By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Framingham, Mass. — Staples, in a financial report showing higher profits for its fiscal fourth quarter, said it will close up to 225 stores in North America by 2015 as more than half its sales are now generated online.
In a statement, Staples said it would shut the stores as part of a $500 million cost-reduction program, but it explained Staples.com sales grew 10 percent in the fourth quarter. When the year ended more than 500,000 products were available on Staples.com vs. 100,000 at the beginning of the year.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Issaquah, Wash. – A trying holiday season, unfavorable foreign exchange rates and a prior-year tax benefit conspired to cut Costco’s second quarter profits by 15.4 percent.
Net income was $463 million for the three months, ended Feb. 16, on net sales of $25.8 billion, a 6 percent increase, while U.S. comp-store sales rose 5 percent, excluding the impact of lower gasoline prices.
Port Washington, N.Y. – Systemax said weak retail performance offset gains in its industrial products division, leading to fourth-quarter and full-year losses.
The company lost $19.8 million in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, compared with a prior-year loss of $27.1 million, as total sales declined 6.5 percent to $874.2 million and comp sales fell 21.4 percent despite favorable currency fluctuations.
For the full year, losses hit $43.8 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $8.3 million, while total sales slipped 5.4 percent to $3.4 billion.
Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings reported lower sales while net losses continue.
The company, which operates Sears and Kmart, reported a net loss of $358 million for the fourth quarter and $1.4 billion for the full year of 2013. This compares with net loss of $489 million and $930 million, respectively, for the prior year fourth quarter and full year.
Fourth-quarter revenues decreased $1.7 billion to $10.6 billion for the quarter, ended Feb. 1, compared with revenues of $12.3 billion for last year’s final quarter.
Minneapolis – Best Buy returned to profitability in the fourth quarter and full fiscal year despite a bruising holiday season and slightly lower sales.
Net earnings for the three months, ended Feb. 1, were $293 million compared with a year-ago loss of $379 million as the company cut costs and improved operational efficiency. Ongoing efforts will include a significant reorganization of Best Buy’s field and store management structure that shifts greater responsibility to store general managers and moves field staff into a supporting role, the retailer said.
Minneapolis — Fallout from Target’s credit card data breach in December impacted its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results.
Net earnings fell 46 percent to $520 million for the three months, ended Feb. 1, while U.S. sales slipped 3.8 percent to $21.5 billion and domestic comps declined 2.5 percent.
Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s said solid performance in core categories and a nimble distribution network contributed to sales and earnings increases in the fourth quarter.
For the three months, ended Jan. 31, net earnings rose 6.3 percent to $306 million, including a $32 million asset impairment hit. Net sales increased 5.6 percent to $11.7 billion and comp sales edged up 3.9 percent.
For the full fiscal year, profits increased 16.7 percent to $2.3 billion while net sales rose 5.7 percent to $53.4 billion and comps increased 4.8 percent.
Bellevue, Wash. – T-Mobile posted its third consecutive quarter of more than 1 million net new subscribers in the fourth quarter, but the company also posted its third consecutive quarter of net losses.
For the quarter, the company gained more than 1.6 million net new customers following gains of 1.13 million and 1.05 million in the third and second quarters, respectively. For the full year, the carrier gained 4.38 million net new subscribers, up from 2012’s 203,000.
Atlanta — The Home Depot reported flat fourth-quarter earnings on a slight sales decline.
Profits remained essentially static at $1 billion for the three months, ended Feb. 2, a 0.8 percent dip, while net sales slipped 3 percent to $17.7 billion. Comp-store sales for the period rose 4.4 percent chain-wide and 4.9 percent in the U.S.
Total customer transactions fell 4 percent during the period although average ticket edged up 1.1 percent.
Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot reported higher sales but a net loss for its fourth quarter and full-year results, ended Dec. 28, 2013, the first report after its merger with OfficeMax last November.
Reported (GAAP) results include total sales for the fourth quarter increasing 33 percent to $3.5 billion compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Sales were $11.2 billion in the full-year 2013, an increase of 5 percent compared with the prior year.