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Toys “R” Us Jumps 67% in Fourth-Quarter Profit

BY CSA STAFF

Newark, N.J., Despite its impending sale to a private consortium, Toys “R” Us’ profit surged 67% during its fourth quarter, as illustrated in the release of its delayed financial results Friday. The surge includes the critical December holidays.

Earnings for the three months, ended Jan. 29, were $259 million, compared to $155 million for the same period a year earlier. The fourth quarter of 2004 included a $20 million gain from a settlement with Visa and MasterCard, a $14 million gain from the sale of a toy store in Santa Monica, Calif., and a $15 million gain from the sale of former Kids “R” Us locations.

For the year, profit was $252 million, compared to $63 million for the year prior. Sales, however, were down, as fourth-quarter sales measured $4.81 billion, slightly less than a year earlier.

In a written statement, Toys “R” Us chairman and CEO John Eyler said the company was pleased with the results.

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CarMax Adds Two Stores in Los Angeles Area

BY CSA STAFF

Richmond, Va., CarMax Inc. has added new locations in Irvine and Ontario, Calif. The additions bring CarMax’s store count in the Los Angeles market to five.

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Sears Plans ‘Mass Layoff’ of 250 Workers

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill., Sears Holding Corp. plans a “mass layoff” of 250 employees at its Hoffman Estates, Ill., headquarters, according to a report filed with state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The state defines a massive layoff as 250 or more full-time employees or at least 25 workers if they comprise at least a third of the employer’s work force. A 2004 state law mandates that employers with at least 75 full-time workers must provide 60-days notice to workers and to the state for mass layoffs or a plant closing.

Sears declined to comment on the filing, but the commerce department’s Web site indicates that 250 workers at the Chicago suburb headquarters would be affected, published reports say. The company sent an e-mail to employees earlier in the week warning of future changes to benefits packages, to be implemented early next year.

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