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SHOPKO SPRUCES AND SOARS: Remodeling makes a difference. ShopKo Stores Inc. says its ongoing refurbishing program has been well received by consumers and is helping profits. The chain reported earnings climbed 29.4 percent in the second quarter ended Sept. 10, to $2.8 million, or 9 cents a share.
The performance topped Wall Street's estimate of 5 cents.
In the 1993 quarter, ShopKo, based in Green Bay, Wis., earned $2.1 million, or 7 cents. Sales in the latest quarter rose 7.3 percent to $381.3 million from $355.3 million and same-store sales inched up 0.8 percent.
Dale P. Kramer, president and chief executive officer, said the refurbishing program involves a greater focus on apparel and domestics. About two-thirds of Shopko's 122 discount stores will be refurbished by yearend.

NEW PORT FOR OLD NAVY: The Gap is planning to open an Old Navy store on Nov. 15 at Crossgates Commons, in Guiderland, N.Y.
The Old Navy unit will be 20,000 square feet. It is The Gap's lowest-priced division, selling casual merchandise at about 30 percent less than Gap stores. Industry sources estimate the division could reach sales of $240 million with a potential of 80 stores. It currently has about 30 stores in operation.

BAD OMENS: Citing slow sales and slim margins, some mass merchants are expecting tough third quarters.
Weakened by lower margins, Goody's Family Clothing Corp. said it does not expect third-quarter earnings to meet analysts' estimates. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company posted a 25 percent sales gain in August, to $53.2 million from $42.5 million, with same-store sales up 8 percent, but said the increase was driven mainly by lower-margin merchandise.
Goody's said margin problems were compounded by slower-than-anticipated receipts of fall merchandise.
One Price Clothing Stores Inc., Duncan, S.C., said if weak sales trends continue, the company may report a third-quarter loss in the range of 14 to 18 cents a share.
Analysts had been estimating profits at 5 to 7 cents a share for the quarter ending Oct. 1.
The company added that although sales and earnings have been growing at a rate of 25 to 30 percent for three years, it is going to lower its planned growth to 15 to 20 percent for the next several quarters. One Price earned $614,000, or 9 cents a share, in the third quarter last year on sales of $55.3 million.

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