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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.

Good Times Restaurants Report 17% Same Store Sales Increase

Good Times Restaurants, Inc., a regional restaurant company operating Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard and Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar restaurants, today announced its same store sales for its Good Times restaurants increased 17.4% for the company’s first fiscal quarter. This increase is the 14th consecutive quarter of same store sales growth for Good Times, representing a 22.6% increase over 2012. Good Times also reported that same store sales increased 12.3% for the month of December 2013. “Breakfast sales totaled approximately 7.9% of sales during the month last year and are still running just shy of 10% this year, so we continue to see significant growth in our core menu sales, most of which is coming from increased transactions and not average check or pricing,” said Boyd Hoback, President & CEO . “We continue to invest in the preopening and ramp-up for the growth of our own company-owned Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar restaurants as well as the infrastructure for franchised growth.” Good Times is planning to open its first Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in Cherry Creek North in Denver, Colorado on February 3 with additional sites planned for later in 2014.

Hhgregg Reveals Preliminary Q3 2013 Sales

Hhgregg, a retailer of home appliances and consumer electronics, announced preliminary Q3 sales results ending Dec. 31, 2013. The retailer reported net sales of $799.6 million for 2013, and estimates net sales to drop to $707.1 million in in Q3 2014, an 11.6% year-over-year total. Q3 comparable store sales are estimated to have dropped approximately 11.2%. Sales categories that decreased include consumer electronics (19.7%) and computing and wireless, which plunged approximately 24.5%. The appliance and home products categories each increased by 1.5% and 36.1%, respectively. “Our sales of consumer electronics and computing and wireless products were significantly below our expectations during the quarter,” said Dennis May, President and CEO of hhgregg. “Our third fiscal quarter, while solidly profitable, is expected to be materially below both our expectations and prior year for diluted earnings per share, driven by the net sales miss. Our holiday sales were significantly impacted by increased promotional offerings of televisions and tablet products across a variety of retail formats.” All figures are preliminary and are subject to change. According to a company press release, hhgregg expects to “reassess and update its annual earnings… as part of its full earnings release” scheduled for Jan. 30, 2014.

Shoe Carnival Extends Share Repurchase Program

The Board of Directors at Shoe Carnival, a retailer of value-priced footwear and accessories, extended the expiration date of the company’s existing $25 million share repurchase program to December 31, 2014. The Board initially approved the repurchase program on August 23, 2010. The retailer has previously funded, and will continue to fund, the share repurchase program from cash on hand. Share repurchases can be made in either the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, as long as they are in accordance with all appropriate laws, rules and regulations. Shoe Carnival’s share price, along with other market conditions, will dictate the total number and value of purchased shares. As of January 6, 2014, $20.3 million of the authorization was available for future repurchases.

Walgreens Ends Year With 7.2% Sales Boost In December

Walgreens reported sales of $7.20 billion in December 2013, a year-over-year increase of 7.2% from the December 2012 sales total of $6.72 billion. Concurrently, year-to-date sales were revealed to be $73.72 billion, an increase of 4.5% from $70.52 billion in 2013. The retailer’s 2014 fiscal year officially began Sept. 1, 2013. Year-to-date sales for the first four months are $25.54 billion, up 6.3% from $24.03 billion in the comparable period in fiscal 2013. December 2013 front-end sales increased 4% over December 2012 totals, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.5%. While customer traffic in comparable stores actually decreased 1.3%, basket sizes increased 3.8% Calendar day shifts positively impacted total sales in comparable stores, which increased by 6.1% in December, and pharmacy sales in comparable stores, which rose 9.0%. The introduction of generic drugs in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 0.7% and pharmacy sales by 1.2%. Pharmacy sales accounted for 58.3% of total sales for the month of December. Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season-to-date were more than 6.7 million, growing from the nearly 5.5 million last year. All sales numbers are preliminary, and are subject to change.

WellPoint Sells 1-800 CONTACTS

WellPoint today announced a definitive agreement to sell its online contact lens retail subsidiary 1-800 CONTACTS to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners. The company also has entered into an asset-purchase agreement for glasses.com and its virtual try-on technology with Luxottica, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear. All three transactions are expected to close in Q1 2014. “1-800 CONTACTS has strong brand recognition and a leading direct-to-consumer model,” said Joseph R. Swedish, Chief Executive Officer of WellPoint. “However, as we prepare for the coming changes to the health care system, we are focused on our core growth opportunities across both our commercial and government business segments. Proceeds from this transaction will support our continued capital deployment strategies.” Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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