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Tiffany’s U.S. holiday sales growth weakens, lowers guidance

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — Tiffany & Co. reported Tuesday that sales growth weakened in the United States and Europe during the holiday season, although other regions experienced significant gains.

The company cut its yearly earnings guidance.

After five straight quarters of better-than-expected results, the jewelry retailer reported U.S. total revenue up 4% to $503 million and same-store sales up just 2%. Higher sales to tourists in the United States were offset by weaker spending by U.S. customers, said the company, and sales at its New York flagship store fell 1%.

In Europe, revenue edged up 1% to $117 million, and same-store sales fell 4%.

Online and catalog sales dropped 4% from the previous year.

However, total sales rose 7% to $952 million in November and December, helped by a 19% jump in the Asia-Pacific region and a 13% rise in Japan.

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A&P moves ahead with turnaround strategy as it closes more stores

BY CSA STAFF

MONTVALE, N.J. — Grocer A&P has announced plans to shutter 14 stores in four states as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy.

The company has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking approval to close the stores. The store closures are expected to be completed in the company’s fiscal first quarter, subject to court approval.

"We are continuing to take the steps necessary to position A&P to emerge from Chapter 11 with a strong future and ensure that we remain focused on our top priority ­ providing great value and service to our customers every day. As part of our preparations to emerge from Chapter 11, we have decided to close these 14 underperforming locations," A&P president and CEO Sam Martin said. "While this was a very difficult decision that will unfortunately impact some of our customers, partners, associates and the surrounding communities, these actions are absolutely necessary as we continue to strengthen A&P’s operating foundation and improve our performance."

As part of the store closing process, A&P will work to facilitate future store assignments based on associates’ collective bargaining agreements. The company also will encourage customers to shop at its other neighborhood stores in close proximity to the closing store locations.

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Zale holiday sales lag

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — Zale Corp. reported Tuesday that same-store sales for the holiday selling season of November and December 2011 rose 5.9%, compared with an 8.5% gain in the same period last year.

Within the two-month period, same-store store sales increased 10.1% in November and 4.2% in December.

Revenues for the two-month period were $564 million, compared with $533 million in the same period last year, an increase of 5.8%.

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