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Costco Q3 profit up, sales down

BY Dan Berthiaume

Issaquah, Wash. – Costco Wholesale Corp. reported rising profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2015. But a surging dollar and low gas prices resulted in sluggish sales growth and an unusual same-store sales decline, the company’s first quarterly drop since 2009.

Net income increased 9% to $516 million from $473 million, aided by relatively flat operating expenses.

Total revenue for the quarter, ended May 10, increased 1% to $26.1 million, below Wall Street expectations, from $25.8 million last year.

Same-store sales dropped 1%.

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Target among launch partners for Shazam’s new visual recognition capabilities

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis – Target Corp. is working with content discovery app Shazam to make print and TV ads shoppable through customer phones. The retailer is participating in the initial launch of Shazam’s new visual recognition functionality, which extends its mobile engagement platform allowing everything from packaged goods to print media and more are transformed from static images into dynamic pieces of content. By “Shazaming” ad images, Target customers will be able to engage with additional content and shop featured products by linking to Target.com.

Users with the latest version of Shazam installed on their mobile phones can open the app and tap the new camera icon to start the visual experience. Whenever they wave their phone over any item with the Shazam camera logo on it or a QR Code, they will instantly get taken to custom mobile experiences including interactive content, special offers, and ability to purchase items or share them with others.

“The introduction of visual recognition is another step on our journey to extend the ways people can use Shazam to engage with the world around them,” said Rich Riley, CEO, Shazam. “For brands, we’re providing a near-frictionless way to engage customers on their mobile devices, with a single tap of a button.”

The visual recognition is developed in partnership with Digimarc.

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Tilly’s doubles profit in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Irvine, Calif. – A lower tax rate and slowed growth in cost of sales and selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses helped Tilly’s Inc. more than double net income to $1.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, compared to $600,000 the same quarter a year earlier.

Total net sales were $120.2 million, an increase of 8% compared to $111.1 million. Same-store sales rose 2%.

“Our first quarter results illustrate continued progress on our initiatives to increase sales and profitability, as we delivered positive comparable store sales and solid earnings growth over the prior year period,” said Daniel Griesemer, president and CEO. “We expanded our gross profit and ended the quarter with inventory well positioned for the summer and back-to-school seasons.”

Tilly’s expects second quarter same-store sales to be in the range of a decline of 2% to an increase of 2%.

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