REAL ESTATE

Seiko makes U.S. boutique debut on Madison Avenue

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Seiko Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Seiko Watch Corporation, announced the grand opening of its first Seiko boutique to enter the United States at 510 Madison Avenue in New York City.

The New York Seiko boutique is primarily dedicated to Seiko’s collections, but also features boutique exclusives.

"The opening of the US market’s first boutique in New York City is achieving a passionate goal of mine, as I believe that the US market is the most important for Seiko outside of Japan," said Shinji Hattori, president and CEO of Seiko Watch Corporation. "Seiko has been seeking the most ideal timing and location to spotlight our product, catering to our affordable luxury timepieces. Opening a boutique in a market such as New York City does just that, following standards from Seiko boutiques in Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Cairo as well as the original Wako luxury specialty store opened in 1881 in Tokyo."

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PetSmart considers strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value

BY CSA STAFF

PetSmart is exploring strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company. The news comes on the heels of its second quarter results, and just a little less than two months after activist investor Jana Partners acquired a 9.9% stake in the company and began looking to make changes.

“Whatever the outcome of the process, we are as committed as ever to continuing to meet the needs of our customers and their pets, attracting and retaining world class talent, and driving sales and margins,” said Gregory P. Josefowicz, chairman. “We are not providing a timetable for our process, nor do we intend to comment further or update the market until it is complete.”

Josefowicz added that despite recent headwinds affecting PetSmart and other retailers, he firmly believes the company is very well positioned for superior future performance. The board has been working with JP Morgan Securities and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to assist in the process.

The company also announced a definitive agreement to acquire Pet360, an online pet specialty retailer, for $130 million with the possibility of additional performance-based payments totaling up to $30 million by the end of 2016.

President and CEO David K. Lenhardt said that acquiring Pet360 will allow PetSmart to enhance its omnichannel capabilities and provide customers a unique and leading 360-degree shopping experience. “This afternoon’s announcement about exploring alternatives will not distract the management team from continuing to pursue a broad range of performance improvement initiatives already underway,” he added.

Lenhardt said that he expects online sales to become a more relevant source of revenue in the future and the company’s looking to capitalize on that evolution. Combining Pet360’s family of e-commerce websites, digital media programs and content sites, with PetSmart’s existing web platform and store network will immediately allow PetSmart to provide customers a rich omnichannel information and shopping experience.

The transaction is expected to close in September, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.

The company’s earnings for the quarter were $0.98 per share, up 10.1% compared to $0.89 per share in the second quarter of 2013. Net income also increased 5.1% to $98.1 million, compared to $93.4 million in the prior year period. The company also saw an increase in net sales, up 1.4% to $1.7 billion. But comparable store sales, including online sales, decreased 0.5%, with comparable transactions decreasing 2.6%. Services sales, which are included in net sales, grew 4.7% to $214 million.

“While we face many of the same headwinds affecting other retailers, we continue to deliver extraordinary value to our customers and achieve strong earnings and cash flows,” added Lenhardt. “We are focused on leveraging our competitive strengths, including superior customer focus and loyalty, and capitalizing on the continued growth of the specialty channel. We have already begun implementing a broad range of performance improvement initiatives following the board’s detailed review of our business over the last several months.”

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Sam Edelman lands Kate Upton for fall campaign

BY CSA STAFF

Clothing and shoe retailer Sam Edelman’s upcoming fall advertising campaign will feature supermodel Kate Upton.

This season is Upton’s third as a model for the company. The campaign will be the first to advertise for Sam Edelman’s line of apparel, and features shots of Upton by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, who photographed her in London.

“This campaign reveals Kate in an intimate one-on-one moment,” said Sam Edelman, designer, founder and division president for the Sam Edelman Division of Brown Shoe Company. “With the launch of our apparel line this season, we can dress her from toe to head but sometimes all she wants are her Sams.”

Sam Edelman’s move into apparel comes in the company’s tenth year, after focusing largely on shoes before expanding into accessories and outerwear two years ago, when it also introduced a juniors line.

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