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Wilsons Lost $77.5 Million in 2007

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. announced Tuesday results for the fourth quarter and its fiscal year ended Feb. 2.

Net sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, decreased 8.7% to $121.4 million, compared to $133 million for the same period last year. Fourth quarter same-store sales decreased slightly by 2.4% compared to a steep decrease of 21.6% during the same period last year. The company also reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $8.4 million.

Net sales for the year ended Feb. 2, decreased by 12.7% to $280.4 million, compared to $321.3 million last year. Same-store sales for the 2007 fiscal year decreased 10.4% compared to a decrease of 17.2% for the same period last year. The company’s 2007 net loss was $77.5 million.

The retailer confirmed that it will close 160 stores and convert the remaining units to its new “Studio” format.

“Since Wilsons missed the mark on improving top and bottom lines, we have taken a step back from a working-capital perspective,” said CEO Michael Searles. “A mall-based specialty leather outerwear concept is no longer relevant in today’s marketplace, so we are now embarking on a course of action that includes closing 160 mall stores and changing our 100 remaining mall stores to our new branded accessories ‘Studio’ concept.”

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A&P adds ACE breads to select stores

BY CSA STAFF

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P has partnered with ACE Bakery, a leading artisan bakery supplier, to bring a select line of stone-ground whole grain breads to certain A&P, Waldbaum’s, The Food Emporium and Super Fresh stores.

According to A&P, it will be the first grocery chain to offer a dedicated whole grain bread product line.

“Studies show that eating more whole grains rather then refined grains reduces your risk of diabetes, helps you maintain your weight, and cuts your risk of stroke and heart disease.  ACE whole grain breads have been recognized by the Whole Grains Council as one of the wholesome, delicious ways for consumers to ensure they are getting the recommended servings of whole grains,” said Linda Haynes, co-founder of ACE Bakery.

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B&N unveils interactive book studio

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble has launched a new multimedia desitination on Barnes & Noble.com that features video and audio series geared toward bibliophiles. According to Barnes & Noble, the Barnes & Noble Studio (www.bn.com/studio) will include original content about books, readers and writers, complemented by user-generated material.

Barnes & Noble Studio will be the destination for book lovers. A place where readers will go for inspiration and discovery, to view and listen to content and recommend it to other readers who share their literary interests and passions, said Mike Skagerlind, vp and head of digital media for Barnes & Noble.com. Our programming celebrates the diversity and creativity that surround the world of books, authors and readers in a way that is useful, entertaining, and accessible. Barnes & Noble Studio will do for the book what the cooking show did for the recipe. 

Programs on Barnes & Noble Studio include, “Barnes & Noble Tagged!,” a Web series that focuses on the latest in book news, and “Book Obsessed,” a documentary-style series that examines the lives of passionate readers. Visitors to the Studio can also find book-related videos on a variety of genres including fiction, mystery and romance.

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