FINANCE

SmartCo to open five Colorado stores

BY CSA STAFF

Commerce, Calif. Discount grocer Smart & Final said it will open stores in five vacant Albertsons sites in Denver, according to a report by the Denver Post.

The California-based warehouse grocer acquired the Albertsons sites and will open SmartCo Foods outlets this summer. The SmartCo line is a new venture for the company.

SmartCo said it will hire about 100 employees for each of the five new stores and will establish a regional corporate office in metro Denver.

Stores will be located at sites in Denver; Littleton; Centennial; and Longmont that Albertsons vacated over the past three years in a series of closures.

Smart & Final was acquired in 2007 for $813 million by investment firm Apollo Management. Now privately owned, the grocer no longer reports its financial results, but in 2006 its revenue was $2.1 billion.

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Jo-Ann celebrates craft month with in-store events

BY CSA STAFF

HUDSON, Ohio Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores announced that it is celebrating national craft month this March with special in-store demonstrations and new projects.

“This year, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is encouraging people to take time to craft a memory,” notes Brent Beebe, VP crafts. “With 63 million households crafting each year, we feel this theme reminds people what crafting can be—a memorable gathering of family or friends, or an individual artistic endeavor. It’s about the process as well as the project.”

The demonstrations will include wedding favors, papercrafting and Easter foam projects.

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Pier 1 Imports reports 4Q sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas Pier 1 Imports reported that total sales for the fourth quarter were $396 million compared with $389 million for the same period last year. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter increased 6.5%. Total sales for the fiscal year were $1.29 billion compared with $1.32 billion last year. Comparable-store sales for the year increased 1.5%.

For the fourth quarter, Pier 1 said it anticipates that reported merchandise margins will be better than expected at approximately 55.7%, compared to 44.3% reported last year. Reported earnings per share are expected to be at least 29 cents per share compared with a loss of 33 cents last year.

 

Alex Smith, president and CEO, stated, “We are proud of our fourth quarter performance, which began with an extremely successful holiday selling season. We knew that the strength of December sales, the resulting seasonal sell-through, and the lower level of markdown inventory would shorten the Pier 1 sale. However, we were able to more than offset the pressure on sales in January with a very strong merchandise margin improvement. Our quarter ended with strong sales and margin in February, despite the extreme weather conditions experienced in many parts of the country. The increase in margin rate during the quarter is attributable not only to less clearance merchandise but also to our initial markups which remained strong.”

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