Sainsbury’s introduces Gok Wan’s California chic collection from Tu

LONDON, 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Introducing Gok Wan’s California chic collection from Tu at Sainsbury’s. This summery collection has everything you need to ensure you look and feel fabulous this season. As the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, make your wardrobe work for you with wearable but effortlessly glamorous pieces from Gok for Tu.

Taking inspiration from the landscape, architecture and lifestyle of 1960s Los Angeles, Gok Wan has created a perfectly polished collection that embodies the Golden State. Metallic touches represent beaming sunshine and bright whites echo Hollywood’s ultra modern houses. While soft pink and blue notes make you think of LA’s luxury rooftop pools.

The new range also allows you to work one of the season’s hottest trends, matching prints. Wear the Floral Print Shell Top and matching 7/8 Trouser together for a showstopper look that will take you seamlessly from day to night.

Whatever the occasion this collection has the ideal outfit. Offering beautiful basics such as the Foil Print Tee and Skinny Jean, to elegant eveningwear such as the Embellished Neck Dress and Full Circle Lurex Pleated Skirt. Whether it is work wear you require for an important meeting with your boss, casual summer knits for a trip to the shops or the ultimate summer wedding guest dress, Gok for Tu’s newest range is perfect for you.

Gok for Tu Collection 12 comprises 25 styles, totaling 40 pieces when including multiple prints and colour ways. Prices range from £10 – £42 and in sizes 8-22. Gok for Tu is available at over 200 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide from 29th April 2014.

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Sainsbury’s introduces Gok Wan’s California chic collection from Tu

Sainsbury’s introduces Gok Wan’s California chic collection from Tu

Sainsbury’s first supermarket to let customers recycle their Easter egg packaging

LONDON, 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s has launched a brand new scheme to let customers recycle their Easter egg packaging in stores, the first supermarket to do so.

The specially designed Easter recycling facility allows customers to recycleall elements of Easter egg packaging – includingplastic, film, card, foil and ribbon. The scheme makes it even easier to recycle the packaging from eggs, taking in materials like rigid plastic which not all local kerbside collections accept.

The scheme follows the success of Sainsbury’s Christmas card recycling scheme. 1.2million Christmas cards were recycled by Sainsbury’s customers last year last year. All proceeds from the recycled material go to the Forestry Stewardship Council UK, who help to protect the world’s forests.

Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability, Engineering, Energy & Environment Paul Crewe said; ‘We’re proud to be the first to offer this cracking recycling facility to our customers and colleagues. Recycling is an important part of Sainsbury’s environmental commitment which we’re taking further than ever – sending zero operational waste to landfill and putting our minds to new and engaging schemes to help even more customers and colleagues recycle.’

Rachel Gray, Behaviour Change Manager at WRAP praised the scheme adding; ‘we are delighted that Sainsbury’s are working with their customers to help them find ways to recycle Easter egg packaging during the holidays. Such a wide range of Easter Egg packaging can be recycled, from the foil that your chocolate egg comes in to your Easter egg box. To find out what can be recycled where you live visit www.recyclenow.com.’

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Sainsbury’s first supermarket to let customers recycle their Easter egg packaging

Sainsbury’s first supermarket to let customers recycle their Easter egg packaging

Chiappetti brand lamb, veal and grass fed beef now available at Price Chopper Supermarkets

Two Multi-Generational, Family-Managed Businesses Join Forces

Schenectady, NY, 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Price Chopper Supermarkets today announced a new trade partnership with the family owned and operated Strauss Brands, a company of specialty meat experts that is now exclusively supplying the progressive chain of 132 stores in six Northeastern states with their exclusive Chiappetti Meat Company branded lamb, group raised veal and grass fed beef.

“We are very excited to be making the Chiappetti brand available to our customers,” said Jason Resner, Price Chopper’s vice president of meat merchandising. “We’re confident that the superior quality of their chops, grinds and roasts, as well as their best in class animal welfare practices, will be well received by our customers and further establish Price Chopper as a signature destination for lamb, veal and grass fed beef.”

Strauss is dedicated to the family farms and farmers with whom they work to raise their beef, lamb and group raised veal. Strauss Free Raised® grass fed beef is sourced exclusively from independent American family farmers who raise and finish their heritage bred, free-roaming cattle on a 100% grass and forage diet. The cattle never receive grains, are never confined to a feedlot and are never administered hormones or antibiotics.

Since 2007, Strauss’ leadership in ethical agriculture has been nationally recognized. Working with the USDA, they defined pasture raised veal and developed protocols for all natural raising standards. Strauss’ food safety practices and uncompromising standards have raised the bar for the industry.

“The mission of our family and the Price Chopper family is very similar: to provide the best tasting and healthiest products available. We are excited about partnering with another family that thinks like we do and is committed to providing its customers with excellent products which are raised ethically and humanely,” Randy Strauss, CEO and third-generation co-owner of Strauss Brands.

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About Price Chopper
Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 132 Price Chopper grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 51% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com

About Strauss Brands
Strauss Brands, Franklin, WI is a 3rd generation family owned and operated specialty meat company specializing in ethically and humanely raised meats, raised by independent family farmers. Learn more at www.straussbrands.com.

Kimco Realty acquired remaining 60.9 percent interest in the 12-property Kimco Income Fund I portfolio

Acquisition of 12 properties furthers company’s simplification and transformation goals

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y., 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM), North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of neighborhood and community shopping centers, today announced that it has acquired the remaining 60.9-percent interest in the 12-property Kimco Income Fund I portfolio (KIF I) from its joint venture partners for a gross price of $408.0 million, including the assumption of $38.2 million in mortgage debt. As part of this transaction, the company will repay $118.9 million of mortgage debt encumbering nine of the properties. In addition, Kimco earned a cash promote of approximately $18.8 million, which was used to reduce the company’s overall cash payment to $251.4 million.

With the KIF I acquisition, Kimco continues to advance its simplification goals that include reducing the number of institutional joint ventures and partners, streamlining property ownership and management, and adding high-quality retail assets to its wholly owned portfolio. The addition of these properties, totaling 1.5 million square feet, also strengthens Kimco’s footprint in key retail territories. KIF I properties are primarily located in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Northern California regions of the U.S., in mature markets with high barriers to entry and strong surrounding trade demographics.

This transaction furthers Kimco’s portfolio transformation goals with these 12 grocery-anchored and necessity-based shopping centers that feature strong portfolio metrics and above-average occupancy, rent and household income levels. The high-quality nature of these assets is demonstrated by a three-mile, average household income level of $98,000, and an average base rent per square foot of $17.59, both of which exceed Kimco’s current portfolio averages by 17 percent and 35 percent, respectively. The KIF portfolio is 98 percent occupied and supported by such notable national retailers as Royal Ahold, Safeway, Dick’s Sporting Goods and TJX-Companies’ businesses. In addition, 10 of the 12 properties are anchored by the top one or two grocers in each respective market.

About Kimco
Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in New Hyde Park, N.Y., that owns and operates North America’s largest publicly traded portfolio of neighborhood and community shopping centers. As of December 31, 2013, the company owned interests in 852 shopping centers comprising 125 million square feet of leasable space across 42 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and South America. Publicly traded on the NYSE since 1991, and included in the S&P 500 Index, the company has specialized in shopping center acquisitions, development and management for more than 50 years. For further information, please visit www.kimcorealty.com, the company’s blog at blog.kimcorealty.com, or follow Kimco on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kimcorealty.

Safe Harbor Statement
The statements in this news release state the company’s and management’s intentions, beliefs, expectations or projections of the future and are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that the company’s actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to (i) general adverse economic and local real estate conditions, (ii) the inability of major tenants to continue paying their rent obligations due to bankruptcy, insolvency or a general downturn in their business, (iii) financing risks, such as the inability to obtain equity, debt or other sources of financing or refinancing on favorable terms to the company, (iv) the company’s ability to raise capital by selling its assets, (v) changes in governmental laws and regulations, (vi) the level and volatility of interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates, (vii) risks related to our international operations, (viii) the availability of suitable acquisition and disposition opportunities, and risks related to acquisitions not performing in accordance with our expectations, (ix) valuation and risks related to our joint venture and preferred equity investments, (x) valuation of marketable securities and other investments, (xi) increases in operating costs, (xii) changes in the dividend policy for the company’s common stock, (xiii) the reduction in the company’s income in the event of multiple lease terminations by tenants or a failure by multiple tenants to occupy their premises in a shopping center, (xiv) impairment charges and (xv) unanticipated changes in the company’s intention or ability to prepay certain debt prior to maturity and/or hold certain securities until maturity. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements is contained from time to time in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Copies of each filing may be obtained from the company or the SEC.

The company refers you to the documents filed by the company from time to time with the SEC, specifically the section titled “Risk Factors” in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, as may be updated or supplemented in the company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and the company’s other filings with the SEC, which discuss these and other factors that could adversely affect the company’s results.

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CONTACT:
David F. Bujnicki
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Kimco Realty Corporation
1-866-831-4297

Gap Inc. reported net sales of $1.51 billion for the five-week period ended April 5, 2014

Company Reaffirms Full-Year Earnings per Share Guidance of $2.90 to $2.95 for Fiscal 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today reported net sales of $1.51 billion for the five-week period ended April 5, 2014. Gap Inc.’s comparable sales for March 2014 were down 6 percent versus a 1 percent decrease last year.

“While March performance has been challenging, we remain confident in the opportunities ahead,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer, Gap Inc. “We are pleased to reaffirm our full-year EPS guidance range.”

March Comparable Sales Results
Comparable sales by global brand for March 2014 were as follows:

  • Gap Global: negative 7 percent versus flat last year
  • Banana Republic Global: negative 4 percent versus positive 1 percent last year
  • Old Navy Global: negative 7 percent versus negative 2 percent last year

As the company noted last month, the Easter holiday is in April this year versus March last year. Given this shift in peak spring selling weeks, the company expected March to be negatively impacted.

The company expects gross margins for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 to be below the prior year by more than the year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013. In addition, given ongoing expense management, the company expects first quarter fiscal year 2014 operating expenses to be flat to last year.

The company reaffirmed its previous full-year earnings per share guidance range of $2.90 to $2.95 for fiscal 2014.

Additional insight into Gap Inc.’s sales performance is available by calling 1-800-GAP-NEWS (1-800-427-6397). International callers may call 706-902-4949. The recording will be available at approximately 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on April 10, 2014 and available for replay until 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on April 18, 2014.

April Sales
The company will report April sales on May 8, 2014.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release and related sales recording contain forward-looking statements within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than those that are purely historical are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding:

  • gross margins for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014;
  • operating expenses for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014;
  • earnings per share for fiscal year 2014;
  • the impact of the later Easter holiday timing; and
  • opportunities for the balance of fiscal year 2014, including improving traffic trends, meaningful progress in aligning inventory with sales, benefits from our supply chain initiatives, and managing expenses.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the following:

  • the risk that changes in global economic conditions or consumer spending patterns could adversely impact the company’s results of operations;
  • the highly competitive nature of the company’s business in the United States and internationally;
  • the risk that the company will be unsuccessful in gauging apparel trends and changing consumer preferences;
  • the risk that if the company is unable to manage its inventory effectively, its gross margins will be adversely affected;
  • the risks to the company’s business, including our costs and supply chain, associated with global sourcing and manufacturing;
  • the risk that the company will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations and renewing, modifying, or terminating leases for existing store locations effectively;
  • the risk that comparable sales and margins will experience fluctuations;
  • the risk that natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, or other catastrophic events could adversely affect the company’s operations and financial results;
  • the risk that changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape could adversely affect our financial condition, strategies, and results of operations; and
  • the risk that we will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits.

Additional information regarding factors that could cause results to differ can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, as well as the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

These forward-looking statements are based on information as of April 10, 2014. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.

About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2013 net sales were $16.1 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,100 company-operated stores, over 350 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

New Zealand’s largest retailer Foodstuffs to offer Visa payWave contactless payments

Waiheke, New Zealand, 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — New Zealand’s largest retailer, Foodstuffs, intends to make Visa payWave payments available to its members, who collectively operate 3,500 terminals in 700 stores including PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square stores.

Visa and Foodstuffs have collaborated to offer customers of the cooperative, the option to pay for their shopping using any credit, debit or prepaid card enabled with Visa payWave technology. Cardholders will be able to wave their Visa payWave-enabled card in front of the payment terminal to make purchases under $80 without the need to sign or use their PIN, and enter a PIN for any transactions over $80.

Foodstuffs New Zealand Managing Director Steve Anderson confirms contactless payments will start to be rolled out at Foodstuffs stores in late 2014 as the new technology at check out lanes is installed. Following this, PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square customers will begin to see Visa payWave information and instructions at their local stores.

“We are always striving to provide the best possible shopping experience for our customers. Contactless payments are steadily growing in New Zealand and we have seen them significantly embraced by consumers in other parts of the world. We believe this new technology will provide shoppers with an easier, faster and more convenient experience at the checkout.”

Caroline Ada, Visa’s Country Manager New Zealand and South Pacific, says Foodstuffs only needed to look at the positive impact Visa payWave had on retailers internationally to see what the benefits could be to its business.

“One of our international retailers saw that within six months contactless payments accounted for half of all their transactions, and they were 15 per cent faster to process than cash. This meant time savings for both customers and staff, enabling staff to be deployed to other areas of customer service within the stores. We’re delighted that New Zealand’s largest retailer has seen the opportunity and is set to embrace Visa payWave.”

The introduction of contactless-enabled terminals in Foodstuffs stores is bound to accelerate the growth of Visa payWave transactions in New Zealand adds Ada.

“There are 15,000 contactless terminals in place throughout the country and New Zealanders are already choosing the convenience of Visa payWave transactions, with 1.5 million transactions[1] made in December. Being able to use Visa payWave credit and debit cards for everyday purchases such as groceries will see contactless payments become a preferred way to pay for Kiwis.”

Visa payWave cards have an embedded antenna and microchip, enabling fast and secure contactless communication with the checkout terminal. From there the transaction is processed through the same secure network used for all Visa transactions. Visa payWave transactions are also processed three times faster than cash payments[2].

Multiple layers of security protect Visa payWave transactions, including EMV chip technology, a short read range and Visa’s Zero Liability[3] policy, which protects cardholders from fraudulent or unauthorised transactions.

[1] Source: VisaNet (December 2013)

2 Average Visa payWave transaction including printing of receipt takes 4-6 seconds, compared with 12-14 seconds for cash (Visa Smart Card Deployment Study in Taiwan and Malaysia, conducted by Deloitte in 2006).

3 Visa’s Zero Liability policy covers Australia and New Zealand-issued cards and does not apply to ATM transactions, transactions not processed by Visa or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholders should notify their issuer promptly of any unauthorised Visa use.

[1] Source: VisaNet (December 2013)

[2] Average Visa payWave transaction including printing of receipt takes 4-6 seconds, compared with 12-14 seconds for cash (Visa Smart Card Deployment Study in Taiwan and Malaysia, conducted by Deloitte in 2006).

[3] Visa’s Zero Liability policy covers Australia and New Zealand-issued cards and does not apply to ATM transactions, transactions not processed by Visa or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholders should notify their issuer promptly of any unauthorised Visa use.

SM Investments Corporation highlights opportunities in Philippine real estate following its recent merger of property assets under SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) (SM) highlighted the opportunities in real estate in the Philippines following its recent merger of property assets under mall developer now property conglomerate SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime).

In a recent forum by the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines held at the SMX Convention Center in Taguig, SM officials cited the benefits of the landmark merger which was announced in 2013 that transformed SM Prime as one of the Southeast Asia’s largest property companies. SM Prime today has shopping malls, residences, offices, hotel and convention centers and leisure facilities.

SM Vice Chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson said that the SM Group has been “particularly active” with developments across all its core businesses in banking, retail and property which is indicative of the Philippine economy’s growth story.

“The reason why we merged the residences, malls, hotel, commercial, leisure and other landbank under SM Prime was to create a property company that is strong and well positioned for the future,” Mrs. Coson said.

She added that SM continues to have faith in the growth of the Philippine property sector which is just emerging. “The strength of SM has always been to create and leverage synergies across all businesses and this merger does that for our property units. As a result, we can do larger and more long-term integrated master planned developments and more lifestyle cities,” Mrs. Coson added.

SM Prime Vice President for Finance Teresa Reyes-Agsalud meantime said that as a result of the merger, SM Prime is in a position to pursue its next phase of growth. SM Prime now has access to a significantly larger land bank of over 900 hectares and real estate assets of US$13.8 billion as of the end of December 2013.

“The bigger scale and enhanced capabilities will allow SM Prime to unlock revenue synergies within the group as well as pursue larger and more attractive opportunities in the market,” Agsalud said.

She said that part of the strategy of SM Prime is to develop more “lifestyle cities” similar to the 60-hectare Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City which will optimize land where premiere malls currently stand.

SM Prime is eyeing to replicate such lifestyle cities in SM Clark in Pampanga where the company already has an existing mall; SM North EDSA;  its rising development SM Seaside City in Cebu; and in SM Lanang Premier in Davao.

SM Prime is eyeing building a Park Inn hotel in Clark. SM North EDSA hosts call center operations in itsAnnex Building and is adjacent to Grass Residences while just across the road, SM Cyber West , which is already 100% pre-leased since last year, is scheduled for completion in 2014.  SM Seaside City Cebu, which will open in 2015, sits on a 30-hectare lot and will house a 400,000 square meter mall to be followed by another SM Arena. SM Lanang Premier, which was opened in 2012 is next to Park Inn Hotel and includes an SMX Convention Center.

“We are convinced that by working together as one SM Prime significant value and synergies can be unlocked for all our stakeholders,” she said.

SM SVP for Investor Relations Corazon Guidote also cited the Mall of Asia Complex as a classic example of how commitment, taking a long-term position, proper planning and execution on a development can unlock significant value not just for shareholders but for the whole city of Pasay.

“When I joined SM, there was just the mall in MOA. Now you have the mall, SMX, the MOA Arena, and the offices and residences which are interrelated in terms of operations. These developments enhanced the value of the land in MOA by over 23 times since the late nineties even prior to the property merger,” Guidote said.

She also said that SM sees opportunities for growth in offices and hotels.

“For the offices, we will be increasing momentum through our E-com buildings. Initially the plan was to put up four but now the plan is to come up with five. For the hotels, we will be putting up more Park Inns. Davao is doing very well and it really suits the needs of the market at this time,” Guidote said.

“By holding on long-term and trying to optimize synergies within the group, that’s how we create value for shareholders,” Guidote added.

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For further information, please contact:

Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Email : cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel. 857-0117

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SM Investments Corporation highlights opportunities in Philippine real estate following its recent merger of property assets under

Family Dollar Stores, Inc reported $2.7 billion net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 ended March 1, 2014

  • Comparable Store Sales Decreased 3.8%
  • Earnings Per Diluted Share of $0.80, Including At Least a $0.05 Negative Impact from Winter Weather
  •  Company Conducts In-Depth Business Review and Implements Actions to Improve Financial Performance Including: Investment to Lower Prices, Reduction of Cost Structure, Closing of Approximately 370 Stores and Slowing of New Store Growth 

MATTHEWS, NC, 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) today reported that for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 ended March 1, 2014, net sales were $2.7 billion as compared to $2.9 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 ended March 2, 2013. Earnings per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were $0.80 as compared to $1.21 in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Consistent with the National Retail Federation Calendar, the second quarter of fiscal 2014 included 13 weeks as compared to 14 weeks in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The Company estimates that this extra week contributed approximately $189 million in sales and $0.07 of earnings per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The Company estimates that the negative financial impact in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 from the adverse winter weather was at least $0.05 of earnings per diluted share.

“Our second quarter results did not meet our expectations,” said Howard R. Levine, Chairman and CEO. “The 2013 holiday season was challenged by a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer. In addition, like many retailers, our second quarter results were significantly impacted by severe winter weather, which resulted in numerous store closings, disrupted merchandise deliveries and higher than expected utility and store maintenance expenses.”

“Notwithstanding the macro-economic pressure, competitive environment and severe weather, we are not satisfied with our results, and we hold ourselves accountable for improving our performance,” said Levine. “To that end, we have initiated an in-depth business review to identify opportunities to strengthen our value proposition, increase operational efficiencies and improve financial performance.”

“While this business review is ongoing, we are taking immediate, strategic actions to improve our performance. First, we have made a significant investment to lower prices on about 1,000 basic items. Second, we are reducing our cost structure through the optimization of our workforce. Third, we will close approximately 370 underperforming stores. Once complete, our workforce reduction efforts and store closures are expected to result in $40 million to $45 million of annualized operating profit benefit, beginning in the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Lastly, we intend to slow new store growth beginning in fiscal 2015 to improve our return on investment. We are confident that these steps will position Family Dollar to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders,” concluded Levine.

Fiscal 2014 Second Quarter and First Half Results 

Net sales for the second quarter ended March 1, 2014, decreased 6.1% to $2.7 billion from $2.9 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 ended March 2, 2013. Consistent with the National Retail Federation Calendar, the second quarter of fiscal 2014 included 13 weeks as compared to 14 weeks in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The Company estimates that this extra week contributed approximately $189 million in sales in fiscal 2013. Excluding the impact of the extra week, the Company estimates that sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 would have increased 0.4% compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were strongest in the Consumables category, driven primarily by strong growth in refrigerated and frozen food and tobacco. Comparable store sales for the 13-week period ended March 1, 2014, decreased 3.8% as a result of decreased customer transactions, partially offset by an increase in the average customer transaction value.

Gross profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 decreased 6.7% to $902.3 million, or 33.2% of net sales, compared to $967.1 million, or 33.4% of net sales, in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. As a percentage of sales, the impact of stronger sales of lower-margin consumables and higher markdowns was partially offset by higher markups, lower freight expense and lower inventory shrinkage.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of net sales, were 28.1% in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to 25.9% in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The expense de-leverage in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was primarily driven by the decrease in comparable store sales. As a percentage of net sales, higher store occupancy and store payroll expenses were partially offset by lower advertising and incentive compensation expenses.

The effective income tax rate was 35.3% for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with 35.6% for the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was $90.9 million compared to net income of $140.1 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Excluding the impact of the extra week, the Company estimates that net income in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 would have been $132.0 million.

The Company’s merchandise inventories at March 1, 2014, were $1.7 billion compared with $1.5 billion at March 2, 2013. Average inventory per store at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was 2.1% higher than the average inventory per store at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

In the first half of fiscal 2014, capital expenditures were $219.7 million compared with $409.7 million in the first half of fiscal 2013. In the first half of fiscal 2014, the Company spent $76.4 million related to new stores; $54.4 million on its store renovation program; $38.4 million on existing stores; $38.1 million related to corporate and technology investments; and $12.4 million on supply chain investments.

During the first half of fiscal 2014, the Company opened 244 new stores, closed 22 stores and renovated, relocated or expanded 319 stores.

In the first half of fiscal 2014, the Company repurchased approximately 1.8 million shares of its common stock for a total cost of $125.0 million and paid $59.5 million in dividends to shareholders. As of March 1, 2014, the Company had authorization to purchase up to an additional $245.8 million of its common stock.

Immediate Strategic Actions

As part of the Company’s review to identify opportunities to strengthen our value proposition, increase operational efficiencies and improve financial performance, the Company is executing a series of immediate strategic actions.

These actions include:

  •  Investing significantly to lower prices on nearly 1,000 basic items to deliver even more compelling values to customers.
  • Reducing corporate overhead and re-aligning key organizational functions to improve execution and reinforce the Company’s commitment to being an efficient, low-cost retailer.
  • Closing approximately 370 underperforming stores in the second half of fiscal 2014.
  • Slowing new store growth beginning in fiscal 2015. The Company now plans to open 350-400 new stores in fiscal 2015, down from approximately 525 new stores in fiscal 2014. The reduction is designed to improve return on investment by capitalizing on insights regarding location, competitive dynamic and cost structure. 

The Company expects to record an estimated $85 million to $95 million restructuring charge in the second half of fiscal 2014 related to the workforce reductions and store closures. This charge was not included in the earnings outlook previously provided by the Company.

The Company estimates that the impact from the workforce reductions and store closures will deliver $40 million to $45 million of annualized operating profit benefit, beginning in the third quarter of fiscal 2014. These savings are included in the Company’s fiscal 2014 earnings outlook.

“Our mission is to deliver compelling, everyday values for our customers, and executing on this promise requires an unwavering commitment to being a low-cost operator. We are taking a number of important steps through our immediate strategic actions to improve our operational efficiency and deliver better financial returns,” said Howard R. Levine, Chairman and CEO. “Family Dollar has ample opportunities for growth. As the environment remains challenging, we are adjusting our growth plans to ensure that we are allocating resources to initiatives with the highest potential for value creation. We are confident that these steps will position the Company better, enable us to improve our execution, and deliver higher shareholder returns.”

Outlook

For the third quarter of fiscal 2014, the Company expects that comparable store sales will decline in the low-single-digit range and that earnings per diluted share will be between $0.85 and $0.95 per share, excluding approximately $0.13 per share related to restructuring charges.  Including the restructuring charges, the Company expects earnings per diluted share will be between $0.72 and $0.82.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, the Company expects that comparable store sales will be flat to up slightly and that earnings per diluted share will be between $0.75 and $0.85, excluding approximately $0.37 related to restructuring charges. Including the restructuring charges, the Company expects earnings per diluted share will be between $0.38 and $0.48.

For the 52-week year ending August 30, 2014, the Company expects that earnings per diluted share will be between $3.05 and $3.25, excluding approximately $0.50 per share related to restructuring charges. Including the restructuring charges, the Company expects earnings per diluted share will be between $2.55 and $2.75.

The Company’s outlook for fiscal 2014 is based on the following assumptions which may or may not prove valid:

  • A low-single digit increase in net sales, excluding the impact of the extra week in fiscal 2013;
  •  A low-single digit decline in comparable store sales;
  • Approximately 525 new store openings and approximately 400 store closings;
  • A decline in gross profit, as a percentage of sales;
  • SG&A expense de-leverage based on our comparable store sales outlook;
  • An effective income tax rate between 36.0% and 36.5%; and
  • Capital expenditures of between $450 million and $500 million. 

Cautionary Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements address certain plans, activities or events which the Company expects will or may occur in the future and relate to, among other things, the state of the economy, the Company’s investment and financing plans, net sales, comparable store sales, store openings and closings, gross profit, income tax rates, capital expenditures, cost of sales, SG&A expenses, earnings per diluted share, dividends and share repurchases. Various risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made by the Company in this and in other documents or statements are qualified by factors, risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those set forth under the headings titled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission up to the date of this release.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied in such statements will not be realized, except as may be required by law.

In addition, the amounts and timing of all estimates are subject to change. The actual amounts and timing may vary materially based on various factors, including the timing of store closings; the timing and amount of sublease income and other lease expense; factors relating to real estate including sale proceeds; asset write-downs and other factors affecting inventory value; changes in management’s assumptions; and other factors.

Earnings Conference Call Information 

The Company plans to host a conference call with investors today, April 10, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. ET to discuss the results. The Company will also discuss business initiatives, plans and expectations for fiscal 2014. After some prepared remarks by management, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions. The Company’s responses to questions, as well as other matters discussed during the conference call, may include information that has not been disclosed previously.

If you wish to participate, please call (800) 890-0881 for domestic US calls and (719) 325-2295 for international calls at least 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin. The passcode for the conference call is 3827795 or “FAMILY DOLLAR.”

A live webcast of the conference call with accompanying slides can be accessed at the following link.

http://investor.familydollar.com/investors-relations/default.aspx

A replay of the webcast will be available at the address noted above after 11:00 a.m. ET, April 10, 2014.

About Family Dollar
For more than 54 years, Family Dollar has been providing value and convenience to customers in easy-to-shop neighborhood locations. Family Dollar’s mix of name brands and quality, private brand merchandise appeals to shoppers in more than 8,100 stores in rural and urban settings across 46 states. Helping families save on the items they need with everyday low prices creates a strong bond with customers, who often refer to their neighborhood store as “my Family Dollar.” Headquartered in Matthews, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, Family Dollar is a Fortune 300, publicly held company with common stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FDO. For more information, please visit www.familydollar.com.

Family Dollar Contacts:

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Kiley F. Rawlins, CFA
(704) 708-2858
krawlins@familydollar.com
MEDIA CONTACT:
Bryn R. Winburn
(704) 708-1653
bwinburn@familydollar.com

HARRIS TEETER ANNOUNCED WEEK 10 WINNERS OF ITS TOGETHER IN EDUCATION $100,000 GIVEAWAY

Company Donates $50,000 to Schools, $50,000 to Customers in 10 Weeks

Matthews, N.C., 2014-4-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Saturday, April 5, 2014, Harris Teeter’s Together in Education (TIE) Prize Team visited winners’ homes in Raleigh, N.C. to give away another $10,000 as part of Harris Teeter’s TIE $100,000 Giveaway.  The company has donated $100,000 since the Prize Team began knocking on doors in February, and Saturday was the final day of the giveaway.

During the $100,000 Giveaway, Weekly Contestants (“Winners”) were randomly drawn and awarded up to $10,000, the total prize being determined by the number of Harris Teeter Brands founds in their homes.  The winner(s) automatically received $500, to be split evenly with the TIE school to which their VIC card is linked.  Additionally, for each Harris Teeter Brand product found in a winner’s home, Harris Teeter gave away another $100, to be split with the same school. The TIE Prize Team continued visiting homes until the entire $10,000 was awarded for the particular week.

Harris Teeter also selected and advertised a Bonus Item each week.  The Bonus Item was worth a total of $500.  The Week 10 Bonus Item, HT Traders Frozen Meals, was not found in the winners’ homes.

Weekly Contestant TIE School HT Brands Total Prize
Week 10 Winners – Raleigh, N.C.
Irene Kress Millbrook High School 32 $3,700
Darryl Miller West Millbrook Middle School 28 $3,300
Dale Dexter Baileywick Elementary School 20 $2,500
Judy Atallah Millbrook High School n/a $500
Week 9 Winners – Cary, N.C.
Wesley Hunt Mills Park Elementary 75 $8,000
Erin Walters Apex Elementary 10 $1,500
Week 8 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Jared Black McNair Elementary School 61 $6,600
Hughes Antonie Page High School 5* $1,400
Margaret Dick General Greene School of Science and Technology n/a $500
Courtney Ageon Summerfield Charter Academy n/a $500
Terri Grant Page High School n/a $500
Priscilla Streeter Caldwell Academy n/a $500
Week 7 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Gerda Curtis Grimsley High School Athletic Boosters 37 $4,200
Page Kreager Academy at Lincoln 53 $5,800
Week 6 Winners – Arlington, Va.
Adele Siegmund St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School 30 $3,500
Jessica Hensley James K. Polk Elementary 15 $2,000
Farida Mansurova St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School and Alexandria Country Day School 15 $2,000
Lisa Nichols Campbell Elementary School NA $500
Allison Hyra Annandale UMC Child Development Center NA $500
Mary Stewart St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School NA $500
Stephen Kravitsky James K. Polk Elementary NA $500
John Hanley St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School NA $500
Week 5 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Mary Ann Hoffman Canterbury School 27 $3,200
Sara Strandberg Southeast Guilford High School 19 $2,400
Lydia Bolmer Erwin Montessori Elementary 9 $1,400
Mary Michaux High Point Friends School, Inc. NA $500
Nina Harmon Claxton Elementary School NA $500
Janice Roback Page High School NA $500
David Forster Early College at Guilford Robotics Club NA $500
Amy Ferguson Our Lady of Grace NA $500
Mary Wall Western Guilford High Soccer Program NA $500
Week 4 Winners – Winston-Salem, N.C.
Shannon Reed Paisley Magnet School 50* $5,900
Jeffery England Morgan Elementary School 22* $3,100
Bonnie Smith North Hills Elementary NA $500
Sandra LaHaie Hanes Middle School NA $500
Week 3 Winners – Matthews, N.C.
Kelly Turner Covenant Day School 39 $4,400
Andrew Cudahy Butler High School 51 $5,600
Week 2 Winners – Charlotte, N.C.
The Parada Family South Mecklenburg High School Lacrosse 95 $10,000
Week 1 Winners – Carrboro, N.C.
David Brown Carrboro High School PTSA 91* $10,000
*Including Bonus Item