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Zumiez to buy Austrian retailer Blue Tomato

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Zumiez Inc. on Tuesday said it has agreed to buy Austria-based Blue Tomato for 59.5 million euros ($75 million). The teen retailer also raised its second-quarter revenue outlook.

Blue Tomato sells branded snowboarding and skating gear, apparel and footwear through its e-commerce website, which is available in 15 languages, and five stores in Austria. The company will continue to be headquartered in Schladming, Austria, and senior management will continue in their current roles.

“Joining forces with Blue Tomato represents the next step in our strategic plan to build the leading global action sports retail business,” said Rick Brooks, CEO of Zumiez. “Europe has a large, vibrant and growing action sports community, which Gerfried [Schuller] and his team have skillfully tapped into through a broad offering of authentic brands and products, a differentiated retail experience, and superior customer service.”

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Pep Boys CFO leaves company

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA — Pep Boys CFO Ray Arthur has resigned from the company in order to pursue another business opportunity, the company announced Monday. Arthur will continue in his duties until June 29. The Company has engaged Russell Reynolds to conduct a national search for Arthur’s replacement.

President & CEO Mike Odell said, “Ray has built an excellent finance organization and has been instrumental in solidifying Pep Boys’ future. Our balance sheet is stronger than it has been in the last decade, affording us the flexibility to pay down debt and continue our store growth. We wish Ray the best in his new opportunity.”

Comparable sales slipped 2.8% at Pep Boys during the first quarter ended April 28, as customers were slow to come to the retailer for parts and services. The comps decline consisted of a 1.2% comparable-service revenue decrease and a 3.2% comparable-merchandise sales decrease. Total sales for the quarter increased by $11.1 million, or 2.2%, to $524.6 million from $513.5 million for the same period last year.

Net earnings for the quarter were down $1.1 million, or 2 cents per share, from $12.4 million, or 23 cents per share, recorded in the same period last year. The 2012 quarter included, on a pre-tax basis, $1.6 million in merger related costs.

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Alliance Data to buy Bon-Ton’s credit card portfolio

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — Alliance Data Systems has agreed to acquire The Bon-Ton Stores’ private-label credit card portfolio worth $475 million.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Alliance Data, which provides private-label credit card services to retailers, will also manage the retailer’s private-label credit card program.

Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., operates 272 stores in 23 states across the Northeast, Midwest, and upper Great Plains, under a variety of banners.

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