NO WHERE TO GO FOR FASHION: Julian Seeherman, chairman of Venture Stores, told shareholders the lack of direction in fashion is hampering apparel sales.
“Any clothing is appropriate now. There is no uniform anymore,” Seeherman said following last week’s annual meeting in St. Louis.
Seeherman said Venture’s business was below expectations during the Easter season and throughout April. Women’s, children’s and footwear were weak, he noted, while hardlines were running “a little stronger.”
Venture is reducing space for unproductive categories, including hardware, paint and automotive, and will give that space to domestics, health and beauty care and household chemicals.
Venture expects to add five stores in 1995, all in Texas, and five stores per year for the next few years, Seeherman said.
PUSHING PRIVATE LABEL: In a move aimed at expanding private label, Bradlees Inc. has named Carol Reed vice president, overseeing product development and private label, a new post.
Reed, who joined Bradlees in 1991 as manager of product development.
KMART PROMOTION: Barbara J. Firment, who was director of Kmart’s fashion advertising, has been named divisional vice president of advertising, a new post. She will be responsible for the newspaper insert program, the discounter’s key promotional vehicle. Firment reports to Jerry Habeck, vice president of advertising. Her previous position has not been filled.
Kmart also named Andy Giancamilli vice president and general merchandise manager, consumables and commodities. He joined Kmart in March as vice president of pharmacy merchandising and operations.
Giancamilli is responsible for consumables, health and beauty care and pharmacy.
MAKE ROOM FOR WAL-MART: Wal-Mart, which entered Canada with last year’s acquisition of 122 stores from Woolco, expects to open at least five additional Canadian units next year, three in Ontario and two in Quebec. The units will anchor new shopping centers developed by First Professional Management Group Inc.
GOODY’S BAD QUARTER : Goody’s Family Clothing Inc. said first-quarter earnings dropped 17.9 percent to $2.3 million, or 14 cents a share, from $2.8 million, or 17 cents.
For the three months ended April 29, sales jumped 16.6 percent to $144.9 million from $124.3 million.
Goody’s has made progress in implementing new merchandising strategies, but the transition hurt first-quarter margins, Robert M. Goodfriend, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. The transition should be completed in the second half of the year, he said.
The 174-unit Goody’s plans to open 11 stores this year.