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Stage Stores 4Q profit drops

BY CSA STAFF

HOUSTON Stage Stores today reported net income for the 13-week fourth quarter ended Feb. 2 of $31.7 million, or 78 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $39.6 million, or 88 cents per diluted share, for the prior year 14-week fourth quarter ended Feb. 3, 2007.

As previously reported by the company, total sales for this years 13-week fourth quarter were $473 million versus $491.2 million for the fourteen week fourth quarter last year. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter (13 weeks versus first 13 weeks) decreased 3.1% versus an increase of 2.5% in the prior year.

Total sales for the 52-week 2007 fiscal year were $1.5 billion compared to $1.55 for the 53-week 2006 fiscal year. Comparable-store sales for the fiscal year (52 weeks versus first 52 weeks) decreased 1.1% compared to an increase of 3.5% last year. Net income for the 2007 fiscal year was $53.1 million, or $1.24 per diluted share, compared to $55.3 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, for the prior year.

The company said it expects comparable-store sales to be in a range of flat to negative low single digits for the first quarter and full year.

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Sharper Image offers gift card redemption

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO Sharper Image said that it will providing all gift card, reward card, gift certificate and merchandise certificate holders with full refunds as follows after Bankruptcy Court approval. In order to redeem the card value, however, the customers must redeem it in full in one transaction and purchase an item that costs double the value of the gift certificate or merchandise certificate.

Sharper Image added that customers do not have to redeem their cards at this time, and said it is working hard to be able to honor the cards without condition in the future.

This updated policy will apply to all gift cards, reward cards, gift certificates and merchandise certificates issued prior to the company’s petition for protection under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code (Feb. 19).

“We have worked very hard to address the concerns of our customers, and to dispel rumors in the media that Sharper Image’s gift cards are worthless. That is simply not true,” said Robert Conway, ceo of The Sharper Image.

In related news, PurePro, an air purification company said it will honor Sharper Image gift cards by offering $50.00 towards the purchase of the PurePro Professional air purifier for each Sharper Image gift card of any denomination. Only one gift card will be honored per order.

The offer is valid only for online purchases at www.ThePurePro.com made between March 5 and March 31 and is only available for orders shipped within the United States, the company reported.

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A&P, C&S form distribution agreement

BY CSA STAFF

MONTVALE, N.J. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and C&S Wholesale Grocers have signed a new ten-year agreement to combine their separate A&P and Pathmark supply agreements into one partnership. Under this new partnership, the two companies will combine their supply and distribution services into one network.

The two companies said they expect this new alliance to lead to one of the lowest cost distribution systems in the Northeast grocery industry. The added that the agreement will enable both A&P and C&S to implement warehouse efficiency controls to reduce costs and improve store service.

Eric Claus, President & CEO, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., stated, We are extremely pleased to arrive at this ground-breaking agreement. Our partnering with C&S and its high tech infrastructure combined with our new agreement creates the value that is only derived from a big business model. This leading-edge agreement will provide cost savings and efficiencies in warehousing while benefiting all parties including, most importantly, our customers. 

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