FINANCE

Supervalu doubles net earnings; commits to rebranding retail banners

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Supervalu reported net earnings of $31 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2014, almost double the net earnings of $16 million reported in the same quarter of the prior fiscal year. This dramatic increase came even as net sales slipped 1% to $4.1 billion from $4.5 billion.

Total same-store sales declined 3.7%, although the Save-A-Lot network reported a 1.7% increase. The net earnings results show that so far Supervalu’s decision to sell off larger banner such as Albertson’s and Jewel-Osco to focus its business on smaller regional chains such as Save-A-Lot is paying off.

"Although we are less than a year removed from the sale of five of our retail banners, Supervalu has made positive strides in all three of our business segments to better position the company for financial growth and improved shareholder value," said Sam Duncan, CEO of Supervalu.

The chain has committed to investing into its retail supermarket banners with a makeover for all of the banners, a review of the planograms within those banners and private label.

"We will launch shortly rebranding campaigns in all of our retail banners, where our customer messaging has been disjointed and oftentimes confusing," Duncan told analysts Thursday morning. "When complete, these banners will have a much more clearly defined identity, which we will be communicating across all platforms, including in-store signage, weekly ads, customer emails, mobile devices and banner web pages."

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FINANCE

Bed, Bath & Beyond Q3 growth below expectations; cuts outlook

BY Dan Berthiaume

Union, N.J. — Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.’s third quarter net earnings rose to $237.2 million, less than Wall Street expected, from $232.8 million in the year-ago period, as higher costs and expenses impacted sales growth. The company trimmed its full-year earnings outlook.

Revenue for the three months ended Nov. 30 rose 6% to $2.87 billion, from $2.7 billion. Same-store sales increased 1.3%.

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Urban Outfitters grows holiday sales 8%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Philadelphia – Net sales at Urban Outfitters for the two months ended Dec. 31, 2013, increased to $716 million, or 8% from the same period in the previous year. Same-store retail segment net sales, which include the direct-to-consumer channel, increased 3%.

Same-store retail segment net sales increased 21% at Free People and 11% at Anthropologie and decreased 6% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales increased 21%.

"I am pleased to announce record sales for the 2013 holiday period," said Richard A. Hayne, CEO. "Our Anthropologie and Free People brands delivered outstanding results despite the extreme promotional retail environment."

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