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June 1, 2003
Women's Wear Journal
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Retail Sales Pace Picks Up,
Hinting of Broader Rebound
WASHINGTON, — The first signs of a postwar pickup in consumer spending are emerging, reducing the chances that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates when it meets next month.
Retail sales at chain stores rose last week at a faster pace than they had for most of the previous month, according to two surveys released today. In one survey, conducted by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, sales increased 3.1 percent compared with the week a year earlier, the biggest gain since January.
The chain-store numbers are among a handful of indicators receiving close attention from policy makers and investors because the data cover very recent economic activity. The indicators are more volatile than the best-known economic reports, like those on employment and retail sales. But the indicators reflect decisions that consumers and business executives have made since the war with Iraq ended, and they may now offer more insight into the economy's direction, economists say.
Hosiery Maker Malerba Posts EUR1m FY Profit
Italian lingerie and hosiery maker Malerba on Monday posted a full year profit of one million euros and turnover of 40 million euros without providing year-ago figures.
The company, whose clothing and swimwear is sold in around 6,000 stores across Europe, said it plans to open several new boutiques in Italy this year.
Limited Brands Q1 Sales Rise Slightly
Intimate apparel and toiletries giant Limited Brands Inc on Monday posted a 35 per cent plunge in first quarter earnings from the year-ago period amid weak consumer spending and unseasonal weather.
The Ohio-based operator of the Victoria's Secret lingerie chain said net income was $49.8 million, or nine cents a share, versus $76.9m, or 14 cents a share in 2002 although including a one-time gain, net profit rose to income rose to $97.5m, or 19 cents per share.
Lingerie Maker Triumph Hellas Enjoys Strong 2002
Intimate apparel maker Triumph Hellas on Tuesday posted a 20 per cent jump in full year net profit to 2.6 million euros from 2.2 million euros in the year-ago period on the back of higher sales.
The firm, owned by German underwear manufacturer Triumph International, added revenue rose six per cent year-on-year to 30.5 million euros.
Federated Adds Macy's Brand
To Regional Stores
Retail giant Federated Department Stores Inc on Thursday revealed plans to add "Macy's" to nameplates of its regional department stores Bon Marche, Lazarus, Goldsmith's and Burdines.
The Cincinnati-based firm said from August 1, the stores will be known as The Bon-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's and Goldsmith's-Macy's, with its 56 Burdines stores renamed Burdines-Macy's from next February.
Federated said the move will raise its profile and efficiencies but added Bloomingdale's will not be affected by the changes.
"By layering the powerful Macy's national brand onto Federated's strong divisional operations and regional nameplates we not only will be able to fully capitalise nationally on the powerful Macy's brand for the first time, but we will be able to operate more efficiently as a company," said Terry Lundgren, Federated president and CEO.
Online Retail Sales Seen Up 26 Percent
U.S. retail sales on the Internet are expected to climb by 26 percent to about $96 billion this year, according to a
The Shop.org and Forrester Research survey of more than 130 retailers found that online retail sales jumped 48 percent to $76 billion last year.
The sum was about 3.6 percent of total U.S. retail sales.
For 2003, online sales are expected to account for 4.5 percent of total U.S. retail sales.
"In a time when the retail industry has been extremely challenged, it is encouraging to see the online channel continue to grow, and even better, start to make money," said Kate Delhagen, consumer markets research director with Forrester.
"Last year was about breaking even.
2003 is about generating profits," Delhagen said.
Last year, online retailers collectively broke even, versus a decline of 6 percent in 2001.
For so-called clicks-and-mortar retailers with both online and offline stores, the study found 46 percent of customers who shopped online also purchased goods at stores, while 17 percent of offline customers also shopped on company Web sites.
From left; Miss El Salvador,
Diana Valdivieso, Miss Estonia, Katrin Susi, Miss Ireland, Lesley Flood,
Miss France, Emmanuelle Chossat, Miss Germay, Alexandra Vodjanikova, Miss
Greece, Marieta Chrousala and Miss Guatemala, Florecita Cobian, present
themselves during a preliminary show at the Figali Convention Center in
Panama City on Thursday, May 29, 2003. The women will compete for the
title of Miss Universe 2003 on June 3, 2003.
Nordstrom Q1 Profit Down, Sales Hit $1.3bn
Upscale department store chain Nordstrom Inc posted a fall in first quarter net profit to $27.2 million from $30.4m last year before one-time charges which pushed it to a net loss of $24.6m.
The Seattle-based company said net sales for the quarter rose 3.5 per cent to $1.3 billion from $1.2bn although same-store sales slipped 1.4 per cent.
The retailer issued a profit warning in March saying softer consumer spending in the weak economy and the uncertainty regarding the war in Iraq would hit revenues and its bottom line.
Saks Suffers Q1 Profit Plunge,
Same-Store Sales Down
Retail giant Saks Inc on Tuesday posted a sharp slide in first quarter net profit as it was hurt by soft sales and markdowns.
The Alabama-based operator of chains like Saks Fifth Avenue, Proffitt's and McRae's, reported a net profit of $12.6 million, or nine cents per share, before one-time items, versus $21.9m, or 15 cents per share, before one-time items, in 2002.
The retailer said same-store sales fell 3.4 per cent amid war worries, poor weather and sluggish consumer spending.
clothing maker Kleinert's Inc is to sell
its sleepwear division to Russell-Newman Inc for $4. million.
The deal has been approved by the US Bankruptcy Court.
Ross Stores Q1 Earnings Rise 3%, Sales Climb
Value-priced apparel chain Ross Stores Inc on Tuesday posted a slight rise in first quarter net profit as improved cost control and earlier-than-expected new store openings offset factors such as the weak economy.
The California-based operator of 530 stores said earnings for the quarter, ended May 3, rose three per cent to $49.3 million, or 63 cents per share, from $47.7m, or 59 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Sales climbed seven per cent to $879m from $820m last year although same-store sales slipped three per cent amid unseasonal weather.
Deb Shops Profit Plunges On Soft Sales
Teen apparel chain Deb Shops Inc on Thursday posted a sharp plunge in first quarter net profit to $300,000 from $3.3 million in the year-ago period.
The Philadelphia-based operator of 331 stores said in a statement net sales fell nine per cent to $70.2m from $77m last year.
The retailer continues to expect fiscal 2004 sales to be flat versus fiscal 2003 based on a projected mid-single digit same-store sales decrease offset by net new store growth.
US retail sales drop in April
Retailers suffered a surprise drop in sales in April as American shoppers pared spending in the face of a sluggish, no-job recovery.
Retail sales eased 0.1 percent from the previous month, defying Wall Street's expectations of a modest increase, after a 2.3 percent jump in March sales, seasonally adjusted figures showed.
Consumer spending is critical because it accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity.
"Overall, the report was a little softer than anticipated."
"Still, it is not a bad pullback in retail sales, given the large increase the previous month. On balance, the numbers are indicating sluggish consumer spending largely because of the weakness in labor markets."
Clothing Store Sales Fall 3.2% In April
US retail sales fell unexpectedly in April with clothing stores bearing the brunt of the downturn, official figures revealed on Wednesday.
Commerce Department data showed that slip compared to a 2.1 per cent rise in March although on an annual basis, sales were still up 4.1 per cent.
However, the statistics showed apparel and footwear retailers were hardest hit in April with sales down 3.2 per cent.
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How come you can't find lawyers sunbathing on the beach?
"Cats keep covering them over with sand."
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