OPERATIONS

Stein Mart taps former Belk exec as director on e-commerce

BY Marianne Wilson

Jackonsville, Fla. — Stein Mart on Thursday said it has appointed Sara Meza as director of e-commerce.

Meza came on board in April, following a 12-year tenure at Belk where she led the original launch of the retailer’s website business.

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News

Tim Hortons offers Passbook support on payment app

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oakville, Canada – The Tim Hortons TimmyMe iOS app now includes support for Passbook. Customers can add their prepaid Tim card to Passbook, which they can then scan to pay in-store or at the drive-thru in participating locations.

The TimmyMe app also offers a store finder and nutritional data.

"Tim Hortons is committed to offering the ultimate guest experience, and that includes leveraging technology to offer our guests faster, convenient service,” said David Clanachan, COO, Tim Hortons. “The launch of mobile barcode payments with Passbook support lets us do just that. Our guests can now use their iPhone and iPad to make secure, quick and easy payments, which we hope will make their visit, coffee and meal with us even more enjoyable."

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FINANCE

Weather bites into Bon-Ton Q1 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

York, Pa. – Adverse weather that lasted longer into the first quarter of fiscal 2014 than anticipated bit into income and sales at The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. Net loss grew to $31.5 million from $26.6 million a year earlier, and net sales dropped 6% to $607.46 million from $647.9 million.

Same-store sales declined 5.8%. In addition to weather, the extinguishment of mortgage and senior note redemption debt also contributed to net loss growth.

“We forecasted our first quarter sales to reflect weather challenges, but the prolonged adverse conditions resulted in a financial performance below our expectations,” said Brendan Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Bon-Ton. “We saw an improvement in sales performance mid-April as the weather became more seasonal and traffic trends improved dramatically. Despite our shortfall in sales, we were able to achieve a higher gross margin rate, control expenses and effectively manage our inventory such that we ended the quarter with retail inventory levels 1.7% below that of the prior year on a comparable store basis.”

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