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Tile Shop builds profit in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Tile Shop Holdings Inc. swung from a net loss to profit during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, but still reported a net loss for the full fiscal year. During the fourth quarter, Tile Shop reported net earnings of $1.4 million compared to a net loss of $35.8 million to the same period a year earlier.

However, during fiscal 2013, Tile Shop reported a net loss of $35.7 million, an improvement from $46.9 million during fiscal 2012. Net sales fared better, growing 25.2% to $57.8 million for the fourth quarter compared with $46.2 million in fourth quarter 2012. The $11.6 million increase in sales was driven by an increase in same-store sales of 10.1%, and incremental net sales of $6.9 million from stores not included in the same-store sales base. Sales results were impacted late in the fourth quarter due to harsh winter weather conditions in important markets.

During the full year, net sales improved 25.7% to $229.6 million, compared to $182.7 million for the previous fiscal year. Same-store sales grew 12.4%. CEO Robert Rucker cited significant expenditures Tile Shop made during the year that affected profits.

“We have made significant investments in the company in 2013 including the opening of 20 new stores, a new distribution and manufacturing facility and additional corporate infrastructure, all of which are necessary and valuable for the future of the company,” said Rucker. “While we made progress in strengthening The Tile Shop brand and infrastructure this past year, we recognize that we have more work in 2014 and beyond. We continue to firmly believe that as our new stores mature, the company will return to the historical levels of profitability.”

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Banana Republic launches omni-channel spring campaign

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco — Banana Republic is releasing an omni-channel spring 2014 marketing campaign called “True Outfitters” in March 2014. Styled by Jessica Diehl and shot by Mikael Jansson, the campaign was developed with Laird+Partners, Banana Republic’s advertising agency.

The campaign will appear in March and April publications, supplemented by outdoor, online and direct mail. Digital portions include a dedicated website and a special YouTube event on March 2.

"Banana Republic represents an approach to style, living and a state of mind that continues to define the modern wardrobe," said Banana Republic global chief marketing officer, Catherine Sadler. "The ‘True Outfitters’ campaign delivers authenticity and cultural awareness which is the currency of choice for the modern customer."

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Jack Link’s grows its meat snack footprint

BY CSA STAFF

Jack Link’s plans to purchase Unilever’s meat snacks business, primarily sold under the BiFi brand (Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland) and the Peperami brand (UK and Ireland). The sale is expected to close by the end of March.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, also includes the manufacturing facility in Ansbach, Germany.

“Jack Link’s mission is to be the #1 provider of branded meat snacks throughout the world,” said Troy Link, CEO of Jack Link’s. “This is an important step in delivering on that mission and we are excited to welcome the BiFi and Peperami brands into the family. These brands continue to drive growth in meat snacks in their respective territories and we look forward to working with all of our team members and retail partners to continue that success.”

“Bifi and Peperami are two iconic local brands. As we continue to sharpen our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, we believe that the potential of these two brands can now be more fully realized with Jack Link’s,” said Jan Zijderveld, Unilever Europe president.

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