STEINMART SLIDES: Shares of Stein Mart fell $1.61, or 16.2 percent, to $8.35, a new 52-week low, in Nasdaq trading following its announcement Friday that second-quarter and second-half profits would fall below expectations due to weak sales and steep markdowns. The off-price retailer, based in Jacksonville, Fla., said it anticipates earnings per share in the quarter ended June 30 will be down 15 to 20 percent from the 32 cents a share it earned in the 2000 quarter. Second-half profits are expected to match the 86 cents earned before a pre-tax credit related to closing underperforming stores in the year-ago period. The firm also expects low-single-digit comp-store sales in the second half. Total second-quarter sales increased 10.3 percent, to $321 million, while same-store sales increased 1.5 percent.
SAM’S CLUBS TUNE IN: Premier Retail Networks, a San Francisco-based retail media group, said last week it has struck a deal with Wal-Mart’s 480-unit membership warehouse, Sam’s Club, calling for PRN to build, program and run Sam’s Club TV — an in-club network that will offer product reviews, gift ideas and sales promotions, plus new music videos and movie previews from studios including Miramax and Columbia Pictures. Sam’s Club TV’s customized content will be broadcast on monitor walls of 12 to 25 adjacent screens in the clubs’ electronics areas. With the pact, PRN will add 41 million Sam’s Club customers to its audience of more than 100 million shoppers, at clients such as Sears, Wal-Mart discount stores, Circuit City and Best Buy.
WIRELESS SHOPPING CONNECTION: A ray of hope for the mobile-commerce crowd emanated from London last week, in a preliminary report from Wireless World Forum, which found 75 percent of European teens, ages 15 to 19, were using cell phones by the end of last year, up from just 15 percent in 1998. Teens have been identified by Web watchers as the missing link for m-commerce, whose growth has stalled in most locales with a few exceptions, like Japan and Scandinavia.
WAL-MART SECURITIES: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would sell up to $6 billion in debt securities “from time to time,” in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The proceeds will be used to repay short-term debt that was incurred for capital expenditures and acquisitions, as well as for general corporate purposes, according to the filing.