Wal-Mart exploring options after woman wins lawsuit
Houston A spokesman said Wal-Mart Stores is reviewing legal options after a jury reached a $9 million verdict in favor of a Houston woman who was wrongly arrested at one of the company’s stores.
Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said Sunday the retailer believes the verdict reached Friday in a Houston court was “not supported by the facts of the case,” the Associated Press reported.
Nitra Gipson filed a civil lawsuit after she was arrested when store employees accused her of trying to exchange counterfeit money orders for cash. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue charges after investigators determined the money orders were authentic.
Tovar said the woman was arrested on outstanding traffic warrants, not the money orders.
Books-A-Million offering special deals for educators
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Books-A-Million announced that all Books-A-Million stores will be hosting Educators’ Day on Saturday, April 17. The Books-A-Million Educators’ Day will be a special day for educators with extra savings, exclusive offers and prizes and free food and beverages. the company reported.
In addition, Books-A-Million announced that from April 17 through April 23, educators will also receive 25% off their classroom purchases with their Books-A-Million Educator Discount Card.
Cost Plus improves comps, earnings
OAKLAND, Calif. Cost Plus reported that net sales for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30 were $320 million, a 4.6% decrease from the $335.4 million in net sales for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, 2009. Same-store sales for the fourth quarter decreased 2.5% compared with a 6.1% decrease last year.
Net sales for fiscal 2009 were $869.5 million, an 8.6% decrease from $950.9 million in fiscal 2008. For fiscal 2009, same-store sales decreased 7.1% driven by a reduction in the average ticket, the company reported.
Barry Feld, president and CEO commented, “We are pleased with the return to profitability in our most important quarter. The company’s core competency in unique and affordable seasonal gift-giving and entertaining products, augmented with a new customer acquisition campaign, reversed the negative trend in customer count and drove significantly more profitable sales in the quarter than a year ago.”
Net income on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 was $21.1 million or 95 cents per diluted share versus a loss of $18.3 million or 83 cents per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. Net loss for fiscal 2009 was $63.3 million or $2.87 per diluted share compared with a net loss of $102.7 million or $4.65 per diluted share last year.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2010, the company expects net sales in the range of $185 million to $188 million, based on a same-store sales increase in the range of 3% to 5%.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2010, the company is projecting a loss from continuing operations before interest and taxes in the range of $11 million to $13 million versus a loss of $22.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.