FINANCE

Winn-Dixie swings to loss in Q2

BY CSA STAFF

Jacksonville, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores reported Tuesday that it lost $24 million in the quarter ended Jan. 12, compared with a profit of $2.1 million in the year-ago period.

Sales were flat at $2.1 billion, and same-store sales fell 0.3%.

Analysts expected sales of $2.05 billion, according to FactSet.

Winn-Dixie said it plans to cut capital spending for the current fiscal year by about $26 million from an earlier target, to $132 million. It said it expects to complete conventional remodeling of five stores and overhaul two while delaying transformation of 15 other stores until the first half of the following fiscal year.

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OPERATIONS

Home Depot to hire 60,000+ seasonal associates in spring

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta — The Home Depot said Tuesday it will hire more than 60,000 seasonal associates in time for the company’s second annual Spring Black Friday event.

The retailer will implement the spring promotion market-by-market over four different weekends in the spring. The event marks the start of home improvement’s busiest shopping season.

Home Depot said it will hire and train the new seasonal associates in every market during the months of February and March to prepare for the annual promotion. Additionally, the retailer said it will be adding net new permanent full-time and part-time positions to its stores for the second year in a row.

"As we have stated in the past, spring is our Christmas and traffic is at its highest during this season," said Craig Menear, executive VP merchandising. "Hiring seasonal associates and offering door busting deals will ensure our customers have all of the service, know-how and value they need as they look to take on outdoor projects to improve the appearance of their home."

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FINANCE

January sales up, but less than expected

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A report released Tuesday by the U.S. Commerce Department said sales at U.S. retailers edged up 0.3% in January, less than the expected 0.5% to 0.6% increase, but still the seventh straight month of gains. A series of snow storms that hit much of the country throughout the month was cited as one of the factors for the weaker showing.

"Seventy percent of the country was covered by snow in January so, if anything, it’s a miracle the consumer didn’t just hibernate," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo/Mitsubishi UFJ in New York, in a Reuters report.

Sales for December were slightly revised down to growth of 0.5% from a previously reported 0.6%.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to increase 0.6% in January. Compared with January last year, sales were up 7.8%.

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