Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Thank you, March

April 7, 2010

Check out the latest retailer to benefit from the earlier Easter and a mild March.

family dollar storeFamily Dollar’s profit in the quarter that ended in February came in higher than analysts’ anticipated, as the discounter extended hours at its stores and sold more private label goods, which carry better margins.

The retailer is already seeing other benefits this quarter.  Sales at stores open at least a year rose a whopping 11 percent in March, aided by Easter falling earlier in April this year than it did last year.  Some nicer weather also helped, it said.

Family Dollar’s third-quarter and full-year forecasts suggest profits could top analysts’ expectations throughout the remainder of fiscal 2010.

Walgreen’s sales were also helped by Easter falling eight days earlier than in 2009.  On Thursday we’ll get a better sense of the Easter lift, when several other big U.S. chains divulge their March sales.

Also in the basket:

CKE Restaurants gets new takeover offer, shares rise

Monsanto trails estimates, warns on targets

Pernod loses lawsuit on Bacardi’s Havana Club rum

Talbots finally hits that 90 percent threshold

(Reuters photo)

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