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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.

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. 

Starbucks Opens 20,000th Location, Increases Global Revenue In Q2

The Starbucks team unveiled a series of positive growth metrics during its Q2 2014 earnings call, including a boost in quarterly revenue and a series of new store openings worldwide. Outlining financial results for the 13-week fiscal second quarter and 26-week fiscal year to date, which ended March 30, 2014, Starbucks revealed that global comp growth revenue increased by 6%, bringing in net revenues of $3.9 billion for the 2014 fiscal year.  

AgilOne Secures $25 Million In Funding

Predictive marketing company AgilOne has closed $25 million in a Series C investment round. Tenaya Capital led the funding round, with Next World Capital and Four Rivers Group participating as new investors. Other existing investors — Sequoia Capital and Mayfield Fund — also contributed. AgilOne will use the monetary contributions to expand its sales and marketing operations, and further develop its international footprint. To further support AgilOne’s ongoing growth, Tom Banahan, Managing Director at Tenaya Capital, has joined the company’s board of directors.

Julep Beauty Captures $30 Million In Series C Funding

Julep Beauty has raised $30 million in Series C financing from a mix of new and existing investors. Participants include new investors Azure Capital, Madrona Venture Group and Altimeter Capital, as well as existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Maveron. This round brings Julep's total venture funding to $56 million. Julep will use the funds to help accelerate its e-Commerce growth and overall innovation. The brand saw online revenues triple in 2013, and expects the momentum to continue, largely due to its crowd-sourced product development, which allows Julep release products 10 times faster than other beauty brands, according to the company.

Walmart, USCM To Provide $10 Million In Grants For Manufacturing Innovators

Walmart, in cooperation with the Walmart Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), has unveiled the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund. Open to non-profit organizations, the new program will provide grants of $100,000 or more to help address challenges related to onshoring and improving U.S. manufacturing. Anticipated recipients…
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Ulta Beauty Sales Increase 14.4% In Q4 2013

Cosmetics retailer and beauty service company Ulta has experienced a 14.4% year-over-year (YOY) sales increase in Q4 2013, up to $868.1 million from $758.8 million in Q4 2012. After unveiling these positive earnings results, Ulta shares rose 6.9% to $95.70. Achievements that influenced company growth include an ambitious store opening initiative, expansion of the Ulta loyalty program, which now has 13 million members, and rapid growth of its e-Commerce business. Additionally, the retailer added 25 new brands to its inventory assortment, which contributed to 7.9% annual comparable store sales growth, according to Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta.

Publix Sees 5.3% Increase In Q4 2013 Sales

Publix Super Markets reported a 5.3% increase in Q4 2013 sales, rising to $7.4 billion from $7.0 billion in 2012. Q4 2013 net earnings experienced the most significant improvement, increasing 7.4% from $392.8 million to $422 million YOY.

RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores Nationwide

Electronics retailer RadioShack is shuttering more store doors in light of poor revenue performance. Total net sales and operating revenue for Q4 2013 was $935.4 million, a significant drop compared to $1.2 billion in Q4 2012. Same-store sales also dropped 19% year over year (YOY). RadioShack plans to level the loss by closing 1,100 stores, which will be selected based on location, area demographics, lease life and financial performance. Despite the store closures, RadioShack will continue to operate more than 4,000 brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S., including over 900 dealer franchise locations.

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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