Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Industry News: National

U.S. comparable chain store sales for March posted a modest 1.4% gain as measured on a year-over-year basis by ICSC Research's tally of 16 major retail chain stores, below the ICSC's expectations for a 2-3% gain overall. An early Easter and particularly cold weather throughout much of the US were likely contributing factors. Among individual retailers, Gap was down by 1.0%, and Limited rose 5.0%; Costco was up 5.0%, and TJX was down by by 2.0%. Rite Aid was down 2.0%, and Walgreens was up by 4.2%.  See retail sales results on Page 4...Limited Brands has temporarily changed its name to L Brands as part of a planned transition process required after the sale of its original chain of stores, The Limited, to Sun Capital Partners. The retailer, parent of chains such as Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, will announce a new permanent name in a few months...J.C. Penney has no plans to close stores or reduce headcount, the retailer stated after drawing $850 million out of a $1.85 billion revolving credit facility to help buy inventory after a failed turnaround. Penney will use the proceeds to fund working capital needs and capital expenditures. Penney brought in Ron Johnson as CEO in 2011. Its sales slid in 2012 as his dramatic changes alienated core customers without bringing in new ones. Johnson has been replaced by his predecessor, Myron Ullman.

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