FINANCE

Walgreen Q2 profit rises 10%

BY CSA STAFF

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreen Co. reported Tuesday that net income for the quarter ended Feb. 28 rose to $739 million, compared with $669 million in the year-ago period. However, gross profit margin remained flat at 28.8%, disappointing Wall Street, which expected more from the drugstore operator.

Revenue climbed 9% to $18.5 billion. Same-store sales and prescription sales each rose 4%.

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OPERATIONS

CEO shake-up at Hot Topic

BY CSA STAFF

City of Industry, Calif. — Hot Topic announced Monday that CEO Betsy McLaughlin has resigned the company, effectively immediately, and will be replaced by current board member Lisa Harper.

The move came two weeks after the company announced a fourth-quarter net loss, reversing a profit from a year ago, as revenue slipped by 1%.

According to the retailer, McLaughlin will continue to assist in the transition over the next three months.

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FINANCE

Report: Mobile commerce experiencing dramatic growth

BY CSA STAFF

Redwood Shores, Calif. — A survey released Tuesday by Oracle and Art Technology Group, which Oracle acquired in November 2010, found that mobile commerce is experiencing dramatic growth.

According to the “Mobile Trends: Consumer Views of Mobile Shopping” report, which surveyed more than 1,000 mobile phone consumers in the United States, 48% of consumers use their mobile devices to research or browse products and services. This is up from 37% in an ATG consumer benchmark survey in July 2010 and from 27% in an ATG consumer cross-channel survey in November 2009.

In other key findings, 29% of respondents have made at least one purchase on their mobile phone, more than double the number in ATG’s 2009 survey.

The survey found that mobile technology is for consumers of all ages, as mobile consumers aged 35 and older are nearly twice as likely to leverage a mobile device to research products and services, growing from 19% to 36% for users aged 55 and older and 23% to 44% for those aged 35-54 since 2009.

Sixty percent of users aged 18-34 use their mobile device to research products and services, up from 41% in 2009. In addition, more than two times as many consumers aged 35 and older have made a purchase via a mobile phone since 2009, compared with a 74% increase for consumers aged 18-34.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents have leveraged their mobile device for shopping activities while in a store. Consumers said they used their device to compare products with competing brands, visit a store’s website to acquire more product information, research product reviews and look for coupons or discounts.

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