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Which retail companies have reported the most successful year-over-year growth? How much did company X spend on its latest expansion? In the Retail TouchPoints Financial News section, industry insiders can find out what their peers are spending and how they are faring in the marketplace. This information can be useful for future implementation strategies, real estate ventures and growth opportunities.

Windsor Circle Raises $5.25M In Series B Funding

Customer retention software company Windsor Circle has secured $5.25 million in Series B funding. The funding round was led by Comcast Ventures. Existing investors including IDEA Fund Partners, Triangle Angel Partners and AOL founder Steve Case also participated.

Data Breach Costs Target $148 Million In Gross Expenses

Target is struggling to financially recover from the much-publicized data breach announced last year. The December 2013 breach cost Target $148 million in gross expenses — including a $38 million insurance receivable — throwing off the retailers’ earnings results significantly, Target reported in a press announcement. Breach-related expenses include an increase in estimated probable losses, most of which Target expects to be actual and potential breach-related claims from customers and payment card networks.

Amazon Stocks Tumble Amid Q2 Net Losses

Amazon.com stocks plummeted approximately 10% on Friday, July 25, after the retailer reported a Q2 2014 net loss of $126 million. While the company has committed to expanding its reach and increasing its product offerings, investors have shared concern regarding the retail giant’s profitability. The company expects Q3 2014 operating…
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SKECHERS Sees 37% Year Over Year Boost In Net Sales

Footwear brand and retailer SKECHERS reported Q2 2014 net sales of $587 million, the highest quarterly revenues in its 22-year history and a 37% improvement over the previous year. “The strong sales are attributable to fresh styles across our lifestyle, performance and kids’ categories, and the demand for our product resulted in a positive shift of our back-to-school domestic wholesale and international subsidiary shipments originally scheduled for July into June,” said David Weinberg, Chief Operating Office and Chief Financial Officer, during the call. “We achieved double-digit increases in our domestic wholesale business, which included a four percent increase in average price per pair; double-digit increases in our international wholesale business, with some markets up triple digits.”

Tesco CEO Steps Down Amid Profit Downturn

Philip Clarke will step down as CEO of Tesco effective October 1, 2014, in the wake of half yearly sales and profits that did not reach forecast expectations. The grocer’s board of directors appointed Dave Lewis to succeed Clarke as CEO. Clarke will stay with Tesco until January 2015 to support the transition.

First Data Closes $3.5 Billion In Private Placement

First Data Holdings Inc., the parent company of First Data Corporation, has netted $3.5 billion of its common equity from the closing of private placement commitments made in June. The private placement will produce interest savings of $375 million for the company. Total interest savings could reach $440 million, following the completion of two additional actions: Re-pricing of $5.7 billion in term loans and securing additional term loans to pay remaining balance of Senior PIK Note at First Data Holdings Inc.

Capillary Technologies Raises $14 Million In Series B Funding

Capillary Technologies, a cloud-based marketing platform solution provider, has secured $14 million in Series B funding to further improve the company’s marketing platform and develop its partnership ecosystem. Current partners include Blue Label Engage in South Africa and the American Express US Global Merchants Services group. This round of funding round was led by Sequoia Capital and Northwest Venture Partners (NVP).  Capillary also received $17 million in Series A Funding in 2012.

RetailNext Secures $30 Million In Growth Equity Financing

RetailNext, a provider of in-store analytics solutions, has raised $30 million in growth equity financing. The investment round was led by Nokia Growth Partners, with additional funding provided by American Express, Activant Capital Group, Tyco and Qualcomm Ventures, and current shareholders August Capital, Commerce Ventures and StarVest Partners. To date, RetailNext has raised $59 million in total capital.

First Data Acquires $3.5 Billion In Private Placement

First Data Holdings, the parent company of First Data Corp., has received commitments to purchase approximately $3.5 billion of its common equity in a private placement. The proceeds will be used to repay portions of the company’s debt and accelerate its ongoing transformation to become a solutions provider for clients. The $3.5 billion includes $1.5 billion from existing investors and $2 billion from new investors. Global investment firm KKR, the owner of First Data Holdings, contributed approximately $1.2 billion, including $500 million from its 2006 Fund and $700 million from its balance sheet. If the transaction closes, KKR will have approximately $1 billion invested in First Data’s equity. The transaction is expected to close on or around July 11, 2014, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Jobaline.com Secures $7 Million In Series B Funding

Jobaline.com, a mobile marketplace for hourly jobs in the U.S., has completed a $7 million round of Series B funding to help accelerate the company’s national expansion. The funding round was led by Trilogy Equity Partners. Madrona Venture Group, Rudy Gadre, and Founders Co-op also participated. Jobaline.com was created to help mid- and large-size businesses in the hospitality, food, retail and construction industries find qualified hourly workers in a more time- and cost-efficient manner. Since launching in 2013 in the Bay Area, Miami and Seattle, Jobaline.com has processed more than 400,000 job applications.

Ace Hardware Has Highest Q1 Net Income In 90-Year History

Ace Hardware has reported record sales and profits for Q1 2014. Total revenues for the quarter topped off at $1.1 billion, a year-over-year (YOY) increase of 16.8% over Q1 2013. The hardware retailer also reported a Q1 net income of $24.4 million, a YOY improvement of 454.5%. The retailer’s Q1 financial results are the highest in its 90-year history.

Compare Metrics Secures Additional $3.8M In Funding

Compare Metrics, a provider of online navigation and discovery solutions, has secured $3.8 million in funding that will be used to drive ongoing company growth, with a focus on expanding its client services and product development departments. Current retail clients include Internet Retailer 500 companies, such as Fresh Pair, Lenovo, Rebecca Minkoff and The Wasserstrom Co.

Amazon Increases Q1 Revenue By 23%; Introduces New Services

Amazon increased revenue by 23% to $19.74 billion in Q1 2014, up from $16.07 million in Q1 2013, according to a company press release. The company’s net income rose in the quarter to $108 million, compared to $82 million in 2013. However, the company’s operating profit dipped 19% to $146 million in Q1, compared with $181 million in first quarter 2013. “We get our energy from inventing on behalf of customers, and 2014 is off to a kinetic start,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. 
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