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Jan 22, 2014

Icahn wants eBay to spin off Paypal; eBay balks

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Activist investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake in Ebay Inc (EBAY.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and is proposing a spin-off of the company’s fast-growing PayPal division, but the e-commerce giant rebuffed the overture, setting the stage for a potential battle.

EBay, which bought PayPal for $1.5 billion in 2002 and has considered hiving off the multibillion-dollar payments service, argued on Wednesday that the business would lose synergies with the overall e-commerce business as an independent unit.

Jan 22, 2014

Coach sales in N. America plummet as it loses more ground to rivals

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Coach Inc’s (COH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sales in North America during the key holiday quarter fell more than the handbag maker had forecast as new rivals continued to eat away at its market lead and fewer shoppers came into its stores.

The New York company, known for its Poppy handbags, on Wednesday reported a 13.6 percent drop in comparable-store sales in North America, the third straight quarter of decline in a market that accounts for 70 percent of its revenue.

Jan 22, 2014

Sears closes Chicago flagship store as it moves to online retail

NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp is
closing its downtown Chicago flagship outlet in April, the
latest move by the retailer to cut the number of its stores as
it relies more on online retailing.

The store has lost “millions of dollars” since opening in
2001, a Sears spokesman said on Tuesday. The closing will leave
Sears’ namesake chain without a store in the downtown core of
its hometown. Sears is based in suburban Hoffman Estates,
Illinois. It has three other stores in Chicago.

Jan 15, 2014

Penney to shed 33 stores, cut 2,000 jobs to stem losses

NEW YORK (Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it will close 33 stores and cut 2,000 jobs as part of the struggling retailer’s efforts to return to profit.

Chief Executive Myron Ullman in a statement called the move an important step that “addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores.”

Jan 14, 2014

US holiday sales rise but discounts to hit margins -NRF

NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales rose 3.8
percent in the 2013 holiday season, the National Retail
Federation said, but the trade body warned that deep discounting
could hurt retailers’ profits.

Retailers offered the biggest promotions since the 2008
recession to get shoppers to spend, but many slashed profit
forecasts last week because of the deals.

Jan 13, 2014

With data vulnerable, retailers look for tougher security

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A top retail trade group executive on Sunday called for tougher security standards that could mean more spending for the industry, its banks and business partners after a series of data breaches at major merchants.

Stores and card processing companies have reported a steady stream of security breaches for years without a major backlash from consumers, such as those disclosed by TJX Cos in 2007 and by Heartland Payment Systems Inc in 2009.

Jan 10, 2014

Holiday sales plunge at Sears U.S., Kmart stores

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp’s (SHLD.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sales are slipping faster and faster.

The retailer on Thursday reported declines in comparable-store sales at its Kmart and U.S. namesake chain for the crucial holiday season that were even sharper than for the third quarter.

Jan 9, 2014

Barnes & Noble core retail business stabilized during holidays

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Barnes & Noble Inc’s mainstay retail business showed signs of stabilizing during the holiday period, renewing the belief on Wall Street that the bookseller’s stores remain a viable business.

The largest U.S. bookstore chain on Thursday reported a 5.5 percent decrease in comparable sales at its bookstores and on its website over the holiday period. But that was caused primarily by a drop in the number of Nook e-reader devices sold.

Jan 9, 2014

Discounts slam U.S. retailers’ holiday season profits

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Steep discounts that U.S.
retailers used during the holiday season to lure shoppers helped
sales but forced many chains to slash profit forecasts.

A group of eight retailers in the Thomson Reuters Same-Store
Sales Index reported on Thursday that December sales at stores
open at least a year rose a stronger-than-expected 2.7 percent.

Jan 9, 2014

Retailers’ sales rise in December

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Many U.S. retailers had to ramp up promotions last month as shoppers continued to watch their spending during the holiday season, hitting profits at several chains.

L Brands cut its earnings forecast for the holiday quarter on Thursday after reporting disappointing December sales at its Victoria Secret and La Senza chains. The company said it had to offer more deals than expected, the second month in a row it has had to do so.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Wahba joined Reuters in 2008 and has covered the exchanges, equity capital markets (IPOs), corporate bankruptcies and now covers retailers such as department stores and booksellers."
      Hometown:
      Montreal
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
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