REAL ESTATE

Von Maur continues expansion of Dry Goods brand

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Davenport, Iowa — Department store chain Von Maur said Thursday that it has opened a 4,000-sq.-ft. Dry Goods store at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, Iowa – the specialty retailer’s first location in the state and its eighth overall.

The concept, which centers around contemporary women’s clothing and accessories, is strategically growing; the plan, said the company, is to have a nationwide presence. It recently launched its online business at Drygoodsusa.com.

"We are thrilled to open our first Dry Goods store in our home state of Iowa and are confident our newest location in West Des Moines will be successful," said Lindsay Caltagirone, VP, noting that with more than 150 special stores, the Jordan Creek Town Center is the largest shopping complex in Iowa and the fourth largest in the Midwest.

The first Dry Goods opened in October 2010 in Aurora, Ill. While future locations will be primarily concentrated in Midwest-based shopping centers, the goal is to expand Dry Goods beyond the Midwest as part of a national expansion initiative.

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FINANCE

Nordstrom Q3 profit up 15%; to open six pop-up shops

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Nordstrom reported third-quarter net earnings of $146 million, up 15% from $127 million for the same quarter last year. Its results were slightly below analysts’ expectations.

The company said that its third quarter same-store sales, which reflected a timing shift that moved a week of the company’s important Anniversary Sale event into August this year, increased 10.7%. Top-performing merchandise categories included men’s shoes, men’s apparel and kids’ apparel.

Combined second and third quarter same-store sales, which removes the impact of the Anniversary Sale shift, increased 7.3% compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. Net sales in the third quarter were $2.71 billion, an increase of 13.8%, compared with net sales of $2.38 billion during the same period in fiscal 2011.

The retailer said that Nordstrom Rack, which opened thirteen stores during the first nine months of the year, continued to demonstrate strong sales growth in the third quarter with increases in net sales of 16.3% and same-store sales of 8.1%.

In other news, Nordstrom will open six pop-up shops in February featuring merchandise from up-and-coming designers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The temporary shops will feature 10 designers who are finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which awards $300,000 every year to the winner and is intended to nurture young design talent, the report said.

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News

On solid 3Q, Kraft promises more innovation for key brands

BY CSA STAFF

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods Group reported that new product sales, increased advertising investment and improved productivity have contributed to profit gains for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

During the company’s third-quarter investors call, Kraft CEO Tony Vernon emphasized strong performances from Kraft’s cheese business, with nine consecutive quarters of growth; its cold cut business; and brands that have benefited from innovation and stepped-up marketing, like Lunchables, Velveeta and Kool-Aid. Several other brands — including Maxwell House, Planters and Jell-O — aren’t performing so well, and are about to undergo significant overhauls, the company announced.

"Jell-O must be revitalized, and we must do it in the face of yogurt’s explosive growth. And Planters needs significantly more work to re-establish category leadership and profitable growth," Vernon said.

Much of Kraft’s future success will depend on the company’s ability to re-energize antiquated brand names like Stove Top, Cool Whip and Shake ‘N Bake — or sell them off.

Sales for the quarter were up 3% to $4.6 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations of $4.55 billion. This is the company’s first quarter reporting earnings as a standalone company; Kraft Foods Group is now the fourth-largest food and beverage company in North America, behind PepsiCo, Nestle and Coca-Cola.

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