FINANCE

Syms considers possible sale

BY CSA STAFF

Secaucus, N.J. — Syms Corp. said Thursday it is mulling selling itself and other strategic alternatives as the company continues to struggle after acquiring Filene’s Basement in 2009.

The off-price retailer, which bought Filene’s out of bankruptcy for $62.4 million in 2Q 2009, said its board is currently evaluating its options. It reported a loss at the end of its fiscal year in February, and losses had widened as of earlier this month.

Rothschild Inc. is serving as advisor in the evaluation process. Syms said it will not comment further until either a transaction is approved or the review process concludes.

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FINANCE

HHGregg 4Q profit surges 46%, slows new store growth

BY CSA STAFF

Indianapolis— Electronics and appliances retailer hhgregg Inc. said Thursday that its profit leaped 46% in its fiscal 4Q, to $14.6 million from $10 million in the year-ago period. However, same-store sales tumbled nearly 11% in the company, and the company said it will slow the pace at which it opens new stores in the next fiscal year. Previously, it expected to open 35 to 45 stores in the next year, but now cut the upper range to 40 stores.

Revenue for the quarter climbed 22% to $507 million, helped by the addition of 42 new stores over the past 12 months.

For the full year, the company earned $48.2 million on $2.08 billion in revenue.

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OPERATIONS

Report: India closer to allowing foreign retail investment

BY CSA STAFF

New Delhi, India —India will announce new rules for foreign investment in retail by April 2012, which would pave the way for such retailers as Wal-Mart Stores, Carrefour SA and other large chains to open stores in the country, Bloomberg reported.

“We are much further down the process than people think,” said Junior Trade Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in an interview with Bloomberg. “I think it is a huge opportunity for India.”

Indian law limits foreign retail investment to ownership of wholesale stores or 51% holdings in single-brand shops. The government prohibits non-Indian companies from operating multi-brand outlets to protect local store owners.

India is the third-most attractive retail market for global retailers among the thirty largest emerging markets, according to AT Kearney. The growing middle class, expanding economy and increasingly brand-conscious population will help push retail sales up by 35% during the next three years, the company said in a June report.

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