FINANCE

Wet Seal income up in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Foothill Ranch, Calif. Wet Seal reported that its fourth-quarter net sales were $151.0 million, compared with $154.9 million in the same period last year.

Net income was $80.8 million, compared with $4.3 million in the prior-year quarter.

Meanwhile, consolidated same-store sales decreased 4.5%. Same-store sales for Wet Seal decreased 6.7% and for Arden B increased 8.8%.

Operating income was $9.6 million, compared with $4.6 million in the prior-year fourth quarter.

“The Arden B division posted its strongest same-store sales quarter of the year and generated a fourth successive profitable quarter, with operating income of $1.9 million,” said CEO Ed Thomas. “At Wet Seal, the fourth quarter operating results were the strongest of the year, and we believe merchandise mix improvements made by the end of the year positioned that division well to start fiscal 2010.”

For the year, net revenues were $560.9 million, compared with $593.0 million in fiscal 2008. Consolidated same-store sales decreased 7.1%, while same-store sales for Wet Seal decreased 8.5% and for Arden B increased 0.2%.

Operating income was $22.9 million, compared with $32.2 million, or 5.4% of revenues, in fiscal 2008.

The company also said its net income for the year was $93.4 million, compared with $30.2 million in fiscal 2008.

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A.C. Moore names acting CEO

BY CSA STAFF

BERLIN, N.J. A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts announced the appointment of Joseph Jeffries as acting CEO effective March 31. Jeffries will also continue to serve as the COO of the company.

Jeffries succeeds Rick Lepley, who is retiring effective March 31. The company said it will conduct an internal and external search for a permanent CEO.

 

Jeffries has served as the company’s EVP and COO since August 2008. He joined the company in November 2007 as its EVP operations. Previously, he served as VP store operations, space planning and visual merchandising for Office Depot, a position he held from 2004 to November 2007.

 

Michael Joyce, chairman of the board, said, “Joe Jeffries has demonstrated strong knowledge and proven expertise in all aspects of A.C. Moore’s business and operations. We are all very excited to have Joe lead our management team during this next phase of the Company’s development.”

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Retailer study reveals importance of talent development

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK More than 83% of retailers rank leadership development as critical to their organizations’ success, according to a study by Deloitte and the National Retail Federation. However, 21% of those surveyed said they do not monitor their future supply of critical talent and one-third 34% believe that their succession planning efforts are not effective.

Part of the problem of not being able to recognize talent in the ranks is a deficit in human resources technologies, the survey found. According to the study, 41% of retailers said they do not have the HR technology (e.g., candidate identification, learning, and training systems) to support talent management within their organizations.  In addition, nearly as many (38%) do not have a process in place for documenting and retrieving the knowledge of skilled workers.

 

Retailers surveyed also indicate that attracting new talent and retaining top talent are two critically important areas.  However, nearly 73% of respondents indicate that their organizations know what is required to motivate and retain top talent.  The top three tools cited to attract and retain talented employees include financial rewards and incentives (76%), training and development opportunities (69%) and brand affiliation, with two-thirds (66%) of the surveyed executives citing brand attraction as a key tool.  

“The study suggests that retailers understand the talent management imperative and are focused on improving their competitive position in the talent market,” said Dan Butler, VP retail operations for NRF.  “Retailers that take a proactive approach to engage top performers, develop the next generation of leaders, and increase workforce diversity through effective recruiting, development and retention strategies may be well positioned to drive positive business performance through an economic recovery and beyond.”

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