POLO IN CALIFORNIA: A 7,636-square-foot Polo/Ralph Lauren factory store opened last week at the Horizon Outlet Center in Tulare, Calif. It is the eighth Polo/Ralph Lauren outlet to open since 1982 and the first in California.
The Tulare unit features women’s, men’s and boy’s apparel, fragrances, accessories and home furnishings. Tulare is in Northern California, about 40 miles south of Fresno.
Other Polo/Ralph Lauren outlets are in Lawrence, Mass.; Birch Run, Mich.; Kenosha and Oshkosh, Wis.; Michigan City, Ind.; Somerset, Pa., and Vero Beach, Fla.
EXPANDING OUT WEST: Fred Meyer Inc., a Portland, Ore.-based retailer, completed its 1995 expansion with the opening of five new stores in the third quarter. It expects to add six more units in 1996.
Fred Meyer operates 136 stores in the Pacific Northwest, including 102 multidepartment supercenters. It opened two stores near Seattle, two in the Salt Lake City region and one in Kennewick, Wash., over the past three months. The locations for 1996’s openings were not disclosed.
In the quarter ended Nov. 4, Fred Meyer narrowed its loss to $2.3 million, including a $15.9 million writedown of the company’s California assets. Last year, when the company was hit by a strike, it lost $36.6 million in the quarter.
Sales for the three months rose 19.7 percent to $750 million from $626.8 million; same-store sales jumped 13.8 percent.
However, sales of nonfood categories were depressed by increased competition, a more promotional sales environment, sluggish demand and a difficult retail environment in the Puget Sound area, said Robert G. Miller chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
OFF-PRICE TURNAROUND: Better advertising and improved inventory turns helped lift earnings at Family Bargain Corp. to $1.7 million, or 14 cents a share, in the third quarter, the off-pricer said.
The 133-unit chain reported earnings of $1 million a year ago, including a loss of $151,000 from discontinued operations. Sales for the three months ended Oct. 28 jumped 20.2 percent to $47.3 million from $39.3 million. Results for the latest third quarter and nine months do not include Factory 2-U, which was acquired last month.
“After an extremely difficult first quarter, we implemented an action plan to improve our performance,” John A. Selzer, chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We believe the third-quarter performance, which reflects a substantial improvement over last year, shows the achievements of our plan and postures the company advantageously for the fourth quarter and beyond.”
TAKE IT TO COURT: Caldor Inc. is asking bankruptcy court to lift a veil of secrecy surrounding its creditors’ proposal to retain certain legal and accounting advisers.
A U.S. Trustee overseeing the chain’s case objected to the creditors’ choice of Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen as legal advisers and Ernst & Young LLP as its accountants and financial advisers. But the Trustee, Mary Tom, has convinced the judge in the case to seal all documents relating to the dispute. She could not be reached for comment.
The documents were scheduled to be unsealed last week, but have remained under wraps pending a hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday.
According to sources, Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen and Ernst & Young already represent bankrupt Bradlees Inc., a Caldor rival, which led to Tom’s objection.
Several officials close to the bankruptcy cases said if advisers represent both creditors of Bradlees and Caldor, it could lead to leaks of confidential information.
MASS DISTRIBUTION: The International Mass Retail Association will hold its 12th annual logistics conference Jan. 9-12 at the Walt Disney Yacht Club, Orlando, Fla. The theme of the session is “Structuring Change for Competitive Advantage.” The conference includes general sessions, roundtable discussions and an exhibit hall showcasing innovative logistics and transportation products and services.