FINANCE

Starbucks perks up in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Starbucks Coffee Company reported generally strong performance in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier. Earnings per share rose 10% to $0.56, from $0.51.

Consolidated net revenues grew 9% to $3.87 billion from $3.55 billion, while consolidated same-store sales increased 6%.

The retailer cited its Teavana business, partnership with Oprah Winfrey, and new payment and loyalty technology as all contributing to overall fiscal growth.

For fiscal 2014, Starbucks expects earnings per share in the range of $2.62 to $2.68, revenue growth of 10% or greater, and global same-store sales growth in the mid-single digits. Earnings per share in the third quarter are expected to range from $0.64 to $0.66.

“Starbucks record operating performance in Q2 demonstrates that our focus on building a different kind of company — performance driven, through the lens of humanity — continues to drive profits and shareholder value,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company. “The innovation we are bringing to market through reinvention of our Teavana business and partnership with Oprah Winfrey, our reimagination of the Starbucks Experience through next-generation payment and loyalty programs and our continued investments in the over 200,000 Starbucks partners who wear the green apron every day continues to build equity in the Starbucks brand and strengthen our connection to customers in every market in which we operate.”

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FINANCE

Safeway swings to Q1 loss; expects merger in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Safeway reported a net loss of $76.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to net earnings of $118.9 million in the same period a year earlier. The company is working toward closing its $9.4 billion merger with Albertson’s by the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year.

Safeway cited the impact of inflation in some goods that it did not fully pass on to consumers as partially driving its net loss. In addition, translating Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars for financial reporting purposes in the sale of its Safeway Canada Limited business also negatively affected income.

Sales and other revenue increased 1.0% to $8.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014 from $8.2 billion in the first quarter of 2013, primarily due to an identical-store sales (excluding fuel) increase of 1.8%, partly offset by lower fuel sales in 2014.

“While sales met plan in the first quarter, income was slightly below plan, in part as a result of inflation in produce, meat and pharmacy that was not fully passed along for competitive reasons,” said Robert Edwards, president and CEO of Safeway. “In the second quarter of 2014, identical-stores sales are currently running well above 2%, and we expect to pass along most of the inflation we are experiencing. In addition, the direct and indirect cost initiatives we are implementing are expected to improve profitability in the second half of 2014."

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Lux Beauty Boutique increases transaction size with SelfPay Shopper App

BY Dan Berthiaume

Edmonton, Canada – Lux Beauty Boutique has launched the SelfPay Shopper App from Digital Retail Apps. Since rolling out the mobile self-checkout app, Lux has seen results including 7% of all in-store transactions flowing through the SelfPay mobile app during launch weekend and higher than average transaction values when compared to purchases completed at the cash register.

In addition, Lux observed that the self-checkout app attracts the majority of new users during times when the store is busiest and lines are long. And when faced with long lines at checkout and busy store associates, shoppers will not only download SelfPay but will also spend more than they would have at a cash register after waiting in line to pay.

“SelfPay is great for shoppers,” said Jennifer Grimm, Owner, Lux Beauty Boutique. “We promote it during slower periods precisely so that during busier times, shoppers are aware of it, we don’t lose sales, and provide a better shopping experience. Once implemented, SelfPay will pay dividends time and time again.”

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