted.

The court denied a plaintiffs’ request to file a further amended complaint.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Nearly half of adults only buy clothing when on sale

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Whiting, Ind. — Survey results released Wednesday by CouponCabin.com found that 41% of U.S. adults who purchase apparel say that they only buy clothing when it’s on sale.

Nearly one-quarter (23%) of U.S. adults said their shopping strategy involves doing whatever they can to save money.

The Spring Shopping Survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive, contained the following highlights:

When asked how they usually shop for clothing for themselves or others in their households, 46% said they visit a store, find the item and buy it in the store; 10% said they search out a deal or coupon first that would determine what item would be purchased; 7% said they find the desired item first, then look for a deal or coupon before buying; and 10% said they go online, find what they want and buy it online.

Sometimes preferred shopping routines include only shopping at the same stores, found the survey. Forty-five percent of U.S. adults who do any clothes shopping said they are loyal to particular clothing stores, with 18% saying they are loyal to one or two stores in particular. On the flip side, 33% said they shop wherever they can find the best deals.

When asked how much money they typically spend on clothing for themselves and/or anyone else in their household per month, those U.S. adults who do clothes shopping said the following:

  • $1 – $50: 60
  • $51 – $100: 21%
  • $101 or more: 20%

“Regardless of clothes shopping budgets, savvy shoppers are employing a variety of tactics to help lessen the bruising on their bank accounts,” said Jackie Warrick, president and chief savings officer at CouponCabin.com.

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FINANCE

Fred’s Q4 profit rises 14%

BY Staff Writer

Memphis, Tenn. — Fred’s reported Wednesday that net income for the fourth quarter jumped 14%, boosted by more robust sales and a favorable tax adjustment.

Profit for the quarter ended Jan. 28 rose to $9.8 million, from $8.6 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 2.5% to $497.6 million, missing Wall Street’s expected $498.4 million in sales.

Same-store sales were flat.

For the full year 2011, Fred’s earned $33.4 million, up from $29.6 million in 2010. Revenue edged up to $1.88 billion from $1.84 billion.

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