FINANCE

Tractor Supply 3Q Sales Up

BY CSA STAFF

Brentwood, Tenn., Tractor Supply announced that net sales for its third quarter ended Sept. 29 increased 12.5% to $629.2 million from $559.2 million in the prior year’s third quarter. Net income for the quarter was $17.5 million compared to $18.1 million in the prior year.

The company reported that same-store sales increased 1.9%. According to the company, same-store sales growth was driven by the animal-health and pet-supplies categories, which was offset by weakness in the seasonal and hardware-and-tools categories.

“Despite challenges presented by drought conditions and consumer pressures impacting discretionary purchases, we achieved positive comparable-sales growth as well as slight gross margin improvement,” said Jim Wright, president and CEO, in a statement. “While we were disappointed with the performance of certain seasonal merchandise categories, we are pleased that the company’s continued solid sales growth in core lifestyle categories, such as animal health and pet supplies, contributed to comp-store transaction count growth during the quarter.”

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FTC, Whole Foods battle rages on

BY CSA STAFF

The Federal Trade Commission refuses to back down from its fight against Whole Foods Market. On Monday, the FTC filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, opposing Whole Foods motion to dismiss its case before the Appeals Court as moot.

In the motion, The FTC claimed that Whole Foods merger with Wild Oats could still be found to be in violation of antitrust laws. Adding that Whole Foods itself admitted that though the merger was consummated on paper, does not mean the combining of the two companies is finished.

The FTC is seeking a prompt briefing schedule in order to move the case forward quickly.

In August, the merger between Whole Foods and Wild Oats closed, and Whole Foods purchased 84.1% of Wild Oats’ outstanding common stock in a cash tender offer of $18.50 per share.

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Sam’s Club brings the holiday bling

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Sam’s Club today announced the launch of a new jewelry collection valued at more than $2 million. The collection is available online at samsclub.com with an assortment of complementary pieces also in Clubs nationwide, the company reported.

During the holiday season, Sam’s Club is offering exclusively two so-called “Important Jewels,” an industry term for diamonds and other high-end jewelry, rarely found outside jewel salons and auction houses. The pieces include an asscher cut diamond ring, valued at $347,368, and square emerald cut drop earrings, priced at $210,256.

The items are currently available for preview online, Sam’s Club reported, and will be available for Sam’s Club members to purchase on Nov. 8.

“Our team and suppliers tracked down the season’s must-have diamonds, gemstones and pearls,” says Tina Corley, senior diamond buyer for Sam’s Club.  “We’ve taken the best looks from the runway to the red carpet and turned them into real possibilities at Sam’s Club prices for our members.” Corley adds, “More and more people are discovering the quality and value of Sam’s Club jewelry regardless of their budget. It’s not uncommon to save approximately 30% to 50% on general merchandise at Sam’s Club, and that includes jewelry.”

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