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Surf retailer Tilly’s rides sales wave in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Marketing and a strong assortment helped teen retailer Tilly’s report an increase in profits and same store sales in the fourth quarter.

Revenues increased 9.2% from last year to $152.82 million. Analysts expected revenues of $151.43 million. The company said same store sales, which include e-commerce sales, increased 2.9% from the corresponding period in 2013.

“I am very pleased with the continued progress we have made on our initiatives to increase sales and profitability, which delivered positive comparable stores sales and fourth quarter earnings above our upwardly revised expectations and up 32% year-over-year. We achieved healthy product margins and exited this period with inventory well positioned for the Spring season,” said Daniel Griesemer, president and CEO. “I am very proud of the hard work and disciplined execution of our team during the past year. The fundamentals of our business are strong and I believe we are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities we see to further improve our business performance in fiscal 2015 and the longer term.”

The company has previously outlined differentiation in its product assortment, better marketing initiatives and improved e-commerce as its focus areas for 2015.

For the full fiscal year of 2014, the specialty retailer reported net income of $14.1 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. Revenue was reported as $518.3 million, an increase of 4.5% compared to $495.8 million for the prior year. The company also announced that Jason Nazar was appointed to the board of directors. Nazar is the co-founder of Docstoc Inc., an online subscription service for small businesses.

“We are pleased to welcome Jason Nazar to the Tilly’s board of directors,” said Hezy Shaked, executive chairman. “Nazar’s executive experience with e-commerce and online business strategy will be of immense value as we continue to focus on that important aspect of our business.”

The company expects first quarter same store sales to increase in the low single digits, and net income per diluted share to be in the range of $0.03 to $0.05.

Tilly's is a fast-growing specialty retailer of West Coast inspired apparel, footwear and with 211 stores and its website, www.tillys.com.

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Michaels crafts a stronger omnichannel strategy for 2015

BY CSA STAFF

Michaels is looking to further bolster its omnichannel strategy in 2015 after reporting an 18% profit jump in the fourth quarter.

The CEO for the Michaels Cos., Chuck Rubin, said: "We achieved solid performance across categories and geographies as our customers recognized and responded to the improvements that we have put in place. As we look to fiscal 2015, we will continue to build upon our vision 2020 strategy to deliver a strong in-store and online shopping experience, increase our market share and expand our customer base."

The Texas-based company reported that its net income rose 18% to $157 million in the fourth quarter, up from $133 million in the year-earlier period.Sales for the fourth quarter increased 3.4% to $1.61 billion. Same store sales increased by 1.4%In a conference call with investors Thursday Rubin said that traffic has increased as more customers get inspired online to undertake do-it-yourself projects.

But the retailer gave a soft outlook for the year, citing, among other things, unfavorable Canadian exchange rates and the impact of the West Coast port slowdown.

For the full year, net sales increased 3.7% to $4.74 billion. Full year net income was $217 million. At the end of the fourth quarter, it operated 1,168 Michaels stores and 120 Aaron Brothers stores. Michaels expects fiscal 2015 total net sales growth of 3.2% to 3.7% or 4.4% to 4.9% on a constant currency basis and a comparable store sales increase of 1.5% to 2.0% or 2.7% to 3.2% on a constant currency basis.

Rubin added: "The strong cash flow generation of our business will allow us to continue to make the necessary investments to solidify and advance our market leadership, which we believe will lead to greater efficiencies and further improve profitability. We feel good about our strategies and the customer response they have driven. Our team is energized and ready to make further progress in fiscal 2015."

At the end of January, the company operated 1,168 Michaels stores and 120 Aaron Brothers stores.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Toys ‘R’ Us Times Square flagship to close when lease expires

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Toys "R" Us is not going to renew the lease of its Manhattan flagship, according to various reports. The lease for the massive 110,000-sq.-ft. retail space, at 1514 -1530 Broadway, between 44th and 45th Streets, is set to expire at the end of January 2016. The ground floor of the prime space, in the heart of busy Times Square and with access to Broadway, commands a whopping $2,500 per foot per year in rent, with the second and third floors costing considerably less, according to CNN Money.

The store, which opened in 1999, is a popular tourist attraction, with such crowd pleasers as a roaring, 20-ft. T-Rex dinosaur, a life-size Barbie dollhouse and, most notably, a 60-ft. Ferris wheel with themed carriages.

Toys "R" Us is not commenting on the reports. But Brad Mendelson, vice chairman of retail services at Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate firm marketing the property, told CNN Money that the retailer did not renew (the lease) subject to their option.

"That was their choice," Mendelson said. The building's owner is already talking to other retailers, he added.

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