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Weather impacts Alco Stores Q1 sales

BY Staff Writer

Abilene, Kan. – Discount retailer Alco Stores blamed the impact of cold weather across the Midwest for helping to produce sluggish sales performance during fiscal first quarter 2013. Alco Stores reported sales of continuing operations excluding fuel of $116 million, up 0.9% from $114.9 million during the same period in 2012. Same-store sales excluding fuel were down 2.2%.

“Sales in the first fiscal quarter were negatively impacted by extended winter weather conditions, which lasted through April throughout much of the Midwest,” said Alco Stores president/CEO Rich Wilson. “More than 80% of the decrease in same-store sales performance came from seasonal businesses such as outdoor living, horticulture, sporting goods and menswear. The decreases in outdoor businesses were partially offset by favorable sales performance in domestics, housewares, and women’s apparel where customers have responded favorably to the introduction of our new apparel lines.”

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Canadian youth set for more spending power

BY Staff Writer

Toronto – Continuing income growth means today’s Canadian youth will assume more spending power than their parents currently have during the course of their lifetimes, according to a new report from BMO Economics. The report cites ongoing gains in real media income and compensation, as well as expected future decreases in unemployment, in making this rosy forecast.

"Since 1996, real median income has turned higher for all age groups, rising 18 per cent to 2010," said Sal Guatieri, VP, BMO Capital Markets. "Furthermore, the annual gain of 1.2% was more than twice that in the United States during this period."

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Private equity firm TowerBrook Capital to acquire True Religion for $835 million

BY Dan Berthiaume

Vernon, Calif. — True Religion Apparel has entered into a definitive merger agreement with New York and London-based investment management firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, in a transaction valued at approximately $835 million.

Under the terms of the deal, which was unanimously approved by the True Religion board, TowerBrook will acquire all of the outstanding shares of True Religion common stock for $32.00 per share in cash. The brand, whose upscale jeans and sportswear products are sold in department stores and specialty stores around the world, also operates 124 stores in the United States and 31 international locations.

“TowerBrook’s investment is an important endorsement of the True Religion brand, its prospects and the hard work and commitment of our team,” said Lynne Koplin, interim CEO and president of True Religion. “At this critical inflection point in our business, global growth and product development effort, TowerBrook’s support and experience will be a true differentiator. TowerBrook’s long-term approach toward investment and brand stewardship will best enable True Religion to maintain its leadership position in the marketplace.”

TowerBrook has previously made control-oriented investments in companies such as Jimmy Choo, Odlo, BevMo! and Phase Eight.

True Religion also released its Q1 fiscal 2013 results Friday. Highlights include a 13.1% total net sales increase to $120.8 million from the same period in 2012, although net income declined from $10.4 million to $0.5 million. In March, True Religion CEO and founder Jeff Lubell stepped down and was named chairman emeritus and a creative consultant.

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