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Talbots to Close 78 Kids, Mens Stores

BY CSA STAFF

Hingham, Mass. Talbots Inc. said Friday it will close 78 kids’ and mens’ stores by September and discontinue those businesses as part of a bid to focus more on its core customer—women who are 35 years old or older.

The company also said its fourth-quarter sales so far were trending lower for both its Talbots and J. Jill brands.

Talbots said it will close 66 Talbots Kids stores and 12 Talbots Mens stores in a move that will affect about 800 full- and part-time jobs, or about 5% of the total Talbots work force, the company added.

The retailer said the decision to close the brands was part of the company’s strategic business review first announced in October.

In that review, Talbots said it found the concepts did not “demonstrate the potential to deliver acceptable long-term return on investment.”

Talbots said it will redirect resources to its other businesses.

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CVS Caremark Dec. sales hurt by weather

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark today announced that same-store sales in its CVS/pharmacy division for the five weeks ended Dec. 29 increased 1.8% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 2.4%, and were negatively impacted by approximately 470 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Front-end same store sales increased 0.6%.

Tom Ryan, chairman, president and ceo, stated, Sales in December were lighter than anticipated due to adverse weather conditions early in the month, a slowly developing flu season, and general economic conditions. However, given favorable operating expenses and improved margins, we expect to report diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter 2007 in the range of 54 cents to 55 cents, and for the full year 2007 in the range of $1.91 to $1.92, at the high end of our previous guidance of $1.89 to $1.92. 

 

For the fourth quarter, same-store sales at CVS/pharmacy for the thirteen weeks ended Dec. 29, increased 3.4% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 3.6%, while front-end same-store sales increased 2.9%.

Same-store sales at CVS/pharmacy for the 52-week period increased 5.3% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.2%, while front-end same-store sales increased 5.3%.

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Virgin Megastores comps up 6.6% in Dec.

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES Virgin Megastores today reported same-store comparable sales growth of 6.6% in December and 11.5% over the final quarter of the year. The company also reported that DVD sales were up 18.1%, fashion sales were up 35.1% and video game sales were up 111.9%.

Virgin Megastores said that despite the overall decline in music industry sales, its sales are up 1.2% overall for the year 2007.

“It is the second consecutive year that sales have way exceeded our expectations,” states Simon Wright, ceo of Virgin Entertainment Group, North America.  “We started seeing positive results in 2006 from our diversification strategy and the sales in those departments continued to climb throughout 2007.  Virgin Megastores are being recognized as an entertainment lifestyle destination, rather than solely a music retailer.”  

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