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Wal-Mart to open 30 and remodel 55 China stores; open DCs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open 30 new China-based stores and remodel 55 of its 400 existing stores there during 2014, as well as open new China distribution centers. The China activity is part of Wal-Mart’s larger three-year plan for growth in the country.

Wal-Mart will spend $93 million on the store remodeling. The activity this year will be the first major initiative from new China CEO Sean Clarke.

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HSN joins national fundraising campaign for Habitat for Humanity

BY CSA STAFF

As HSN breaks ground on its fourth Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County home this month, HSNi Cares, the philanthropic arm of HSN’s parent company HSN Inc, is set to launch a national campaign June 1 in support of Habitat for Humanity International.

Customers from these brands will have the opportunity to make a donation in support of the campaign when making purchases online and over the phone from June 1-30.

"At HSNi, we strive to create a culture of generosity, where creative people who are passionate about what they do have a way to give back, not only to our local community, but to causes that impact women and families everywhere," said Bill Brand, chief marketing and business development officer for HSN Inc. "We are excited to build on the strong partnership we forged with Habitat by introducing our first national campaign in support of the tremendous work the organization does with families worldwide."

As part of the campaign, on June 6, HSNi Cares and Improvements Cares will join forces for the first time and make a donation of $3 per item for select Improvements products sold on HSN. When customers purchase these items on their HSN credit card, the donation will be doubled to $6. Additionally, Ballard Designs and TravelSmith will work to raise awareness for Habitat among their customers and raise funds for the organization.

Contributions received in June will help Habitat continue to build, rehabilitate, repair and improve simple, decent homes in partnership with low-income families who are living in substandard conditions.

HSN employees each receive two days of paid time off for community service annually. Since 2010, employees have volunteered more than 2,000 hours to help build four houses for Habitat for Humanity.

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TJX reports weaker-than-expected sales in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

Despite seeing increases in net income and sales for the first quarter, TJX — parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls — experienced weakness in apparel sales and missed analysts’ expectations.

Net income for the quarter was $454.32 million, compared to $452.89 million from the prior-year quarter. Net sales increased 5% to $6.49 billion from $6.19 billion, but were weaker-than-expected — analysts were anticipating $6.6 billion.

Same-store sales remained flat.

“While sales were not as strong as we would have liked, predominantly in our apparel business, I was very pleased that overall business trends improved as the quarter progressed,” said CEO Carol Meyrowitz. “Further, our inventories and expenses were well managed, which helped protect our margins. We enter the second quarter in an excellent position. We like our lean inventory levels, which enable us to capitalize on the plentiful buying opportunities we are seeing in the marketplace and ship great fashions, brands and quality merchandise to our stores at amazing values. Additionally, we have exciting marketing initiatives planned to drive customer traffic. We are very confident in our ability to achieve our plans for the remainder of 2014 and beyond as we continue to bring value around the world.”

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