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Wet Seal profit, sales drop in Q4, to open up to 30 stores in 2012

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Foothill Ranch, Calif. — The Wet Seal reported Thursday that net income for the fourth quarter dropped to $1.1 million from $5.3 million a year earlier. Sales in the quarter followed the same downward trend, as net sales fell to $163.2 million from $165.5 million, and same-store sales declined 5.5%.

CEO Susan McGalla told investors that the teen retailer is focused on making progress on strategic initiatives: “including establishing more cohesive merchandise assortments and consistent brand messaging, and a heightened focus on customer obsession, which we believe will better position the company for long-term sales and profitability growth," said McGalla.

For the full year, net sales rose to $620.1 million from $581.2 million in 2010, and same-store sales edged up 1.2%. Profit also increased year-over-year to $15.1 million from $12.6 million.

In 2012, Wet Seal said it plans 25 to 30 net store openings at Wet Seal and no net store openings at Arden B.

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GameStop Q4 profit plummets 27%, plans fewer stores in 2012

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Grapevine, Texas — Video-game retailer GameStop Corp. reported Thursday that profit for the quarter ended Jan. 28 dropped 27% to $174.7 million, from $237.8 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted profit, however, matched predictions, as results included $64.6 million in asset impairment and restructuring charges.

Revenue fell 3.1% to $3.58 billion from $3.69 billion, missing Wall Street’s expected $3.69 billion in revenue. Same-store sales slipped 3.6%.

For the full year 2011, GameStop earned $339.9 million, down from $408 million in 2010. Revenue rose to $9.55 billion from $9.47 billion.

The retailer said it expects to open about 100 new stores in the United States during 2012, offset by the closing of about 150 domestic stores.

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Urban Outfitters CFO moves over to REI

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Seattle — REI revealed on Thursday that Urban Outfitters CFO Eric Artz has been named finance chief for the outdoor retailer, effective May 2012.

Urban Outfitters announced Artz’s departure earlier on Thursday.

"REI is very fortunate to attract a CFO with Eric’s breadth and depth of experiences,” said Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO. “In addition to his financial expertise, Eric has a deep understanding of multichannel retail, plus operations experience in supply chain, product development, sourcing and international.”

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