FINANCE

Zale narrows loss on rising sales

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas — Zale Corp. said its net loss shrank in its most recent quarter and posted a double-digit revenue gain despite increasing costs for gold, silver and diamonds. The company posted a net loss for the three months that ended on April 30 of $9 million, compared to $12.1 million in its fiscal third quarter last year. Analysts had expected a far deeper loss.

Overall revenue rose 14.5% in the three months that ended on April 30 to $411.8 million, from $359.8 million last year. Analysts had expected $392 million. Same-store sales in the quarter were up 15.2%.

We continue to make progress in our multi-year initiatives to return the company to profitability," Zale CEO Theo Killion said.

The company was able to shrink its loss despite rising prices for the diamonds, gold and silver used in its jewelry, which weighed on gross margins. Zale started raising some prices last month and plans to increase prices across North America during the May-July quarter.

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REAL ESTATE

Old Navy opens its first LEED certified store

BY CSA STAFF

New York — Old Navy has received LEED Silver certification for its new location in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the first LEED certified store in the chain’s portfolio.

The location also features Old Navy’s updated store environment, which has an upbeat and fun ambience, raceway layout and key destination areas for easy shopping.The clean and modern design is accented with a colorful palette. A kid-friendly area features an interactive video game projected onto the floor

The centralized fitting rooms, located in the core of the store, are accessible from every department. “Quick change” pods located in the mens and kids areas, allows shoppers to quickly try on a single item.

By the end of 2010, about 250 stores had been converted to The New Old Navy format in the U.S. and Canada. The company plans to convert additional stores to this new format in 2011.

To take a tour of the store click here.

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FINANCE

American Eagle Outfitters income more than doubles on cost cutting

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters net income more than doubled as the company cut costs to offset a sales decline. Net income for the three months ended April 30 rose to $28.3 million from $10.9 million last year. Its results met analyst expectations.

Revenue decreasded 6% to $609.6 million,less than expected. Same-store sales fell 8%.

While sales for the quarter came in lower than anticipated, we achieved EPS within our expected range,” said Jim O’Donnell, American Eagle CEO. “A higher merchandise margin and the positive impact of our expense control initiatives contributed to the bottom line. During the quarter, we continued to implement strategic initiatives across our brands that will position the business for improved performance in the second half of the year and fuel longer-term, profitable growth.”

In the second quarter, American Eagle said it will invest in certain inventory items and expand its accessory business.

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