MEXICAN TAKEOVER: Soriana Sultana SA, a retailer based in Monterrey, Mexico, has acquired Soriana del Nazas SA, a 15-unit hypermarket chain.
The acquisition includes Soriana del Nazas’s American subsidiary, Gemso Corp., which handles credit, receiving, warehousing and shipping for the Mexican operation.
Soriana Sultana owns the U.S. firm MB International Corp., which handles the credit, shipping and warehousing for its parent. In six months, the operations of Gemso will be integrated into MB.
Soriana Sultana operates hypermarkets in northern and central Mexico. Sales last year topped $1.7 billion, and the company projects a 22 percent increase this year. The combined company has 42 stores and plans to open five more hypermarkets this year.
Summit Buying Co., a firm based in New York that specializes in buying American products for Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America, will continue to service MB and Soriana Sultana.
NEW STORES FOR ROSS: The economy continues to be difficult in California, but Ross Stores still believes in its home turf. The off-price chain, based in Newark, Calif., on Saturday added eight locations in the state, where it now operates 125 units. Ross stores are called Ross Dress for Less. The new California stores are in Burbank, Cerritos, Costa Mesa, Venice, La Jolla, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Auburn.
Two other stores, in Oahu, Hawaii, and West Plano, Tex., also opened Saturday.
Ross now has 260 shops in 18 states. It reported sales of $1.1 billion in 1993.
PRICE CUT HURTS FAMILY’S MARGINS: Family Dollar Stores, Matthews, N.C., said a price reduction program implemented in 400 stores boosted sales, but lowered gross profit margins in the quarter ended May 31.
Third-quarter earnings were virtually flat at $17.6 million, or 31 cents a share, against $17.5 million a year ago.
Sales rose 12.6 percent to $349.2 million from $310.1 million.
Chairman Leon Levine said margins were also hurt by slower sales in higher-priced apparel compared with last year. Results were further depressed by startup costs for opening a second distribution center.
The company expects to add 165 stores in the current fiscal year, for a total of 2,200.
IMRA SLATES SEMINAR: The International Mass Retail Association will host its 13th Annual Financial, MIS & Auditing Conference Sept. 21 to 23 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas. The conference will cover integrating merchandising, finance, systems and store operations; micro-marketing; trends in supply-chain management, and health-care reform. Suppliers of financial and management information systems, inventory services, retail consultants and auditing firms will be among the exhibitors.
ONE PRICE JUMPS: One Price Clothing, an off-price retailer of women’s and children’s apparel, reported earnings for the second quarter ended July 2 rose 15 percent to $6 million, or 57 cents a share, from $5.2 million, or 50 cents, a year ago.
Sales jumped 23 percent to $82.6 million from $67.1 million, but same-store sales were flat.
The company, based in Duncan, S.C., opened 46 stores in the past six months, bringing its total to 586 units in 28 states and Puerto Rico. One Price, which tags every item at $7, plans to open 46 more stores by yearend.