FINANCE

Starbucks Q1 profit jumps 25%; sales miss

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Starbucks Corporation’s profit in the first quarter rose 25% to $540.7 million from $432 million in the year-ago period, better than analysts expected.

Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 29, 2013 rose 12% to $4.24 billion from $3.79 billion. Same-store sales rose 5%, beneath Wall Street expectations of 5.9%.

Same-store sales in the Americas region also rose 5%, while analysts had expected a 6.4% increase.

For fiscal 2014, Starbucks boosted its fiscal earnings per share forecast guidance and said it expects to open 1,500 new net stores, including 600 in the Americas.

Starbucks said that online shopping, particularly during the month of December, kept more consumers at home and reduced their visits to its coffee bars

“Holiday 2013 was the first in which many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers experienced in-store foot traffic give way to online shopping in a major way,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company. “As our solid traffic growth and record Q1 results demonstrate, Starbucks unique combination of physical and digital assets positions us as one of the very few consumer brands with a national and global footprint to benefit from the seismic shift underway.”

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SUPPLY CHAIN

New GS1 US Data Hub provides standardized supply chain data

BY Dan Berthiaume

Lawrenceville, N.J. — A new online tool from supply chain information standards organization GS1 US, called the GS1 US Data Hub, will make it possible for retailers, e-tailers, data pools, solution providers and a variety of application developers to access the detailed information associated with GS1 company prefixes, the specific combination of numbers embedded in GS1 identifiers and barcodes to identify a company. Developed to help companies improve the quality of data in their businesses and applications, the GS1 US Data Hub is also available via an Application Programming Interface (API) developer portal.

The GS1 US Data Hub can help users validate their internal information against the GS1 US company prefix database and provides a source of standardized GS1 US data to be leveraged in both physical and digital channels. Users can review both active and inactive company prefixes issued by GS1 US, verify new trading partners to prevent counterfeit products from being sold, and create efficiencies by reducing the need to re-key information into existing systems.

GS1 US Data Hub users can easily download files and information to use and integrate with other applications. GS1 Company Prefixes can be searched in a variety of ways — including company name, Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) or Global Location Number (GLN) — helping companies fill in their data gaps. The GS1 US Data Hub allows users to select from several data sets and formats to fit their preferences and requirements. Future releases of the GS1 US Data Hub will offer more product and location-related data.

“The GS1 US Data Hub was developed in response to our customers’ need for accurate, qualified company information,” said Laura DiSciullo, senior VP of solutions, GS1 US. “There continues to be an unmet need for quality data in the supply chain. The GS1 US Data Hub provides downloadable, scalable information that can not only help industry be more efficient, but also more adaptable to changing consumer behaviors.”

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FINANCE

Neiman Marcus: 1.1 million credit/debit cards may be compromised

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — Approximately 1.1 million debit and credit cards used at Neiman Marcus stores may have been compromised in a security breach last year, according to an update posted on the retailer’s website. To date, Visa, MasterCard and Discover have notified the company that approximately 2,400 unique customer payment cards used at Neiman Marcus and Last Call stores were subsequently used fraudulently.

In the post, the company reiterated that Social Security numbers and birth dates were not stolen and customers who shopped online were not affected. Customers that use the chain’s private Neiman Marcus credit cards were also not affected.

The company, which said that the investigation is ongoing, learned that malicious software was installed to its system on Jan. 1, after a forensics company discovered it. It informed federal law enforcement agencies and began working with the U.S. Secret Service and payment processors.

Neiman Marcus said, to its knowledge, there was no connection between the security breach at its company and the one at Target.

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