70 WAYS TO CUT COSTS: An internal task force is slated to present a battery of cost-cutting strategies to Kmart directors at a Dec. 20 meeting.
“We’ve identified 70 projects so far,” Marvin Rich, Kmart’s executive vice president and a task force member, told WWD. In September, Kmart said it wanted to reduce operating costs by as much as $800 million over the next two years.
Among the cost-cutting ideas being considered, Rich said, were everything from canceling magazine subscriptions for the corporate office to consolidating systems for hard lines and soft lines. Canceling magazine subscriptions could save Kmart $300,000 a year, he said. He did not estimate the savings systems consolidation could create.
Separately, George R. Mrkonic, Kmart’s executive vice president of specialty retailing, was named vice chairman and president of its Borders Group unit, which is composed of bookstores. F. Kevin Browett resigned as Kmart’s vice president of general merchandise manager for hard lines. Donald W. Keeble, executive vice president of merchandising and operations, will oversee hard lines merchandising until a successor is named.
WAL-MART GOES TO BRAZIL: Wal-Mart will break into Brazil next April with a Sam’s Club in Santo Andre, just outside Sao Paulo. The unit will be followed by a second Sam’s in Santo Andre later in 1995. The retailer’s first supercenter in Brazil, in Sao Caetano do Sul, is expected to open next year, but Wal-Mart did not say when.
DUCKWALL-ALCO’S PROFITS SURGE: Despite lower same-store sales, Duckwall-Alco Stores said third-quarter profits increased to $220,000, or 9 cents a share, from $58,000, or 2 cents, in the year-ago period.
In the quarter ended Oct. 30, sales rose 4.3 percent to $56.5 million from $54.2 million. Same-store sales declined 1.8 percent.
Glen L. Shank, president and chief executive officer, said unseasonably warm weather hurt same-store sales, but net earnings built on strong first and second-quarter results.
Duckwall-Alco, which completed an initial public stock offering Oct. 27, operates 133 full-line discount stores in the central U.S.