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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.

Ulta Beauty Plans To Open 500 Stores Over The Next Five Years

  • Published in News Briefs
Ulta Beauty has established a five-year strategic plan that includes a variety of new business goals and initiatives. Most notably, Ulta plans to open approximately 100 stores per year through 2019. The company reported in its quarterly earnings call that 19 stores were opened in Q2 2014, bringing Ulta’s brick-and-mortar…
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Alibaba Set To Become Third Most Valuable Internet Company

Chinese e-Commerce giant Alibaba began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “BABA,” opening at $92.70 per share at 11:53 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.  Alibaba carried the largest initial public offering (IPO) to date, pricing shares at $68 each on Thursday. The company can potentially raise as…
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LightSpeed Receives $35 Million To Expand Product Line

LightSpeed, a provider of cloud-based commerce solutions, has closed $35 Million in new funding led by iNovia Capital and Accel Partners. This is the second round of funding for LightSpeed, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $65 million. LightSpeed will use the money to help accelerate the development and release of new solutions.  “LightSpeed is deeply ingrained in the challenges and needs of today’s retailer,” said Chris Arsenault, Managing Partner at iNovia Capital. “They’ve figured out how to make big box retail tools easy and accessible to independent retailers to help them thrive in a highly competitive market. We are thrilled to be their partner in this journey.”

Stein Mart To Open Six New Stores In 2014

Stein Mart, a discount retailer of fashion apparel, accessories, home décor and shoes, will open six new stores this fall as part of an extensive store expansion plan. In total, Stein Mart plans to open nine new locations in key growth markets and relocate seven stores. The retailer will be operating more than 270 locations nationwide once the new stores open.

Francesca’s Q2 Earnings Dip, Lowers Full Year Outlook

Francesca’s Holdings Corp., parent company of specialty retailer Francesca’s, reported a net income of $10.3 million in Q2 2014, declining from $14.6 million in Q2 2013. In response, the company lowered its sales outlook for FY 2014. Net sales grew 9% to $97.3 million, driven by revenue from the 90 new boutiques opened since the end of Q2 2013. Total apparel sales and accessories sales increased 14% each, with gift sales increasing 25%. The gains were offset by a 12% decrease in jewelry sales. Year over year comparable store sales dipped 7%.

Stein Mart August Sales Grow 3.8%

Stein Mart, a national women’s and men’s fashion retailer, reported a 3.8% increase in year over year August sales, resulting in $86.5 million in total revenue for the month. Comparable store sales for the month increased 2.5% from 2013 totals. The retailer’s total year-to-date sales reached $713.5 million, increasing 2.6% from last year’s totals. Comparable store sales in 2014 increased 2.0%.

Big Lots Reports $17.2 Million Profit, 1.2% Revenue Increase

Closeout retailer Big Lots reported a net profit from continuing operations of $17.21 million in Q2 2014. The retailer increased its year over year net sales by 1.2% to $1.19 billion in Q2 2014. Comparable store sales increased 1.7% for the quarter, meeting the company’s estimated guidance of a 1% to 3% growth. “I'm very pleased with the results we reported today,” said David Campisi, CEO and President of Big Lots. “For the second consecutive quarter, our comps were positive and comfortably within the guidance range we provided, and our earnings were above the high end of our range. We believe this is an indication that our core customer, Jennifer, is responding to our improved merchandising strategies and marketing execution.”

Best Buy Experiences 4% Revenue Decline

Best Buy reported a 4% year over year revenue decline, with Q2 2015 sales falling to $8.89 million. Quarterly comparable store sales decreased 2.7%, with company executives expecting the low single-digit decline to continue into Q3 and Q4 2015. The retailer earned a net profit of $146 million in the quarter, or $0.42 in GAAP diluted earnings per share, but the number fell 45% from the $226 million posted in Q2 2014.

The Honest Company Captures $70 Million In Funding

The Honest Company, a provider of natural and non-toxic products for families, has closed a $70 million financing round.  Wellington Management Company LLP led the round, while Dragoneer Investment group contributed. Existing investors, including General Catalyst Partners, ICONIQ Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners, also participated.

Staples Earnings Hindered By Store Closures, Foreign Exchange Rates

Staples Q2 2014 total company sales decreased 1.8% to $5.2 billion, compared to $5.3 billion in Q2 2013. Foreign exchange rates and North American store closures negatively impacted sales by approximately 1%. The company also has predicted Q3 2014 total sales to decrease from last year. Helping to mitigate some losses, the retailer closed 80 North American stores in Q2, and will reportedly close 140 in total by the end of the year. As part of a two-year cost savings plan designed to cut as much as $500 million off the company budget, Staples will close up to 225 stores by the end of 2015. Staples currently has secured approximately $150 million of cost savings to date, according to a company statement.

Target Reports 61.7% Drop In Profits

Target reported higher sales in its U.S. and Canadian divisions during a quarterly earnings report call. Total sales reached $17.4 billion, a 1.7% improvement from Q2 2013. Yet total profit fell from $611 million in 2013 to $234 million due to stagnant same-store sales and costs associated with the data breach that occurred during the 2013 holiday season. U.S. sales increased 0.7% from $16.8 billion to $17.0 billion year over year. However, Target’s Canadian business experienced the most significant boost, rising 63% from $275 million in Q2 2013 to $449 million in Q3 2014. The significant growth of Target’s Canadian segment was attributed to 48 new stores in the area that “became mature at various points during the quarter,” according to a press release. However, same-store sales remained flat in the U.S. and decreased 11% in Canada, which was driven by grand opening sales for new locations.

PetSmart Acquires Pet360, Increases Net Income By 5.1%

PetSmart has acquired online pet products retailer and integrated media company Pet360 for $130 million to ramp up its e-Commerce business. With the purchase, PetSmart will provide customers with seamless access to the Pet360 e-Commerce site, digital media programs and content sites. The transaction is expected to close in September 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions. “As discussed previously, although online sales are still a relatively small part of the pet products industry, we expect them to become a more relevant source of revenue in the future,” said David Lenhardt, President and CEO of PetSmart. “Combining PetSmart’s unparalleled strengths in traditional outlets with Pet360’s established digital footprint will perfectly position PetSmart to capitalize on this evolution and enhance our ability to serve pet parents across all distribution channels.”

Walmart Lowers Financial Forecast For 2014

Walmart has lowered its 2014 FY forecast, citing “incremental investments in e-Commerce” and higher-than-estimated health care costs. Initially, the retailer predicted that shares for 2014 would reach between $5.10 and $5.45. Forecasted earnings per share now are expected to range between $4.90 and $5.15. U.S. comparable store sales saw no growth (0.0%) in Q2 2014, with the company expecting sales to remain flat in Q3. Walmart is reporting quarterly earnings of $1.21 per share, or 1.6% lower than the same period last year.

Omnichannel Helps Macy’s Boost Sales By 3.3%

Macy’s Inc. reported sales of $6.3 billion for Q2 2014, a 3.3% increase over the same period in 2013. For the first half of 2014, sales for Macy’s, Inc. reached $12.5 billion, up 0.7% year over year.   During a quarterly earnings report, Macy’s, Inc. Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren noted that the entire organization has “confident optimism” for the rest of the year following a successful quarter.
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